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It has been ten years since the launch of the first Galaxy device and the smartphone world has changed drastically. Samsung’s new flagship(or three) is faced with the unenviable task of giving the company a much-needed boost. Sales have been declining and lately, Samsung’s premium offerings aren’t being considered worth the buy by a large section of the market, courtesy some great phones by a number of Chinese manufacturers – OnePlus in particular. The S10 that we are reviewing is Samsung’s attempt to set things right. The build, like all new Galaxy devices is spectacular. The Infinity-O display is absolutely stunning to look at, and is hands down the best screen on any smartphone in the market. In fact, it is widely regarded as the most colour accurate display on a smartphone. The 6.1-inch super AMOLED screen is nearly edge to edge and as in recent Galaxy devices, the display spills over on to the curved edges. Samsung has implemented a punch-hole solution and has done away with the notch for the front-facing camera completely and most sensors are now hidden behind the screen. The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor too makes the move to beneath the screen like a host of recent flagships. But unfortunately doesn’t work as quickly or smoothly as some other interpretations of the screen-fingerprint sensor, notably the Optical fingerprint sensor of the OnePlus 6T. However, the ultrasonic nature of the sensor makes it work better than the 6T when your hands are wet or cold.
The S10’s aluminium frame is sandwiched by glass on both sides and is rather slippery to hold. The build quality is peerless and the materials are top grade. Even though the phone has a 6.1-inch display, the lack of a bezel ensures that the phone fits in the palm perfectly. The rear is characterised by a centrally placed horizontal camera module that houses three camera sensors (12MP regular, 12MP tele-photo and 16MP ultrawide) and is now thankfully no longer an eyesore. Another interesting change is the Wireless Powershare feature that helps you share your S10’s power with any Qi enabled device. All you have to do is place the device to be charged on the back of the Galaxy much like what you’d do with a charging pad. Oh, and it also gets a headphone jack, making it one of the few flagships in 2019 to have one.
The S10’s camera module takes excellent photos in all light conditions. A high amount of detail is captured even in bright light without being underexposed. The images only fall short of the ones from the Google Pixel 3 that we have tested in the past. The rear camera certainly bests the ones out of the iPhone in most cases. However, HDR tends to not work so well with extremely bright backgrounds. In addition to that, photos taken in lowlight tend to have an unnatural smoothness to the skin tone. That being said, the ultra-wide lens’ 123-degree field of view is a boon and you can get super-wide shots without having to back up that much. An interesting addition is the Live Focus filter option. It is much like bokeh mode but goes a step further and separates the background from the foreground by turning it black and white. The front gets a 10MP camera and although it isn’t much different from the S9, the photos do turn out remarkably good. Videos that are shot with the S10 now have digital stabilisation and there is support for HDR10+ recording now. Under the hood, performance is blazingly fast, courtesy the new Exynos 9820 chipset along with 8GB of RAM. Storage options are 128GB or 512GB with support for expandable storage. The 3400mAh battery is a marked improvement but the bigger screen ensures that battery life is not that great.
Samsung has delivered a stellar product with just the right amount of new features to tempt you to upgrade from your current device. However, this time unlike in the past, the Galaxy S10 competes (at least in the eyes of the consumer) with the top-of-the-line S10+ and the less-expensive but just as good S10e.
Dimensions: 149.9 (H) x 70.4 (W) x 7.8 mm (D)
Weight : 157g
Build: Back glass(Gorilla Glass 5), aluminium frame
Type: AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours with Gorilla Glass 6
Size: 6.1 inches
Resolution: 1440 x 3040 pixels, (550 ppi density)
OS: Android 9.0 (Pie), One UI
Chipset: Exynos 9820 (8 nm)
CPU: Octa-core (2x2.73GHz Mongoose, M4 & 2x2.31GHz Cortex A75)
GPU: Mali-G76 MP12
Card slot: microSD, up to 512GB
Internal: 128 GB, 8 GB RAM
Triple: 12 MP, f/1.5-2.4, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55”, 1.4µm, OIS, dual-pixel PDAF, 12 MP, f/2.4, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.6”, 1.0µm, AF, OIS, 2X optical zoom, 16 MP f/2.2, 12mm (ultra wide), 1.0µm
Features: LED flash, auto HDR, panorama
Video: 2160p@60fps, 1080p@240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR, dual-video rec.
Single: 10 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide), 1.22µm, dual-pixel PDAF
Features: Auto-HDR, dual video call
Video: 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps
BATTERY: Non-removable, Li-ion 3400 mAh battery