It’s about that time of year where the big smartphone manufacturers begin unveiling their new flagships for the coming year, and with it being the 10-year anniversary of the original Galaxy S model, Samsung is up first – revealing their brand, spanking-new Galaxy S10 line.
Has the South Korean tech giant brought something really notable to market this time around, or is it just another facelift with some improved internals? Samsung claim it’s a ‘Next Generation Smartphone’ – let’s see if they’re right by looking at the biggest innovations of the S10’s features.
Three’s a crowd
For the past couple of years, Samsung has been releasing at least two versions of their top-tier devices: the standard flagship and a larger “+” version. For the S10, there are 3 versions: the flagship S10, S10+ (the larger iteration), and S10e (a ‘lite’ and slightly more affordable version of the S10 with a flat screen, as opposed to the curved edges). We’ll be primarily focusing on the S10 flagship, while mentioning the slight variations on the S10+ and S10e models.
Full screen phone
A number of brands have been claiming the whole “full-screen” thing for a while, but this time, it’s more founded than ever. The S10 features no notch and has improved 6.1-inch screen size (curved Quad HD+ AMOLED) while retaining almost the exact dimensions to the S9. Admittedly, achieving this level of screen to dimension ratio is an impressive achievement and is quite noticeable when comparing the S9 and S10 side by side.
The S10+ ups the screen size to 6.9-inches, while the S10e comes in at 5.8-inches.
Infinity O Display
Samsung devices have always had stellar displays, and the quality of the S10 is probably the most eye-catching feature. In order to achieve the notch-less screen, a few innovations had to be made by Samsung to hide things like sensors and the front-facing camera inside the display. They claim the HDR10 capable AMOLED screen is also the most colour-accurate screen any smartphone can offer, and a ‘Dynamic Tone Mapping’ feature optimises screen functions like brightness and colour on the fly.
Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensor
The fingerprint sensor is still on the front of the phone, but the Infinity O Display has changed the fingerprint input method from optic recognition to ultrasonic recognition – so it’s hidden beneath the display. They’ve also added improved security features for the fingerprint sensor, allowing it to pick up if a fake fingerprint is being used to try and unlock it.
Triple Rear Camera
Although this isn’t completely ground-breaking, it’s still cool that three different lenses are available on the rear of the device (a single 16MP and two 12MPs). The most impressive of the three is the ultrawide lens that allows for exceptionally-detailed wide and panoramic shots. Another clever camera function is the AI Camera that will suggest adjustments to your shots using proven photographic principles, so the average shot an amateur-snapper shoots using the S10 will be aided dramatically.
The S10e features a single 12MP camera in addition to the 16MP shooter.
Well, not quite – but its internals are still going to be class defining for a little while. While all the devices feature the same 7nm 64-bit Octa-core processor, the S10+ will max out at 12GB of RAM (basically a gaming rig) and an insane 1TB of internal storage, with a card slot to expand it by another 1TB. Additionally, its CPU is suggested to be 29% faster than its predecessor, so it’s going to cope with basically any and every task.
The flagship S10 features 8GBs of RAM, while the S10e features 6GBs.
It’s Now a Wireless Charger
This is a nifty little inclusion designed to allow S10 owners to make full use of its massive 4100mAh battery. By incorporating the same tech that wireless charging pads use in the back of the phone, the S10 range will be able to charge other wireless charging devices like wireless headphones or smartwatch wearables. While it’s tricky to estimate how much it will be used, it’s a pretty impressive feature to include.
Release date & price:
The S10 models will be available from 8 March 2019 at the following price-points:
- Samsung Galaxy S10e – R15,999
- Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB – R18,999
- Samsung Galaxy S10+ 128GB – R20,999
- Samsung Galaxy S10+ 512GB – R25,999
- Samsung Galaxy S10+ 1TB – R35,999
Overall, it seems like this is quite a bit more than just a retooling of aesthetics and a slightly better set of hardware. A number of features are markedly new and although we don’t know which will be serious hits among consumers they did a good job of packing some seriously innovative features into their new flagship – and it’s likely going to reflect in the number of people queuing for a new S10 device.