Review: Samsung’s Galaxy S10+ is the right phone at the wrong time

Review: Samsung’s Galaxy S10+ is the right phone at the wrong time

Early 2019 is a particularly fraught time to be in the mobile phone market as either a buyer or a seller. Global sales are flat; it appears the world can only absorb so many smartphones. But at the same time, the industry is on the very tip of commercial deployments of 5G networks, while flashy (and pricey) foldable phones are being demoed in anticipation of hitting the market later in the year.

The eternal technology purchase question — do you buy now or wait for prices to drop and new features to emerge? — may be harder to answer for mobile phones today than at any time since 4G was first being deployed. At the cusp of the age of 5G, should you be buying the last generation of flagship 4G phones, even if you don’t know exactly what 5G speeds will truly mean or when 5G will come to you?

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that three of the four Galaxy S10 phones that Samsung debuted recently may be the right phones at precisely the wrong time.

Let me be clear: the Galaxy S10e, S10, and S10+ are all you’ve come to expect from Samsung: great build, great specs, business-oriented features. The most obvious difference among them is size (5.8-in. screen vs. 6.1-in. vs. 6.4-in.), but they differ also in screen resolution, battery size, and camera capability. (PCWorld has all the key specs.) And, of course, price: the S10e starts at $750, the S10 at $900, and the S10+ at $1,000. All three are available for pre-order now; they’ll ship March 8.

Samsung made available the top-of-the line S10+ model for this review.

Top-shelf hardware

The most obvious advance from last year’s model is the screen, which now occupies pretty much the entire front of the phone. The top and bottom bezels are about 3mm high. The side bezels are maybe half that and, because of Samsung’s characteristic screen curve, look even thinner.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.


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