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Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus UK Review: So much more of everything

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus UK Review: So much more of everything

We've had our hands on all four of the Galaxy S10 devices but here we are focusing on the current top-of-the-range Galaxy S10+. It's big, it's beautiful and it is bad ass. Here are our first impressions.

Design

  • 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm, 175g
  • IP68 water and dust resistant
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Ceramic Black, Ceramic White, Prism Green, Prism White, Prism Black and Prism Blue

The Samsung Galaxy S10+ is a fabulous looking device - as far as phones go anyway. It delivers a lovely premium build quality with a glass rear and a solid metal frame - something we have seen on the Galaxy S devices since the S6 - but the Galaxy S10+ reinvents the Galaxy S design.

On the rear, things remain reasonably familiar, to a point. The S10+'s glass back has lovely tapered edges making it great to hold, as we have come to expect from the Galaxy S devices in recent years, while the Samsung logo is central on the back.

There is no longer an awkwardly placed fingerprint sensor alongside a dual camera though. The fingerprint sensor is now on the front underneath the display and Samsung has introduced a horizontally-aligned triple camera for the S10+. The camera setup is a little like the Note 9 but with an extra lens.

More changes are present on the front - and great changes too. The familiar slim bezels that have been present on the Galaxy S range since the Galaxy S8 are pretty much gone. In their place is a front that really is all screen bar a couple of millimetres, 93.1 per cent screen at least - and it looks fabulous.

 Samsung Galaxy S10 initial review image 4

The top right of the display houses a dual front camera on the S10+ but while we thought this would be irritating, it's almost unnoticeable in general use - more on the display and cameras in a minute.

The Galaxy S10+ is available in four colours - the same four as the Galaxy S10 - but it also comes in two ceramic models too - white and black. These colours are only available on the 512GB and 1TB models but the finish itself doesn't cost extra. All models are also IP68 water and dust resistant as you would absolutely expect.

Pre-Order at Amazon UK £899

Display

  • 6.4-inch, Dynamic AMOLED, Quad HD+
  • 19:9 aspect ratio
  • HDR 10+

So let's talk about that might fine display the Samsung Galaxy S10+ has got going on. Samsung has long called the OLED panels on its phones Super AMOLED, but this changes for the Galaxy S10 range. It is now called Dynamic AMOLED.

Samsung Galaxy S10 initial review image 11

The 6.4-inch screen puts the Galaxy S10+ up in the same league as the Note 9 in terms of size but the new device isn't as wide or as tall. It's also more than manageable one handed. The S10+ offers the same Quad HD+ resolution as the Note 9 too and based on our first impressions, it's an impressive screen.

The lack of bezels not only offers a great design but it delivers a great experience too - more impressive than the Note 9. Several improvements have been made over the Note 9 too.

Samsung Galaxy S10 initial review image 5

For starters, the Galaxy S10+ has HDR 10+ on board - which Samsung claims is a first. The display also offers a peak brightness of 1200nits and Samsung says it delivers minimal blue light emissions too.

It's also said to offer a billion colours and it has a new name too - Infinity O - whereas previously we knew the S8 and S9 screens as just Infinity. In our demo, the Galaxy S10+'s display pumped out some great vibrancy and punchy colours, while text was nice and crisp but we'll need to test the device in full to pass our final judgement.

Cameras

  • Triple rear (16MP + 12MP + 12MP)
  • Dual front (10MP + 8MP)
  • OIS on 16MP ultra-wide and 12MP wide rear lenses

On the rear of the Samsung Galaxy S10+, there are three cameras, as there are on the Galaxy S10. This setup consists of a 16-megapixel ultra wide lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a Dual Pixel 12-megapixel wide angle lens with dual aperture between f/1.5 and f/2.4 and a third 12-megapixel telephoto lens with an aperture of f/2.4.

Samsung Galaxy S10 initial review image 3

The Galaxy S10+ also has a dual front-facing camera featuring a 10-megapixel f/1.9 lens and a secondary 8-megapixel f/2.2 depth lens. The purpose of the second camera on the front of the S10+ compared to the S10 is to deliver better bokeh selfie images.

There are also a number of new camera features including ten more scenes being added to the Scene Detection feature, as well as a new feature called Shot Suggestions. We tried out the Shot Suggestions and while the conditions were far from optimal, it worked well.

It takes a couple of seconds but Shot Suggestions uses the rule of thirds to help you compose a better shot of what you are framing up. Once it has figured out what the best shot is, you have to move the device to line up the circles in the middle. The circle and horizontal line the runs through it will then turn yellow when you have everything in the right place and you press the shutter button as you would normally.

Samsung Galaxy S10 initial review image 21

Samsung has also added Steady Shot to video recording, which should make for better videos with less shake. It doesn't matter how steady you think your hands are - they aren't - so it's great to see this feature added.

Testing camera and video results was of course not possible during our brief time with the S10+ but the new device has some interesting features and promising ones too so we are looking forward to trying them out properly.

Pre-Order at Amazon UK £899

Hardware

  • Octa-core 8nm processor
  • 8GB/12GB RAM, 128GB/512GB/1TB storage
  • MicroSD up to 512GB
  • 4100mAh battery

The Samsung Galaxy S10+ has an octa-core 8nm processor under the hood, though Samsung hasn't specified whether this is the Exynos 9820 or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 - we suspect it will vary depending on region. Typically Europe gets Exynos and US gets Qualcomm.

There are three variants of the Galaxy S10+ available in terms of RAM and storage options. The bottom model has 8GB of RAM coupled with 128GB of storage, while the top-of-the-range model has 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. The interim model has 8GB of RAM and 512GB storage.

Samsung Galaxy S10 initial review image 8

All the Galaxy S10+ models come with microSD support for storage expansion up to 512GB, which essentially means the top S10+ model is 1.5TB ready. That's enough for 750,000 photos we were told, or 750 films.

Battery-wise, the S10+ has a 4100mAh capacity which is not only wireless charging compatible but it is capable of reverse charging too - something Huawei offers on its Mate 20 Pro. We tested this feature with our iPhone and it worked perfectly. A quick tap on the Power Share icon in the drop down settings menu followed by us putting our iPhone XS back to back with the S10+ was all that was required for the S10+ to offer some juice to our iPhone XS. The S10+ is capable of reverse charging two devices at once too.

Samsung Galaxy S10 initial review image 18

In terms of biometrics, the Samsung Galaxy S10+ has an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor beneath the screen. It's not the first time we have seen an in-display fingerprint sensor - Huawei and OnePlus have both done it - but we're pleased to see it arrive on the S10+ and our demo of it looked promising.

It's claimed to work in rain and cold temperatures too and Samsung claims it will scan every ridge of your fingerprint, meaning it can't be spoofed by a 2D image. We were also told that it will learn if you often use the side of your thumb to unlock your device for example, meaning it will question if you then use your full thumb.

In terms of audio, the Galaxy S10+ has stereo speakers tuned by AKG, which the S9 and the Note 9 both offer. Dolby Atmos technology has been added to the S10+ too however and the S10+ also offers Wi-Fi 6, as well as a Vapour Cooling Chamber for gaming.

 Samsung Galaxy S10 initial review image 7

We weren't able to test the performance of the S10+ in the short amount of time we had with it but we will be sure to do this when we get it in for full review.

Software

  • Android 9
  • Samsung One UI

The Samsung Galaxy S10+ runs on Android 9 with Samsung's new One user interface (UI) over the top. Samsung's UI is one of most comprehensive redesigns to Android and the S10 range sees the software further redesigned.

Icons are more colourful and circular - it took us quite a while to find the camera and gallery icons which are now red - but overall, things feel clean, concise and generally simplified. The settings menu for example, looks great.

 Samsung Galaxy S10 initial review image 19

We'll dive deeper into the software when we come to review the S10+ in full, but there are a couple of new features to mention briefly. The S10+ has AI powered performance, which means the device will learn which apps you use and when - a little like Sony's Side Sense feature does.

For example, if when you wake up in the morning and immediately open WhatsApp followed by Spotify, the S10+ will eventually learn this and make those apps more accessible to you straight away. Bixby Routines are also on board and there are the new camera features we mentioned too.

Pre-Order at Amazon UK £899

First Impressions

The Samsung Galaxy S10+ is a fabulous looking device. It oozes quality, the screen is glorious from what we've experienced so far and the new design manages to remain familiar whilst simultaneously delivering a new form factor that offers plenty to be excited about.

There are numerous new features - reverse wireless charging and the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor to name just two - a redesigned UI and that triple camera on the back and dual camera on the front offer heaps of promise.

Move under the hood and you have some serious power - 12GB of RAM in the top of the range model is huge, especially coupled with 1TB of storage. We can't wait to review this device in full because on paper and based on our first impressions, it's a device worth getting excited about.

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