After what seemed like an eternity of rumors and speculation, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is official. There are a total of four versions of the Galaxy S10, but only three of them have real release dates. The S10, S10+, and S10e will all launch in March. These phones look almost identical at first glance, and most of the specs are identical. However, they cover a wide range of sizes and prices. None of them are particularly inexpensive, though.
All the Galaxy S10 variants have one thing in common — these are the first phones to sport Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 chip. That’s an eight-core chip with four Cortex-A76 (faster) and four A55 (more efficient) CPU cores. The faster cores are split into 2.84GHz and 2.42GHz (3x), and the efficiency cores are all clocked at 1.8GHz. The 855 will only come in the US variants. International Galaxy S10 devices will have the latest Samsung Exynos 8920, which is also an eight-core chip. However, it’s on an older 8nm process rather than the Snapdragon’s 7nm.
The displays are where the GS10s start differentiating themselves. While they all have the “Infinity-O” display tech with holes for the front cameras, the sizes and resolutions vary.
The S10e is the cheapest of the four phones, and it has a 5.8-inch full-HD OLED panel with a single front-facing camera peeking through a small hole in the display. The Galaxy S10 has a 6.1-inch full-HD OLED with a single front-facing in-display camera. The Galaxy S10+ steps up to a 6.4-inch 1440p OLED, but this phone has a pair of front-facing cameras in the display (a standard shooter and an RGB depth sensor). The 5G version of the Galaxy S10 (the most expensive) increases the size even more to 6.7-inches (still 1440p) with dual front-cameras. Samsung also worked with Adobe to preload a custom version of Premiere Rush for video editing and with Instagram to add posting tools to the camera stock camera app.
Around back, the S10e has a dual camera, standard 12MP and 16MP wide-angle. The Galaxy S10 and S10+ both have a triple camera setup consisting of a 12MP standard sensor, 16MP wide-angle, and 12MP telephoto. The 5G phone has a similar camera configuration, but it adds a 3D depth sensor at hVGA resolution. You’ll notice there’s no fingerprint sensor back there — the sensor is now under the display thanks to ultrasonic sensor technology.
The other specs scale up through the models as you’d expect. The S10e has 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage with a 3,100mAh battery. For the Galaxy S10, Samsung offers 8GB of RAM and 128-512GB of storage with a 3,400mAh battery. The S10+ has 8GB of RAM with either 128 or 512GB of storage with a 4,100mAh battery. The special edition ceramic S10+ has 12GB of RAM with 1TB of storage. The power-guzzling 5G variant will have a 4,500mAh battery with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
The batteries are larger this year, which is handy for the new wireless power share feature. You can actually use the phones to wirelessly charge other devices.
All Galaxy S10 variants will ship with Android 9 Pie and Samsung’s new OneUI interface. Samsung says it has leveraged the AI capabilities of the Snapdragon 855 to optimize battery, CPU, and RAM usage. In my experience, Samsung devices have usually felt more sluggish than similarly specced phones from other manufacturers. It will be interesting to see if the GS10 breaks the cycle. Samsung is also still pushing Bixby in the software with new routines and automation options. Yes, there’s a Bixby button, and no, you can’t remap it to other things.
The Galaxy S10e, S10, and S10+ will be available for pre-order tomorrow (Feb. 21). Devices will ship in March, but the exact date will vary by carrier and region. The Galaxy S10e will cost $750, the GS10 will be $900, and the Galaxy S10+ will be $1,000.
The 5G Galaxy S10 won’t come out until later this year, but Samsung says it’ll be in the first half (I’d expect June). At first, it will only be on Verizon, but ATT, T-Mobile, and Sprint will get their own 5G versions later. Samsung hasn’t announced pricing for this phone, but it’ll probably be higher.
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