The Galaxy S10 is Samsung's best smartphone yet, but you don't need to prematurely ditch your old Samsung phone
- Samsung has delivered on its promise to bring significant changes in the Galaxy S10 over previous Galaxy S phones.
- The Galaxy S10 comes with a new processor, which is to be expected, as well as a bunch of new features that are at the bleeding edge of smartphone technology like in-display fingerprint sensors, triple-lens cameras, and reverse wireless charging.
- But I'd estimate these upgrades won't bring much to the table for those who already own the Galaxy S9 and perhaps even the older Galaxy S8.
If you have the Galaxy S8 or the Galaxy S9, is it really worth it to upgrade to the new Galaxy S10?
It's true that the Galaxy S10 brings significant upgrades and updates compared with previous Galaxy S devices. It's the first Samsung smartphone to come with three rear cameras, and the S10 Plus is the first Samsung phone to come with a dual-lens selfie camera.
There's also reverse wireless charging, an upgraded display that supports HDR10+, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and the narrowest bezels on a Galaxy S device yet.
But as I rifled through these new features and upgrades to friends and family asking about the Galaxy S10, I realised these aren't updates that people need to rush toward and prematurely ditch their old phone for, at least for those with recent phones like the Galaxy S8 or the Galaxy S9.
That's to say the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S9 may still do what their owners want them to do very well, and the Galaxy S10's features don't necessarily pose much of a value proposition. Is it really worth it for you to spend hundreds on a new phone just because it has an ultrawide camera, reverse wireless charging, and narrower bezels?
That question can be answered only by you and what your budget allows.
I've been using the Galaxy S10 Plus for a few days now, and I've come away with a few things to say about its new features compared with the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S9.
Check it out:
The S8 and the S9 are still gorgeous smartphones.
The cameras on the Galaxy S8 and the S9 are still great.
Whether you have the regular Galaxy S8 or S9, or even the larger Plus models, you'll still find that the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus have extra lenses. With the Galaxy S10, you get a main camera, a zoomed lens, and an ultra-wide-angle lens, which is great and gives you way more versatility in what kinds of photos you can shoot.
At the end of the day, however, the main and most important camera on both the Galaxy S8 and S9 are still great shooters.
As for selfie cameras, only the R20,999 Galaxy S10 Plus comes with a dual-lens selfie camera, which offers a slightly wider-angle selfie compared to the regular selfie camera. The second selfie camera on the S10 Plus also supposedly helps for better portrait mode shots, but the S8, S9, and regular S10 can do portrait mode photos just fine.
The Galaxy S8 and the S9 have all the connectivity of the S10 except for WiFi 6, but WiFi 6 isn't widely available yet.
With the Galaxy S8, the S9, and the S10, you get the same access to your network's LTE Advanced network wherever it's available. LTE Advanced is the best and fastest network standard that exists so far. (5G is barely available and doesn't really count right now.)
The Galaxy S10 comes with WiFi 6 support, which is the latest standard for WiFi that promises better speeds if your internet plan allows for it (but you'd need some major internet speed plan to make the most of WiFi 6). It's also better for WiFi range and managing WiFi interference.
With all that said, WiFi 6 routers have barely started rolling out, and you'll only make the most of WiFi 6 if you're connected to a WiFi 6 router.
The new Galaxy S10 has Samsung's "Dynamic" AMOLED display, but the displays on the S8 and the S9 are still some of the best in the business.
Reverse wireless charging on the Galaxy S10 looks cool, but it's something that's nice to have rather than a necessity.
The in-display fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S10 isn't as good as the regular fingerprint sensors on the the S8 or the S9.
I will say that having a fingerprint sensor on the front of the phone is a nice return to its rightful place, but I know some will disagree with me.
Either way, the ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy S10 doesn't really pose much of a benefit over the regular fingerprint sensors on the backs of the S8 and the S9. It might be the latest tech, but it's still somewhat slower than a regular fingerprint sensor, and it's also more difficult to find the sweet spot on the display.
And finally, you'll be getting the same Android and overall Samsung experience with the Galaxy S8 and S9 as you would with the S10.
Samsung is rolling out the latest version of Android - Android Pie - as well as its new One UI interface to the Galaxy S8 and the S9. It's arrived in most countries for S9 users, but it's taking a little longer for Galaxy S8 users.
Android Pie and the One UI for the S8 is in the beta stages for a lot of countries, which indicates that it is coming soon, but who knows exactly when.
If you own the Galaxy S8 or the S9, you should ask yourself if they still do what you want them to do and how well.
I'm not saying the Galaxy S10 is a bad phone. It's a fantastic device. But does your Galaxy S8 or S9 still open and run the apps you use most quickly and well? If so, I won't be the person recommending that you upgrade to the Galaxy S10.
If you are noticing that your S8 running on the Snapdragon 835 processor is feeling too sluggish for your taste, then you might find value in the Galaxy S10 and the new Snapdragon 855 processor. You'll have a hard time convincing me, however, that the Snapdragon 845 in the Galaxy S9 is starting to show its age.
And if the battery in your S8 or S9 is starting to wear down, you could always get it replaced at a reputable smartphone repair shop in your area.
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