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Samsung Galaxy S10 Review: Get the S10e instead

May 31, 2019

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is Samsung’s latest iteration of its Galaxy line. It brings the first hole punch infinity display and ultrasonic under screen fingerprint scanner to the market. With the inclusion of three rear-facing cameras and their recently refreshed One UI, the Galaxy S10 packs a ton of features. Samsung’s UI has also significantly improved with the introduction of One UI making it a real contender in stock like performance. Coupled with the exceptional hardware and specifications, the S10 on paper looks to be a great phone. But in practice, it might make more sense for you to grab its little brother the S10e. Let us take a look at why.

The Basics

  • 📺 6.1 inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Hole Punch Display 1440 x 3040
  • 🧠 Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (Exynos 9825 elsewhere)
  • 🗃️ 8GB RAM 128-512GB Storage
  • 📷 Three Rear Cameras
    • 📷Wide: 12MP, f/1.5-2.4, 26mm, 1/2.55", 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
    • 📷Telephoto: 12 MP, f/2.1, 52mm, 1/3.6", 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
    • 📷Ultrawide: 16 MP, f/2.2, 12mm, 1.0µm, Super Steady video
  • 🔋 3400 mAh
  • 🔌 25WW wired, up to 15W Qi, reverse Qi
  • 📐 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8 mm
  • 💸 $899+ in the US
  • 🎨
  • 📅 Available

For more information, check out the Samsung Galaxy S10 page

What sets this device apart?

Design and Feel

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is a gorgeous device. With its tampered curve to the shimmering prism white color, the design language makes it look like something from the future. Overall, it is really hard to describe just how striking the Galaxy S10 looks until you have used it for a couple of days. The design is certainly one thing that I will greatly miss after this review.

In order to achieve this look, there were certain trade-offs that were taken. For instance, the phone is super slippery. If you are not careful, it is easy to have it slip out of your hand. This would be easily solved by getting a case or vinyl skin. But at the same time, why buy a phone made of glass if all you are going to do is put it in plastic? I would have rathered Samsung put some type of coating onto the back of the device to make it so that is wasn’t so slippery.

Infinity O Display

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is the first phones to employ a hole punch in its screen rather than a notch. I was slightly surprised to see Samsung going down the path of putting in a hole punch and not just sticking out till we found a way to put the camera under the screen.

In daily use, you won’t notice the hole punch much. Often times I forget it is even there. What I have noticed is that in some applications, the phone would move the video off-center to compensate for that hole so that it does not cover any content. This makes the video looks lopsided which was slightly distracting for me.

The screen comes set in Natural color temperature. You can go into the setting and change it to Vivid which increases the saturation to give the colors more pop. In Vivid mode, you can also change the color temperature of the device, making it either warmer or cooler. Personally, I found the screen to be on the warmer side, even with the color temperature set to the coolest.

Reverse Wireless Charging

Huawei first introduced this feature on their Mate 20 Pro. Samsung’s implementation is similar but offers a faster charge at 4.5 watts. Your device will also need at least 30% of battery in order to use this feature. To activate, you can simply swipe down on the notification shade and click on PowerShare from the quick settings. A blue light will then light up on the back of the device next to the cameras. Once you place down your qi wireless compatible device (in my case the Galaxy Buds) that light will turn red to let you know its charging. Once the device is done charging, the Galaxy S10 will automatically turn off PowerShare as well.

One UI

Dark Theme

One UI has brought some upcoming Android Q features to their Android Pie phones. One, in particular, is an automatic dark theme that you can set to turn on at a specific time in the day. The night mode will automatically turn any of Samsung’s built-in like the phone and messengers apps into a darker layout. Most of the apps don’t seem to use true blacks as their dark theme so don’t expect much battery saving out of using the dark theme. It is, however, great on the eyes when trying to use the device at night.

Floating Window Mode

Few OEMs these days have a window mode where you can make your apps hover over your screen. To do this, tap on the recent app button and then the app icon you want to float. There will be an option to make the app into a floating window.

Dual Bluetooth Audio

Samsung’s One UI is the first device that I have seen support dual Bluetooth audio. If you are trying to watch a movie with someone else and trying to use multiple Bluetooth headphones this is one of the few devices that allow you to do that today.

Good Lock app is crucial for this phone

If you have not downloaded the Good Lock app from the Galaxy store, I highly recommend you do. Within the application, there are tons of customization features that make using the Galaxy S10 a great experience.

One particular Good Lock app functions (which is under the family tab) is the Edge Touch. Edge Touch allows you to set up dead zones on the sides of the screen to prevent accidental touches. I would say this particular app is crucial in owning the Samsung Galaxy S10. It alleviated one of the most frustrating problems I had with the Galaxy S10, which was my palm accidentally causing random actions to happen when holding the phone.

For more info about all you can do with the Good Lock app, Android Authority has a great article on it that I definitely recommend reading.