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Samsung Galaxy S10 Review

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I just got my hands on the brand new Samsung Galaxy S10 – lucky me! Check out my thoughts on the most recent flagship from Samsung.


Set-up and design


The Samsung Galaxy S10 is all screen. The sleek, stream-lined design with rounded edges is what we’ve come to expect from Samsung. The aluminium frame and Gorilla Glass 6 front and Gorilla Glass 5 back are elegant, and the device feels lightweight and comfortable in hand.


From the front, the S10 looks pretty similar to the S9 but for one major change – Samsung has removed the notch and the front camera is now hole-punched into the top right-hand corner of the screen, which they’re calling the ‘Infinity-O display’. Surprisingly, I became used to this design really quickly and hardly noticed the camera – it didn’t get in the way when watching video content or in everyday use. But if you really did find the front camera to be a distraction, you can choose to ‘Hide front camera’ in the Settings, which puts a black bar across the top of the screen.


Samsung Galaxy S10 in prism white colour front and back shot.png


The 6.1 inch display[iii] is a touch bigger than the Galaxy S9, but with a thinner frame, and the screen size (combined with HDR-certification and vivid AMOLED technology) was great for viewing video content.


The device measures 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8 mm (L x W x H) and because there’s no more front camera notch, the screen is nearly edge-to-edge, spilling over the curved sides. And best of all, after complaining about weight in my previous two reviews, this one is only 157g – hooray!


At the top of the device you’ll find a microphone pinhole and card slot, and down the bottom – a USB-C port, loudspeaker, microphone and…. a headphone jack! Samsung is one of the few phone manufactures that still include the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, despite introducing wireless Galaxy Buds, and it’s such a welcome feature for those of us who still use wired headphones.


On the right-hand side you’ll find the power button, although it is higher up than in previous models and not as easy to reach. Over on the left is the volume controls and Bixby button (Bixby is Samsung’s artificial intelligent assistant).




One of the biggest selling points of the S10 is the camera. It comes with three lenses on the back including:


  1. 12MP camera – with optical image stabilisation
  2. 16MP – ultra-wide-angle camera with 123-degree field of view
  3. 12MP – telephoto lens with 2x zoom.

I was able to capture great photos in daylight, that are detailed and clean, and the colours are vibrant while still maintaining a natural look.


Samsung Galaxy S10 camera colourful.png


Samsung Galaxy S10 colourful photo.png


Samsung Galaxy S10 sharp camera.png


The camera is also packed full of a range of great features:


Best shot


One of my favourite camera features was the ‘best shot’ function. In the camera settings you have the option to turn on ‘Shot suggestions’, which guides you to line up your shot. This intelligent camera function pulls from the rules of photography to help you line up the best photo composition[iv].


Samsung Galaxy S10 Best Shot Camera Feature.png


Ultra-wide angle


Samsung Galaxy S10 camera zoom feature.png


Samsung Galaxy S10 ultra wide angle camera.png


Of the three camera lenses on the back, the 16MP ultra-wide-angle camera allows a 123-degree field of view. This is such a handy feature for those moments when you’re trying to capture a landscape, or a group shot, and there isn’t enough room for you to back up.


I took the above shots standing in the exact same spot and was amazed by how much I was able to capture and pleasantly surprised at the lack of distortion.


Night shooting


Samsung Galaxy S10 scene optimiser camera feature for night shooting.png


I had been told by a few people that Samsung has one of the best cameras for taking photos at night so I had to test this out.


The Galaxy S10 has a built-in Scene Optimiser which automatically enhances different types of photos, including those shot in low light. The shot on the left was taken with Scene Optimiser disabled, and the shot on the right was with it activated.


For low light shooting, the Scene Optimiser shoots, saves and compresses several shots into one to get you most optimised image. But because of this, it means you have to be quite patient and hold the phone really still for a few seconds while the shots are taking – as you can see, my dog Mia couldn’t hold still that long and hence the blur around her head.


Overall, I was pretty impressed with the outcome of the photos. The camera certainly pulled in a lot of light to the extent where it almost looked like day time.


Live focus


My favourite muse was back again to help me test out the live focus camera function.


Samsung Galaxy S10 live focus colour point and zoom feature.png


Samsung Galaxy S10 live focus blur feature.png


‘Live focus’ is Samsung’s version of portrait mode – it makes the subject of the photo sharp and detailed, and has several different options for the background. And the great thing is, you can change the background option even after you’ve already taken the shot.


For the photo in the top left I used ‘colour point’ which makes the subject coloured and the background black and white. I think you could get some really cool and arty shots using this function, although it can be slightly off sometimes (see the patch of green grass at the bottom of the photo).


The second photo was taken using ‘zoom’. I found this one to be kind of funny and I’m not sure I’d use it very often.


Finally, the bottom photo was taken using ‘blur’ background. This was my favourite option and I would use this one the most. I like how you can blur the background to make the subject really stand out. Although I did notice that this setting tended to sharpen the part of the subject that was closest to the camera – see how Mia’s nose is sharp, but the top of her head, ears and paws are blurred with the background. I would have preferred to have the whole subject sharp and only the background blurred.




I booked in a brunch date as soon as I found out about the ‘Food’ camera setting.


The top photo was taken with the standard camera settings and turned out lovely – the colours were bright and natural and the lighting was spot on.


The below photo is taken on the ‘Food’ camera setting. The colours are more vibrant, although personally I prefer the more natural colours in the top photo. And similar to the live focus function, the focal point was smaller than I would have liked it to be – it focused in on the fruit bowl in the centre and blurred the rest of the food on the platter.


This setting worked better for a smaller plate of food – I used it to shoot the pink latte above.


Samsung Galaxy S10 Standard Camera Feature Breakfast Spread.png


Samsung Galaxy S10 Food Camera Feature Breakfast Spread.png


Slow motion video


The slow-mo video option was really fun to play around with. It records at 240 frames per second.






There was a somewhat noticeable difference in quality between standard video recording, which shoots in 4K UHD, and slow-motion which records in 1080p. But overall I was pretty happy with the quality of the videos, particularly the second video of the pancakes.


Both of the videos above were captured in ‘Slow motion’, but the camera also allows for ‘Super Slo-mo’ which records at 960 frames per second.




I was really impressed with the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor built into the display. I found it worked consistently and quickly.


For the most part, however, the facial recognition kicked in and unlocked the phone before I even needed to press my finger on the scanner. It unlocked the phone almost instantaneously each time I picked it up.


When I first set up the facial recognition function, it directed me to take a shot of myself both wearing my glasses, and without them, so no matter what, it was able to recognise my face – I loved this feature!


Samsung Galaxy S10 in-display fingerprint scanner and wireless powershare feature.png




It took me a little while to work out how to turn on the PowerShare setting. For some reason, it doesn’t appear as an option when I did a search of the Settings. It was actually hidden in the quick settings menu that can be pulled down from the top of the home screen.


When I did find it, I tested it out on a Google Pixel 3. It was really simple to use – just turn PowerShare on and put the phones back to back – and there you have it! The charging began straight away. I found that it drained the Samsung battery at a quicker rate than it charged the Pixel, but it is a cool feature that would come in handy if your friends have a compatible device (those that support WPC Qi wireless charge) and need a top up.




The only time I used Bixby was through the camera. The Bixby Vision app is built into the phone’s camera and does a bunch of cool things like translating languages, identifying the number of calories in your lunch, and showing where you can buy things.


All you have to do is point the camera at what you’re interested in and the results pop up. It was more accurate for certain things (it was spot on with my shoes) and I’d be keen to give this feature a go when I’m travelling later this year!


Samsung Galaxy S10 Bixby Vision camera feature.png


Overall verdict




  • Sleek design and large screen that spills over the side edges
  • Takes good photos
  • Fast and reliable facial recognition unlock
  • Headphone jack!


Not-so-sure about


  • The device tended to run hot in my hand – it was noticeable when I was taking photos
  • I don’t think the Bixby button is entirely necessary – it got in the way sometimes when I thought it was the volume button


What do you think of the Samsung Galaxy S10? Tell us in the comments below 😊


Want to get your hands on this device? The Samsung Galaxy S10 is available from Optus.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in the above review are my own and do not represent those of Optus.



[i] In-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor support on Galaxy S10 and S10+only. Not available on S10e.

[ii] Compatible with devices that support WPC Qi wireless charging. Requires at lease 30% battery life on Galaxy S10.

[iii] Galaxy S10's screen size is 6.1" in the full rectangle and 6" with accounting for the rounded corners.

[iv] Accuracy of Intelligent Camera may vary depending on shooting conditions, including type of scenery, number and movement of subjects, and amount of focus.

Frequent Contributor
Frequent Contributor

"The charging began straight away. I found that it drained the Samsung battery at a quicker rate than it charged the Pixel" you gotta remember the Samsung's battery is a: powering the phone and induction loop and b: there is always of difference between output and input in charging. 

Crowd Champion
Crowd Champion
Great review, looks like a nice phone. Majority of the photos looks great with sharp vibrant colours. However, some of the photos are incorrectly exposed. Maybe a firmware update will fix the issues.
Blog Author

Thanks @SillyGogo glad you enjoyed it! Smiley Very Happy

Agree with you about the exposure
Are you thinking about getting the S10? or S10+ I've heard good things about the plus

Occasional Visitor
Occasional Visitor

Nice review! I have S10 plus and I find few things different than my iPhone-

Fingerprint-I think the accuracy level isn't that high. It gives message "No Match" or "press harder" most of the times especially when I'm used to Apple's Touch ID which is spot on. I wished it would use AI to learn the print pattern but doesnt seem so until now.

Notifications-I missed my notifications appearing on the lock screen from Apple. In S10plus, I can see only limited notifications and that also vanishes. Not sure how to set this up to show the brief notifications on the lock screen.

Music app-this is where I miss my iTunes so much! The Apple music app is just fantastic where I can add my songs to iTunes however and wherever playlist I need. In Samsung, yes i can add songs to playlist but I can not choose in which order the song can be within that playlist.

If someone can advise please..

Blog Author

Thanks @mktwog ! Smiley Happy

Can any of our expert android users help out @mktwog
@Davelew @Yeldarb 

Crowd Champion
Crowd Champion

Hi @mktwog 

I have a pixel 3 xl so may be slightly different on your phone.

On my phone to to say notifications on your lock screen I need to go to settings and thenSecurity and location, then lock screen preferences 

My guess for your iTunes issue is you haven't signedIn to your Apple account

Crowd Champion
Crowd Champion

Posted before I finished.


Can't comment on fingerprint issue except to say I would think about removing your fingerprint from the phone and then adding it again. Just make sure you keep rolling your finger around the sensor as you add it 




Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Never used thing fingerprint thang  or the rectal scanner on any of devices. Smiley Tongue I would be extremely surprised if you could not get the notifications as you want them as I noticed an extra depth of crap with latest notification system on Android. I must say I am probably the wrong person to ask as I disable just about everything when I setup a new device.

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Damn this can't edit blog posts crud.

Occasional Visitor
Occasional Visitor

Hi all,

Thank you for your efforts!

An update from my end: Notifications issue gone as I realised Samsung has intelligently added features which hides some or all the notifications from the lockscreen as a privacy feature. Great one!

Regarding fingerprint, I realised that the face recognition works like a gem so will never go back to fingerprint except for some payments lol

Music, God this remains an issue and I can't get away with this problem. 


Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Would you not just create a playlist with say Google Play Music? The songs would play in order you want.

Occasional Visitor
Occasional Visitor

Unless I'm wrong, I noticed that I can not use Google Play music without having to subscribe to it?! 

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Umm I think you mean you can't reorder the songs once you have added them to a custom playlist?

Crowd Champion
Crowd Champion

I thought with Appld music you also have to subscribe to be able to play music in the order you require, not random.

Occasional Visitor
Occasional Visitor

Yes exactly. This should have been possible..a pretty basic requirement..i can't even have a custom playlist

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Umm no I just dumped dumped 97 albums off my pc on to my Tab 4 and created 2 custom playlists so I could possibly help you with it. Let me try my phone and see if it is the same.

Occasional Visitor
Occasional Visitor

No in Apple, I can add my own songs and create a playlist..

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Sorry I thought you were trying to do the same on you Galaxy? Did I read the question wrong?

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Same on my phone. Dumped a heap of Zappa albums on it opened up Google Play music and created a custom play list. No subscription needed?





Occasional Visitor
Occasional Visitor

Nice, but what if the albums aren't assigned to the songs that I need? That's where the problem is for me. 

Crowd Champion
Crowd Champion

Must be that I'm a lazy sod.  I pay my $10.99 subscription and ask the Google assistant play what I want.

Occasional Visitor
Occasional Visitor

Sorry I just posted around Google Play Music. For the songs that don't have albums I can go to each song and create a playlist and also reorder them. I'll get my songs sorted on Google Play music this weekend 

Thank you so much for all your help.

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

I believe you can create custom playlists from any album. The fortunate thing about modem smart phones is the ability to download a thousand different music programs if what comes supplied with the phone doesn't do what you want it to do.


Once you get the hang of it Feel free to start a new post and ask any question you

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor


Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

I am way late to this having just got mine.  I come of the already excellent Galaxy S8. No real need to "upgrade" for me but suited a situation.  Having said that the S10 is indeed an upgrade IMO.  I agree with most things said.  The screen is a notch up and that was never going to be easy.  The onboard speakers are actually very useable and get the job done enjoyable enough for documentary type viewing - I was quite surprised at how much of an upgrade the speakers are.

Nonetheless, this is a flagship at flagship prices and anything that is sub-optimal matters:

1. My Google Calendar widget takes longer that it should to load after a reboot - no biggie, just gets my OCD going at flagship level.  

2. A key area where this device falls over is integration between the Samsung Gallery and Google Photos.  Uploads are fine but deletions back to the Gallery do not track in a reliable way when made in Google Photos. Apparently this is a known glitch (perhaps especially when an SD card is inserted even if a very good one).  It's not good enough and will make me look very hard which route I go next time. 

My experience with the GS8 was so good I just got to think Samsung had sorted everything I ever criticised them for.  I hope Samsung work on a fix (perhaps their big early 2020 update will do it).

Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

FWIW I think I now have a good answer as to the sync issues in my last.  I think this is a new issue and contacting Samsung and avoiding some fairy dust answer is hit or miss but I finally got through to a very professional chap who escalated things and got a real answer.

It's a Google update issue.  They apparently had people complaining that deleting photos from their Google Photos could be accidental and they were losing what they never intended from their hardware devices because of it.  To fix things Google changed this to now only delete from the Google Photos App and turning off sync down to hardware device (phone usually).  It's glitch-ridden anyway but also something that Samsung seem keen to rectify back at customers choice perhaps.

For now they are simply working on this KNOWN issue, which I was advised is Android wide (presumably on newest versions at least).

Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Whilst not an advertised part of the latest SW update I am pleased to report that Google Photos and Samsung Gallery now, once again, play as they should with each other:)..

Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager

That's very good to know, thanks for the report Jim15 🙂