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Testers Keepers: Samsung Galaxy S10 review by Danny Spooner

Posted on 04 June 2019

The phone arrived well packaged and free from any damage and like any high-end smart phone was a joy to unbox.


The first thing you notice when you turn the S10 on is just how bright and clear the screen is – I watched Marvels Black Panther and Infinity War as well as a number of TV shows on Prime/Netflix and found it was great in a wide variety of lighting conditions.


What will surprise you is the quality of the default display option (known as HD+) which you can increase further to FHD+ and then again to WQHD+ with the latter being almost 4K quality and once I put it in this mode I haven’t taken it off as it is just brilliant.


The audio is a little to be desired, being a fan of a variety of different music (from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to obscure afrobeat).  I found the speakers struggled on tracks that had too much bass which caused it to make a rumbling sound and tracks that had too much treble sounded empty.


However, the phone does redeem itself whilst you are watching movies/TV shows, the dual located speakers (at the bottom and the top of the phone) do create an incredibly efficient stereo effect which complements the screen quality well.


The camera is the winning feature of this phone, whilst the front facing selfie camera is perfectly capable, you’ll definitely notice the difference that the two 12MP and one 16MP cameras on the back which can capture 4K video and high quality HDR images, including depth of field effects that can be adjusted after the image has been taken.


The phone can be unlocked in a number of ways, I’ve enabled inputting a pattern along side face and fingerprint as I found the fingerprint could fail if your hand was slightly wet or didn’t press hard enough and although the face unlock has a wide field of view it sometimes fails to recognise you.


The accessories included are the standard wall adapter/charging cable which feel solid and a pair of AKG in-ear headphones which whilst they won’t win any awards are a perfectly suitable backup pair.


Alongside this you get a clear case and a USB-C to USB adapter which in the information booklet suggests is to be used with the charging cable to transfer data from another phone.


I found it could also be used to plug in and browse the data on a memory stick and a wireless keyboard/mouse adapter which worked fully with the phone.


The biggest issue I have with the phone is the location of the Bixby button which I keep pressing instead of volume down and could have been placed elsewhere or removed.


One feature that might annoy some users is the dual sim-card/micro SD card tray which either only allows you to have one sim and micro SD or two sims and memory card, although if you don’t mind plugging a memory stick in with the USB-C adapter you can get around this.


I also found the location of the heart beat monitor sensor a bit off next to the rear camera which made it a bit annoying to use whilst trying to see the screen.


Having used this phone for almost a month I can honestly say it is one outstanding smartphone, even if I found some of the location/position of features a bit annoying but is definitely worth the retail selling price of £799 (sim free) for the base model of 128GB of storage space and the screen/camera combination, however a lot of people will struggle to justify spending that amount on a phone.


Has it replaced my trusty iPhone?  Yes and no.


The S10 simply outclasses my iPhone in every respect and I’ve found it a lot easier to use that I thought it would be.  The camera has proven very capable for everything I’ve tried it on.  However, there are a few apps that I use that don’t have an android/play store equivalent so I usually end up having both phones on me.


That being said if someone asked me to recommend a phone that has good battery life whilst having a wide variety of features, a good display and takes good pictures I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the S10.