Samsung considers the Galaxy S10 and S10+ to be “next-generation” mobile phones, however do the sum of all the new parts make a powerful case?

I had seen the new devices at the release occasion in San Francisco, and came home with a Galaxy S10+ to review, as I have done right here. Though I did not get the opportunity to test the S10 at the exact time, much of what I am explaining here will also use to that phone, unless mentioned or else.

The entire S10 line-even including the S10e, which I will look at individually in a later post-is not a lot a makeover, it’s an acceptance of what came before it. Samsung played up the new pieces and parts they integrated in the new phones. They did not change much here, only making some important changes to up the ante on what you see and do.

 

Familiar, in a different way

Any phone with a 6.4-inch screen is going to be large, and the S10+ is no exclusion. Other than it does not sense massive, due to the thinning bezels framing the display. Samsung calls it a Dynamic AMOLED, and frankly-it’s one of the best displays I have actually noticed on a phone. Bright, vivid, vibrant, colourful and sharp, it is really easy on the eyes, to say the minimum.

While the curves on the screen and edges are less pronounced, two other main aspects contribute to the screen’s style. First is the method the two front-facing cameras stay in the top right, such as an island in water. Rather than have a notch drooping down, the company carved out an enclave to facilitate the two lenses (it’s one lens for the S10 and S10e). Furthermore, you will observe that most wallpapers Samsung provides specially poor that corner to make it less noticeable.

Then there is the ultrasonic finger-print sensor. This is not a capacitive or optical sensor, but instead one that really is situated below the screen. All you see is the fingerprint icon. While Samsung is not the first to use an in-display fingerprint scanner, it is the first to use an ultrasonic one.

The design concepts mainly stay the same. Glass on the back, with buttons in the same places-and even a headphone jack. The internal speaker borrows a great offer from the Galaxy Note 9 and does sound pretty loud on its own. One significant cut is the iris scanner at the front, which is now gone.

Samsung also included a third lens to the S10+ (and S10, but not S10e), launching an ultra wide-angle to the other two. That gives the phone three various lenses to work with, putting to the wide and telephoto ones.

Samsung Galaxy S10+ Specs

Display: 6.4-inch 3040 x 1440 Dynamic AMOLED display 19:9 aspect ratio with 522 pixels per inch
OS: Android 9.0 Pie
Processor: 2.8GHz + 2.4GHz + 1.8GHz Snapdragon 855 64-bit octa-core processor
Memory: 8GB or 12GB RAM, 64GB, 128GB, 512GB or 1TB (microSD card slot expandable up to 512GB)
Camera: 12-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization, 12-megapixel telephoto lens, 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle, 10-megapixel + 8-megapixel front-facing
Video: 4K video recording
Battery: 4100mAh
Connections: LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, A-GPS, NFC, Fast Charging, USB-C, Ultrasonic Fingerprint sensor, Wireless Charging, HDR10+
Dimensions: 6.2 x 2.92 x 0.31 inches
Weight: 175 grams (198 grams for ceramic)
Comes in prism black, prism white, prism blue and ceramic black

More on the screen

I did question how that portion would show up over time. It never actually troubled me or got in the way, other than those odd times when browsing through the interface. Video and games do not wrap around it, so it’s not an problem that way.

What is more significant is the clearness and vibrancy of the screen. Samsung included HDR10+ assistance, and it does wonders for illustrates and shadows for video and photos. The company has been responsible in the past of going too brilliant with saturated colours in the past, but that is been fewer of an problem more recently.

 Here, there is a brilliant setting you can select to add comparison, even manually modifying white and colour balance. I know every pair of eyes is subjective, however I would be amazed if anyone did not like how bright and clear the screen is on the Galaxy S10+ and S10.

The fingerprint sensor is also one of those things that is likely to enhance over time. I noticed an enhancement through a software update on the event of the phone’s release. If that continues, it may become less inconsistent than it is right now. It is not awful by any extend, just not quite as good as it should be.

Performance and software

The Snapdragon 855 processor and 8GB (or 12GB with certain variants) of RAM guarantee there’s a lot of power under the cover here. I question you will discover any performance problems early on. It is a super smooth experience, and all that fluidity senses much better because the software has some developments, as well.

The new “One UI” running on Android 9.0 Pie had currently thrown out to the S9 and Note 9, however it is here out of the box. Some of the improvements are delicate, but several make a change over time. For example, larger icons, better settings layouts, and menus make it simpler to find things. Swiping and navigating with gestures felt softer to me, even from when I first examined on those prior Samsung handsets.

Reality is, there is a lot in there. This is one reason why I had wished Samsung would improve its settings app. You can still look for whatever you like, but it is not a bad idea to take some time to look through. For example, one neat feature that is away by default is Dual audio, where the phone can simultaneously stream to two Bluetooth headphones or speakers. One more is Smart pop-up view under Advanced characteristics, which sends notifications as icons you can preview.

Then there is the Bixby button on the left edge. Lastly, Samsung is allowing users reassign it. At one point, I set it to open Google Maps or Google Assistant, while a double-click would trigger Bixby. Just note that Bixby has to be one of them; you can not ignore it totally when assigning the button.

Approximately I loved the display, I wish it was not so sensitive on the sides. I caught myself accidentally selecting things as I was picking it up or laying it down. The Edge Panel interface is still there, but you can turn it off completely, which I did after a while. Ironically, as simple as it was to accidentally tap something, as I explained, I did not find accessing the edge menu as user-friendly.

That’s the point about good hardware and software, though. It’s easier to nitpick at the things that are slightly irritating, however eventually take small away from the experience. Samsung has long stated the ability to customize the user experience on their phones, but I have never been fully persuaded. The One UI is a big step in the right direction.

Camera

The Galaxy S10+ uses the same lenses and image sensors from the Note 9, when including that third ultra wide-angle. Which implies you get the same variable mechanical aperture (f/1.5 and f/2.4) on the primary lens, and the similar 2x optical zoom on the telephoto lens. The image sensors are still 12-megapixels.

To help capture better photos, you have the third lens, which I will get to, plus some software help. A “bright light” characteristic comes into play designed to enhance low-light photos, but I never felt it was powerful enough. That is not to say images are bad, but I found Pro mode to be much better at decreasing noise. While you are likely to get something good in low-light, the Google Pixel 3 is still better in my eyes.

Regardless of that, you have a camera you can depend on in pretty much any situation. The 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens propagates out 123-degrees-the equivalent of the human eye. Photos will not be as attractive with that lens, and it struggling more in low-light, but the space it covers makes it fun to shoot with. LG was the first to attempt wide-angle lenses, and it’s good to see Samsung lastly accept them, too.

Samsung also now uses the wide-angle lens for Live Focus, the bokeh mode. When capturing for depth of field to blur the background, you can be more back or closer to the area than before.

Compared to the Note 9, the differences are not huge, with the clear exception of the wider lens. Photo quality is going to be related in most situations, especially because some of the same parts are located in both devices.

Video recording obtains something of an upgrade. You can capture better action video using Super Steady mode, however there are a few caveats. First, it makes use of the wide-angle lens, therefore reducing the entire vibrancy. Second, it’s fixed focus due to the fact it is using that lens, therefore you can not be too close to your area. Third, it can only capture in 1080p in that mode due to the processing power included.

HDR10+ also arrives into play here. Not only can you view content assisting it, you can also capture video supporting it. It does make a difference, other than not every device can play it back after. Therefore, for example, if you share or send that video after, it may not work on all you play it on.

Bixby

Samsung proceeds to force Bixby, it is artificial intelligence platform, including Programs to its repertoire. I experience like a broken record saying this, but it still is a work in improvement. The cards it lays out can be helpful when swiping right from the home screen. It’s just the voice assistant and how it combines with everything else.

For the most part, Bixby is still very Samsung-centric. It mainly connects into other Samsung apps, which is not useful if you do not actually use them. I like that I can tell it to snap a photo or record a video, though I found it equally easy to release the camera from the lock screen.

For the basics, it’s not bad. Calling someone, weather forecasts, setting alarms, reminders or contextual info on a place, person or thing-those are fine. I found Routines more interesting when it came to manually creating them. The automatic features Samsung hyped still are not prepared for prime time, in my viewpoint.

Bixby Vision is only effective within the constraint of the partners Samsung has for it. Pinterest, Vivino, Foursquare and a few others are in there. I like the translation features via Google Text, except I could do the same thing via Google Lens.

Certainly, you can use Google Assistant in lieu of Bixby, should you need to. You can even program the Bixby button to launch it automatically. You just can not entirely disable or remove Samsung’s voice assistant.

Battery life

The Galaxy S10+ has a 4100mAh battery within that works like a beast. I was amazed at how well the phone held up with heavy usage in a given day. Through video streaming to regular browsing, phone calls and app usage, it went through a full workday with a lot to give up.

One capture worth noting is that the phone defaults to a Full HD+ 2280 x 1080 screen resolution, and increasing that to the full WQHD+ 3040 x 1440 resolution will impact battery life. To accomplish this, go to Settings> Display> Screen Resolution> WQHD+> Apply. One way to preserve is to reduced it back to Full HD+ when you need to.

The Galaxy S10 has a smaller 3400mAh battery therefore it will not last as long in every situation. You will want to manage and save where essential, though you should be capable to make it a full day before needing to recharge.

Samsung promoted Wireless PowerShare as a cool way to change charge other devices. Turning it on in the notifications pulldown pane from the top makes the phone’s back a charging pad. Place a suitable device on it and you see it charge. This performs with just about anything, from the Galaxy Buds to even a recent iPhone.

Final thoughts

If you have the Galaxy S9 or S9+, I notice no reason to upgrade. I would point out the same if you have a Note 9. The new features may be great, and the screen gorgeous, but it’s not a massive leap forward. If you care a lot about the screen, and want the additional lens, then you can make a situation for going this route.

It is a much bigger difference when going back two years and past. The Galaxy S10+ is going to be one of the best devices of 2019. It offers the best entire performance to date, and mostly meets the high objectives that come with it. I would’ve enjoyed a newer, more dynamic camera, personally, however I can trust taking pictures with it in most cases. There is a lot to like with this device, mainly in how well the software and hardware work together.

The Samsung Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10e are available now in prism black, prism white, prism blue and ceramic black.

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