The "1-Minute" Review
- Sluggish fingerprint sensor
- Camera so-so in low light
- Hole punch camera annoyed some reviewers
Samsung’s Galaxy S phones are the pinnacle of their lineup. And they consistently top Android sales charts with their mix of power, refinement, and beautiful displays. So has Samsung met expectations with their latest release? Reviewers across the web are weighing in. We’ve scoured what they’re saying to bring you this summary.
One look at the phone and it’s obviously Samsung. It features an aluminum frame with glass on the front and rear. Like many top-end phones, it also boasts IP68 water and dust resistance.
Reviewers loved the rounded edges and near-bezel-less design but worried about the phone cracking if dropped. So you’ll want to use the included case or pick one up when you buy your phone.
Good Gear Guide says, “If anything, the feel-factor here reminds me most of the iPhone XS. It's cutting edge tech paired up with appropriate luxury aesthetics. To Samsung's credit, it's the first (and only) Android device I've ever used that's managed to strike that same decadent chord.”
Around front, the phone features a 6.1-inch curved Dynamic AMOLED display with HDR10+ support running at 3,040-by-1440 pixels. With a 522PPI rating, it’s one of the sharpest on the market.
Reviewers loved the bold colors, bright backlight, and the edge-to-edge look of the screen. The display also has full support for streaming HDR content from your favorite video providers to help you put the screen to good use.
Android Authority praises the screen’s quality, saying, “Simply put, the S10 has one of the best displays I’ve ever seen. It’s a stunner top to bottom.”
Unlike past releases, the S10 includes an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner built into the display. This allows them to make the screen nearly bezel-free.
Unfortunately, reviewers had minor issues with finger recognition and delays when using the in-display scanner. However, most noted the delay was only around 1 second. So it might not matter as much to you.
What could matter, however, is that some screen protectors are not compatible with the fingerprint sensor technology. While the phone ships with a screen protector already applied, you’ll want to be careful to check that your replacement is compatible should you ever need a new one.
And, in what will probably become the big debate of 2019, the screen includes a hole punch camera. Instead of the notches of last year, the camera setup is reduced to a single round camera in the upper corner of the display. Much like the notch, reviewers either loved or hated it. If you’re not sure how you feel, be sure to check a few videos or look at the phone in person before purchasing.
Depending on your region, the phone sports either an octa-core Snapdragon 855 or an octa-core Samsung Exynos 9820 processor. Regardless of region, all Galaxy S10 models come with 8GB of RAM.
And, as expect for a brand new Samsung release, the benchmarks for the phone are outstanding. It still won’t keep up with the latest iPhone… but no Android phone does. Still, it’s more than powerful enough to take on heavy multitasking, play the latest games, or capture beautiful 4K video.
Digit notes, “... The Samsung Galaxy S10 performs the way a flagship smartphone should: it runs multiple heavy apps simultaneously without any signs of sweat or delay.”
The phone ships with Android 9.0 Pie and Samsung’s OneUI skin. Unlike past Samsung skins, reviewers quite liked the subtle changes offered. While there are a few redundant Samsung apps, they’re easily uninstalled. And any changes to the UI are functional instead of mere eye candy.
Good Gear Guide praises Samsung’s redesigned skin, saying, “All told, I'm honestly thrilled with OneUI. I feel like it sets a new high watermark for Android skins that aren't terrible. I wish every Android phone out there felt this good to use from moment-to-moment.”
You have two choices for internal storage with the S10 -- 128GB or 512GB. While both are likely enough for the average person, you’ll also find microSD cards support for cards up to 512GB should you need more space.
Samsung’s marketing focuses on the “next-generation” cameras in their latest release. While reviews are positive, the triple camera rear setup with 12MP telephoto and wide-angle lenses and a 16MP ultra-wide angle lens weren’t without fault.
Low-light images have a tendency to get noisy. The ultra-wide angle lens also had issues with fisheye effects when shooting objects close to the camera.
While it might not keep up with the absolute best camera phones out there, it puts up a respectable fight and is fast and flexible enough for the average person.
The front-facing 10MP camera also received praise for its well-lit shots and effective portrait mode. However, reviewers noted selfies often looked softer and “beautified” even with beautification settings disabled.
Android Authority shot pictures with their phone around Los Angeles and said, “I was generally happy with exposure and white/color balance. Photos appeared to be balanced properly with respect to bright and dark regions. I saw very little grain in dark shots… White balance is accurate, but color was pushed a bit much for my tastes. This is signature Samsung.”
Things pick back up again with battery life. The phone includes a 3,400mAh battery with USB-C quick charging and Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 support.
Digit put their review unit through its paces and said, “If you’re a medium to heavy user of your phone, you can expect the Samsung Galaxy S10 to last you a little over a day on a single charge.”
If you’re a heavy game player or video watcher, you might need to keep a charger around. However, for most, you’ll reach a full day on a single charge with no problems.
Bucking top-end phone trends, the Galaxy S10 keeps its headphone jack. There are also stereo speakers using a bottom-firing speaker and the earpiece. Dolby Atmos support also helps to add more spatial effect to the audio.
No matter how you listen, reviews indicate you’ll enjoy plenty of volume and a well-rounded sound.
NDTV declares, “If you are looking for a smartphone that does it all and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, your search ends here.”
Stuff says, “If you've got to have the best Samsung and arguably the best Android, yet don't see the point in twin selfie cameras or ridiculous zooming capabilities, the S10 is pretty much all the phone you'd ever need.”