Samsung Galaxy S10+: Another great Android flagship

NEW DELHI: Samsung has been making the Galaxy S series for 10 years now and the latest Galaxy S10 series, which includes the Galaxy S10+, the S10 and the “affordable” S10e, arrives at a critical time for the company in India.

Smartphone sales in the premium segment are stagnant and tech titans like Samsung and Apple are facing fierce competition from Chinese smartphone players like OnePlus and Huawei.

The Galaxy S10+ isn’t a radical change from its predecessor, the S9+, owing to the same glass sandwich design and the curved design language.

Major tweaks that Samsung brings on the table are a triple primary-lens system at the rear, almost no bezels, introduction of an under-display “ultrasonic” fingerprint sensor, and hole-punch selfie cameras at the top right of the screen.

We used the 128GB storage and 8GB RAM variant (Rs 73,900) seated on the flagship chip Exynos 9 Octa 9820 chipset for a little less than a week and here’s what we think of the phone.

Despite borrowing the same old design from S9+, the new Galaxy S10+ has lot more screen real estate crammed into smaller footprint. With a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED display, it sports a screen-to-body ratio of over 93 per cent.

The glass on the rear and front curves into the frames in typical Samsung fashion, which felt smooth in the palm but that doesn’t make it fit for single-handed use.

The hardware is exactly what a buyer would expect for a smartphone that costs as much.

Unlike the latest Pixel phones and iPhones, this flagship comes with the standard 3.5-mm headphone jack. A pair of AKG-tuned headphones are included in the box for great audio; the stereo speakers were also loud.

The button on the right fired up Samsung’s smart assistant Bixby but thankfully, it can be customised to launch apps of your choice.

However, it can’t be used to wake up Google Assistant.

The 4100mAh battery lasted a day during moderate usage on a single charge which is average.

The “Dynamic AMOLED” display stretched all the way from the bottom to top bezel, offering great viewing angles and deep, vivid colours. What we particularly liked about the screen was the toned down saturation of colours, unlike the Galaxy S9 or S8.

The hole-punch for the dual selfie camera was a little distracting for us even as it gave more screen space. A notch is better as it offers some symmetry. It can be hidden in the settings but that would add big black bezels at the top.

The ultrasonic fingerprint scanner that sits under the screen is a bit different from the optical sensor that we’ve seen on OnePlus 6T, thus, making it difficult to spoof. It wasn’t as smooth as the old school capacitive fingerprint scanners.

Another USP of the device has to be the primary camera which comprises 12MP standard lens+12MP telephoto lens+16MP ultra-wide sensor which is missing in the latest iPhone and Pixel.

Photos shot in perfect lighting conditions and daylight were good with enough detailing. However, certain pictures looked a bit over exposed that made skin tones look unnatural.

There’s a 10MP+8MP selfie camera that churned out some sharp portrait shots. There’s an option to capture a wider view if you’re taking a group selfie.

Unlike last year’s Galaxy S9, this phone has a more useful “One UI” which is streamlined for one-handed use of the device. It also charges other devices wirelessly, quite like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Conclusion: The Galaxy S10+ is a great Android flagship phone that can easily become a favourite thanks to the new UI and the wide-angle camera.