Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Review: Excellent Phone with Cutting-Edge Features

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In recent times, Samsung has been churning out beautifully designed phones with excellent features and outstanding performance. Excellent performance, sleek design and never-seen-before features used to be the trademark of every new phone released by Apple, but Samsung has since stepped up their game to meet and surpass these standards set by Apple.

The newly released Galaxy S10 Plus smartphone is no exception. From build quality to display, software, storage and performance, the Galaxy S10 Plus ticks all the boxes.

We now review some of the outstanding practical features of this smartphone you will really value and x-ray a few features you may not like that can be improved by the South Korean company.

PROS

  • Excellent dual rear camera
  • Cutting-edge display
  • Sleek design
  • Very good battery life
  • Expandable storage

 CONS

  • Fingerprint reader could still be improved

Appearance and Display

  • 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display
  • 3040 x 1440 pixels

When it comes to displays, its Super AMOLED tech guarantees top-notch displays especially when streaming HDR videos. We can say authoritatively that the display is one of the best you can ever find; it is beautiful, colourful and vibrant. The screen resolution is a bit higher than those of previous Galaxy models.

The screen brightness is better than the S9’s. You can get up to 1200 nits of brightness which is higher than the S9’s 1000 nits. You can use the S10 Plus outdoors even on a bright  day but you have to set the display to maximum brightness.

Generally, the Galaxy S10 Plus’ design is much like the S8; it is simply a modernized version of the S8 with regard to design.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Specifications

Display 6.4-inch OLED display
3040 × 1440 pixels
Processor Eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Operating System One UI based on Android 9 Pie
RAM 8GB, 12GB
Storage 128GB, 512GB or 1TB, plus Micro SD slot
Battery 4100mAh
Graphics Adreno 640
Front Camera 10 MP Main
8 MP Wide Angle
Rear Camera 12 MP Main
12 MP Telephoto
16 MP wide angle
Ports USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Size 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm
Weight 175 g
Connectivity 802.11b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth 5.0
GPS, NFC

The S10 Plus has an outstanding 6.4-inch screen even though this is physically smaller than its predecessor. With the top bezel off, you get a bigger screen with a larger aspect ratio. The screen runs almost from edge to edge. To consume less battery power, the S10 Plus set to 2280 x 1080 pixels by default. You can change this in the Settings. To consume even less power you can set the display to HD+, or 1520 x 720.

Black, white, glossy ceramic white, glossy ceramic black, and dark green are the colour variants available. You can also lay your hands on a neon pink, prism black, prism blue models. Most of these colour variants (except the ceramic white) have silver bands.

On the far right of the screen you will find a greyish tab which is simply a quick access tab. At the top, you will find a slot for microSD and SIM. A 3.5 mm headphone jack is also along the top edge. The bottom has a USB-C port which boosts transfer speeds and supports USB OTG and wired image output.

Storage 

  • 128GB, 512GB, 1TB of storage
  • 8GB, 12GB of RAM

The massive storage of the S10 Plus makes it an ideal smartphone for storing your games, movies, and photos. It comes with two storage options: 12GB RAM plus 1TB storage, and
8 GB RAM plus 512 GB storage.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S10: Specifications

  Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Samsung Galaxy S10
Display 3040×1440 pixels
6.4-inch (522ppi) OLED
3040×1440 pixels
6.1-inch (550ppi) OLED
Processor Eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Operating System Android 9 Pie Android 9 Pie
RAM 8GB, 12GB 8GB
Storage 128GB, 512GB or 1TB, plus Micro SD slot 128GB, 512GB, plus Micro SD slot
Battery 4100 mAh 3400 mAh
Graphics Adreno 640 Adreno 640
Front Camera 10 MP Main
8 MP Wide Angle
10 MP

 

Rear Camera 12 MP Main
12 MP Telephoto
16 MP wide angle
12 MP Main
12 MP Telephoto
Ports USB Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack
USB Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack
Size 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8 mm
Weight 175 g 157 g
Networking 802.11b/g/n/ac/ax
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS, NFC
802.11b/g/n/ac/ax
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS, NFC
 

Camera

  • 10 MP Main front
  • 8 MP Wide Angle front
  • 12 MP Main rear
  • 12 MP Telephoto rear
  • 16 MP Wide Angle rear

One of the remarkable features of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is the camera. The S10 Plus has one, two, three, four, five cameras (yes, five cameras). You will find three (two 12-megapixel and one 16-megapixel) on the rear and two (one 10-megapixel sensor and one 8-megapixel sensor for depth sensing) on the front.

 

The S10 Plus’ versatile three-camera array setup on the rear is outstanding.

 

The 12 megapixel camera on the rear has large pixels, optical image stabilization support and dual-pixel autofocus. The 12 megapixel camera gives brilliant pictures in good light. If you have used the S9 Plus, you won’t notice any extraordinary difference between the S10 Plus and S9 Plus with respect to camera performance. The 16-megapixel camera comes in handy for taking panoramic photos. You can use the cameras on the front for Live Focus shots.

Truth be told, other smartphones like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Apple iphone XS, give slightly better picture qualities especially in low-light conditions. If you have a knack for taking photos that are extraordinarily sharp with lots of details, try Google Pixel 3.

Check out our Google Pixel 3 review

Software

  • Android 9 Pie

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is equipped with Android 9 Pie, designed as One UI operating system by Samsung. This is faster than the Android Oreo found in the Galaxy S8 models. With the One UI, apps you use very often are placed at the bottom of the screen so that you can access them easily, just the way Apple’s Reachability feature works. We observed that some Samsung app icons are a bit too flashy.

The S10 Plus comes either in a single SIM or dual-SIM. The dual-SIM variant can take two nano SIM cards and supports duplication of apps so that an app can be assigned a SIM. You can use a micro SD card in place of a second nano SIM.

The Bixby app now has more languages and can make suggestions based on your habits. With the Bixby Routine, you don’t need any scheduler. The Bixby virtual assistant has one dedicated button on the side for quick access.

Read our Apple iPhone XR review

Performance  

  • Snapdragon 855 chipset
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Face unlock

The S10 Plus is very fast thanks to the 12GB RAM with 1TB of storage. Small wonder it was nicknamed the Performance Edition by Samsung. The 1TB of storage can be extended up to 1.5 TB using SD cards. The cheaper version of the S10 has 128 GB of storage. Whether you are using the model powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 or Exynos, the Samsung S10 is super fast. No lagging at all when you have several apps running.

We love the Wireless PowerShare feature introduced by Samsung. You can charge gadgets with Qi-enabled functions by placing them on the rear of the Galaxy S10 Plus. If you try charging a phone using this feature, it would take a long while to charge it fully. The Wireless PowerShare function is best suited for charging small devices like the new Galaxy Buds. Huawei Mate 20 Pro uses this technology, too.

 

You can charge gadgets with Qi-enabled functions by placing them on the rear of the S10 Plus.

 

The invisible or in-screen ultrasonic finger print sensor on the Galaxy S10 Plus uses optical in-display fingerprint tech which makes fingerprint reading a lot faster, reliable and offers enhanced security. The ultrasonic fingerprint technology is not an exclusive preserve of the S10 Plus. Users of  OnePlus 6T enjoy this as well. The only difference being that the S10 Plus creates a 3D map of your finger while the OnePlus 6T uses 2D.

You do not have to press so hard or long for the S10 Plus to recognize your fingerprint. We were able to unlock the S10 Plus even when the screen was completely off. With the original screen protector in place, you can still unlock the S10 Plus. We have noticed that holding your finger still (or for some seconds) makes fingerprint recognition better and faster.

The in-screen ultrasonic finger print sensor is better than the physical sensors you find next to cameras on most smartphones. We say that the fingerprint recognition is faster, however, that does not mean you can use this technology with your eyes closed as it would prompt you to cover the entire fingerprint sensor if you try to unlock the S10 Plus without paying close attention to where your finger is placed. The fingerprint icon is located just above the sensor.

 

The phone’s touchscreen recognizes inputs precisely and at a very fast rate, too.

 

There are other ways to secure and unlock your S10 Plus. Worthy-of-note is the 2D facial recognition, although not the very best because the technology isn’t fully developed to distinguish people who look identical.

We love the Bluetooth feature of the Galaxy S10 Plus. It allows you send items to more than one gadget at a time. The phone’s touchscreen recognizes inputs precisely and at a very fast rate, too. It is IP68-certified making it able to withstand dust and water ingress.

The S10 Plus uses the new Wi-Fi 6 standard. The device can pull off download speeds up to 1.2 Gb/s. While this is good, some smartphones (Mate 20 Pro, for instance) have higher download speeds.

Read more: OnePlus 7 Pro review

Battery Life 

  • 4100 mAh
  • Wireless PowerShare

Charging the phone from scratch to 100% takes a long time: at least two hours; whether you have it plugged or you are using the wireless fast charging option. The wireless charging option takes a longer time. The S10 Plus has a 4100 mAh battery. Its battery life is commendable – can last 13 hours depending on what you are doing with it. However, the battery will not last all day with several hours of use.

We observed that setting the display to minimum brightness reduces the S10 Plus’ power consumption. The S10 Plus battery remains irremovable as has been the norm since the introduction of the Galaxy S6.

 

We recommend charging the S10 Plus with an adapter that supports Power Delivery 3.0

 

If you are using the Snapdragon model, you would enjoy slightly longer battery than someone who uses the Exynos model. Generally we noticed that irrespective of the type of model you are using, the battery life decreases when you perform tasks that require a lot of light to keep functioning like streaming high definition videos on Netflix.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has at least four power-saving modes and a built-in battery saver app.

For faster charging, we recommend charging the S10 Plus with an adapter that supports Power Delivery 3.0. One good power saving tip is setting your S10 Plus to FHD+ or HD+.

Recommended Read: Xiaomi Mi 9 Review

What You May Not Like

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is quite expensive – you have to dig deep into your pocket to get this exceptional smartphone. Nevertheless if you factor in its outstanding features, performance and build, then it is worth every penny.

The S10 Plus can appear a bit slippery during use because of the Gorilla Glass 6 front glass and the back made with Gorilla Glass 5.

Because they have curved edges – with keys on the sides – you may accidentally hit the keys when typing. It is difficult to hold the S10 Plus without hitting the edges with your fingers. You can get an S10 Plus phone case as that reduces the phone’s sensitivity.

The power button is placed rather high but you can reach it with the thumb of your right hand; you may have to adjust your grip to switch off your phone.

You cannot setup multiple user accounts on S10 Plus.

You may find the fingerprint ID hard to use if you’ve not gotten used to the fingerprint sensor location on the screen. Once you get the hang of it, it functions perfectly.

Bottom Line

If all you need is a super fast, beautiful, reliable, Android-powered smarthphone with lots of features and the best hardware, then the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is a must-pick. We unequivocally recommend the S10 Plus.