The Samsung Galaxy S10 plus is exactly what you’d expect out of Samsung’s tenth flagship handset. After all, the company’s been creating these for a decade, and is aware of what works. The S10+ is a winning mixture of powerful performance, long-lasting battery, stunning display and capable cameras. There’s additionally a welcome software overhaul and therefore the ability to wirelessly charge compatible devices, making this a amazingly useful handset. You’ll have to endure minor quirks like an inconsistent fingerprint sensor, lousy AR emoji and a sub-par digital assistant, however none of these keep the S10+ from being an ultimately excellent phone.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Build and design
The glass back and front is held firmly together by a solid aluminium frame. Samsung shared the Prism White variant of the phone with us, and it has to be said that the finish is certainly unique. The white on the rear shifts in hue from white, to pink, to blue, depending on how light bounces off it. Being white in colour, the highly fingerprint-friendly nature of the phone is well hidden.
The phone’s design is for the most part identical to the previous year’s S9+, other than some obvious changes. Whereas the display is bigger, what stood out significantly was that the power button was placed way too high on the left side of the frame.It weighs around 175 grams for the non-ceramic version, the phone is 14 grams lighter than its predecessor, despite a denser battery and a bigger form-factor. It is made of Gorilla Glass 6 on the front and Gorilla Glass 5 on the back is extremely slippery and required to be placed in its case for safety.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Display
It has a 6.4-inch display sports a resolution of 3040 X 1440, pegging the panel’s pixel density at roughly 522ppi. The most notable feature regarding the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus’s display is that it supports HDR10+. an upgrade to the HDR10 standard, HDR10+ currently encodes per-frame metadata into a video, and so as to be compliant with the standard, Samsung had to develop an OLED panel that would dynamically adjust based on the frame’s metadata. This by itself is incredibly impressive.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 plus solely offers 2 display modes; Vivid and Natural. Selecting Vivid enabled the phone’s wide colour gamut colour space, ideal for people who like saturated colours and would be viewing content in HDR from Netflix. The natural colour profile switches the display over to the sRGB colour space, ideal for people who want to view photos and non-HDR videos in their true colour space.
The display has a maximum brightness of 650 nits when the brightness is turned up manually. However, if the auto-brightness setting is enabled, the system can push the display to over 1000 nits of brightness. The display also achieves this level of brightness when playing HDR10 content, but since it is not for a sustained period of time, it is hard to notice.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Performance
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is powered by the Exynos 9820 processor built on an 8nm process. The SoC comes with 8 cores in three clusters. The four small/efficiency Cortex A55 cores are clocked at 1950MHz, the dual middle Cortex A75 cores are clocked at 2314MHz while the remaining 2 performance Exynos M4 cores are clocked at 2730Mhz. The tri-cluster design is fast becoming popular as it allows the chip to remain power efficient by activating specific cores based on the task at hand. The Exynos 9820 is paired with 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM, enough for your work and play needs.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Camera
The phone has a 16MP ultra-wide camera (12mm) with an aperture of f/2.2. This camera doesn’t come with AF or OIS. The primary camera has 12-megapixel resolution and a dual aperture mechanism going between f/1.5 and f/2.4. This camera sports Samsung’s dual pixel AF and OIS, along with offering a 26mm field of view. The third camera is sporting a telephoto lens with an aperture of f/2.4 along with OIS and PDAF. The primary camera by itself performs as admirably as you’d expect from a Samsung flagship smartphone.
The low light performance of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is impressive. What you do lose, however, its accurate colour reproduction, detail and sharpness. The main camera still manages to produce usable photos, but the ultra-wide and telephoto lenses are not of much help, due to their small apertures. The Super Night shot which is supposed to improve low light photography is buried at the very bottom of the scene optimiser’s priority list and hardly ever kicks in. Even in the rare occasion that it does, it does so only after 5-8 seconds which is way too long for any kind of AI to be taking.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus features two cameras in the front, a primary 10-megapixel shooter with an aperture of f/1.9 and dual pixel AF. The secondary 8-megapixel camera is there purely to aid in depth information and does not actually produce any images. When taking selfies, you can choose a closer view of your face, with the resulting image being around 5-6 megapixels. Switch to the full perspective and you get the whole 10-megapixel resolution, and enough room to fit in at least 3 more people with you in the frame.
In terms of the image quality, the S10 Plus produces some of the best selfies out there, with adequate sharpness and enough detail retention. Low light photos, on the other hand, are not impressive at all. You’d be better off using the flash.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Battery
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is packed with a 4100mah battery capable of fast wireless charging. The new trick here is that the S10 Plus also packs reverse wireless charging, which you can use to charge another smartphone, smartwatch or even the Galaxy Buds.
In day to day usage, the phone lasted a day and a half, being pulled off the charger at 8 am and being needed to be charged back up around noon the next day.
Speaking of charging, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus can go from 2 percent battery to 100 percent in 94 minutes. An hour and a half to charge up a 4100mAh battery is impressive. Reverse charging also works as advertised, but is slow if you’re trying to charge another smartphone. This feature best works for charging small accessories like the Galaxy Buds or even a smartwatch that doesn’t use a proprietary connector or charging method.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is quite a banger of a phone and a great sign of things to come, from Samsung and hopefully other manufacturers in the months to come. It has one of the best displays and with the HDR10+ certification, you’re looking at a device that’s great for content consumption. The phone packs enough power under the hood to be able to handle anything you throw at it. If you’re considering buying the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, it would definitely not be a bad one.