The Samsung Galaxy S10 family has three members: the S10e, the S10 and the largest of the lot, the Galaxy S10+. Being the largest, you’d expect that the smartphone has the best internals and also the best performance when it comes down to it. That said, the reality remains that the S10+ stands out thanks to its size and an extra camera sensor on the front facing, selfie camera. The big question remains: Are these features worth the MYR1,000 premium on the S10e and the MYR400 premium on the S10?
The Galaxy S10+ is the largest and the most unwieldy of the S10 series. However, it still shares the many design queues and the overall design language of the S10 series. Between the three devices in the series, the S10+ is the one that looks the best. I say that having used all three smartphones. The S10+ remains the one among the three with the best feel in hand. While the S10e was easy to handle and the S10 was pretty natural in-hand, the S10+ has a heft that gives the smartphone a better, more substantial feel when held. The heft was something that was sorely lacking in the other two S10s. It gives it a nice balance that makes the smartphone a little easier to handle.
That said, the large size of the S10+ remains one of the best and worst features of the phone. While the larger size does make it a little bit more hefty, it also makes the smartphone harder to use in one hand. It’s a double edged sword which can be one of the best and worst things about the phone. The size of the S10+ makes it a pain to handle with one hand. Everything is just out of reach thanks to the large display. However, the dual curved new infinity display does make it a little better to handle. The saving grace of the S10+ in dealing with its size is Samsung’s new approach to their UI with OneUI. We’ll go into detail in the UI section below.
Other than its size, the S10+’s over all design is one that actually looks good. In the right colour, the phone is definitely going to turn heads. The Prism White remains a personal favourite thanks to the way the colour catches the light. This is also one of my pet peeves with the S10 series overall; Samsung has done a very commendable job when it comes to the design of their flagship device but thanks to the dual glass front and back of the phone, many people will end up buying a case to protect the phone. This would, in turn, defeat the purpose of the aesthetic of the phone. The hard work that went into every detail of the design is lost in a embrace of a protective case.
The Galaxy S10+ isn’t much above its siblings when it comes to hardware. The version we reviewed runs on the Exynos 9820 and is paired with 8GB of RAM. When it comes to memory, the S10+ has the option of either 128GB or 512GB of on board storage and the ability to expand it with an additional storage of up to 512GB through the use of the microSD card. The combination is poised to give pretty power packed performance when it comes to day to day usage and even with some more complex usage.
That said, speak to any tech enthusiast and they’ll tell you the S10 series is handicapped by the omission of the iris scanner. While, personally, I feel the omission on the S10e and S10 are acceptable, its omission on the S10+ simply dulls the edge that the S10+ could have over its competition. The iris scanner was touted as one of the best security features of Samsung’s past smartphones; so the question remains – why isn’t it part of the S10 package?
Aside from that, the S10+ comes packed with some of the best features on a smartphone. The under display fingerprint scanner of the smartphone is one of the easiest to use and also the quickest. Samsung opted to keep the pressure sensitive home button as a feature which now also activates the fingerprint scanner when pressed.
The other irritating feature of the S10+ is the inclusion of a button that is dedicated for Samsung’s Bixby. I found myself accidentally pressing on this button instead of the power button on a regular basis. That said, if the button was reprogrammable, it would have made the phone more compelling thanks to the additional functionality it could provide.
The overall package, when it comes to hardware, on the S10+ is compelling. Aside from the few issues highlighted, it does provide a competitive edge when it comes to performance.
|Processor||Exynos 9820 OctaOcta-Core (8 Cores)|
2×2.73 GHz Mongoose M4
2×2.31 GHz Cortex-A75
4×1.95 GHz Cortex-A55
|Memory||128GB or 512GB|
Expandable with MicroSD (Up to 512GB)
|Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)||Mali-G76 MP12|
|Display||Dynamic AMOLED panel 6.4-inch (~522 ppi)|
QHD+, 19:9 ratio (1,440 x 3,040 pixels)
Corning Gorilla Glass 6
|Operating System||Android 9.0 Pie with OneUI|
|Battery||Non-Removable 4,100mAh Li-Ion|
Fast Charging (15W)
Fast Wireless Charging (15W)
|Connectivity||Dual SIM (Hybrid Slot)Wi-Fi IEEE802.11 b/g/n/ac/ax|
GPS/A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
Bluetooth 5.0 LE
USB 3.1 (Type-C)
|Camera||REAR: Triple Sensor:|
12-Megapixel (f/1.5-2.4 aperture, 26mm (wide) focal length, 1/2.55-inch sensor size,1.4µm pixel size, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS)
12-Megapixel (f/2.4 aperture, 52mm (telephoto) focal length, 1/3.6-inch sensor size, 1.0µm pixel size, AF, OIS, 2x optical zoom)
16-Megapixel (f/2.2 aperture, 12mm (ultrawide) focal length, 1.0µm pixel size)
Phase Detection Autofocus
2160p Video recording (60fps)
10-Megapixel (f/1.9 aperture, 26mm focal length, Dual Pixel PDAF, 1.22µm pixel size)
8-Megapixel (f/2.2, 22mm focal length, wide angle, 1.12µm pixel size, depth sensor)
Quad HD video recording (30fps)
Fingerprint (under display)
The Galaxy S10+ comes with Samsung’s OneUI a top Android 9 Pie. The user interface of the OneUI is the smartphone’s saving grace. The approach of optimising their interactions so that it’s focused on getting things done with one hand is ingenius when it comes to a smartphone of this size.
OneUI moves many of the essential interactions to the bottom of the screen within reach of the users thumb. This proritising makes it easier for the user when it comes to doing things like getting to the contact list from the dialer or even clearing the notification shade to reduce clutter.
That said, the design language of OneUI can be refined a little more. This is particularly true when it comes to the icon design. Moving from Samsung’s previous iteration to the current design, it feels like the design language has taken a step back. The more cartoony icons stand out as one of the biggest changes. OneUI’s refinement is betrayed by the crude approach Samsung’s design team has taken with the icons.
However, the overall feel and functionality of the user interface is commendable. OneUI shines as one of the most functional and refined skins on Android. It puts the user’s overall experience first – which make me really happy. The interface makes the smartphone less of a daunting device and more of an everyday partner.
The Galaxy S10+ is one of the best performers on the market when it comes to flagship smartphones. Samsung has optimised its interface to be light and sprightly on the S10+ which goes a long way in creating a memorable user experience. The User Interface and power of the S10+ create a powerful combination.
When it comes to day to day usage, the S10+ has enough power to provide users a near perfect experience. The only issue that you may notice is a little lag when you’re swiping through the multitasking interface. Other than that the overall usage for day to day is near flawless.
When it comes to gaming and more taxing workloads, the Galaxy S10+ continues to give pretty admirable performance. Aside from occasional lag and some screen tearing in more complex games, the S10+ does pretty well. The smartphone is able to remain cool even with high processor loads. It only got slightly warm during prolonged game play. This happened after gaming for an hour. That said, even with the syncing of about 5 email accounts and YouTube and Netflix binges, the phone was still able to perform pretty well. With the game launcher, settings are further optimised to allow for smooth performance with resource heavy games.
The 4,100mAh battery of the S10+ also delivers. I easily got about 10 hours of battery even with heavy workloads. On days where I wasn’t using the display as much or doing much gaming I easily got about and two to three hours extra.
Overall, the Galaxy S10+ is a solid performer with a little bit more optimisation needed to iron out some minor issues. The biggest issue would be graphics optimisations which Samsung can fix with a simple over the air software update.
The Samsung Galaxy S10+ comes with Samsung’s new Dynamic AMOLED screen. The new screen brings better calibrated colours and while retaining the signature brightness and contrast that has become synonymous with Samsung’s AMOLED screens.
The juxtaposition of the statements made isn’t lost – how can the screen be more calibrated but retain the brightness and contrast? Well, the Dynamic AMOLED screens are a lot more subdued in the saturation of their colours. They’re more accurate and realistic and don’t have the over-saturated colours the we’ve come to expect from Samsung.
However, it seems like Samsung has upped the ante when it comes to the brightness of the screen. Before this on my S9, I’d set the brightness to about 35% but with the S10 series I found myself reducing the brightness further to about 25%. Even then, there were situations where I saw myself reducing the brightness further.
Be that as it may, the screen delivers one of the most immersive experiences when it comes to entertainment. Watching YouTube, Netflix and even gaming on the S10+ is one of the best experiences that I’ve had with a smartphone to date. The large edge to edge screen allows me to get lost in the content while the AKG tuned sound delivers an entertainment experience to beat.
The Samsung Galaxy S10+ has a very versatile camera setup. The main camera setup is a triple camera setup with a wide, ultra-wide and telephoto lens. This setup allows users to get a more versatile range of photos from a scenic wide shot to a focused zoom shot.
The main 12-megapixel wide angle sensor also comes with dual aperture. This is one of the best features that has been introduced in the smartphones since the edge to edge screen. The dual aperture function allows for better pictures in low light conditions but more importantly it allows users to manipulate the amount of detail in a picture that they’re taking. It also allows for better bokeh effects.
That said, the quality of the photos of the S10+are comparable to its siblings. Actually, I would go so far as to say that the S10+ and S10 have pretty much the same experience and quality for their main cameras. Pictures are crisp and sharp and the colour reproduction is pretty accurate. But other than that, the main camera of the S10+ is pretty much the same as the S10.
The major difference on the S10+ when it comes to the camera is the additional depth sensor. The depth sensor allows the S10+ to have great bokeh selfies. The additional depth sensor brings more detail which Samsung’s algorithm is able to use to produce a more natural looking bokeh.
While the Samsung Galaxy S10+ has many software features augmenting the camera, the harsh truth is that I found myself using the camera in Auto mode more often than naught. Aside from the initial dabble and fooling around, features such as the AR emoji and the many bokeh effects weren’t on my radar. The portrait mode was more than sufficient when it came to everyday shots.
Size is only one piece of the puzzle
The Galaxy S10+ is a great overall package. However, when it comes viewing it side by side with its siblings the S10e and S10, the Galaxy S10+ struggles to stand out. The only differentiating point of the S10+ is its larger size and also the additional front facing sensor. These features, in my opinion, do not justify the MYR1,000 premium on top of the price of the S10e or the MYR400 premium on top if the S10.
While the S10+ excels in performance and display, it struggles to differentiate itself in a positive way when it comes to its size. Providing an immersive entertainment experience sacrifices the ease of use which comes with a smaller size. That said, the S10+ would still be a go to for those looking for a larger screen and don’t mind sacrificing one handed use.