Samsung's Galaxy S10 phones are tested and the verdicts are in. Here's what they do best.
The Galaxy S10, S10E and S10 Plus are three of a kind in the best possible way. They're all fast, powerful phones with great cameras and long battery life. They're water resistant, have jacks for your wired headphones and can charge wirelessly. There's a lot to love with all three. No phone's perfect, of course, and this trio has a few rough spots here and there. But for now, let's appreciate where the Galaxy S10 phones soar.
The Galaxy S10 screens range from 5.8 inches to 6.4, with slim bezels all around. The S10 and S10 Plus have rounded edges, while the S10E has a flat screen. The curved edges create a more immersive feel, but I can tap to place my cursor more accurately on the S10E's flat screen.
Either way, the brightness, crispness and outdoor readability of the three phones makes them all a pleasure to use. While the S10 Plus has a total possible resolution of 3,040x1,440 pixels, it's set to 2,280x1,080 pixels by default for battery savings. That'll be just fine for most people, but you can always boost the resolution with a quick trip to the display settings.
The S10E starts at 128GB, and has a microSD card slot to give you potentially up to 512GB more. For people with truckloads of files to store, the S10 Plus can get you all the way to 1TB of storage space (with 12GB of RAM), or 1.5TB with that added microSD card. Is Samsung just showing off? Maybe. But do you really mind?
Galaxy S10 storage options
|Galaxy S10E||Galaxy S10||Galaxy S10 Plus|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB||128GB, 512GB||128GB, 512GB, 1TB|
|RAM||6GB, 8GB||8GB||8GB, 12GB|
|Expandable storage||Up to 512GB||Up to 512GB||Up to 512GB|
Video: Galaxy S10 Plus is an everything phone
Camera quality on auto mode
From the more humble Galaxy S10E (two cameras on the back and one on the front) up to the S10 Plus (three on back, two up front), image quality is reliably good. Most phone cameras will take pleasing shots outdoors with ample lighting. A great camera will make photos taken in more difficult lighting situations sing with detailed edges and proper exposure.
Samsung's camera is definitely top tier, and an automatic scene optimizer you can turn on and off with a tap helps bring out the best in your photo. If you're not thrilled with the results, you can tap it off again.
The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus have three rear cameras apiece.Angela Lang/CNET
One of my favorite new camera features is the option to swap between the camera lenses from the regular lens to the ultra-wide-angle lens. Another is using the spot-color mode thats part of the portrait photo tool. I love being able to edit photos after taking them and wish there were a few more effects to play with.
All three Galaxy S10 phones have great battery life that will get you through the day. The S10E naturally has the least longevity, being the smallest, but if you're not using it to stream YouTube videos and navigate all day, you should be more than fine.
The Galaxy S10 Plus, meanwhile, has lasted me from early morning through late night. Even after long days using it as a mobile hotspot for my laptop for hours, I had no doubt that I'd have hours of juice left before bedtime.
Video: Galaxy S10 Plus drop test: Is ceramic tougher than glass?
Battery life diminishes over time. And the more resource-intensive tasks you throw at your phone, the faster it will drain. But starting with such efficient power management gives me hope that you won't have to top up your S10 every few hours by the time you're ready to buy a new phone.
This is my favorite new Galaxy S10 feature to talk about by far. Wireless PowerShare is a new feature that lets you turn the phone into a wireless charger to top up Qi-enabled accessories and phones. That's the standard protocol these days so it should work for most new devices that support wireless charging, even iPhones.
Use any Galaxy S10 phone to charge other Qi-enabled devices.Andrew Hoyle/CNET
There's a power management cut-off, which means when your S10 hits 30 percent, it'll stop charging out. This is good news: You won't be left worrying if you've given up too much power to do what you need until you find a cable yourself.
Samsung isn't the first to introduce this type of "reverse charging", but it's a significant addition to Samsung's formidable lineup and its presence could do a lot to spur wireless charging onward. The greater the demand, the more cord-cutting we can all do.
Published March 31 at 4 a.m. PT
Update, 3 p.m. PT