Rarely do I leave a smartphone review feeling as enthusiastic as I am with the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. Normally, I would conduct the tests, evaluate the results, and use the phone for a time before moving on — naturally, after writing a few scathing things about it.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, however, is unique. Not because it was the biggest smartphone launch of the year so far, not because it was the year’s first device to use next-generation silicon, and not because it was the first product from a major brand to adopt a hole-punch camera to minimize the notch.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Features and structure
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is the first Samsung flagship that feels like it wasn’t created by a committee that I’ve used in a while. The horizontally organized triple camera array on the back of this smartphone has a nice sense of symmetry that the Samsung Galaxy S9+ severely lacked. It’s not the prettiest smartphone I’ve ever seen. The front twin hole-punch camera also has a nice elegance to it.
The phone comes in a wide range of finishes, all of which, in my opinion, look fairly excellent. White, green, blue, and black are the available “prism” colors; each one has a lovely iridescent effect. Additionally, there are two black and white ceramic-backed variants. Though it won’t be to everyone’s taste, I like how the prism white model that I received takes on an orange glow when light reflects off it.
Furthermore, the S10 Plus stands out from the competitors thanks to a number of exquisite details. The animated “snake” that circles the hole-punch camera’s perimeter while chasing its tail to show that it’s searching for a face to unlock itself with is my favorite.
There is a sense of grandeur here that few phones I’ve examined can equal, thanks to Gorilla Glass 6 on the front and Gorilla Glass 5 on the back, as well as a chrome frame reminiscent of the iPhone. In fact, the one thing that bothers me about the way it looks and feels is how eagerly the back panels pick up dirt and grease. It’s also not the most straightforward item to clean.
Despite this, I believe that Samsung’s most elegant smartphone to date is the S10 Plus. Simply put, it is magnificent.
The fingerprint reader has been moved from its formerly unsightly square housing to the front, underneath the screen, which helps Samsung achieve such clean, simple lines. The aesthetics of the phone will undoubtedly benefit from this, but I haven’t personally found in-screen fingerprint readers to be appealing. They are, in my experience, slower and far less accurate than conventional fingerprint readers; the Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s sensor in particular irritates me.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Display
The Galaxy S10 Plus’s display doesn’t appear to be very unique on paper. It is 6.4 inches diagonally, has a 19:9 aspect ratio, and employs AMOLED technology to provide virtually flawless contrast. Resolution of the phone is 3,040 x 1,440, but by default, it’s set to 1,080 x 2,280, which is the setting I’d suggest keeping for best performance and battery life.
This exhibit features a number of cutting-edge technology, not the least of which is the hole-punch camera. Samsung drilled a hole into the screen rather than removing a notch from the top. The “Infinity O” cut-out, as it has been absurdly dubbed, is technically extremely amazing, and because of its location in the top-right corner, it looks cleaner than, instance, the centrally situated notch of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
But the end outcome remains the same. The only discernible change is that your notification and status widgets along the top of the screen are moved in a single block to the left rather than being divided in two. A section of the screen is permanently blacked out.
The next innovation is what Samsung is referring to as “Dynamic” OLED, which consists of a number of new features including reduced blue light emission (without needing to enable eye comfort mode), a peak brightness of 1,200cd/m2, 10-bit color, support for HDR10+ content, and a peak brightness of 1,200cd/m2.
Since there isn’t much HDR10+ video available to view, I can’t test for the reduced blue light output, but the S10 Plus’s display is unquestionably impressive in all other respects.
Technical testing revealed that the automatic brightness mode’s max screen brightness, which promised readability in even the brightest conditions, was 1,057cd/m2.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus’s functionality and battery life
Thank goodness, that doesn’t happen very often. What you’ll notice much more frequently is that the Galaxy S10 Plus performs simply phenomenally. The 8nm Exynos 9820, the newest and best mobile chipset from Samsung (US customers receive the 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 855), is inside. It is supported by either 12GB of RAM if you splurged on the 1TB variant or 8GB if you have the 128GB or 512GB model.
The Exynos 9820 is configured with a total of three CPUs, just like the Snapdragon 855 is. This consists of a quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 CPU with a 1.95GHz clock speed, a 2.73GHz high-performance dual-core CPU, a 2.31GHz mid-performance dual-core CPU, and a 1.95GHz low-power quad-core CPU. You might think that’s nonsense, but it’s really not that complicated.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Cameras
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has five cameras total, three on the back and two on the front, which is more than most contemporary smartphones.
First, let’s talk about the array of back cameras. Similar to the Galaxy S9+ from the previous year, the primary camera is a 12-megapixel sensor with dual aperture (f/1.5 or f/2.4). It has a 12-megapixel, f/2.4, 2x zoom camera, just like the S9+. The ultra-wide-angle 16-megapixel, f/2.2 camera with a field of view comparable to a 12mm full frame lens, however, is something unique.
But I haven’t completed yet. You have 10-megapixel (f/1.8) and 8-megapixel (f/2.2) cameras on the front. However, it can also be used to provide a slightly broader angle of view for group photographs. The latter is mostly employed as a depth sensor for portrait shots.
And that’s before you consider the S10 Plus’s superior video capabilities, which are still another strength. It can record stabilized video in 4K quality at 60 frames per second, HDR10+ clips for videos with expanded dynamic range, and super slow motion.
Phew. How would you rate the image quality now? It’s really great, especially for color reproduction. One of those smartphone cameras that appears to be able to capture colors as you perceive them; they are neither under-saturated nor over-saturated, and there appears to be a decent balance between noise reduction and detail that is lacking from its major competitor on the camera front, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Software
The ease of use of the camera’s software interface, as well as its general quickness and responsiveness when in use, are equally excellent as the camera’s overall level of quality. By tapping the control at the bottom-centre of the camera preview screen, you may quickly and conveniently switch between the wide angle, primary, and zoom cameras. You can also switch between modes by swiping left and right. The portrait blur (or bokeh) effects are previewed live on the screen and change as you increase or decrease the intensity, which is a very great feature.
The new phone’s interface reflects this complexion elsewhere, so the simplicity isn’t only limited to the camera app. This software, dubbed One UI, is unquestionably the greatest Samsung has ever installed on any of its handsets. I won’t say that the S10 Plus’ exquisite Pixel launcher matches that of the Google Pixel 3, but it comes close, and for the time I’ve had the phone for testing, I’ve been in love with it.
Conclusion of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review
Samsung has obviously realized over time that if it wants to maintain its position as the market leader for non-Apple smartphones, it can’t just focus on making the greatest hardware. Additionally, it must pay attention to how its customers utilize their phones.