A month after launching it globally, South Korean electronics major Samsung on March 6 brought the Galaxy S10-series to India. The best of the series seems to be the premium Galaxy S10 Plus smartphone with a big screen featuring an in-display fingerprint sensor, a triple-camera module on the back, dual cameras on the front, a wireless charging capability, and internal storage capacity of up to 1TB.
While the Galaxy S10 Plus has a long list of features, it boasts several industry-first additions that give it an edge. These features include an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor, dynamic AMOLED screen, HDR10+ video recording, and capsule-shaped punch-hole screen accommodating dual selfie cameras.
Before the review, let’s take a look at the phone’s key specifications:
- Display: 6.4-inch curved dynamic AMOLED, Quad HD+
- Rear Camera: 12MP Dual Pixel AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS | Telephoto: 12MP PDAF, F2.4, OIS | Ultra Wide: 16MP FF, F2.2 | – 0.5X/2X optical zoom, up to 10X digital zoom
- Front Camera: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, F1.9 | RGB Depth: 8MP FF, F2.2
- Processor: Exynos 9820 Octa
- RAM and ROM: 8GB/12GB RAM | 128GB/512GB/1TB storage | MicroSD slot (up to 512GB)
- Battery: 4,100 mAh | 15W wired and wireless fast charging
The Galaxy S10 Plus has a glass-metal-glass design with Gorilla Glass 6 on the front, Gorilla Glass 5 on the back and a steel frame sandwiched in between. The phone has a lightweight design and, despite looking similar to the Note 9, it has a compact form factor that is even thinner than yesteryear's flagship – the Galaxy S9+.
Though the phone is easy to hold and use, the power button on the right side of the frame is placed higher than usual, making it difficult to reach. The glass body and smooth steel frame make the phone slippery in hand, so a good cover is suggested to avoid any accidental falls.
The Galaxy S10 Plus looks dazzling in all new colours, including the Prism white colour that we have reviewed here. Though the phone’s overall profile has not changed much, it still looks premium and modern. Overall, in terms of design, the Galaxy S10 Plus seems to be a balanced one with nothing out of place diminishing its overall charm.
Samsung has one of the best OLED screen technology in the industry and the panel used in the Galaxy S10 Plus testifies that. Named dynamic AMOLED, this screen is the first to support HDR10+ content format, so that makes the S10 Plus the first smartphone to use this technology. However, due to lack of compatible content, the technology does not add much to the display’s overall competency.
Nonetheless, the screen is vivid and has a good contrast ratio. It is one of the brightest panels, resulting in excellent sunlight legibility – it requires to have adaptive screen (auto) set to be enabled. Though the screen has a capsule-shaped cut-out on the top right side, accommodating a dual selfie-camera module, it does not show any dim pixels around it. The cut-out also does not come in way to hamper the screen’s overall usable area, like notch-based screens do.
The screen also houses an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor that sits below the display under the lower side. Unlike the optical in-display fingerprint sensors, the ultrasonic sensor does not show a lit area on screen, but it recognises fingerprint quickly. For an in-display fingerprint technology, the sensor is fast and accurate. It unlocks the phone almost instantly and recognises your fingerprint no matter how you put your finger on the sensor.
The S10 Plus has a triple-camera module on the back, boasting a combination of a variable aperture lens, ultra-wide lens, and a telephoto lens for 2x optical zoom. On the front, there is a dual-camera module featuring a bright aperture lens and a wide-angle lens.
The camera supports artificial intelligence-based automatic scene recognition (Scene Optimiser), making it easy to point and shoot without changing the settings to find a perfect match for objects in the frame. The scene optimiser is enabled by default and it recognises most of the scenes, including food, pets, home ambience, party, sky, etc. It also supports the night mode, which comes handy while taking long-exposure shots in low light. The addition of a telephoto lens and ultra-wide angle lens in a rear-camera module completes the phone’s imaging prowess and leaves nothing more to ask for.
The rear camera supports 4K video recording at 60 frames-per-second (FPS). The video has details with good colours and a dynamic range. There is a dedicated steady mode, too, which stabilises frames in videos to match the likes of GoPro action camera. Though the phone is capable of recording videos in HDR10+ format, the option is disabled in settings by default and shows ‘labs’ sign next to it, confirming that the feature is still going through the testing process. Another missing feature is that the phone does not support video recording using ultra-wide angle lens. This feature is there in the company’s midrange and budget phones, but somehow it did not make it to this premium device.
Coming to the front camera, it is as good as the rear, but lacks zooming capabilities, night mode and some other features limited to the back module. The front camera also supports HDR, which enables it to capture objects in front of bright lights comfortably.
Both the front and rear cameras support a dedicated Instagram mode, which allows instant multimedia sharing as a story or feed on the platform right from the camera interface.
Premium smartphones always get top-of-the-line hardware, and the Galaxy S10 Plus is no different. What gives it an additional boost is the company’s new Android Pie operating system-based ‘One’ user interface. The UI is a delight to look at and easy to operate. Its key functional elements, such as the notifications area, settings menu, dialler, etc, are designed to keep it handy for one-hand operations. The UI supports system-wide dark mode, too, which goes well with the dynamic AMOLED screen capable of rendering true blacks.
The phone’s AKG-tuned stereo speakers and wired headset connectivity, thanks to a 3.5mm audio output port, makes it an interesting proposition for multimedia enthusiasts. For gamers, the phone has an AI-based optimisation that improves in-game performance substantially.
Even with a mammoth screen of a super sharp resolution and power hungry hardware, the Galaxy S10 Plus manages to impress with its on-battery time. The phone works for almost a day on regular use and around 8-10 hours on moderate or heavy usage. Video recording in UHD format at 60FPS, continuous gaming sessions at high frame rates, and 4K video playback are things that drain the battery faster than other utility features.
The phone comes bundled with a 15W fast charger that charges the battery from zero to 100 per cent in around two hours, which is satisfactory, if not class leading. The phone supports fast wireless charging and there is a provision of reverse wireless charging, too. Reverse wireless charging allows the phone to charge other devices with wireless charging capability.
Priced at Rs 73,900 for the base model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, the Galaxy S10 Plus is a complete package with no major features missing from the list. From water and dust resistance (IP68) rating to a class-leading imaging prowess and DeX computing support, the phone has something in store for everyone. If premium smartphone is what you are looking for and Apple iPhone XS-series is not your thing, this one is just the right option.