Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
Samsung's Galaxy S10. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider.
  • Samsung's Galaxy S10 is still a worthwhile option for those who want a new phone but are looking to spend less than R19,000.
  • The Galaxy S10, despite being a year old, still has a great camera and many of the same features as the Galaxy S20, like an in-screen fingerprint sensor, a sharp ultra-wide-angle camera, and a crisp borderless screen.
  • The main features that distinguish the Galaxy S20 from its predecessor are its support for 5G, its larger, upgraded camera sensors its extra memory, and a screen that can reach a higher refresh rate.
  • If you don't care about 5G connectivity, especially since the network is only currently available in select areas of the US, and are looking for a phone that can take high-quality photos but don't necessarily care about having a super-premium camera, than the Galaxy S10 is worth considering.
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Samsung's Galaxy S20 just debuted this week, but don't underestimate last year's Galaxy S10.

Although the Galaxy S20 brings new features like an improved camera with a 64-megapixel telephoto camera - and a 108-megapixel wide-angle camera on the Ultra model - there are plenty of reasons to consider the Galaxy S10. Even though it doesn't have the newest camera, it still has an impressive triple-lens setup capable of taking rich and clear photos.

It also lacks other improvements like a screen with a higher refresh rate and more RAM, both of which should make the phone feel a bit faster. But even without these upgrades, the Galaxy S10 performs just as quickly and smoothly as you probably need it to.

Here's a closer look at why you should consider choosing the older, cheaper Galaxy S10 over the Galaxy S20:

It's cheaper.

The biggest reason you should consider choosing the S10 over the S20 is its price. The standard S10 is R2 000 cheaper than the S20 which  is expected to retail at R19 000 in South Africa

Both phones are also significantly cheaper than the R21 000 Galaxy S20 Plus, which comes with a larger screen, support for faster millimeter-wave 5G, and an extra depth-sensing camera. Samsung's top-of-the-line smartphone, the R27 000 Galaxy S20 Ultra, costs nearly double the Galaxy S10. That phone comes with a larger 17.5 centimetre screen and a whopping 108-megapixel camera.

5G networks aren't very mature yet in the United States.

Support for 5G connectivity is one of the Galaxy S20's standout features. Some companies do offer the service, with Rain being first company providing the service.

However the 5G is limited in South Africa and only supported in select areas. 

The Galaxy S10 still has a great camera capable of taking high-resolution ultra-wide-angle photos.

The Galaxy S10 may lack the larger, more advanced sensors found on the S20. But it's still capable of taking high-quality images.

The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus both have a triple-lens camera that includes a 12-megapixel telephoto camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. That means you can still shoot in a variety of modes, such as zooming in up to 10x digitally and capturing images with a wider 123-degree field of view. That's actually 3 degrees more than the S20's wide-angle lens.

So while the S10 may not be as great at zooming or capturing photo in low-light conditions as the S20, it still has all of the most important photograph-oriented features you'd want in a modern smartphone.

The Galaxy S10 has a lot of the same other features of the S20, like reverse wireless charging, an in-screen fingerprint sensor, and a borderless screen.

With the Galaxy S10, Samsung introduced several new features that have also made their way to the Galaxy S20. These include wireless power share, which makes it possible to charge an accessory like wireless headphones or another phone by resting the device on the back of the Galaxy S10. The S10 also has a fingerprint sensor that's baked into the screen and Samsung's "Infinity-O" display, which is a new type of borderless screen the company introduced last year that implements a hole punch-like cutout for front-facing cameras.

Overall, the experience of using the Galaxy S10 probably isn't all that different than the Galaxy S20.

The biggest improvements in the Galaxy S20 are in its ability to support 5G networks and its upgraded camera. If neither of those are a priority for you, then it might be worth checking out the less expensive Galaxy S10, which has most of the same features as its newer counterpart.

The Galaxy S20 also has a smoother screen and more memory - two additions that should make using the phone feel faster. But the Galaxy S10 is already plenty fast enough for most daily tasks, whether you're sending emails, playing games, or checking social media.

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