Look, you’d be worried if the latest flagship phone from Samsung wasn’t their best yet – I get that, but I think the reality is that this phone is a solid leap forward for Samsung.
Having used the Galaxy S10+ as my primary device now for just shy of two weeks I’m comfortable with how it works, the performance, the battery and the camera.
In everyday use the “Infinity O” display – a full screen display with a “hole punch” for the front-facing cameras is one of the best displays I’ve used on a smartphone. Strange as it seems, I think I do prefer the cut-out to the notch, and I put that down to it being on the top right of the screen – perhaps not seeming as prominent as a notch in the centre up top.
Security & Unlock
I’ve gone full “simplicity” mode on the S10+, registering two fingerprints, my PIN, face unlock and using Smart Lock which prevents the device from locking if I’m still holding it.
Straight up the Smart Lock is a risk because you could easily have a false positive there, but it’s not intended for high security – it’s for simplicity, and I’m loving it.
Face detection is cool – because there’s a small line that spins around the camera cut-out when it’s detecting a face – it’s a simple thing, but I like what they’ve done.
Fingerprint detection isn’t anything on par with a fixed fingerprint sensor in a home button or on the back of a phone. Being under the screen and using some ultrasonic technology is a complete marvel to me – but given we’re still in the early stages of this technology I can forgive the odd failure to match.
That said, it works 90% of the time, and it’s probably as much to do with my placement or sweaty thumb than it is the technology. Nothing even close to a dealbreaker that’s for sure.
The addition of a Wide-Angle is a great way to add value to an already excellent camera.
In video mode that lens comes in very handy for the “Super Steady” mode which rather than relying on Optical Image Stabilisation instead puts the power of the device to work using software to stabilise your video – and it works pretty bloody well. It’s not at GoPro Hero 7 levels of stabilisation yet, but that is going to be an area for rapid development over the years ahead.
With three levels of Optical Zoom the Galaxy S10+ camera is easily Samsung’s best. I tested it in various locations around Barcelona last week and had nothing but fantastic results. I put it side by side with the Galaxy S9+ and Huawei Mate 20 Pro too so I’ll bring you that comparison very soon.
4,100mAh – that’s a big battery. And it should last all day. Let me be clear – it does. In all honesty, I’m reaching for a charger earlier than I was with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, a few days in a row now I’ve been grateful for some time in the car plugged in.
It’s unquestionably an “all-day” battery, and I’d probably get a stack more life from it if I paired back some location tracking and my use of various apps – but my habits shouldn’t be dictated by the device.
I worry how I’d go on the smaller S10e and S10, will have to test that out soon – but for now, you’re going to get a solid day’s work out of your Galaxy S10+
Offering up your Battery
Wireless Power Share – yep, your Samsung Galaxy S10 can charge another person’s phone! Or your Samsung Smartwatch, or Galaxy Bud headphones in their case.
It’s a bloody cool idea – also first seen on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro it should be pointed out – and I’ve loved the concept.
However. If you suffer any form of Battery Anxiety – you’ll never turn it on. Why would you let someone else get your juice! No way!
I charged the Galaxy Buds when I was sitting on the plane the other day. Great stuff – but Wireless charging is slow folks, so it was much faster to just plug them in – given a cable was available.
Also, interestingly, the case for the buds was slipping and sliding around the back of the phone, so it wasn’t as easy as I think it should be.
Bottom line, if you’re a generous soul – you can share your battery:)
Snappy as hell – this thing rocks. Fortnite is the ultimate test right? Worked a charm.
App launching, App switching, it all worked just great.
I’m not really ever pushing a smartphone to the limits – though I do look forward to the Adobe Premiere Rush video editing software which is coming to Galaxy phones because that would be a great test of performance too.
Bottom line – she flies.
There’s something very different about the Galaxy S10+ interface. Now, I’m not an Android Fan Boi so I can’t say how much of it is Android core and what is Samsung, but lets give them both credit here – this is a very much intuitive and intelligent operating system.
The icons are refreshed and clean, the settings menus are more organised and just generally things seem to work – really well.
Vanilla Android fans still won’t like it – but Samsung owners will see it as a breath of fresh air and a nice step forward.
Design & Size
I’m no fan of a big phone – you know that. So it’s been hard to put up with:) . But – actually, I’ve quite liked it overall. The edge screen has caused me some issues with one handed operation, but all in all, it’s a solid Galaxy design with a very fresh new look.
Who would buy it?
Samsung Galaxy S7 owners onward – you’re in love with your phone, you like to have something fresh, the S10+ is going to be for you.
Remembering there’s the S10 and S10e also available, the S10+ is really for the hardcore big-screen lover. Personally, I’d take this over the Note any day because I never use the stylus. If the Note appeals on size but you don’t need the S Pen – give the S10+ a crack.
If you’re keen on 5G and a committed lover of Telstra, this may be the best phone you could ever pre-order – given that you’re up for a free upgrade to the S10 5G when it hits Australia.
Great phone, Samsung’s best – 4.5 stars.
Head to head with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro? – we’ll talk about that soon, but for the many rusted on Samsung fans, this is the phone you want.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.