Samsung Galaxy S10+ review: The near-perfect premium smartphone
Samsung Galaxy S10+ comes with improved design and high-end specifications. Here’s our review of the premium smartphone.
Product: Galaxy S10+
Key specs: 6.4-inch Quad HD+ Curved Dynamic AMOLED display, Exynos 9820 processor with up to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of in-built storage, and 4,100mAh battery.
Price: ₹73,900 (starting price)
Samsung went back to the drawing board for its 2019 flagship Galaxy S smartphones. From embracing a full-screen display to a punch-hole camera design, Samsung Galaxy S10 looks completely different from the last year's Galaxy S9 series. The premium design is coupled with possible the best smartphone display available right now.
With a taller look and feel, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus' rear does resemble the Galaxy Note 9. But unlike the Note's phablet-design, Galaxy S10 isn't unwieldy and difficult to grip. Thanks to well optimised full-screen 6-inch display, it feels compact enough from the modern standards. But if you're still hoping for good old days of one-handed ease, neither Galaxy S10 nor any other large-screen premium phone will satisfy you.
Samsung's AMOLED screens are known to be the best and the experience justifies so. At first glance one would be awed at the display quality of the Galaxy S10. It's vibrant and very well handles high resolution content. Elementary things such as auto-brightness are pretty fast and a lot better than what you get on some of the budget devices.
Samsung Galaxy S10, just like others, makes a trade-off in order to deliver you an edge-to-edge display. The punch-hole camera on the screen is omnipresent. While some users clearly don't want any interruption on the full screen, some have already made peace with cut-out notches and even punch-hole. I did not face any difficulty with the punch-hole cameras. Make that two on the Galaxy S10+ for dual selfie sensors. Some people even got creative with wallpapers to blend in the punch-hole cameras on the Galaxy S10+.
As expected, Samsung Galaxy S10 takes really good selfies. But there are a few problem areas. For instance, its wide-angle mode doesn't live up to the expectation. It's mainly because the front-camera module doesn't have a physical wide-angle sensor but does offer the mode within the camera app. Taking group selfies is a cumbersome with Galaxy S10+ in both portrait and landscape orientations.
I took a couple of photos indoors and they turned out pretty good. The smartphone isn't great outdoors though. The photos appear grainy and some out of focus too. The Galaxy S10+ doesn't have a dedicated night mode. For low-light photography, better options would be the Google Pixel 3 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
Samsung Galaxy S10+ offers a triple-camera setup with wide-angle and ultra-wide angle sensors. Users will be pretty impressed with the wide-angle sensor, especially if you have to get larger real estate covered in one photo. However, don't try taking an ultra-wide angle photo with a subject close to the phone. The result will be a distorted photo with fish-eye effect.
The Galaxy S10+ is built to carry out regular phone tasks with ease. I didn't face any problems using the phone which included light usage and some multi-tasking as well. The smartphone does have a slight heating problem which occurred while downloading a large sized software update, playing games and also while binging on Netflix. The phone cools down pretty quick, and it doesn't heat up to a point that you can't use it but yes it can be a problem for heavy users.
In terms of battery life, the Galaxy S10+ lasted around 12 hours after a full charge. I expected a longer battery life on the Galaxy S10+. Thanks to its fast charger, the phone recharges quick enough to get you back on track.
Another talking point on the Galaxy S10+ is the revamped UI. The smartphone runs Samsung's new OneUI based on Android 9 Pie. The software is similar to the previous Samsung Experience but with a minimalist and cleaner layout. Samsung's idea with OneUI was to help users navigate on large-screened phones better.
The icons are all large and placed at the bottom half of the screen. Software experience is pretty subjective, but I really liked the UI and Samsung still left room for customisation with themes and fonts. Probably the feature everyone got excited about was dark mode on the Galaxy S10+. Called "Night Mode", the smartphone's background turns black with coloured icons similar to Google Pixel's battery saver mode.
Galaxy S10+ features an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication. The fingerprint sensor is fast enough but it does require proper placing of the fingerprint. One good thing though is that it doesn't have the gimmicky lightning effect like OnePlus 6T.
Samsung Galaxy S10+ is a well-packaged premium smartphone. It's not perfect as it does misses out in some areas but is that a deal breaker? I don't think so. If you're planning to buy a flagship smartphone with Android, Galaxy S10+ is definitely worth considering. Google Pixel 3 XL is among the best camera phones but it doesn't extend the same quality to overall performance and experience. There's Huawei Mate 20 Pro but I've never been able to make peace with EMUI.