Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus takes on the best premium flagships in a specs battle

The Galaxy S10, S10 Plus check all the boxes on paper to be worthy of being called premium flagships.

After months of waiting, Samsung's finally launched the company's tenth-anniversary edition of the Galaxy S series of smartphones. The Korean tech giant faced quite a lot of criticism last year for a dull refresh of the Galaxy S8 lineup, but this year, the Galaxy S10 series definitely showcases the best Samsung has to offer.

The Galaxy S10 series does not only pack a gorgeous new display (with an actual hole) but also introduces a number of industry firsts which will definitely catch the eye of Samsung's competitors. These include the introduction of the world first ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner, which is expected to be considered fast and reliable than existing optical sensors.

Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus takes on the best premium flagships in a specs battle

The Galaxy S10 E, Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy S10 Plus. Image: Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy S10 family includes a core set of shared features, such as multiple cameras, with only minimal tweaks differentiating the various models. More importantly, the various sizes and price points mean it will be easier than ever to find the right phone. However, the source of inspiration to expand to three phones this year is quite evident and would be a cause of worry for Apple, that has been struggling with iPhone sales this year.

But Samsung's competition isn't limited to its iOS counterparts. The top of the line, Galaxy S10 Plus will be up against formidable Android competition with the likes of the feature-packed Huawei Mate 20 Pro and the dull but beautifully optimised Google Pixel 3.

The glass back of the Galaxy S10. Image: Samsung

The glass back of the Galaxy S10. Image: Samsung

While we wait for the Galaxy S10 series to arrive in India, here's how the premium Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus fare against the Pixel 3 XL, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max.

Bear in mind that we're still not done testing some of these smartphones, so we're currently comparing them going only by their specifications on paper.

Smartphone Samsung Galaxy S10 Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus iPhone XS iPhone XS Max Google Pixel 3 XL Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Display Size (inch) 6.1 6.4 5.8 6.5 6.3 6.39
Resolution (pixels) 1440 x 3040 1440 x 3040 1125 x 2436 1242 x 2688 1440 x 2960 1440 x 3120
Pixel Density (PPI) 550 526 458 458 523 538
Display Type Dynamic AMOLED Dynamic AMOLED Super AMOLED Super AMOLED P-OLED AMOLED
Dimensions(mm) 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 158 x 76.7 x 7.9 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6
Weight (gm) 157 175 177 208 184 189
Dual SIM Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
SIM Type Hybrid Dual Hybrid Dual Nano-SIM + eSIM Nano-SIM + eSIM Nano SIM Nano-SIM
Connectivity Types GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE GSM / HSPA / LTE/ VoLTE GSM / HSPA / LTE/ VoLTE GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE GSM / HSPA / LTE
Processor Exynos 9820 Exynos 9820 A12 Bionic A12 Bionic Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 HiSilicon Kirin 980
CPU Cores Octa Core Octa Core Hexa-core Hexa-core Octa-Core Octa-core
CPU Clock Speed (GHz) 2x 2.7 GHz Mongoose M4 & 2x 2.3 GHz Cortex-A75 & 4x 1.9 GHz Cortex-A55 2x 2.7 GHz Mongoose M4 & 2x 2.3 GHz Cortex-A75 & 4x 1.9 GHz Cortex-A55 2x2.5 GHz Vortex + 4x1.6 GHz Tempest 2x2.5 GHz Vortex + 4x1.6 GHz Tempest 4x 2.5 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4x 1.6 GHz Kryo 385 Silver 2x 2.6 GHz Cortex-A76 & 2x 1.92 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4x 1.8 GHz Cortex-A55
GPU Mali-G76 MP12 Mali-G76 MP12 Apple GPU Apple GPU Adreno 630 Mali-G76 MP10
RAM 8 GB 8, 12 GB 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB 6, 8 GB
Ruggedness IP 68 IP 68 IP68 dust/water resistant  IP 68 dust/water resistant
On-Board Memory 128/ 512 GB 128 GB/512 GB/ 1 TB 64, 256, 512 GB 64, 256, 512 GB 64/128 GB 128, 256 GB
Expandable Memory Yes, up to 512 GB Yes, up to 512 GB No No No Yes, up to 256 GB
Sensors Fingerprint (under display), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2 Fingerprint (under display), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2 Face ID, Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass, Barometer Face ID, Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass, Barometer Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer Face ID, fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, barometer, compass
Primary Camera 12 MP, f/1.5-2.4; 12 MP, f/2.4 and 16 MP, f/2.2 12 MP, f/1.5-2.4; 12 MP, f/2.4 and 16 MP, f/2.2 12MP f/1.8; 12 MP f/2.4 12MP f/1.8; 12 MP f/2.4 12.2 MP, f/1.8 40 MP, f/1.8; 20 MP, f/2.2 and 8 MP, f/2.4
Optical Image Stabilization Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Camera Array Triple Triple Dual Camera Dual Camera Single Triple camera
Autofocus System Dual Pixel PDAF Dual Pixel PDAF Phase detection autofocus Phase detection autofocus Dual pixel PDAF PDAF/Laser AF
Secondary Camera 10 MP, f/1.9 and 8 MP, f/2.2 10 MP, f/1.9 and 8 MP, f/2.2 7 MP f/2.2 7 MP f/2.2 8 MP, f/1.8 and 8 MP, f/2.2 24 MP, f/2.0
Video Capture 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps 2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@480fps 2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@480fps 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, 720p@240fps, 1080p@30fps (gyro-EIS) 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 1080p@30fps (gyro-EIS), 720p@960fps
Flash LED Flash LED Flash Quad-LED Quad-LED Dual-LED Dual-LED
OS Version Android 9.0 Pie/ One UI Android 9.0 Pie/ One UI iOS 12 iOS 12 Android 9.0 Pie Android 9.0 (Pie
AI (Smart Assistant) Bixby, Google Assistant Bixby, Google Assistant Siri Siri Google Assistant Google Assistant
GPS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual, band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Hotspot Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual, band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Hotspot Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX v5.0, A2DP v5.0, A2DP v 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD v 5.0, A2DP, aptX HD, LE
NFC Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Infrared No No No No No Yes
Fingerprint Scanner Yes, in-display (ultrasonic) Yes, in-display (ultrasonic) No No Yes, Rear button Yes, in-display
3.5mm jack Yes Yes No No No No
Radio No No No No No No
USB Type Type-C Reversible connector Type-C Reversible connector Lightning Port Lightning Port Type-C Reversible connector Type-C reversible connector
USB Standard v 3.1 v 3.1 USB 2.0 USB 2.0 v 3.1 v 3.1
Battery (mAh) 3400 4100 2658 mAh 2658 mAh 3430 4200
Fast charging Yes (support wireless fast charging as well) Yes (support wireless fast charging as well) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Colors Prism White, Prism Black, Prism Green, Prism Blue, Canary Yellow, Flamingo Pink Prism White, Prism Black, Prism Green, Prism Blue, Canary Yellow, Flamingo Pink, Ceramic Black, Ceramic White Space Gray, Silver, Gold Space Gray, Silver, Gold Clearly White, Just Black, Not Pink Emerald Green, Midnight Blue, Twilight, Pink Gold, Black
Prices in India $899.99 $999.99 Rs 94,900 Rs 1,04,990 Rs 83,000 Rs 69,990

Conclusion

The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus are definitely smartphones that Samsung has not played a safe card with. Both smartphones offer nothing short of what you would expect from a premium flagship worthy of being compared to the best iPhones. When compared to its Android counterparts, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro surprisingly matches the Galaxy S10 series offerings, while the Pixel 3 XL feels a little dated. However, we will have to reserve our judgement for the detailed review. But at this point, things do look well poised for an exciting neck-to-neck showdown.

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