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Review

Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+ First Impressions: Focus on raw power, improved features

The Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ bring the best of hardware and software combination for a flagship smartphone. Here are our first impressions.

samsung galaxy s10 first impressions

Highlights

  • Both the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ come with triple rear cameras.

  • The Galaxy S10+ also comes with dual front cameras.

  • Both smartphones include reverse wireless charging feature.

It’s been 10 years since Samsung introduced the Galaxy S-series, and today, the South Korean giant has launched its 10th-anniversary edition smartphones. These include the Galaxy S10e, the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy S10+. There is also a 5G variant with bigger display, bigger battery, and four cameras at the back.

There is another special device, the company’s first foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold. At the launch event in San Francisco, I had a chance to play with the Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ smartphones, and here are my first impressions.

Improved design, better displays

The Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ being special devices, one would expect drastic design changes. Though Samsung has once again stuck to the design it introduced with the Galaxy S8 two years ago, it has improved on a few things. You still get a metal frame sandwiched between front and back glass. Both smartphones come with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection. The frame now has a steel finish, similar to what we have seen on the Apple iPhone XS-series.

Up front, the smartphones now have a thin forehead with a small slit for earpiece above them. The company is using an Infinity O display which comes with punch hole selfie cameras. And to offer more space, Samsung has done away with iris scanner, and the Galaxy S10 series now comes with advanced 3D facial recognition tech for biometric authentication.

The Galaxy S10 comes with a single front camera of 10-megapixel resolution, and it has a circular diameter cutout on the top right corner. The camera can record 4K videos too. The Galaxy S10+, on the other hand, comes with dual cameras on the front, and it has a pill-shaped camera module. One is a 10-megapixel sensor whereas the other is an 8-megapixel sensor to add 3D depth effects to your portrait selfies. Besides, the power button is on the right whereas the volume rocker and dedicated Bixby voice assistant button is on the left. Along the bottom, you have the USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer, and a 3.5mm audio jack is also present.

Cameras: More sensors, more fun

Coming to the photography department, both the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ come with the same triple camera setup at the back. Here, one is a 12-megapixel sensor with f/2.4 aperture (telephoto lens), the other is a 12-megapixel sensor with dual aperture and wide-angle lens, same as the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 series. The third is an ultra wide angle lens with 16-megapixel resolution and field of view of 123-degrees. The cameras support 2X optical zoom, AI scene detection and super slow motion video recording. There are some other tricks too in the portrait mode where you can add fun effects to your photos. And of course, support for AR Emojis and Bixby Vision is also there.

Powerful hardware, ample storage

Both the smartphones are powered by a 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC (or an 8nm Exynos 9820 SoC). They come with 8GB of RAM with 128GB and 512GB storage options. The Galaxy S10+, on the other hand, comes with 12GB RAM and 1TB storage on the ceramic edition device. For gamers, the Galaxy S10+ also comes with vapor chamber cooling tech which ensures smooth and cool performance even after hours of gaming.

Battery and wireless charging

To keep things ticking, the Galaxy S10 is armed with a 3,400mAh battery, whereas the Galaxy S10+ is armed with a 4,100mAh battery. Both support fast charging over USB Type-C, wireless fast charging with up to 30 percent faster charging. There is also reverse wireless charging where you can use the Galaxy S10 or Galaxy S10+ as a power bank and wirelessly charge compatible phones, smartwatch and Galaxy Buds earphones.

Android Pie with One UI

Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones run on Android 9 Pie OS with One UI skin on top. We have already seen the UI on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 smartphones, and it features big icons, and menu options on first party apps moved towards the bottom for one-handed usage. There is also support for dark mode, and Digital Wellbeing feature that was earlier missing, has been added here.

Initial impressions

Both the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ are powerful smartphones when it comes to hardware and features that Samsung is offering. There are some new tricks up the sleeve such as reverse wireless charging, cameras that can do much more, and improved AI that helps speed up app load times and also conserve battery. However, while one would expect a drastic change in design, Samsung is sticking to the same design. This sort of makes the phones seem like iterative updates.

For those who want the latest and greatest Android experience, the Galaxy S10-series would suffice. It remains to be seen how the new chipset helps in delivering power-packed performance while maintaining efficiency. It will also be interesting to see how Samsung prices both smartphones. If the company manages to retain similar pricing as last year’s Galaxy S9 series, that could give an added boost.

Disclaimer: The writer is in San Francisco on Samsung’s invite. Samsung took care of his travel and accommodation.

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  • Published Date: February 21, 2019 8:39 AM IST