Last year around this time we got to feast our eyes on the Galaxy S9 series and frankly I called it the “camera upgrade”. It wasn’t visually different from the Galaxy S8 series other than a fingerprint relocation and of course some hardware revisions underneath. I felt going from S8 to S9 was frugal and was more impressed with the Galaxy Note 9 as usual. Fast forward to last month and Samsung has come out swinging with the Galaxy S10 series introducing three distinct model variations. For the past few weeks I been using the Galaxy S10+ which sits at the top of the three and I been rather impressed with it over the past few weeks. Of course, there are a few things I can’t just put my “finger” on.
With this being the 10th iteration in the Galaxy S series it only made sense for Samsung to make some radical changes to its hardware design to one garner attention and refresh the line in the process. They pushed the boundaries of how thin that bezel could get and this time they pretty much did away with it. On the Galaxy S10+ you are getting a gorgeous 6.4” Quad HD+ 522ppi Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O Display. I know long title but for good reason. It houses what’s been coined as a hole punch camera which sits in the upper right of the display. It was either this or the notch and I think I welcome this instead. Just find that perfect wallpaper to utilize it. With this move there is virtually no bezel at the time giving you more views. The curved glass that I tend to love but some don’t still exist as well.
Also hiding underneath at the lower bottom of the display is an Ultrasonic Fingerprint sensor. It differs from in-display sensors like on the OnePlus 6T as instead of taking a photo of your finger it captures the ridge,texture and vibrations in the finger. Of course, if you don’t want to use the sensor there is still facial recognition as well as the usual pin or swipe methods that’s been around. The Galaxy S10+ comes in six different colors and two styles. Four of those are Glass (Prism White, Black, Green, Blue) and the other two are a heavier weightier Ceramic (White, Black). I been rocking out with the Prism Blue and when not having a case on the S10+ I love the reflective coloring change that is going on the back.
One thing they managed not to shave off with its thin size is the 3.5mm headphone jack. Sure, wireless is becoming the wave but the option to still being jacked in is available. Alongside that is a Type C port and one of two speakers with the other at the top for stereo sound with Dolby Atmos. Power button resides on the right while volume rocker and the infamous Bixby button is right underneath on the left.
Samsung usually doesn’t skimp on their Plus devices and it’s no different in the S10+. You are getting a Snapdragon 855 processor, Adreno 640 GPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage and 4100mAh battery. Great seeing Samsung’s flagships with 4K+ batteries as the Galaxy Note 9 had a 4,00mAh in it. The S10+ supports wireless and fast charging and even has PowerShare so you can charge other wireless devices like perhaps another phone or some earbuds. You must enable it each time you want to use it though. Phone also has handled everything I thrown it without issue. Whether it is watching a movie, typing up some quick notes or playing some Fortnite I can’t really recall any freezing. It hasn’t even gotten hot either which is a plus.
As mentioned earlier Samsung has taken the fingerprint sensor from the back and slid it underneath the display. For me its been a bit hit or miss. Sometimes I feel it works perfectly and other times I must register multiple presses. You must make sure you tap it just right which can be annoying. I tend to do my thumb presses from an angle which could contribute to the issue. I do like the fact it works with wet fingers so if you are in the shower or caught out in the rain it will unlock. Since the device is rated IP68 for water and dust resistance you are in the clear anyway.
Android Pie(9.0) officially makes it way to Samsung devices in the S10 series and the interface has been changed to what they are calling OneUI. Now this restructured OS has been making it way to older devices such as the Note 9, S9, etc. but here its equipped right out the box. Since I was using it on the Note 9 a couple weeks prior to switching to the S10+ I feel right at home.
I’m a fan of the dark mode and switched to it right away. Otherwise it runs smooth, looks good and has a redefined approach. Notification icons appear on the lock screen in a subtle way, icons are updated and more streamlined for Bixby if you care to use it. Samsung’s OSes have come a longgg way.
Samsung always makes cameras one of their biggest features on their flagship and the Galaxy S10+ features an array of them. On the back you are getting a Triple Camera setup with a 12MP Telephoto, 12MP Wide Angle, and 16MP Ultra-Wide lens. These lenses catch some nice shots whether its in the brightest or darkest of areas with its dual aperture lens system that has f/1.5 and f/2.4. With the multi lens you can stay in the same spot and take three different photos with one being Ultra-Wide, a Wide Angle or Telephoto. If you can find the right angles and shot of course you can reproduce some gorgeous imagery. As with this and other ultra-wide lens just be cautious of your fingers obstructing the view depending how you hold it and that can still give you a “curved” look at times. S10+ does have Dual OIS and supports HDR+ video recording as well. I found photos I took out came out colorful sometimes a bit over saturated but for the most part good. It always able to recognize my focus whether it was a nice landscape or a juicy burger I was eating.
Selfie game will be on point this time around as there is a dual setup on the front with a 10MP lens and a Galaxy S10+ only 8MP RGB Depth lens. That extra lens helps with images coming out sharper and more detailed. It also always you to play with Live focus making you the main objective and blurring out everything or everyone else behind you.
The Galaxy S10+ has been out a few weeks now and is available across all major carriers such as Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or can be acquired Unlocked if wanted. I have been using with my own carrier T-Mobile and have used it anywhere from taking calls to downloading/streaming mass amounts of content. Since having it I have only been in the metro area but haven’t come across any hiccups. Call reception has been on point with no drops.
Switching from the Galaxy Note 9 to the Galaxy S10+ I like what Samsung has done with this series. Even with the hate or love it hole punch display this gives a great deal of screen real estate and by doing so shrinking the overall size as well. Battery life has been awesome and using it as my daily driver hasn’t presented any issues. It does present a high starting price of $999.99 but if you are coming from an older device and need that new phone for 2019 with all the bells and whistles the Galaxy S10+ is a safe bet.
Now if you want more durability, a hotter finish and more storage Samsung has models that go up to 1TB and have Ceramic instead of Glass that top out at a wallet emptying $1599.99