The Galaxy S10 series is all set to hit the stores in just a few days from now. And right on time, the first set of reviews of the handset from major publications have hit the web. Read our review roundup of the Galaxy S10 to know what most publications think about Samsung’s 2019 flagship.
Unsurprisingly, almost all publications have praised the Galaxy S10 and called it the best Galaxy S device from Samsung yet. They praised the versatile triple-camera setup at the rear, the stunning Dynamic AMOLED display, and all-day battery life. Samsung’s new OneUI is also a major step up from the company’s previous software efforts.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Review Roundup
Like last year’s Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S8, the S10’s hardware is very nice, which you’d expect from a device this expensive. The best way to describe it is refined: plenty of phones have curved screens, glass backs, and metal frames, but few feel this nice to hold or well put together. Samsung is now on Apple’s level when it comes to fit, finish, and feel, and well ahead of Google, OnePlus, and other Android device makers.
The display, in typical Samsung fashion, is excellent. The surprising thing is that Samsung seems to have toned down the saturation levels.
Samsung seems to have toned down its aggressive saturation, and the “Natural” mode, which is what I’ve been using, looks very nice and drops the eye-searing neon colors Samsung was known for. Samsung claims the S10’s display is the first on the market to feature HDR10+, which is supported by Amazon’s Prime Video and YouTube.
As for that pill-shaped cutout in the display? Well, it is just a different take on the notch.
This design lets Samsung avoid the oft-criticized notch look, but it also means that the battery and network indicators are awkwardly pushed off-center to the left. A notch design has similar compromises, but it’s at least symmetrical: notifications and clock are on the left, battery and network indicators are on the right. The off-center look of the hole-punch design just looks worse to me.
The ultrasonic fingerprint scanner seems to be more of a miss than a hit. However, it is possible that the review device did not get a major software update that Samsung rolled out recently to improve the camera performance and fix the fingerprint scanner performance.
But it’s not as fast or reliable as the traditional, capacitive fingerprint scanner on the back of the S9. The target area for the reader is rather small (though the lockscreen will show you a diagram of where to place your finger) and I had to be very deliberate with my finger placement to get it to work.
Thanks to the Snapdragon 855 chip, the Galaxy S10 feels fast.
The S10 Plus is the first phone I’ve used with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855 processor, and performance is surprisingly fast and smooth. Apps open without hesitation, scrolling is very smooth, and the S10 never feels like it’s getting bogged down or overwhelmed. It’s hard to quantify this, but the user interface feels more refined than a OnePlus 6T or other high-end Android phones.
Overall, the Galaxy S10 is easily the best Android flagship smartphone in the market right now and that’s likely going to be the case for some time.
The publication’s review of the Galaxy S10+ is highly positive. It calls the Galaxy S10+ as the best Android flagship in the market right now.
The real stunner that will take all of your attention, though, is the latest AMOLED display. Take your pick of the 6.1-inch Galaxy S10 or 6.4-inch Galaxy S10+, it doesn’t matter — the display is once again amazing and the benchmark all other companies are chasing from some distance. Official testing from DisplayMatetells the technical story of how well the GS10 performs in colors, accuracy, brightness, viewing angles and reflection, but it all passes the eye test: if I have my choice of any phone in the world purely for its display, I choose the Galaxy S10.
The only disappointing aspect of the Galaxy S10 is the poor in-display fingerprint scanner.
Samsung’s move to an in-display fingerprint sensor is the only controversial decision it made this year. Actually, the only controversial things Samsung has done in the last handful of years have all related to biometric security. Moving the fingerprint sensor to a nonsensical place, and trying to rely on iris scanning were solid blunders in their own right. (Iris scanning is gone now, by the way.) And now, we have another attempt: an in-display fingerprint sensor. This isn’t the first we’ve seen, but it is the first using this type of technology: ultrasonic, using sound waves, rather than optical, which uses a camera.
The camera on the device is nice but not a major step up over the Galaxy Note 9.
The photos are really good. I’m just struggling to find the places where they’re appreciably better than the great photos I’ve been taking with my S9+ and Note 9 for a year prior. Samsung’s strengths are all still here: the camera is incredibly fast to capture in all situations, the interface is easy to use, the dynamic range and colors are fantastic, and you always get a bright and usable photo in every situation. It feels like the GS10+ is adding a little extra juice to the HDR processing, and in some situations you’re getting something a bit more vivid than what the Note 9 would’ve done … but the margins are slim. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just a little disappointing when taken into the reality that the last generation was, in itself, not a huge upgrade from the year before.
The battery life of the Galaxy S10 is definitely one of its highlights.
Samsung upped the battery size on both the Galaxy S10 and S10+, which is particularly important in the smaller model. For my time using the Galaxy S10+ exclusively, its larger 4100mAh battery translated to absolutely amazing battery life. It even takes a step up from the already-great Note 9. This phone just doesn’t want to die, no matter what you throw at it. Lots of tethering, camera use, Google Maps navigation, screen on time and more — it doesn’t matter, it just lasts all day. I wouldn’t say there’s particularly exceptional “standby” battery life when the phone is idle, but one of the hallmark features of Samsung’s phones is that the battery drains at effectively the same rate no matter how you use it.
Wired finds the Galaxy S10’s punch-hole display as one of the phone’s highlight.
It’s a strange idea, and so far I love it. The odd hole-punch of a selfie camera hasn’t gotten in my way or distracted me. It’s charming in a cold, technological sort of way. If you hate it, you can try using a background with a darker top or turn the entire notification bar black to cover it up.
The camera is also one of the highlights of the Galaxy S10 and sits right there at the top with other flagships.
The thing is, you won’t need the truckload of extra modes to take a great photo. The S10 captures better shots than almost any phone out there.
They also praised the battery life of the phone.
Samsung claims that each Galaxy S10 gets about 24 hours of mixed use. For me, that translated to about a 40 percent charge at bed time, or a pretty healthy, typical day-and-a-half runtime. One day, I had nearly five hours of phone calls (don’t ask) and still went to bed with a modest charge. It took some PUBG and Fortnitematches at high graphics settings to really put a dent in the battery.
Check out some other reviews of the Galaxy S10 in video form below.
What are your thoughts on the Galaxy S10? Do you plan on buying one after reading all the positive reviews? Drop a comment and let us know!