It is now a tradition, Samsung declines each year its highest-end smartphone in a “+” version, larger and generally better equipped. The Galaxy S10 is no exception to this rule and this year comes with a Galaxy S10 +, this time almost identical. The only difference between the two smartphones is the capacity of their battery, their front camera and, of course, the size of their screen.
Is the Galaxy S10 + a better smartphone than the Galaxy S10? We reviewed it for several days. It is found from 1009 euros in the basic version that we reviewed (8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, glass back) but a “Performance” edition (12 GB of RAM, 1 TB of storage, back ceramic) can drive prices up to… 1609 euros.
Large smartphone for great comfort
Historically, Samsung has always been fond of giant terminals. The Galaxy Note were the first “phablets” on the market and inspired all manufacturers, to the point that large screens have become the norm today. The S10 is exceptional with its compact size, the S10 + is a “phablet” in its own right. Its 6.4-inch screen is very large and makes using the one-handed smartphone a bit complicated, despite interesting efforts on the software to remedy it and despite the relatively small format of the case. On the other hand, what a joy to fully enjoy its multimedia content!
Whether it’s to read the press, watch a serial episode or just browse social media, the screen of the Galaxy S10 + is extremely pleasant. It hides its dual front camera module in the upper right corner of the screen, dubbed by Samsung “Infinity-O”. This gives the impression that the screen extends over the entire surface of the housing. A visual slap.
Does the punch make one forget it? A little less than on the S10, on which it is more discreet since this model only ships a single photo module. However, our brain manages to ignore the large punch of the S10 + after a while, but it is there. It’s a shame, we would have frankly done without the second front photo sensor.
On the sides, the screen of the S10 + is curved, like on other high-end models from Samsung, from the S8 to the S10, with the exception of the S10e. It’s still pretty, but it can sometimes be a problem. The large screen of the S10 + forces us to use the device with two hands, it sometimes happens to believe that the one who holds it firmly wants to launch a function, which is not the case. A little annoying.
The back of the S10 + is strictly identical to that of the S10. Glass, it houses a triple camera module and a heart rate sensor in a rectangular protuberance, little disturbing in hand. It has the advantage of preventing the smartphone from slipping, protecting it from a possible fall. Excellent surprise, the S10 + weighs only 175 grams, which is relatively little for a device of this size.
Only downside, the side buttons of the smartphone (power / volume high and less / Bixby) are a little too high to be easily accessible with your thumb or forefinger which, once again, forces you to handle the smartphone with both hands. Note also that at the bottom of the screen, there is always a small physical border, larger than on an iPhone XS Max. Pity.
The second best screen… behind the S10
With a Quad HD + definition (set to Full HD + by default), the 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED screen used by the Galaxy S10 + is of excellent quality. The laboratory of EntertainmentBox measured a maximum luminosity (except luminous peak) of 733 cd / m2, the second best measurement ever recorded for a smartphone with an OLED screen behind … the Galaxy S10. Samsung is spoiling users this year.
By default, the Galaxy S10 + has better color fidelity than the S9 +. We measured a Delta E 3.56, satisfying without being breathtaking (the closer it is to zero, the better). However, configured in “basic” mode, the S9 + did a little better with a Delta E of 3.19. We appreciate all the same that the Korean brand chooses for the first time a “natural” mode by default rather than a “lively” mode. It’s less flashy but more fair.
To know more : Galaxy S10 screen: unheard of according to our reviews
The best components on the market
The good thing about Samsung is that the brand only very rarely recovers the components from the year before. The Galaxy S10 + benefits from the lareview standards without eliminating historic functions (jack, Micro SD port, etc.), which makes it compatible with almost all devices on the market and even those to come. It’s, for example, the world’s first Wi-Fi 6-enabled smartphone, the future wireless network standard that is expected to emerge in the coming months. Its NFC chip is also capable of storing tickets without using the SIM card, in order to replace, for example, a Navigo pass, even when the smartphone is switched off.
The Galaxy S10 + is also very well equipped. Its stereo speakers are powerful enough to transform it into a small domestic speaker. It also has a dual SIM slot and is obviously water resistant (IP68 certification). Its Exynos 9820 processor gives it excellent performance, without achieving, in the benchmarks, that of a Snapdragon 845 or an A12 Bionic. But in use, this S10 + is incredibly efficient, everything works very well.
To know more : First reviews: is the Galaxy S10 the most powerful smartphone thanks to the Exynos 9820?
Working with Android Pie, the Galaxy S10 + uses the new overlay from Samsung: One UI. This considerably refreshes the interface and makes the smartphone particularly pleasant to use. We also discovered a new trick during our review of the device. To quickly switch from one open application to another, simply slide your finger on the home button when gesture navigation is activated. Very effective.
Little tip that I discovered just now on # GalaxyS10, One UI’s “gesture navigation” allows you to quickly return to the previous app by swiping from the middle to the right. Like on any Android Pie device, you can then scroll quickly. pic.twitter.com/5MEqaleyiW
– Nicolas Lellouche (@LelloucheNico) March 10, 2019
Is One UI perfect? No. As our full overlay review revealed a few weeks ago, Samsung still has many areas where it can improve. The settings are still far too numerous, some options are duplicated and Bixby is far too present. The emojis of Samsung are also much less pretty than those of Google and it is impossible to modify them.
The best of fingerprint sensors
July 2019 update: Over the months, Samsung has considerably improved the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor of its Galaxy S10 +. Extremely fast, it is no longer mistaken as it once was. In short, the paragraph below is no longer frankly valid: the ultrasonic sensor from Samsung is certainly the best fingerprint sensor on the market.
Like the normal S10, the S10 + has an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, the first of its kind. This technology developed by Qualcomm allows, in theory, a secure and extremely fast unlocking, capable even of operating under water. In reality, he is extremely finicky. Sometimes it is necessary to repeat the unlocking two to three times to obtain a positive result, while following the procedure to the letter (do not press for a long time and be satisfied with a simple press). It’s so annoying that we ended up giving it up, in favor of 2D facial recognition. Less secure, the latter has the advantage of being much faster. Be careful all the same if you have a brother or sister who looks a bit too much like you. Ultrasound is making a pretty flop for its grand premiere. Hopefully a software update will improve it.
To know more : Galaxy S10: we reviewed its ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, as innovative … as finicky
With its 4100mAh battery, the Galaxy S10 + had everything to beat battery life records. The EntertainmentBox lab was not disappointed. In our versatile autonomy review, to which all the smartphones we review are subjected, the device held 2:08 p.m., a result in clear progression compared to 12:34 of S9 +. It’s also much better than the little S10 (12:01). Note that this measurement was performed with a screen set to Full HD + definition, the one activated by default. As soon as you switch to Quad HD +, the battery inevitably drains a little faster.
To recharge the S10 +, it takes 1h40. Samsung does not offer ultra-fast charging from its competitors, which is unfortunate. Some competitors like Oppo are able to fully charge their devices in 33 minutes and we would have loved to see Samsung take inspiration from it. It will be for next year !
Selfie: two sensors for not much
In front of the S10 +, there is a dual camera module. It contains a 10 Mpix (f / 1.9) camera capable of filming in 4K and an 8 Mpix (f / 2.2) depth sensor. We mentioned above, the punch of the smartphone actually occupies more space than that of the S10, which makes it less discreet. Is this choice justified by incredible selfies? Unfortunately no. In fact, we don’t see any difference between the portrait mode of the S10’s ego-portraits and that of the S10 +. Clipping is good, without making a spark.
Quite frankly, we would have preferred a second ultra wide angle sensor dedicated to group selfies, like what Google’s Pixel 3 offers. This could have justified the presence of a larger punch. As it stands, the second sensor mostly occupies space unnecessarily and makes the little S10 more attractive. Note that, at night, the Galaxy S10 + selfies are not of very good quality…
An excellent camera
Once again, the Galaxy S10 + doesn’t have a better camera than the Galaxy S10. Both devices have the same triple camera module, which therefore puts them on an equal footing. There is a conventional wide-angle sensor of 12 Mpix (variable aperture f / 1.5 and f / 2.4 to bring in more light), an optical zoom x2 and an ultra wide angle of 16 Mpix (f /2.2) which covers 123 degrees .
The camera quality of the S10 + is excellent. The colors are just right, the level of detail is incredible and the autofocus is very fast. Too bad Samsung does not offer real night mode and is content with a small software improvement linked to its “scene optimizer”, its assistant based on artificial intelligence. The manufacturer is overtaken here by Google and Huawei, despite excellent photos.
The ultra wide angle is, once again, the good surprise of this Galaxy S10 +. The photos are as successful as they are fun and offer the smartphone a real advantage over its competitors. Difficult to do without once you’ve used it. We only notice very little distortion in the angles, proof that Samsung has taken particular care with its software copy.
The triple camera module of the S10 + being the same as that of the S10, our conclusion is identical here. Samsung offers the most complete offer on the market in addition to an excellent application. The S10 + ‘s camera may not be the best in all areas, but it offers the widest range of possibilities. The brand is gaining the upper hand on Huawei, pending possible innovations with the future P30 and Mate 30.
Read also : Samsung Galaxy S10 review: finally the high-end we expected