Samsung’s Galaxy S10 Plus builds on the strong foundations of the S10 by adding a bigger battery, more storage and an extra lens to an already impressive design. With top-of-the-line specs, an incredible screen and a novel new design, reviewers are already suggesting the S10 Plus has the potential to be the best phone of 2019.
- Stunning display with excellent screen-to-body ratio
- In-screen fingerprint sensor
- Versatile tri-lens rear camera and dual lens front camera
- Great battery life
- Slower charging than competitors
- Hefty price tag
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: In more detail
The S10 Plus supplants its predecessor, the S9 Plus, as the best Samsung phone ever. It’s the biggest, most powerful, most feature-packed phone that Samsung offers (at the time of writing), with the Guardian calling it ‘one of the finest examples of today’s smartphones’ and Tech Advisor calling it ‘pretty much the most premium Android phone on the market’.
Its gorgeous 6.4-inch Infinity-O display is its most striking new feature. The screen stretches all the way from top to bottom and curves round the edges, with a laser cut ‘punch-hole’ for the front camera giving a sleeker take on the notches we saw last year. In addition to its bigger screen, improvements over the S10 include a bigger battery, an extra lens on the selfie camera and an extra version with 1TB of storage. All those premium features come at a cost though: the S10 Plus has seen a sizeable price increase over the S9 Plus, and is one of the most expensive phones out there.
The S10 Plus looks similar to previous models in the series, but comes with a few subtle improvements. It has a thinner aluminium rim, with the standard 128GB version featuring smooth glass back panels in three colours: Prism White, Prism Black and Prism Green. The 512GB and 1TB versions come with premium-looking ceramic backs in either black or white.
The fingerprint scanner is no longer on the back of the phone (as on the S8 and S9) but is now concealed invisibly within the screen itself, giving the rear of the phone a much cleaner look. The new camera array adds to the sleekness, stretching across the back in a black rectangle with only the very smallest of camera bumps. There’s also a reverse wireless charging module below the rear camera, which handily allows you to charge your friends’ phones - though Samsung has cleverly managed to conceal this completely too.
As TechRadar noted, the sleek design does make the phone a little slippery to hold - although a case will easily solve that problem.
Samsung is famed for its incredible smartphone displays, and the S10 Plus is no exception. The 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel - the biggest screen in the S series so far - is vibrant, crisp and beautiful. DisplayMate, the world’s leading display authority, found it to be the most colour-accurate display ever, describing its colour accuracy as ‘visually indistinguishable from perfect’.
The Infinity-O screen is a standout new feature, with the bezel-less edges, larger display size and punch-hole camera giving you an amazing 93.1% screen-to-body ratio. Even with a larger screen (the S9 Plus’ was 6.2 inches) Samsung has managed to make the S10 Plus noticeably thinner, lighter and shorter than the S9, and only marginally wider.
Performance and battery
The S10 Plus has seen a significant upgrade under the hood. It’s powered by the new Exynos 9820 processor, which is powerful enough to handle pretty much anything with ease. Coupled with 8GB of RAM, it makes for a slick user experience, with TechRadar saying it ‘makes gaming, music and video consumption effortless’. In Tech Advisor’s tests, it performed faster than most other similarly powerful phones, although it was just beaten by the iPhone XS.
The battery has been bumped up too - it’s now 4,100mAh (compared to 3,500mAh in the S9 Plus), although the bigger screen is likely to eat up some of that extra battery power. Samsung claims a single charge will last 24 hours, although the Guardian found it lasted around 30 hours on average and T3 found it to be more than enough to power a full day of heavy usage.
The S10 Plus’ triple-lens camera has a 12MP main lens, a 12MP optically zoomed telephoto lens, and a new 16MP ultra-wide lens.
In good light it takes fantastic photos, with sharp detail and bright, accurate colours. It also performs well in low light, although it lacks a night mode to rival those seen on Google’s and Huawei’s latest phones. The ultra-wide lens has a 123 degree field of view, allowing you to fit much more into the frame, although it sometimes creates a bit of a fisheye effect.
Overall, it’s a fantastic camera, with the Guardian calling it ‘as good as the best of its rivals’ and TechRadar saying ‘it ranks among the best camera phones for 2019’.
The front camera also features two lenses (compared to the S10’s single lens), with the extra camera enabling portrait mode selfies. The front camera takes great shots with plenty of detail, and is one of the few selfie cameras to integrate auto-focus.