The poor Galaxy S10 always suffered from middle-child syndrome. Being sandwiched between the larger, more lavishly appointed Galaxy S10 Plus and the smaller, pluckier, far cheaper Galaxy S10E was never easy. In fact, I wondered more than once why it even existed, other than to suddenly look like a deal during promotional sales.
The name change is significant, representing a major shift in what it means to be a premium Galaxy phone: 5G , real camera improvements and more megapixels, a huge battery, a 120Hz screen refresh rate.
The Galaxy S10 can't compete against those specs, especially when it comes to future-proofing the phone in the rising age of blistering 5G data speeds. But for some people, the S10 could settle into the obvious choice for a high-end phone with a reasonable price, especially when the price inevitably drops even further.
Yet for many, 5G phones won't be a practical option for several years. Buying a 4G phone this year that you hold onto for another two or three years isn't a terrible idea for many, especially if 5G still hasn't arrived where you live, and it means saving a sizable chunk of change. Specs wise, the Galaxy S10 will valiantly carry you through one more cycle of phone ownership -- just so long as it comes down to a price you're willing to pay.
The Galaxy S10 initially started at $900 (£799 and AU$1,349), only $100 cheaper than the Plus ($1,000, £899, AU$1,499) and $150 more than the S10E ($750, £669, AU$1,199). Expect price drops to settle even further now that the Note 20 is here, with further seasonal discounts by store and carrier, such as buy one, get one free offers.
The Galaxy S10 remains as terrific a phone as it was when I first reviewed it in March 2019. The screen, camera and battery life are top notch. That's unsurprising when you consider that it's just a pared-down version of the excellent Galaxy S10 Plus , which was one of the top phones in a talent-stacked year.
There are a few main differences to be aware of between the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus, if you're considering the two:
- There's only one front-facing camera on the S10 instead of two, but it doesn't detract much.
- The screen is slightly smaller (6.1 inches versus 6.4 on the Plus).
- Battery life is a tad shorter (just over 18 hours in our looping video drain test versus 21 on the Plus).
- There's no 1-terabyte storage option.
- You can't buy it with a ceramic backing as you can the 512GB and 1TB Galaxy S10 Plus.
For more Samsung Galaxy comparisons, check out these CNET articles:
- Galaxy S20 vs. S10 specs compared: Here's what's new in 2020
- Galaxy S10 specs vs. Galaxy S9, S10 Plus, S10E, S10 5G: How do these phones compare?
- Galaxy Note 10 vs. S10: Honestly, we don't think the S Pen is worth it
- Note 10 Plus specs vs. Note 10, S10 5G, S10 Plus and Note 9: What's new and different
For more details on the Galaxy S10's individual features, read my Galaxy S10 Plus review. With a few exceptions, the core features are the same as the Plus model. Keep reading below for a full specs comparison among the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus and S10E.
- Top Galaxy S10 tips and tricks for Samsung's new phones
- Score these hilarious Galaxy S10 wallpapers now
- Pick the right Galaxy S10 phone for you
- Want a Galaxy S10, S10 Plus or S10E? Already have one? Start here
Galaxy S10 vs. S10E vs. S10 Plus
|Samsung Galaxy S10E||Samsung Galaxy S10||Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus|
|Display size, resolution||5.8-inch AMOLED; 2,280x1,080 pixels||6.1-inch AMOLED; 3,040x1,440 pixels||6.4-inch AMOLED; 3,040x1,440 pixels|
|Pixel density||438 ppi||550 ppi||522 ppi|
|Dimensions (inches)||5.6 x 2.8 x 0.27 in.||5.9 x 2.77 x 0.31 in.||6.20 x 2.92 x 0.31 in.|
|Dimensions (millimeters)||142 x 70 x 7.9mm||149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8mm||157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm|
|Weight (ounces, grams)||5.3 oz.; 150g||5.53 oz.; 157g||6.17 oz.; 175g|
|Mobile software||Android 9.0 with Samsung One UI||Android 9.0 with Samsung One UI||Android 9.0 with Samsung One UI|
|Camera||12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultrawide-angle)||12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultrawide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)||12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultrawide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)|
|Front-facing camera||10-megapixel||10-megapixel||10-megapixel, 8-megapixel|
|Processor||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855|
|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|
|Battery||3,100 mAh||3,400 mAh||4,100 mAh|
|Fingerprint sensor||Power button||In-screen (ultrasonic)||In-screen|
|Special features||Wireless PowerShare; hole-punch screen notch; water resistant (IP68); Fast Wireless Charging 2.0||Wireless PowerShare; hole-punch screen notch; water resistant (IP68); Fast Wireless Charging 2.0||Wireless PowerShare; hole-punch screen notch; water resistant (IP68); Fast Wireless Charging 2.0|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$750||$900||$1,000|
First published Jan. 30.