Everything You Need to Know About the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10e

By Tom Pritchard on at

After what seems like a lifetime of leaks, the day is finally here. It's Galaxy Unpacked, where Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy S10 range of smartphones. As the name suggests it's the tenth iteration of the flagship Galaxy S range, and Samsung has been bigging up the fact that it's been doing this for ten long years. The short version of this article is that damn near all the rumours and leaks were true. That means we get four Galaxy S10 devices: the S10, S10+, S10e, and the S10 5G.

As the headline suggests we're going to cover the first three on this page, while the S10 5G gets its own post over here. As expected the S10 is the main model, while the S10+ is larger, pricier, and comes with crazy large memory and storage options. Then there's the S10e, which is described as a "compact device with flagship functions". In other words, it's the smaller, cheaper model for the people who can't (or won't) spend upwards of a grand on a hand computer. Here are all the specs:

Galaxy S10 Specs

  • 6.1-inch QHD+ AMOLED Edge display, with 19:9 aspect ratio
  • HDR10+
  • Gorilla Glass 6
  • Triple-lens rear camera:
  • 16MP ultra-wide lens (f/2.2, 123-degree FOV)
  • 12MP wide angle lens (f/1.5 - f/2.2)
  • 12MP telephoto lens (f/2.4)
  • 10MP front camera, with Infinity O (hole-punch) design
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 128 or 512GB storage
  • microSD expansion (up to 512GB)
  • 3,400 mAh battery
  • Wireless Powershare (Qi)
  • Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
  • Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor
  • 2D facial recognition
  • Octa-core processor
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Bixby Button

Galaxy S10+ Specs

  • 6.4-inch QHD+ AMOLED Edge display with 19:9 aspect ratio
  • HDR10+
  • Gorilla Glass 6
  • Triple-lens rear camera:
  • 16MP ultra-wide lens (f/2.2, 123 degree FOV)
  • 12MP wide angle lens (f/1.5 - f/2.2)
  • 12MP telephoto lens (f/2.4)
  • Dual front camera, with Infinity O (hole-punch) design:
  • 10MP lens (f/1.9)
  • 8MP depth sensor (f/2.2)
  • microSD expansion (up to 512GB)
  • 8GB RAM and 128GB storage (base model only)
  • 4,100 mAh battery
  • Wireless Powershare (Qi)
  • Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
  • Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor
  • 2D facial recognition
  • Octa-core processor
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Bixby Button

If the 8/128GB RAM/storage isn't enough for you, there will also be an 'Ultimate Performance Edition' version of the S10+ with special scratch-resistant ceramic designs (black and blue). Those devices offer 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, or 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage - both with the same microSD expansion as the base model. In theory you can have a ridiculous 1.5TB of storage space in a small rectangle, which is enough to make a 1950s computer scientist's head explode.

Galaxy S10e Specs

  • 5.8-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, with 19:9 aspect ratio
  • Flat screen, so no curvy Edges
  • Gorilla Glass 5
  • Dual-lens rear camera:
  • 16MP ultra-wide angle lens (f/2.2, 123 degree FOV)
  • 12MP wide angle lens (f/1.5-5/2.4)
  • 10MP front camera (f/1.9) with Infinity O (hole-punch) design
  • 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage, or 8GB of RAM with 256GB storage
  • microSD expansion (up to 512GB)
  • 3,100 mAh battery
  • Wireless Powershare (Qi)
  • Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
  • Capacitive fingerprint scanner in the power button
  • 2D facial reognition
  • Octa-core processor
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Bixby Button

Nothing all that surprising, and as expected the S10e has skipped almost all of the new fancy features in what I can only assume is an attempt to keep costs down. Also to maybe push people towards the other two devices and their fancy ultrasonic fingerprint scanners. It still had the reverse wireless charging, though, and that could prove rather useful.

What's New?

Fingerprint Scanning

The biggie is the fact that the S10 and S10+ both have one of those fancy in-display fingerprint scanners, freeing up some space at the back of the phone for other stuff. Stuff like extra camera lenses, we guess. Unlike most in-display scanners on the market this one uses ultrasonic (sound) technology instead of the optical light-based sensors. According to Samsung, this makes it more secure, because it takes a 3D image of your finger, and means someone can't easily spoof it with a 2D image or even a 3D printed copy.

When I tried it, this also meant that the screen didn't have to be on for the scanner to work, unlike my experience with the OnePlus 6T. Plus it was pretty speedy, which is always helpful. Samsung also promised that it will be pushing out security updates for the scanner throughout the next year, to ensure that it's always as secure as possible. Which is nice. Just as long as the rollout is faster than getting Android updates to everyone.

Sadly the S10e doesn't benefit from the fancy technology. Instead it gets the same old-fashioned fingerprint sensor as other Galaxy S devices, albeit stored inside the power button and not the back of the phone.

Display

Obviously the S10e is the first Galaxy S phone to have a flat screen since 2016's Galaxy S7. That's hardly a new feature, but it is one that should have come back a long time ago in my view. The Edge displays are truly pointless, and it's just an unnecessary expense that seems to have driven up the price of Galaxy flagships since it was made standard on the Note 7.

The other big news is that the S10 and S10+ both support HDR10+, and according to Samsung they're the first smartphones to do so. That basically means you can watch HDR10+ content on the phone, and enjoy the more accurate and vivid colours it offers. That also means the video camera can record HDR10+, which Samsung says is the first time this has happened with a smartphone. Those videos can be edited in a specialised version of Adobe Premiere Rush, so the videos of your dinner will be all Instagram ready in no time.

Apparently the display can also filter out 42% of "harmful" blue light without a filter, which is nice.

Hole Punch Cameras

The Infinity O display is Samsung's way of improving the screen/body ratio of its phones without resorting to adding a notch. After all, it's spent the past year and a half trying to mock Apple for doing just that, and they can't possibly recant all that now. Not without looking mighty stupid anyway. These lenses also come with auto focus, for better selfies, which will work nicely with the Samsung-selfie-specific version of Instagram that's preloaded on the phone. 'The best Instagram experience on a smartphone' apparently.

Obviously the hole punch has already been added to the Galaxy A8, so this isn't really new new. That said, it's a first for the flagship, and it means Samsung can squeeze in a 93.1% screen to body ratio.

Wireless Powershare

Like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the Galaxy S10 range has the new reverse wireless charging feature. As expected, it's Qi wireless charging, and all you have to do is switch the feature on in the quick settings menu and make sure a second device is in contact – be it a phone or a Galaxy Buds case. All three phones have Wireless Powershare, which is nice, though there aren't any options to customise it. Instead it will switch off once the base phone reaches 30 per cent power, and won't even switch on if you have less juice than that to begin with.

Other Things

1TB of storage in a phone! Assuming, of course, that you're willing to spend big bucks on the 'Ultimate Performance Edition' Galaxy S10+. Do you really need 1TB of storage on your phone, though? Mine's 128GB and I'm not even close to filling it. Heck, I'm not even close to filling up my 1TB external hard drive, and I've been slowly adding to that for a few years.

The S10 is also Samsung's foray into the new-fangled trend of gaming phones, without them actually having to build one from scratch. Not only has Dolby Atmos been expanded to include gaming, the S10 has a vapour chamber cooling system to ensure that you don't burn your hands while you're trying to play Fortnite or PUBG.

It also supports Wi-Fi 6, and has something Samsung calls 'Fast Wireless Charging 2.0'. The only stats we have are that it's 36 per cent faster than version 1, but we'll update this once Samsung decides to tell us some proper figures. Oh and the optical image stabilisation has been updated, and no doubt Samsung will lean on this quite heavily in its marketing campaign.

What's Not New?

Bixby is Back!

Sorry.

The Same AI Stuff as the S9

So Bixby Vision is here, in case you don't want to use Google Lens, and the camera offers up suggestions to help you get the perfect shot. Apparently it can recognise up to 30 scenes, thanks to a new neural chip, which is 10 more than last year, and five more than the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Sort of. Huawei categorises them slightly differently, but we know how to see through the PR.

Bixby has that adaptive mode that learns your routine, and uses that information to optimise your phone's processes. That means apps you generally use in the morning will load faster in the morning, and so on. After all, the extra second it takes to open up Citymapper on the way to work could be the difference between getting stuck on a broken down train, or hopping onto a different line. Samsung claims this means the battery life is 25 per cent better as a result.

Facial Recognition

The facial recognition is basically the same as the one featured on the Galaxy S9 and Note 9. Simplifying things somewhat, the Iris Scanner has also vanished, so your biometric options are limited to 2D face scanning (like any other Android phone) or fingerprint scanning. Any hopes you may have had for a Samsung-powered version of Face ID have just been ruined. I regret nothing.

Water Resistance

IP68 as ever. Nothing to see here. There's even a headphone jack in case the Galaxy Buds aren't for you.

Buying One

Pre-orders open up today, and as expected general release is scheduled for the 8th March. Anyone who pre-orders the S10 or the S10+ will also be gifted a free pair of Galaxy Buds, but those of you who get the S10e are out of luck. Serves you right for choosing the most affordable and budget-friendly option, you sensible buyer you.

Prices start from £699, 799, and £899 for the S10e, S10, and S10+ respectively. The phones will be available in a variety of colours, including Prism Blue, Prism Green, Prism White, and Prism Black. The S10e gets exclusive hold of the colour Canary Yellow, while the S10+ Ultimate Performance Edition comes in Ceramic White or Ceramic Black. We don't know which colours will be available at which retailers, but Samsung has said some will be exclusives and we'll update when we hear more.