This year’s first Samsung Unpacked event brings some big changes for Samsung’s flagship handsets—from displays to cameras and fingerprint readers, there’s a lot of new stuff in the S10 lineup. There’s even a new phone.
Before we get into the details of each, let’s take a closer look at the four handsets themselves:
- Galaxy S10: The smaller of the flagship-level handsets with a 6.1-inch display.
- Galaxy S10 Plus: The big boy of the bunch, featuring a big ol’ 6.4-inch panel.
- Galaxy S10 5G: The Galaxy S10 with 5G connectivity…and a bigger screen, more cameras, and other goodies.
- Galaxy S10E: The newcomer to the S family and the most affordable of the trio. It’s also the smallest, offering a 5.8-inch display.
Oh, and right out of the gate: All four phones have headphone jacks. Headphone jacks!
But now, let’s talk about all the goodies in each.
Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus
The S10, the smaller of the two flagship handsets It features a 6.1-inch display with a 3040×1440 display resolution and Samsung’s “Infinity O” hole-punch display instead of an unsightly notch. The S10 Plus is pretty much identical, but it bumps the screen size up to 6.4-inches. That O cutout is super clean and makes for some of the smallest bezels we’ve seen in a handset like this.
The display is also the first from Samsung to pack an in-display fingerprint reader, moving the reader from the back of the phone to the front. Funny, the evolution of the fingerprint reader in Samsung phones was: in the home button (on the front), to the back, and back to the front (in the display). Everything old is new again!
Moving the fingerprint reader from the back of the phone has opened the door for a trio of new cameras, which is a first for the S lineup (last year’s S9 Plus had dual rear shooters, while the smaller S9 variant stuck with one). The three cameras offer a 12 MP telephoto lens, a 12 MP wide-angle lens, and a 16 MP ultra-wide lens.
Under the hood, the S10 runs Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 855 processor, and there are two variants available of this small S10: 6 GB/ 128 GB and 8GB/512GB options. The S10 Plus will forgo the smaller 6 GB/128 GB option and instead add an even bigger choice: 12 GB/1 TB. Lots of RAM, lots of storage.
The back of the phones also features “reverse wireless charging” (along with, you know, regular wireless charging), which will let users use the phone as a wireless charging pad—mostly for the new Galaxy Buds. That’s kinda neat I guess.
The entry-level model S10 will start at $899, while the S10 Plus starts at $999. Pre-orders will start tomorrow, February 21st and ship on March 8th.
Galaxy S10 5G
2019 is going to be the first year that commercially available 5G phones hit store shelves, and you best believe that Samsung isn’t going to leave that money on the table. So naturally, it made a 5G version of the S10. Except, it’s not just an S10 with 5G connectivity—it’s an entirely different phone.
The S10 5G has a massive 6.7-inch display, making it even bigger than the S10 Plus. On the opposite side of that coin, however, it tops out at 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage (those are the only options available) and no SD card slot, which is different for Samsung. It also has the biggest battery of all the handsets announced today at 4,500 mAh, but I’m sure that 5G radio is a battery sucker so I’m sure that was warranted.
As for the rear cameras on the S10 5G, you don’t get three on this phone, but four. It has all the same cameras as the regular S10/S10 Plus and a 3D depth camera. It adds one of those to the front, too (so it has three on the front on four on the year). So many cameras. So many.
The S10 5G will debut exclusively on Verizon but will make its way to other carriers sometime after launch. Speaking of, we only know that it will be available in the first half of 2019, but that’s the extent of that. Not that it really matters, because you probably shouldn’t worry about buying a 5G phone this year anyway.
And on that note, they also didn’t announce the price. Surely it’s less than $1980 though, so at least there’s that.
For the first time, Samsung is also offering a more affordable version of a Galaxy S handset with the 10E. This is essentially a slightly dumbed down, more affordable version of the S10 that will still probably be the best choice for most users (just like the iPhone XR is the best iPhone for most iPhone users).
The S10E is the smallest of the three phones, with a much more manageable 5.8-inch display. The panel also runs at a slightly 2280×1080 resolution—the same as the current Galaxy S9’s default setting. Despite having a smaller, lesser-than display, however, it still gets the same clean and classy hole-punch treatment, though it doesn’t have quite the same svelte edge-to-edge look as its bigger siblings.
Samsung also eschewed the in-display fingerprint reader for the S10E, but it also avoided putting the reader on the back of the phone—you’ll find it cleanly baked into the power button, which should make for a very intuitive unlocking process.
As for the cameras, you’ll get a pair on the 10E (as opposed to a trio on the regular S10 models), which should be very similar to the current shooters found on the back of the S9 Plus. That’s a solid deal. The front packs a 10MP single-lens shooter.
And for internals, the S10E will get the same options as the smaller S10: a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and either 6 GB/ 128 GB or 8 GB/256 GB.
Further competing with the iPhone XR, the S10E starts at $750 with pre-orders starting tomorrow, February 21st and a ship date of March 8th.