The best Galaxy S10: Pros and Cons

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It’s Samsung Galaxy S10 launch day, but in reality you now have three phones to choose between, not one – and a fourth version waiting in the wings. Samsung is trying to cover all its bases with 2019’s flagships, but with premium price tags attached it could be easy to make the wrong decision when faced with pushy salespeople and glossy in-store displays. Here’s what you need to know about the Galaxy S10 line-up.

Samsung Galaxy S10: The core of the range

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is the core of the new range. It’s the phone Samsung expects to be most popular among buyers, not least because it offers the most obvious balance of features, size, and price. It starts at $899.99.

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What’s so good about it?

NOW READ Samsung Galaxy S10 Review

If you’re looking for the key Galaxy S10 specifications and don’t want something outlandishly large, this is the phone to have. You get the Snapdragon 855 processor and 8GB of RAM as standard, along with 128GB of storage and a microSD slot. Samsung still includes a 3.5mm headphone jack, too, and the 6.1-inch Infinity-O display has only a small hole punch gap in the upper corner for the selfie camera.

On the back, meanwhile, are all three of Samsung’s cameras for 2019. As well as the regular Wide camera and the 2x optical zoom, there’s the new Ultra Wide with its 123-degree lens. That mirrors the field of view of the human eye. A 3,400 mAh battery should last the full day.

Where’s the compromise?

Sacrificing the biggest screen also means you sacrifice the biggest battery. Samsung isn’t offering the Galaxy S10 in either of its handsome ceramic finishes, either, and the front-facing camera lacks the Galaxy S10+’s second, RGB depth sensor for better results in portrait mode selfies. Perhaps the biggest issue with the Galaxy S10 is that the $100 delta between it and the Galaxy S10+ is fairly small.

Samsung Galaxy S10+: The supercharged flagship

Biggest of the S10 family that Samsung is releasing today, the Galaxy S10+ has a huge 6.4-inch display and a double-sized Infinity-O cut-out. It’s targeted at those who don’t want to compromise on specifications – and who are willing to pay handsomely for that.

What’s so good about it?

The 6.4-inch screen looks incredible – not for nothing has Samsung won DisplayMate’s plaudits for its AMOLED technology – and by making the cut-out larger, Samsung could fit in a second sensor to improve camera depth perception. The 4,100 mAh battery, meanwhile, is legitimately huge in phone terms: bigger, in fact, than the battery you’d find in last year’s Galaxy Note 9. It’s more than enough for 1.5 days use. Meanwhile Samsung has an incredible 1TB storage / 12 GB RAM Galaxy S10+ option for those who simply must have the most potent smartphone out there.

Where’s the compromise?

Size is the Galaxy S10+’s biggest problem: size in your hand, and the size of its price tag. Starting at $999.99 it’s another of the thousand-dollar smartphones that have been so criticized lately. Physically, it could well be too large to grip comfortably, and one-handed use is going to be tough for anybody, even with Samsung’s redesigned One UI.

Samsung Galaxy S10e: The iPhone XR rival

At $749.99 you can’t really mistake Samsung’s intent with the Galaxy S10e: it’s going up against the Apple iPhone XR to win over the midrange. Smallest of the S10 family, it has a 5.8-inch screen but still packs the same Snapdragon 855 processor. Samsung is pitching it at those who want the best of the latest technology, but in a more compact form-factor.

What’s so good about it?

We’re used to huge smartphones these days, so a smaller device which makes few sacrifices on performance is a welcome surprise. You don’t get the optical zoom camera, but the regular and Ultra Wide cameras are still present, as is the headphone jack and microSD slot.

Where’s the compromise?

Samsung had to trim a few details to hit the Galaxy S10e’s price, most notably the in-display fingerprint scanner. That’s replaced by a side-mounted scanner, though with reports that it’s actually faster than the S10/S10+’s sensor you might not mind. Screen resolution is down compared to the larger phones, and the entry-level $750 S10e has 6GB of RAM with its 128GB of storage.

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G: The speed demon

Samsung’s fourth Galaxy S10 family member isn’t actually available yet. Announced alongside the other three, the Galaxy S10 5G will go on sale this summer, as Samsung’s first 5G-capable phone. It’ll be a Verizon exclusive initially, before launching on other US carriers before the first half of the year is through.

What’s so good about it?

Speed, mainly. The other S10 phones aren’t slow, what with their Gigabit LTE support, but 5G promises to be a game-changer for performance – assuming you’re in an area with network service. The S10 5G also gets the biggest screen of the four, a full 6.7-inches, and the biggest battery, at 4,500 mAh. 3D depth cameras front and rear pave the way for the augmented reality experiences many are predicting will be 5G’s killer apps.

Where’s the compromise?

Aside from the fact that you can’t actually buy it yet, the Galaxy S10 5G’s big issues are its size and – most likely – its price. Final pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet, but expect this 5G flagship to comfortably sit above the S10+, not least because it’ll only come in a 256GB configuration. That’s Samsung’s solution to the fact that, despite this being a huge phone, it couldn’t find space to fit in a microSD slot.

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