The Galaxy S10+ is Samsung’s flagship smartphone for 2019. Sporting five cameras across the device, a 6.4” hole-punch display and an under-the-display fingerprint sensor, the Galaxy S10+ brings the latest and greatest technology to the market.
The design of the S10+ mixes the design that we’ve all known Samsung for over the past few generations of Galaxy S devices with some new changes to accommodate Samsung embracing a cut-out within the display.
I really like the design of the phone, it’s modern and sleek whilst still using current design trends such as display cut-outs tastefully.
The S10+ is a big phone, which you would expect for a “plus” titled device, it is a similar size to the Galaxy Note 9 which I reviewed last September. The display, which covers the entire front of the device, is 6.4” so I did find myself having to shuffle my hand around to reach into the corners of the device. It’s comfortable to scroll around in apps with one hand, but you’ll most likely find yourself using both hands to get stuff done within apps.
The phone feels premium, with a glass and aluminium construction. The front and back are both glass which curves and meets the sides of the device. I think the curved glass helps a lot with keeping such a large phone comfortable to hold.
The glass is nice to have, but it does mean that it can get covered in smudges and fingerprints easily. This is quite prominent on the back as it can sometimes feel slippery in the hand. This isn’t a huge problem for me, but I thought I would mention it.
On the front, aside from the display, is the hole-punch cut-out featuring the S10+’s dual front-facing cameras. One with a standard focal length and the other a wide-angle focal length. At the very top of the device is the earpiece which works in tandem with the device’s main speaker to provide a stereo listening experience.
At the bottom of the device, you can find a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB 3.1 USB-C charging port and the bottom-facing speaker. It’s great to see a good range of I/O connectivity options on a flagship device so you can use whatever pair of headphones you’d like to.
The left-hand side is home to the volume adjustment buttons and the Bixby button for Samsung’s virtual assistant. On the opposite side, you’ll find the power button – which I think is placed a little too high up on the right-hand side of the device as it sits just above where my finger would rest. Luckily, I have still been able to wake the device without the power button by double tapping the screen.
On the top is the microSD/SIM card slot. You can either use a microSD and SIM card or dual-SIM cards. The microSD card slot supports cards up to 1TB in size, so you could have up to 2TB storage if you pick the S10+ model with 1TB built-in storage.
The device is IP68 rated, so it is dust and waterproof and will, therefore, be able to withstand 1.5m of water for 30 minutes. So, you won’t have to worry about water being near your phone too much, and you’ll be able to use it without any issues in the rain.
On the back of the device is the triple-camera array in a little bump, featuring a 26mm lens, 2x zoom lens and wide-angle lens. There’s also a flash and heart rate sensor alongside the cameras. I don’t mind the camera bump on this device as it sits right in the middle of the device which means it doesn’t wobble around too much on a surface.
The S10+ has a 6.4” AMOLED display with a 1440p resolution. The display looks great with decent viewing angles and sharp visuals. Text is extremely clear to read, and images and videos look great. There is some dispersion on the edges of the display when looking at bright apps such as Instagram, which has a light user interface – so the very edge of the display has a slight blue hue.
The display also supports HDR10+, so HDR content looks fantastic with deep blacks and bright whites. Since the display is an AMOLED, the phone also supports an always-on display which can be used to check the time and your notifications – which is handy as there is no notification LED.
The display has two different colour profiles, or “screen modes” as Samsung calls them, which will allow you to choose between a more natural or vivid colour profile. The display looks great and is the main thing you’ll notice when looking at the phone as it encompasses the whole front of the device with an 88% screen-to-body ratio.
The display also has a good range of brightness, so it’s great for using in the dark or in bright sunlight outdoors.
The S10+ ships with Android 9 Pie which has Samsung’s new One UI user interface running on top of it. The interface is familiar to its predecessor, TouchWiz, which isn’t a bad thing as it means that everything will be where you expect it to be.
At this current moment in time, One UI is more of a clean and refined interface of what we are all familiar with that features smooth curves that match the hardware design of the device.
The device does come with a bunch of preinstalled apps from Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Samsung so there is a little bit of bloat – especially as some of Google’s and Samsung’s apps essentially perform the same functions. Luckily most of these can be uninstalled or disabled but they are still there in the first place.
You’ll also get things such as Samsung DeX, which allows you to use your phone with a desktop interface when you plug it into a monitor – this could be quite handy if you’re getting the phone for work.
Overall, I have to say that the experience of software on the S10+ is quite pleasant. The interface is nice and quick to use and navigate around and, speaking of navigation, you have the choice between using gestures or on-screen navigation buttons.
Depending on where you buy the S10+, it will ship with a different processor and GPU – but either way, you can expect great performance which can be expected for a high-end and premium device.
The device is smooth and fluid to use and is quick at loading different apps and doing general day-to-day tasks. This is thanks to its octa-core processor and 8GB of RAM, or 12GB on the top-end model, which ensures that there is plenty of memory for multitasking.
The S10+ has a great range of wireless connectivity options with support for LTE, Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6. Unfortunately, there’s no 5G support but we can expect that in future versions of the Galaxy S line or you can pick up the Galaxy S10 5G.
The device has a couple of different authentication methods you can use, fingerprint recognition and face recognition. Fingerprint recognition uses an under-the-display ultrasonic sensor which I’ve found to be fast and it manages to recognise my fingerprint almost every time I go to unlock the device as long as the display is fairly clean.
You can also use face recognition if you want a more convenient method to unlock your device, but unfortunately, it is a little more unsecure as it only uses the front-facing cameras as it is not an infrared unlocking system – such as the one found on the iPhone Xs.
The speakers are okay, but I personally wouldn’t use them for listening to music for extended periods of time. They have very little bass and therefore are somewhat tinny. It’s not all terrible, Samsung has paired the bottom-facing speaker with the earpiece, so they act as a stereo pair. This is quite good, and the stereo separation is clear which really enhances the listening experience.
The camera on the S10+ is, without doubt, the best overall smartphone camera I have personally reviewed.
The device captures excellent photos that are sharp, have great dynamic range and generally look great. The dynamic range is something that I’ve found particularly nice as I like to take landscape photos when I’m out and about, the S10+ manages to successfully expose for both the land and the sky without either part being under or overexposed.
Colours within the photos also look good and accurate, with only a few looking a little warmer than they were – but it’s barely noticeable. Generally, the camera does well at capturing accurate colours.
The device also has three cameras on the back of the device; a 26mm standard, 52mm telephoto and 12mm ultrawide – the first two with 12-megapixel sensors and the ultrawide has a 16-megapixel sensor. I think having the choice between these three different focal lengths is great, as it means that the phone will be able to handle most environments where you’d need to take a picture.
I’ve really enjoyed playing around with the ultrawide lens as it brings a new perspective to photographs that you couldn’t really get before – and it’s perfect for group shots. If I could only have two lenses and had to choose between telephoto and ultrawide, I would choose the ultrawide.
You also have various shooting modes, including a “Pro” mode which will allow you to manually control your settings such as ISO and aperture and a “live focus” portrait mode which is pretty good for getting a background blur for portraits. There is also a night shooting mode, like on the Galaxy Note 9.
The front-facing cameras, like the rear-facing cameras, are very good – with a standard 26mm camera and 22mm ultrawide camera. I’ve found the ultrawide front facing camera odd as it is so similar to the other camera – so you can’t capture that much more than with the standard lens. Like the rear-facing camera, portrait mode also works with these front-facing cameras.
The device can also shoot up to 4K 60fps video. I have stuck with shooting 1080p as it allows for image stabilisation to take place to help capture smoother video that is a little less shaky. Generally, video is smooth and stabilised – although not as smooth as video that I’ve recorded on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
The camera app also has a super-smooth mode for video but, to be honest, I couldn’t tell a difference between having it on and off. There’s also a super-slow-motion mode which records for a set amount of time, but I normally run out of time by the time that the motion I want to capture is occurring.
The S10+ has a huge battery coming in at 4100mAh. I’ve been able to get around two days of usage out of it. I mainly used social media apps such as Twitter, Instagram and Messenger as well as email and Spotify.
I don’t tend to play games on mobile devices anymore, so if you do you can expect the battery to perform differently – but either way you should still expect a full day thanks to its large size.
The battery also supports fast and wireless charging at 15W which is great and it also supports reverse wireless charging so you could charge a pair wireless headphones such as the Galaxy Buds on the back of your device.
If you’re looking for the best Android smartphone out there, this is it. The Galaxy S10+ offers exceptional performance, cameras and battery life but it does come with a premium price tag of around £800-£900. If you’re willing to open up your wallet, then I’d highly recommend the phone as I’ve loved using it.