“Samsung’s Galaxy S10 Plus has every little thing you’d need in a cellphone, and extra.”
Nice battery life
Versatile triple cameras
Attractive, expansive HDR10+ display
Clear, sensible OneUI software program
Slim bezels means by accident interacting with the display
Sluggish wired charging
It’s the main points.
The sunshine that circles across the selfie digicam when the cellphone tries to scan for a face; the sudden realization there’s no want for a dongle due to the headphone jack; the software program that’s simpler to succeed in with one hand.
The Galaxy S10 Plus is Samsung’s greatest cellphone but, and never simply due to its . It’s the slick and considerate software program that ties all of it collectively for an impressively polished expertise.
I typically return to a Google Pixel after reviewing a brand new cellphone, however the Galaxy S10 Plus will probably be staying in my pocket for a while. It’s priced at $1,000 although, making it the most costly cellphone within the historical past of the Galaxy S-line. Bear in mind there’s additionally the smaller Galaxy S10 ($900), in addition to the Galaxy S10e ($750), which we’ll be taking a look at quickly if you would like barely extra reasonably priced choices from Samsung (there are additionally loads of nice telephones that price far much less when you’re on a finances).
So, is the S10 Plus price it?
Clear and chic are the primary phrases that pop into my head after trying on the S10 Plus. The variations over final 12 months’s S9 Plus are small, however impactful, drastically altering the design language of the cellphone.
The bezels across the display look razor skinny due to the brand new “hole-punch” Infinity-O show. A laser cuts out a small gap from the display with out damaging pixels, permitting the digicam to drift on the prime like a hole-punch in a bit of paper. It seems higher than the notch design current in plenty of telephones from 2018, and whereas a real full-screen expertise can be ideally suited — just like the Oppo Discover X — Samsung’s method seems nice.
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies
The standing bar is greater now, however most apps look good on the thin-bezel display in portrait orientation. Swap to panorama, and the display seems just a little funky. Third-party apps don’t wrap across the hole-punch digicam however use a black bar that ruins the symmetry of the bezels. You find yourself with a thicker bezel on the aspect with the selfie digicam than the opposite. It’s not a deal breaker, nevertheless it’s one thing you discover.
The display is the large cause to purchase the S10 Plus.
It’d be good if full-screen apps adapt to utilize the display house. YouTube, for instance, enables you to watch a full-screen video that goes edge-to-edge on the S10 Plus — which seems extra immersive — however Netflix has but so as to add this assist.
The S10 Plus has 6.Four-inch display and makes use of Samsung’s new “Dynamic AMOLED” show expertise. It’s the primary display to be HDR10+ licensed, which implies you’ll see sharper particulars with unbelievable shade accuracy. Certainly, the colourful display is gorgeous, and the Large QHD+ (three,zero40 x 1,440) decision ensures every little thing seems crisp (although by default the display is about to Full HD+).
The display is the large cause to purchase the S10 Plus. Its massive measurement is ideal for consuming motion pictures and exhibits, and it helps that the stereo audio system sound nice. It looks like a movie show that may slot in your pocket.
Galaxy S9 Plus prime, Galaxy S10 Plus backside. Julian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies
The brand new Dynamic AMOLED show seems just a little heat, one thing I solely seen when evaluating it to the Galaxy S9 Plus. That could be as a result of the display natively reduces blue-light publicity by 42 p.c, a function that’s licensed by TÜV Rheinland, an impartial product testing firm. Blue mild may be dangerous to your well being as it could actually have an effect on sleep, so it’s good to see this baked in.
That mentioned, the gorgeous skinny bezels trigger issues. I’ve by no means by accident activated a cellphone greater than the Galaxy S10 Plus. Its massive measurement and 93.1-percent screen-to-body ratio means I’ve often despatched the Fb thumb in messaging threads as a result of my palm touches the sting of the display. The imaginative and prescient of attaining a full-screen design has its drawbacks, and Samsung must put extra effort into bettering its palm rejection expertise.
New fingerprint sensor, elegant design
Flip it round, and the again of the S10 Plus is the cleanest-looking Samsung cellphone in existence. It has three cameras now, positioned horizontally like on the Galaxy Be aware 9. Apart from the Samsung emblem, there’s nothing to litter the design.
Wait, so the place did the fingerprint sensor go? It’s beneath the show! It’s an embedded ultrasonic fingerprint scanner which captures 3D contours of thumbs and fingerprints. This provides higher anti-spoofing measures than conventional optical sensors, which depend on a picture of a fingerprint. There are machine-learning algorithms in place to stop spoofing, and the fingerprint knowledge by no means leaves the machine.
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies
Just like the fingerprint sensor on the again of telephones, you do want to exactly place your thumb or finger on the precise spot — on the backside of the S10 Plus’ display — to unlock the cellphone. It takes some getting used to, nevertheless it’s one of the best in-display fingerprint sensor I’ve examined. I’d love if all telephones switched to this design. It’s not the quickest, nevertheless it’s extra handy.
In case you arrange the face unlock possibility, although, it’s close to unimaginable to make use of the fingerprint sensor as a result of the cellphone unlocks so rapidly. However face unlock just isn’t as safe — it may be triggered with only a image of your face. I like to recommend going to Settings > Biometrics and safety > Facial recognition and toggle off Quicker recognition, which makes the unlocking velocity just a little slower, nevertheless it gained’t be as simple to spoof the expertise. You need to use the safe fingerprint scanner to log into delicate apps and authenticate funds by way of Samsung Pay, although it’d have been good to have a safe face unlock possibility like Apple’s Face ID as a substitute.
The S10 Plus’ unwieldy measurement is a sacrifice I’m keen to make for the gorgeous show.
The S10 Plus is tall and troublesome to make use of one-handed. I want the amount rocker and energy button have been just a little farther down, as it will make it simpler to succeed in. Dealing with the 6.1-inch Galaxy S10 is extra manageable, so it’s the much better possibility for individuals who desire a smaller cellphone (the brand new Galaxy S10e is technically the smallest, at 5.Eight inches, however that’s a special product). Nonetheless, the S10 Plus’ unwieldy measurement is a sacrifice I’m keen to make for the gorgeous show.
The aluminum body isn’t fully rounded, providing a great grip when holding the cellphone — vital as each the back and front are fully glass (Gorilla Glass 6 on the entrance, Gorilla Glass 5 on the again). Encasing it to guard the cellphone from cracks is a good suggestion. Talking of the steel used within the physique of the cellphone — it’d have been good to see stainless-steel right here like Apple used on the iPhone XS and XS Max as a substitute of aluminum.
I ought to observe there are two particular editions that use a special materials. The 512GB and 1TB Galaxy S10 Plus include a glass entrance and a white or black ceramic again plate to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Galaxy S-series. These telephones really feel way more luxurious than the all-glass fashions, providing higher sturdiness and scratch resistance. They’re price contemplating because you’re already spending $1,000, however the 128GB of storage within the base mannequin is greater than sufficient for most individuals.
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies
I’m comfortable to see Samsung nonetheless together with the headphone jack for these holding on to their three.5mm earbuds and headphones. There are moments after I’ve forgotten my wi-fi earbuds (or they’re not charged) and I can’t discover my dongle, so I’ve been unable to hearken to music on different telephones, however that’s not an issue with the S10 Plus. You’ll be able to even cost the cellphone by way of the USB-C port and hearken to music on the similar time!
Highly effective specs paired with Samsung’s greatest software program expertise
The Galaxy S10 Plus is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor, which is the flagship chipset that powers most high-end Android telephones this 12 months. There’s an enormous 8GB of RAM inside, aside from the 1TB Galaxy S10 Plus mannequin, which comes with a whopping 12GB of RAM. As talked about, there’s 128GB of inside storage, however a MicroSD card slot is current in case you want more room.
What the Galaxy S10 Plus has — and the smaller S10 lacks — is a vapor chamber cooling system to maintain the cellphone from overheating when you carry out intensive duties, like heavy gaming. It means the cellphone ought to ship higher efficiency, however we haven’t examined the smaller S10 but to see how a lot of a distinction it makes. The Galaxy S10 Plus ran cool in my time of use, although it did get just a little heat after utilizing the digicam continuous for 15 minutes straight.
You shouldn’t anticipate efficiency points on this cellphone. Shifting across the Android 9 Pie working system is snappy and fluid, and video games like PUBG: Cell and Alto’s Odyssey run flawlessly.
Listed below are our benchmark outcomes:
AnTuTu 3DBench: 346,283
Geekbench Four CPU: three,361 single-core; 10,110 multi-core
3DMark Sling Shot Excessive: Four,700 (Vulkan)
The AnTuTu rating is among the many highest we’ve ever recorded on a smartphone (greater than the iPhone XS Max), solely bested by the Xiaomi Mi 9, which has the identical Snapdragon 855 chip. The iPhone XS Max does beat out the S10 Plus in Geekbench scores, although. Both method, this cellphone is a beast and it’ll run something and every little thing you need.
Complimenting this stellar efficiency is Samsung’s new One UI interface layered over the most recent model of Android. It seems good and is extra intuitive because it locations essential interface components towards the underside of the display for straightforward entry. I additionally am a fan of the darker themes to assist shield my eyes when utilizing the cellphone at evening.
This cellphone is a beast and it’ll run something and every little thing you need.
There are some neat little touches, like how a light-weight circles the hole-punch digicam once you swap to selfie mode or when the digicam is looking for your face to unlock the cellphone. The software program can also be deeply customizable — you’ll be able to fully eliminate the normal Android navigation bar if you would like, for instance — affording everybody the choice to personalize their cellphone. The software program is an enormous enchancment; barring the Google Pixel three and the OnePlus 6T, it’s my favourite interface on a cellphone.
That mentioned, whereas it’s good to see the most recent model of Android right here, updates will inevitably be one of many largest points with Samsung’s smartphones. The unlocked model of the Galaxy S9 solely simply acquired Android 9 Pie — six months after Google launched it, which is disappointing. You gained’t see this delay on Google’s Pixel telephones or the iPhone.
The S10 Plus can’t hook up with 5G networks because it doesn’t have the required Qualcomm X50 modem inside. It’s an opt-in function, and Samsung has determined to make a special-edition Galaxy S10 5G as a substitute, which is able to have the ability to hook up with the next-generation cellular community. Nonetheless, U.S. carriers are nonetheless deploying 5G, so don’t anticipate to see nationwide service quickly.
Satirically, the one button that’s simply accessible is the one I dislike. Sure, it’s the dreadful Bixby button that prompts Samsung’s digital assistant. I haven’t discovered a lot of a cause to make use of Bixby, although it has carried out properly the occasions I’ve requested it to set reminders or requested it queries. I’ve grown used to utilizing Google Assistant — which can also be accessible on the cellphone — and it typically offers me higher outcomes.
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies
Fortunately you’ll be able to remap the Bixby button, although it’s a bit restricted. You’ll be able to set the button to open one other app, for instance, however a double press will nonetheless open Bixby (and vice versa). The disappointing information is you’ll be able to’t use it to launch Google Assistant natively, however there’s a workaround when you’re keen to put in a third-party app.
New for the S10 Plus is a function known as Bixby Routines, I like utilizing it. It really works like IFTTT, which helps you to arrange completely different profiles on your cellphone primarily based on sure triggers, like once you arrive house or hook up with your work’s Wi-Fi. I’ve set it to show my cellphone’s sound on after I arrive house, and to swap to vibrate-only at work. It’s a neat and highly effective function, however I doubt Bixby’s “A.I.” has a lot to do with it.
One of many extra noticeable modifications over final 12 months’s S9 Plus is the addition of a 3rd digicam within the S10 Plus. The opposite two cameras are the identical — a typical 12-megapixel lens with a variable f/1.5 to f/2.Four aperture (which Samsung first debuted final 12 months) is paired with a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with a f/2.Four aperture. The additional digicam is a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens with a f/2.2 aperture.
This makes the digicam versatile. Desire a close-up? Use the telephoto lens for 2x optical zoom. Have to seize a bunch image or a panorama? Swap to the ultra-wide-angle lens. Transitioning between these is quick and fluid — both faucet on the respective lens icons or simply pinch in or out throughout the digicam viewfinder and the cellphone will mechanically swap to the related lens. The S10 Plus joins the ranks of the Huawei Mate 20 Professional and the LG V40 ThinQ with triple digicam lenses in the identical kind of setup.
Pictures captured within the daytime are detailed and colourful. There’s good HDR, so photographs are by no means blown out or underexposed. The cameras are inclined to lack distinction nevertheless, so photographs can look washed out.
Left: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, proper: Google Pixel three Julian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies
In low-light environments, the Galaxy S10 Plus holds its personal, however the lack of any evening mode — as seen on the Pixel three with Night time Sight or the Mate 20 Professional with Night time mode – means photographs fall brief. You’re greatest off utilizing the usual lens in low mild with its wider aperture, because the telephoto and large angle lenses produce muddier photos in these circumstances.
Whereas the triple-camera setup doesn’t make the Galaxy S10 Plus one of the best digicam cellphone, the wide-angle lens works nice. Whereas on trip in Lisbon I used the wide-angle lens to seize the slim alleyways of town. It’s a ton of enjoyable to play with, regardless of some distortion and lack of element in some photos.
Whereas the triple-camera setup doesn’t make the Galaxy S10 Plus one of the best digicam cellphone, the wide-angle lens works nice.
What’s new with the digicam software program? Samsung has expanded Scene Optimizer’s taking pictures modes to 30 (that’s 10 new scenes, starting from canine, cat, footwear, and child). Scene Optimizer makes use of synthetic intelligence to mechanically detect scenes like sunsets or folks and makes an attempt to regulate your picture to what it thinks seems greatest. I left it on for many of our testing, and it did assist photos pop, however may also result in oversaturation at occasions.
My favourite function is Shot Strategies, which suggests straightening the digicam when you’re tilting it, whereas additionally suggesting higher compositions. All that you must do is level the digicam on the advisable “Finest Shot” and the cellphone will mechanically take the picture. It eliminates the necessity to faucet the shutter button fully. The compositions it suggests are often strong, although a couple of poor selections slip in.
Stay Focus Julian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies
Samsung’s Portrait Mode is named Stay Focus, which is the place a blur impact is added behind a topic. Stay Focus photographs aren’t fairly nearly as good as what we’ve seen from the Google Pixel three or the Nokia 9 PureView — particulars aren’t as robust in low mild and the blur impact can look just a little messy typically. I do like the brand new Stay Focus mode known as Shade Level, which retains the topic in shade whereas making every little thing else black and white. It does a surprisingly good job sustaining shade on a topic, providing a cool impact.
Shade Level Julian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies
What’s extra spectacular is the digicam’s functionality to report HDR movies in 4K. Movies have a cinematic look to them and so they’re fairly colourful. There’s additionally a “Tremendous Regular” mode for once you’re shifting round so much and wish to seize secure footage — it’s spectacular how properly it really works, however there are stipulations on how these modes can be utilized. You’ll be able to’t shoot 4K HDR at 60 frames per second, for instance, simply at 30FPS. You’ll be able to’t use Regular Shot when you’re taking pictures in HDR, so that you’ll want to show it off, and it solely works with the principle lens. These settings ought to mechanically change once you faucet on completely different taking pictures modes to make it simpler on the particular person utilizing the cellphone.
Left: 4K HDR, proper: Regular Shot in 4K
Up entrance, the S10 Plus has a 10-megapixel lens with a f/1.9 aperture, and it could actually additionally seize 4K UHD video. The S10 Plus differentiates right here from the smaller S10 with a further digicam on the entrance. It’s an Eight-megapixel lens with a f/2.2 aperture, and it’s purely there to seize higher depth knowledge. It does seize higher Stay Focus selfies than final 12 months’s Galaxy S9 Plus, however we’ll want to check the smaller Galaxy S10 to see how huge a distinction it makes. It additionally permits higher animations for Samsung’s AR Emojis, however that’s not excessive reward. They nonetheless look sub-par in comparison with Apple’s Memoji, and the AR Emojis all the time get my pores and skin shade flawed.
One more reason to purchase the Galaxy S10 Plus is for its Four,100mAh battery. Check out our Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus opinions and also you’ll see I complained about battery life on each telephones, as they barely acquired me by way of a full work day with medium to heavy use. This has been remedied, not less than on the S10 Plus. By heavy work days at Cell World Congress 2019, the cellphone solely as soon as went beneath 15 p.c — and that was by 10:30 p.m.
With medium to heavy use, anticipate a full, strong day from morning until evening.
With mild use, this cellphone can go two days, however with medium to heavy use, anticipate a full, strong day from morning until evening. The cellphone lasted for 12 hours and 40 minutes in our commonplace video playback battery check, with the display at max brightness on Wi-Fi. That’s one of the best rating I’ve seen thus far, however that’s largely as a result of we solely simply began utilizing this format. The smaller Galaxy S10 is shut at 10 hours and 50 minutes.
The S10 Plus has an additional trick up its sleeve — it could actually wirelessly cost different Qi-enabled merchandise by way of a brand new function known as Wi-fi PowerShare. It’s one thing Huawei first deployed within the Mate 20 Professional (known as Reverse Wi-fi Charging). Place one other Qi-enabled product — like an iPhone XS or Samsung’s personal Galaxy Buds’ charging case — on the again of the cellphone, and it’ll recharge by sapping vitality from the S10.
It’s not the quickest technique to recharge a few of your units, nevertheless it works properly. I recharged my Samsung Galaxy Watch Energetic from 34 p.c to 54 p.c in 20 minutes, and the Galaxy S10 Plus’ battery solely dropped from 92 p.c to 88 p.c. It’s excellent for once you’re in a pinch.
The cellphone nonetheless solely helps Qualcomm’s Fast Cost 2.zero, so it is going to take a while to recharge with the charging cable within the field. For me, it took about an hour and 45 minutes to recharge the cellphone from zero p.c utilizing the included charging cable and adapter. Telephones just like the Razer Telephone 2 assist Fast Cost Four+, which helps juice up large batteries in a comparatively brief time (it solely took us just a little greater than an hour to recharge its Four,000mAh battery), so Samsung is lagging right here.
Worth, availability, and guarantee data
The Galaxy S10 Plus begins at $1,000 for the 128GB storage possibility. It’s accessible now from carriers and retailers all over the world.
Samsung provides a typical one-year restricted guarantee that covers producer defects, and never rather more.
Samsung’s Galaxy S10 Plus doesn’t have one of the best digicam, however its beefy battery, gorgeous show, highly effective efficiency, and considerate software program assist make it one of the best cellphone round.
Is there a greater different?
Sure. If you need a smaller model of the Galaxy S10 Plus with out compromising on its options, nab the Galaxy S10. It’s $900 and solely lacks a vapor chamber cooling system and the secondary entrance digicam.
We’re nonetheless testing the Galaxy S10e as properly, nevertheless it seems to be a strong possibility for $750 with related seems and options because the Galaxy S10 Plus, however at a way more manageable measurement. Different Android choices embody the Samsung Galaxy Be aware 10 Plus, if you would like a bigger cellphone. If you need a extra reasonably priced cellphone, the OnePlus 7 Professional is an efficient alternative.
Apple’s iPhone vary has been up to date. Probably the most comparable is the iPhone 11 Professional and Professional Max. They’re nice telephones with even higher cameras and glorious efficiency.
How lengthy will it final?
The Galaxy S10 Plus is protected by Gorilla Glass 6, which ought to be powerful sufficient to resist a couple of drops, however we advise grabbing a case. The cellphone can also be IP68 water-resistant, so it may be submerged underwater as much as 1.5 meters for 30 minutes.
Count on the cellphone to final three to 4 years, if no more. It’s doubtless the battery will begin to deteriorate by then, which can pressure you to improve.
Do you have to purchase it?
Sure. In case you’re in search of a brand new flagship Android cellphone, and aren’t afraid of huge screens, the Galaxy S10 Plus is the cellphone for you.