In use, we found the fingerprint sensor’s position to be quite practical, and it unlocked the phone every time we tried it. It should be noted that there still isn’t a 3D facial recognition option, such as that found in the iPhone X or Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
Positioned as a “next generation premium smartphone” the Galaxy S10 range certainly looks the part. The S10+ models come with an exclusive choice of white or black ceramic cases. Unlike the glass-backed S10 and S10e models, the ceramic material add an lux, high-end feel, and is very scratch resistant and durable.
Australians will get the S10 and S10e models in Prism Green, Prism Black or Prism White, however, these will be glass-backed cases, not ceramic.
Samsung is going all out with the ‘pro-grade’ camera system on the S10 range. Apart from the S10e, which gets a dual-lens rear camera, the S10, S10+ and S10 5G models feature a triple lens system on the rear. A new Ultrawide lens makes it possible for a 123 degree field of view (FOV), fantastic for sweeping landscapes, and is said to capture perspectives more like “the human eye”. There’s a 77 degree FOV ‘Wide’ lens along with a 45 degree FOV Zoom.
Otherwise, expect the same excellent low-light performance and colour accuracy from Samsung’s already excellent cameras found on the Note9.
On the video recording front, there’s improved optical image stabilisation for more fluid, less jerky video recordings. New is the ability to record videos in UHD resolution that support HDR10+ dynamic colour fidelity as well.
Another standout feature of the S10 range is its ability to function like a wireless charger. Called Wireless PowerShare, this lets you share your juice with other phones, smartwatches or earbuds that support the Qi wireless charging standard.
PowerShare is a super-handy feature meaning you don’t have to bring a bird’s nest of charging cables when you travel, as you can rely on your S10 as a charge mat, and simply place your watch or earbuds, or a friend’s phone on it to recharge it.
The S10 can even charge itself and another wireless device at the same time while plugged in. Devices must be compatible with the Qi wireless charging standard, however most are these days including iPhones and many peripherals.
The S10 range now comes with optimised ‘Intelligent Wi-Fi’ that “…allows for an uninterrupted and safe connection by seamlessly switching between Wi-Fi and LTE, as well as alerting you of potentially risky Wi-Fi connections.” There’s also support for the new Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard which is up to 20 percent faster than Wi-Fi 5, and there’s increased LTE speeds up to 2 gigabits per second.
Smart assistant Bixby sees a couple of tweaks as well including new ‘Routines.’ On the S10, Bixby will learn from your usage habits to automate things you do often. For example, it can optimise your notifications around bed time, or reduce distractions during driving.
A better Galaxy Foundation
All S10 models see improvements across a range of ‘Galaxy foundation’ features compared to last year’s models. This includes 30 percent faster wireless charging, IP68 water and dust resistance, a whopping 1.5 terabyte maximum memory capacity (provided that you order the 1 terabyte model and add 512 megabyte SD-card memory).
On the gaming front, the Galaxy S10 is the first smartphone optimised for the Unity Engine. This is a popular 3D gaming engine used by many of the most popular mobile games, such as Fortnite. The result is faster game loading times, more responsive action and lower latency. There’s Dolby Atmos support for games as well, and the S10’s vapour chamber cooling system reduces heat build-up so you can play for longer without holding onto a hot phone.
Galaxy S10 availability and pricing
The Galaxy S10 range of smartphones will be available to pre-order in Australia from 9.00am AEDT on February 21, 2019. Customers who pre-order a Galaxy S10 from participating retailers between 9.00am AEDT February 21, 2019 and midnight AEDT March 7, 2019 will be eligible to receive a bonus set of Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds (RRP $249). Read more about the buds here.
The on-sale date for the Galaxy S10 range of smartphones in Australia is March 8, 2019.