The Galaxy S10 5G is the largest, most advanced and expensive smartphone in the current Samsung line, not only referred to as “the 5G” but also the best.
Unlike the OnePlus 7 Pro, which comes in 4G or 5G versions that are identical in size, weight, and functions, the S10 5G is your own phone. It is larger, heavier, thicker and has more cameras and sensors on the front and back than the S10 +.
The front is filled with a 6.7-inch QHD + AMOLED screen that bends to the sides and has a large oval cut in the upper right corner of the screen for two selfie cameras and a depth sensor.
The screen is really beautiful, as you would expect from a superior Samsung: clear, clear and colorful with good viewing angles. It’s not as bright or soft as the fantastic 90Hz screen on the OnePlus 7 Pro, but it’s better than the rest.
The huge screen means that the S10 5G is a very large phone. With a width of 77.1 mm and a height of 162.6 mm, the S10 5G is comparable to its 5G rivals such as the OnePlus 7 Pro or the iPhone XS Max only 4G. But the way the back to the sides narrows and the relatively light weight of 198 g, which undermines the competition in 8-10 g, makes the S10 5G almost manageable. I could put it in the pocket of jeans, but something small was a struggle.
If you do not want the largest phone and the disadvantages of weight, cost, size, use with one hand, etc. They come with them, it is definitely not for you.
The screen hides the Samsung Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner to unlock the phone with the thumb on the screen, which works well enough but is not as fast or accurate as the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G optical sensor or traditional fingerprint sensors.
The phone is waterproof to the international IP68 standard, or depths up to 1.5 meters in fresh water for 30 minutes. Drop the S10 5G into the toilet and flush it out. It also has a headphone jack, which is rare in 2019.
- Display: 6.7 in QHD + AMOLED (502ppi).
- Processor: Samsung Exynos 9820 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 855.
- RAM: 8 GB RAM.
- Storage: 256 GB
- Operating system: a user interface based on Android 9 Pie.
- Camera: triple rear camera + depth sensor, 10MP selfie camera in front + depth sensor.
- Connectivity: simple sim, LTE, 5G, wifi, NFC, Bluetooth 5, wireless charging and GPS.
- Dimensions: 162.6 x 77.1 x 7.9 mm.
- Weight: 198 grams.
Battery life of 36 hours
The Galaxy S10 5G has the same processor, memory and storage as most other versions of the Galaxy S10 and therefore works in the same way. In the United States this means Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, but in the United Kingdom, Europe and many other regions this means Samsung Exynos 9820, as tested here.
It is a fast-feeling phone, if not the fastest, and will process most of what you can throw at it. The games and the augmented reality experiences, which are strongly powered with 5G, were smooth, but made the phone a little warm.
The S10 5G has the largest battery in the S10 telephone line from Samsung and therefore lasts more than 36 hours between charging. With the screen set to the standard FHD + resolution and the screen always on (AOD) off, the phone arrived from 7 in the morning of the first day to 7 in the afternoon of the second day with quite intensive use, mainly in 4G with bursts in the new Vodafone 5G network where available in London.
The S10 5G also charges faster than other Samsung phones with a 25 W charger that is included in the box. It reached 90% in one hour, which is not yet the fastest charging phone, but it is a significant improvement over other Samsung devices. Wireless charging up to 15 W with a matte Qi charger works well, just like the wireless power that it shares by charging something else from the back of the S10 5G, such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds.
The S10 5G proved to be excellent in the new Vodafone 5G network, which was considerably faster than 4G when it was available, routinely managing download speeds of 200 Mbps in areas where Vodafone’s 4G network was managed around 20-50Mbps.
But the 4G performance of the S10 5G on the Vodafone network was poor, and he spent a considerable amount of time on 3G in areas where a OnePlus 7 Pro and Huawei P30 Pro had a strong 4G signal on the same Vodafone 4G network. The problem was particularly problematic for public transport.
This poor performance led to further tests that show that the poor performance of the Vodafone 4G network signal was not isolated for Samsung’s new 5G phone, but also for normal 4G phones, including the Galaxy S10. Only 4G phones had a small advantage of approximately half a signal strength bar compared to their 5G counterparts in the same network.
However, when Samsung phones dropped to 3G, their Internet connection effectively became unusable, causing everything, from web pages and applications, messages and even email, to run out. But it is worse than simply being disconnected, because the phone thinks it has an Internet connection that works, which leads to a very frustrating scenario in which the phone constantly tries to perform the task it has set before a waiting time after one minute. It happens.
To be clear: Samsung’s S10, S10 + and S10e had the same performance as the OnePlus 7 Pro and the Huawei P30 Pro (two of the best for network performance) on both the 4G EE and Three networks in London and the south of England. The problem only seemed to be in Vodafone. But neither Vodafone nor Samsung could explain the signal problems that the Samsung S10 5G and other S10 smartphones have to face.
One of the spokesman for Vodafone said: “We have removed the device and the SIM for internal testing. We welcome the opportunity to walk with the Guardian in the areas they have visited to better understand the user experience found to better solve the problems understand and implement improvements or arrangements. “
A Samsung spokesman declined to address the 4G problem and said instead: “The 5G user experience only improves as the 5G network coverage improves and grows. Samsung works closely with our partners to provide device updates so that consumers can get the best network performance. “
Samsung One UI
The Galaxy S10 5G works with Samsung’s new One UI version of Android 9 Pie, which is the same as the other S10 variants.
A user interface is an important update of previous versions of Samsung software, again focused on making phones with large screens more useful, which was useful here. The upper part of the screen is generally intended to display information, while the bits you must touch have moved to the lower part.
The only thing that is not outdated correctly are Samsung’s motion navigation options, which replace the traditional three-button navigation bar at the bottom of the screen with sliding buttons where the buttons would be. It is not a fluid experience and it is difficult to use this screen format with one hand.
Although it is cheaper for the larger Galaxy S10 +, the S10 still benefits from the fact that the upper half of the phone is viewing information and the lower half for touch interactions. Rival systems such as those used by OnePlus, Huawei or even Google’s next Android Q are much better.
The Galaxy S10 5G has the same three normal cameras on the back as the S10 and S10 +, but adds a 3D depth camera for a good measurement.
That means you get a 12-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel camera and an ultra-wide 16-megapixel camera with a zoom of 0.5 to 2x, and then a 10x hybrid zoom lens.
There didn’t seem to be much difference between the cameras in the S10 5G and S10 / S10 +. Despite the new night mode, it produced excellent photos in good light, with solid performance but no performance in low light.
The video recording was very good, demonstrably better than many rivals, with good depth effects using the additional sensors on the S10 5G. The selfie camera is the same as the S10 +, which is excellent.
In general, the camera of the S10 5G is good, but it does not reach the best quality of Huawei.
The stereo speakers are pretty good.
The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is not compatible with most screen protectors, but a compatible included in the box is included.
Haptic vibrations are sharper than last year’s model, but not as good as Apple’s iPhone or OnePlus 7 Pro.
The palm’s rejection was good to prevent wrong touches on the curved edge of the screen where your hand rests on the touch screen when you grab.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G costs £ 1,099 in crown silver or majestic black in the US or Vodafone. So far, the phone is not available to purchase independently and without a SIM card in the UK.
For comparison: the recommended retail prices for the competition include the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G in plans from £ 59 per month in the US, the 4G 6.4in Galaxy S10 + for £ 899, the 4G OnePlus 7 Pro from £ 649, the 4G Google Pixel 3 XL costs £ 744, the 4G Huawei P30 Pro for £ 899 and the 4G iPhone XS Max costs £ 1,099.
The Galaxy S10 5G has all the functions of a high-end Samsung. A large and clear screen, elegant design, solid performance and excellent battery life: the best of all Samsung S10 variants.
The rear view camera is also very good and Samsung’s One UI is excellent, as long as you are satisfied with the navigation buttons, because the sliding movements are difficult to use in this telephone format. It is huge and expensive, which means that only lovers of large phones even want to try it.
The 5G performance is solid in the new Vodafone 5G network. But the low performance 4G in Vodafone of the S10 5G and its smaller S10 brothers, who have been unable to explain either the network or Samsung, means that I do not recommend buying a high-end Samsung phone in Vodafone.
It may not be the best 5G experience currently available, it is the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, but it is close. And where OnePlus is an exclusive EE in the UK, the S10 5G is available on a larger number of mobile networks.
The S10 5G is the largest and best Samsung you can buy, at least until the recently launched Note 10 arrives in stores, which could give you the crown.
Advantages: large screen, ultrasonic fingerprint scanner on screen, punch notch, wireless charging and shared power supply, excellent camera, good performance, good software, good tactics, headphone connection, microSD card slot, 5G.
Cons: huge, expensive phone, poor 4G performance in Vodafone, slow software updates.