Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Review

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Introduction

Samsung has always been a leader in the flagship smartphone segment. The brand has some of the best-looking smartphones in its Galaxy S-series portfolio. Unlike its predecessor, the latest and all-new Galaxy S10 lineup promises lots of upgrades, be it in display, design or performance. 

 

The South Korean-based manufactured, this time, launched four different variants of Galaxy S10 – Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S010+, and Galaxy S10 5G. Today, we will be looking at the plus variant of the lineup.

 

Some of the key specifications of Galaxy S10 Plus are Super AMOLED display with punch-hole camera, triple rear camera setup, WiFi 6, reverse wireless charging and Android One UI. Apart from these, there are tons of other bells and whistles which we will be looking at in detail. 

 

Samsung Galaxy S10 Box

 

We have been playing with the Galaxy S10 Plus for quite some time now. Does the Galaxy S10 give justice to its asking price? Let’s find that out in our detailed review.

Price in India, Variants, Availability

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus comes in three different storage variant – 8GB+128GB, 8GB+512GB and 8GB+1TB memory options. The smartphone maker has launched the device in a wide range of colour options namely Ceramic White, White, Black, Blue and Ceramic Black. Coming to the price tag, the Galaxy S10 lineup recently witnesses a major price cut. 

 

The base variant having 128GB storage can be purchased for INR 63,600 while the top-end variant is going to set you back INR 1,17,900. The middle variant with 512GB is priced at INR 81,000. You can buy the device from the Amazon India itself. There are various exchange and no-cost EMI’s offers on the e-commerce platform but to avail that, you’ll have to buy the device at a launch price.

Box Contents

As expected, the smartphone comes packed inside a black premium box with S10+ written in an exceptionally large font. The moment you’ll open the box, you’ll be greeted with the beautiful looking Galaxy S10 Plus. Right below, there is information manuals, a clear back case and SIM ejector tools all wrapped up in a rectangular casing.

 

In addition, you’ll be getting a 15W Samsung’s fast charger adapter, USB Type-C adapter (to connect a USB drive to your phone), USB Type-C cable and AKG wired in-ear earphones.

 

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Box Contents

 

Here is a quick overview of what you’ll be getting inside the box:

 

– Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

– Transparent Back Cover

– 15W Fast charger adapter

– USB Type-C cable

– AKG-tuned earphones

– USB Type-C OTG adapter

– SIM ejector pin

– Some useless manuals and documentation

Specs at a Glance

Before we jump right into our comprehensive and detailed review, why not check the key specs first.

 

Display: 6.4-inch Super AMOLED, 1440×3040 pixels

Processor: Exynos 9820

RAM & Storage: 8GB RAM, 128GB/512GB/1TB

Rear Cameras: Triple cameras, 12MP+12MP+16MP

Selfie Cameras: Dual cameras, 10MP+8MP

Battery: 4,100mAh

Software: Android 9.0 Pie, OneUI

 

With specs cleared out of the way, let’s continue with our in-depth review of Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.

Design and Build

As mentioned earlier, Samsung Galaxy S10-series lineup comes with lots of major improvements. For one, the design language of the entire series has seen a significant shift. The Galaxy S10 lineup now comes with tiny bezels and punch-hole cameras.

 

Like its predecessors, the Galaxy S10 Plus is made up of aluminium which is sandwiched between two glass panels. For an added protection, the back comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 while the front makes use of older Gorilla Glass 5.

 

Even though the material choice is the same, the smartphone still feels different in the hand and that too in a much more positive way. No wonder, the phone feels extremely premium and lives up to our expectations clearly. In fact, the higher-end S10 Plus comes with ceramic back which, as per the brand, is more durable than the glass material.

 

Coming to the weight, the Galaxy S10 Plus weighs just 175g and it feels lighter than its predecessor, mostly due to the proper weight distribution this time.

 

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Back

 

I personally loved the Prism White color variant which gives a more subtle look to the device. On top of this, the shades of pink and blue which appear when the light strikes the surface are bedazzling. There is a triple camera setup at the back which is aligned horizontally accompanied by an LED flash and some sensors. There is a Samsung branding right underneath. Thanks to the curved corners, the device is very comfortable to hold.

 

On the front, there is a large and beautiful Super AMOLED display with a tiny pill-shaped cutout for cameras or Infinity-O display (as the company refers to). If you didn’t notice, there is no fingerprint sensor at the back. Well, the brand this time went with the ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor, more on that later.

 

Coming to the button placements, the power button is on the right while the volume rocker & Bixby button is on the left side. The buttons feel very solid and the feedback is very satisfying. Like its predecessor, there is a USB Type-C port, speaker grilles and the 3.5-mm headphone jack is present at the bottom. Surprisingly, Samsung managed to integrate an audio jack which is definitely going to work out in favor of them.

 

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is dust and water resistance meaning it has IP68 certification. Even though the build quality is significantly improved and I personally like the premiumness which this phone reflects, there is a high chance that it will break the moment it touches the ground.

 

This is due to the fact that both the front as well as back is made up of glass. I would recommend the owners to put in a case or use the phone a little carefully.

Display

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is equipped with a large 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED display having a resolution of 3040×1440 pixels, pixel density of 522 ppi and an aspect ratio of 19:9. Thanks to the tiny bezels on the sides, Samsung is able to give a screen-to-body-ratio of 88.9 percent. The significant change in the display is the addition of punch-hole cutout for the dual selfie camera module.

 

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Display

 

Like any other flagship smartphone at this price, Galaxy S10 Plus is also certified to play HDR 10+ content meaning you’ll definitely love watching movies or playing games on this device. Another significant improvement is the brightness level. The device can go as high as 800 nits which are the company’s brightest screen till now.

 

Out of the box, the smartphone comes with a vivid color scheme. If you’re someone who’s more into the natural scheme, you can switch from the settings menu. In terms of display, the device is able to live up to my expectations. Although it does misses bells and whistles like 90Hz refresh rate which can be seen on the recently launched OnePlus 7 Pro for a much cheaper price.

 

In the end, it all comes to the personal preferences of the user. I personally liked the display of Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and the punch-hole cameras are a really interesting thing to have. It is also worth noting how the smartphone maker used the punch-hole cutout to its own benefits by offering eye-catching wallpapers.

Performance

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is powered by the company’s very own Exynos 9820 chipset paired with 8GB of RAM. The Exynos 9820 SoC is the company’s top-of-the-line flagship processor that is fabricated over the 8nm manufacturing process. Since it is a flagship chipset, we can definitely expect top-notch performance from the device.

 

The US variant of Galaxy S10 Plus comes with Snapdragon 855 processor instead of the Exynos one. Since the SD 855’s cores are clocked at a higher rate than Exynos 9820, there is a significant increase in performance. In fact, the cameras on the Snapdragon variant performs better than the one with Exynos chipset. Well, that is something which we can do nothing about.

 

The Galaxy S10 Plus works like a charm in most of the scenarios. In my daily usage, I haven’t come across any lags or stutters whatsoever. Frankly, I do heavy multitasking on my device and this one was able to live up with all the mental abuse I have thrown at it. You can play all the popular gaming titles on the phone at maximum settings. I played a couple of sessions of Pubg Mobile with the in-game settings capped at max as well as the device’s display settings at the max. The overall gaming experience was pretty impressive.

 

In conclusion, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus manages to live up to my expectation of a flagship device. Although in some scenarios the device doesn’t feel insanely fast, that should not be a deal breaker. Unless and until you compare this phone with OnePlus 7 Pro side by side, you would not notice any major difference in terms of performance.

Software

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus runs on the latest version of Android i.e. Android 9.0 Pie based on the company’s latest and beautiful One UI software. I am genuinely happy with the fact that Samsung finally decided to leave behind its Experience UI.

 

OneUI software feels much lighter, simpler and elegant as compared to the previous Samsung Experience UI. The new software is focusing on bringing elements that can improve the one-hand usage of the user. Frankly, I do like the direction at which the company is going with its new OneUI software.

 

The UI is filled with lots of useful features like Edge Panels, Night Mode, Edge Lightning and much more. The back in the night mode feels very deeper which is a nice thing since the phone makes use of AMOLED panels.

 

To enhance the user experience more, Samsung has an application called Good Lock which you can install from the Galaxy App Store. With the help of this app, you can customize elements in the UI like the task switcher, navigation buttons, quick toggles and much more.

 

Although there are tons of useful features, there are tons of bloatware as well. For instance, I personally find no use of apps like Game Launcher, Bixby Home and the Galaxy App Store. In the future, I would like to see Samsung’s finding some way to leave behind its own Galaxy App Store but that is not going to happen anytime soon.

Cameras

With Galaxy S10 Plus, Samsung has opted for the triple cameras at the back for the very first time. It consists of a 12MP primary lens with f/1.5-f/2.4 dual aperture, another 12MP telephoto lens having f/2.4 aperture and a 16MP ultra-wide angle lens with f/2.2 aperture. All the cameras sensor combined manages to offer some excellent performance to the user.

 

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Camera

 

The cameras are equipped with the company’s own AI scene detection which works really well in real-life scenarios. The AI tweaks settings like aperture, exposure, shutter speed and other various options to deliver the best photos possible. In daylight conditions, the device’s rear camera performs exceptionally well with lots of details, good colours and wide dynamic range.

 

Like any other phone, the Galaxy S10 Plus struggles a little bit in the low-light photography. Still, the device is able to churn out pictures with a good level of details and low noise levels. Samsung has also added a ‘Bright Night’ mode which, in my opinion, sometimes work and sometimes don’t.

 

The ultra-wide angle lens is a nifty addition to the camera module. I was able to click shots with a good level of details and decent dynamic range using the ultra-wide lens. You might notice some blurry edges but that’s just in the nature of the ultra-wide lens.

 

In my opinion, the rear camera of Galaxy S10 manages to beat the iPhone XS and Mate 20 Pro easily but it still lags behind the mighty Pixel 3XL.

 

Coming to the selfie cameras, there is a dual-camera module having a 10MP primary sensor and an 8MP depth sensing for portrait shots. Like the rear cameras, the selfie camera of the device works exceptionally with ample details and good color reproduction. You can switch between the wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle field of view easily. The portrait selfies also turn out to be decent with wide dynamic range and sharp colors.

 

The Galaxy S10 Plus can shoot videos having a 4K resolution at 60fps. On top of this, the device can also shoot 4K HDR10+ videos which is a welcome addition.

Battery Life

Fueling the Galaxy S10 Plus is a massive 4,100 mAh battery packed inside. This is the very first time that Samsung had implemented such a massive battery in its S-series flagship. In fact, the last-gen Galaxy S9+ packs a much smaller 3,500mAh battery.

 

There is nothing impressive about the battery life of this device. The apt choice of word here would be ‘Decent’. You can tweak with settings to improve the battery life. 

 

I was personally using the device at maximum resolution. Switch back to the default one increases the battery life significantly. At default resolution setting and moderate usage, the device can easily last you for an entire day. Thanks to the 15W adaptive fast charging feature, the device can completely charge from zero to 100% in just 90 minutes.

Audio and Biometric

For audio, the Galaxy S10 Plus is equipped with stereo speakers and a 3.5-mm headphone jack. Turning on the Dolby Atmos enhances the overall audio experience on wired as well as wireless audio product. The speakers are very loud and are frankly enough for a person enjoying media casually. Samsung’s flagship smartphone has always been top-notch in terms of audio and this one is no exception. 

 

For biometrics, the device is equipped with Qualcomm’s 3D ultrasonic fingerprint reader inside the display. The fingerprint reader sensor is very accurate, reliable and fast. In fact, Samsung is continuously improving the overall fingerprint sensor’s performance with regular software patches. Since it is an ultrasonic reader, it can also work with wet fingers which is always a nice addition.

Pros and Cons

Pros

 

– Premium and best-looking device

– 3.5-mm headphone jack

– IP68 rating

– Value for money

– Reversible wireless charging

– Triple rear cameras

 

Cons

 

– 2D Face Unlock

– Bixby still needs lots of improvements

Verdict

At the end of the day, Samsung managed to impress us with its latest Galaxy S10 Plus smartphone. The display, as expected, is large and beautiful with HDR10+ video playback. In terms of build, this is the best looking Galaxy S smartphone I've ever used. One UI software combined with Exynos chipset improves the overall user experience and is able to handle heavy tasks with perfection. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus comes with all the bells and whistles like an ultrasonic fingerprint reader, 3.5-mm headphone jack, stereo loudspeaker audio, dust and water resistance and reversible wireless charging. For the asking price, Samsung is offering a power-packed device with exceptional value for money. The only thing where Samsung could have improved a little is the battery life and lowlight camera performance. For the majority of the user, this would not be a deal breaker. So far, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is a high-end smartphone which can definitely give you solid user experience.