This post was originally published in the Southwest Journal, a Southwest Minneapolis community newspaper.
My friends at Verizon sent me over a new smartphone to check out: the just released Samsung Galaxy S10+. I have always been a fan of Samsung and this phone is a good one. The Samsung flagship phone comes in two sizes, the smaller S10 and the larger S10+. I had the S10+ to play with.
Additionally, the phone comes in an S10e (even smaller) model which is less expensive and does not have all of the bells and whistles of its big sisters, plus there is an unreleased S10 5G that will be capable of using 5G service when it is available. I will not be comparing the S10e or the S10 5G as I do not have them on hand to write about.
The S10+ has a 6.4” Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Display which wraps around the sides of the phone with curved edges. The S10 has only a 6.1-inch display but with the same features. The phone is wrapped in Gorilla Glass with Gorilla Glass 6 on the front and Gorilla Glass 5 on the rear, except on the S10+ there is also an option for a ceramic back; I had the all-glass model for testing.
The Galaxy S10+ has an ultrasonic fingerprint reader that is under the glass at the bottom of the front screen. I have heard nothing but good things about it, but in my experience it was not a good way to unlock the phone as it rarely read my fingerprints properly. Instead, I liked using the facial recognition to unlock, which worked quite quickly.
The phone does not have a notch at the top for cameras and sensors, which have become popular in the last year or so. Instead it has what is being referred to as a hole punch on the top right corner of the screen, but the wallpaper creates an illusion by filling that area with a dark color and you don’t even notice the hole punch area. The hole punch on the S10 is simply a round circle, but on the S10+ it is elongated in order to fit in the 8MP Depth Camera only available on Galaxy S10+.
The S10+ still has a headphone jack. This is starting to become uncommon, especially on phones with USB-C charging like this one. It appears that Samsung is not giving up on wired headphones.
On top of the USB-C charging, the device has wireless charging as well. Additionally, a new feature that it has allows it to charge other Samsung devices too, like the Samsung watch and earbuds, on the back of the phone as though it were a powermat.
This phone runs the Android mobile operating system and, as is common, the manufacturer adds their own flavor to this OS. For the most part it is a very clean design, but Samsung adds a lot of their own software that I don’t end up using like their email app, calendar app and web browser. I like using the Google variants and they work quite nicely on the S10+.
Samsung’s digital assistant Bixby is built into the phone, but I still find myself preferring Google’s assistant. The dedicated hardware button can be remapped to open up other programs if you find you don’t need Bixby to be that accessible.
For price, the S10 comes in at $899, while it is $100 more for the starting version of the S10+ at $999. These are not cheap phones, but that should be expected as they are flagship phones for Samsung.
To buy or not to buy … if you like Samsung’s phones, the S10+ is the way to go as it is one of the best Android phones currently available.
Paul Burnstein is a Tech Handyman. As the founder of Gadget Guy MN, Paul helps personal and business clients optimize their use of technology. He can be found through www.gadgetguymn.com or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.