Premium design, Bezel-less display with punch-hole camera
Great triple-camera with 123 degree wide-angle lens
Fast face unlock, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging
In 2019, Samsung launched three flagship smartphones in its S10 series. The trio includes the compact Galaxy S10e, normal-sized Galaxy S10 and the big-display Galaxy S10+. We have already reviewed the Galaxy S10e, and the Galaxy S10+, and it was time to finally get hold of the standard variant Galaxy S10. In India, the Galaxy S10 comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, priced at Rs 66,900. Consumers also have an option of buying the higher variant with 8GB RAM and 512GB storage at Rs 84,900.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 takes the sweet spot in Samsung’s 2019 S10 portfolio, as it’s not not too big like the Galaxy S10+,t and not too compact like the Galaxy S10e. The handset offers 6.1-inch Dynamic display, which utilizes the complete front of the phone by keeping the selfie camera in a punch-hole design. You get a triple camera like the Galaxy S10+ at the back, and in India, the phone comes with Samsung’s own Exynos 9 series chipset instead of Snapdragon 855. I got the 8GB+128GB Prism Black variant for review, and here’s what you should also know about the phone before making a purchase.
Samsung Galaxy S10: Display and design
The design of Samsung Galaxy S10 is a lot similar to what we have seen since the Galaxy S8. The dual-curved display with glass body and aluminum frame feels as premium as it can get. Samsung has changed the aesthetics a bit by incorporating almost bezel-less display with punch-hole design and in-display camera. This one has a single 10-megapixel selfie camera on the top-right corner, which looks better and is less distracting than its bigger sibling Galaxy S10+’s dual-camera setup.
The Galaxy S10 fits well in hand, but is quite slippery and is also a fingerprint magnet. You get a pre-applied screen protector on the front and a clear hard case for the back. Samsung has kept 3.5mm headphone jack, and there is a USB Type-C port for charging/ data syncing.
Up front, the Galaxy S10 boasts a curved 6.1-inch Super AMOLED panel, which offers Quad-HD+ (2K) resolution. It is also HDR10+ certified, and you get Qualcomm’s ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner. The display is one of the best features in Galaxy S10, and it works great under all conditions. The curved edges sometimes result in accidental touches, but overall I found the display to be super responsive and super bright.
Samsung Galaxy S10: Performance and UI
The Galaxy S10 India variant doesn’t include Qualcomm chipset, instead the market has always been getting top-of-the-line Exynos SoC. Similar to other two phones in Samsung’s S10 series, the Galaxy S10 gets the same Exynos 9820 with 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM with 128GB or 512GB of inbuilt storage. Unlike most flagships, the Galaxy S10 does get microSD expandability option, and you can additionally increase 512GB storage with it.
During my usage, I found the Galaxy S10 to be very smooth in terms of daily usage, multitasking and more. I expected a great performance out of it, because of top-of-the-line specifications, and the Galaxy S10 didn’t disappoint. There was no lag, or stutter of the any kind. The latest UI based on Android 9 Pie, which Samsung calls OneUI, adds to the smoother performance as well. While the UI is a great upgrade over Samsung’s previous Android spin ‘TouchWiz’, I feel there are still small things which require attention and improvement from Samsung.
Coming to the gameplay, the Galaxy S10 is bliss for mobile gaming. I tested out the phone’s performance by playing PUBG, and there were no complaints. It played out just fine with high-graphic settings and very little load time, although the phone does heat a little. I also tested the device by playing lighter games like Subway Surfer and The hunt for the lost treasure, and both performed just fine on the Galaxy S10.
Samsung Galaxy S10: Camera performance
The Samsung Galaxy S10 packs the same triple-camera setup as the Galaxy S10+. It includes a primary 12-megapixel Dual-Pixel f1.5/f2.4 variable aperture lens with 77 degree wide-angle and OIS. The second camera is a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with PDAF, F2.4 aperture and OIS. Lastly, there is a 16-megapixel 123 degree ultra-wide sensor.
During my review time, I found Galaxy S10’s primary camera to be perfect for daylight conditions. It managed quality imaging with great details, contrast, brightness and sharpness levels. The High Dynamic Range (HDR) which takes in a bit more detailing coupled with AI Scene Optimizer by Samsung, produces images like a DSLR. Having said that, Samsung’s algorithm makes the colors look more vivid than natural, especially blue and red.
The setup offers 0.5X/2X loss-less zoom, and up to 10X digital zoom, which work fine too. The 123 degree wide-angle lens needs a special mention here, as I found it to be pretty useful. This not just captures bigger landscapes, but also offers amazing amount of detailing. In low-light, the camera has improved a lot, especially after the recent update from Samsung. It doesn’t produce results like the Pixel in low-light, but if you do not compare them side-by-side, the Galaxy S10 still offers good low-light camera in its segment.
For selfies, the Galaxy S10 features a 10-megapixel Dual Pixel front-facing camera in the punch-hole display. This is a 80 degree wide-angle lens with f/1.9 aperture, which takes great selfies in daylight with perfect skin tone and good amount of detailing. The ‘Live focus’ mode, which is Bokeh or blur mode, also offers the kind of photos that you’d like from a flagship phone with accurate edge detection. Overall, the Galaxy S10’s camera is one of the best in 2019 so far, which I can confidently recommend. Checkout the camera samples below.
Samsung Galaxy S10: Face Unlock, Ultrasonic fingerprint and Battery
For security, the Galaxy S10 gets an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner upfront, which is quite fast and accurate, but still doesn’t match-up to the physical fingerprint sensor. You will be able to store up to four fingerprints on to it. Unfortunately, Samsung’s software still doesn’t recognize same fingerprints, which means if you store one fingerprint four times, it’ll allow that. For face unlock, the front-camera is used. This is my first ever Samsung phone which I can confidently say, has best face unlock. It is quite fast, and can unlock while the eyes are closed.
To power up the Galaxy S10, Samsung has used slightly smaller 3,400mAh battery, but there is fast charging with USB Type-C port. Additionally, it supports wireless and reverse wireless charging as well. In terms of charging, I think Samsung still needs a faster charging tech, maybe something similar to Galaxy A70’s ‘Super-Fast charging’ at 25Watts. But in terms of battery performance, I was fairly impressed with the back-up time as per my usage. I use my phone extensively for Google Maps, social media, YouTube videos, emails, WhatsApp messages, calls and other work. During my review time, the Galaxy S10’s battery lasted almost a day, but without sufficient amount of battery left in the tank. It was usually down to 3-4 percent, and considering my heavy usage pattern, it is acceptable.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S10?
The Samsung Galaxy S10 is the perfect premium smartphone that we’d expected from Samsung in 2019. Among the Galaxy S10 series trio, the Galaxy S10 is company’s most-balanced smartphone, which is not too big or small, and comes with flagship-grade camera and specifications. In my opinion, the Galaxy S10 uses the present technology to best of its abilities. I feel 3.5mm jack for wired headphones is still worthy, and it is one of the things that I want in my phone. The Galaxy S10 can run all kinds of tasks smoothly and works well for gaming. I found the camera to be great, software is pretty good, and the battery can also last one full day on a single charge. To sum it up, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is phone that I can easily recommend to anyone looking for a premium smartphone.