Despite the avalanche of smartphones on the market in the last 12 months, I'm particularly fond of my Galaxy S9, which has become one of my favorite devices, despite the huge flaws it has shown. However, it is time to say goodbye definitively as it is about to be replaced by the Galaxy S10. Will the upgrade be worth it? Let's start our analysis...
Of course, this comparison is only preliminary. We based ourselves on the first impressions that the new Samsung device gave us after a first hands-on during the Unpacked event. At this time we will be relying exclusively on the "standard" models, but a direct comparison between the two Plus models will come as soon as possible.
It's not difficult to distinguish the new model
Distinguishing a Galaxy S9 from a Galaxy S10 is not as difficult this time as it was last year. Whether you look at it from one side or the other, there are differences this time. Starting from the display, leaving the picture frames even smaller, although not so much to be perceived at first glance, the Galaxy S10 stands out for a larger panel (6.1 inches) than the previous model (5.8 inches) and for the presence of the hole in the display in the upper right corner that houses the front camera. This last detail is the first thing that distinguishes an S10 from an "old" S9, you can't go wrong.
At the rear, however, it is also easy to distinguish the two smartphones thanks to the presence of the new triple camera configuration of S10, quite different from the single sensor of S9. In addition, this year the "non-Plus" model will also be equipped with the same sensors as its big brother S10+, a choice very much appreciated by fans of the series. Another thing you can notice right away is the fact that the S10 does not have any fingerprint sensor on the rear body, as it has been replaced by an ultrasonic sensor located under the display.
More powerful every year
Of course, there's no such thing as launching a new model of smartphone without new and improved hardware. Every year the Galaxy S series boasts the privilege of being able to update its spec sheet with all the power of the latest generation processors. From this point of view, the Galaxy S10 only shares one thing with the S9, namely the fact that both were launched with two different processors depending on the sales market. The new models, in fact, follow the same logic and have been equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 and Samsung's Exynos 9820 chip.
Compared to the previous generation SoC, the new models are much faster, 45% more according to the evaluations of the two manufacturers, in addition to the fact that this time they are accompanied by RAM that doubles to as much as 8GB instead of the 4GB installed in the previous model. As for the internal memory, Galaxy S10 can boast two variants of 128 and 512GB, once again expandable via microSD up to 512GB. In contrast, the Galaxy S9 could be purchased in 64, 128 and 256GB versions. So, Samsung once again eliminates the cutting of intermediate memory, just as we have already seen doing with Galaxy Note 9.
One of the most important hardware features is the new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor located underneath the S10 screen. The new technology implemented by Samsung allows the smartphone to be unlocked even in the most complicated situations, even underwater, for example. On the contrary, the fingerprint unlocking of the S9 was almost a flop last year. Too slow and sometimes too imprecise, so much so that the unlocking by face has worked much better on several occasions.
Another feature worth noting is the reverse wireless charging, called Wireless PowerShare, that we have already seen on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, thanks to which you can recharge another device by placing it on the back surface of the Galaxy S10.
Finally a camera like the Plus
At first, it seemed that Samsung was particularly reluctant to get on the triple camera bandwagon. I hoped until the last moment that it would ditch the idea, just like how it avoided the notch (or almost), but in the end the South Korean brand also gave up and joined in. The Galaxy S10 therefore boasts three rear cameras with 12, 16 and 13-megapixel sensors, inside which there is a telephoto lens, a main sensor with variable aperture and an ultra-wide-angle. In short, it's a much more sophisticated system than last year's single 12MP sensor.
Rotating the two devices, as we have already said before, we notice that, on the new model, the front camera has been hidden inside the hole of the Infinity-O-display and is no longer hidden in the upper frame as on the Galaxy S9. In addition, the old 8MP f/1.7 sensor has been replaced by a new 10MP f/1.9 and autofocus lens.
More capacity: will this time be enough?
With its larger size, Galaxy S10 a got even a larger battery. This time the capacity increases to 3400 mAh compared to the 3000 mAh of the previous generation. However, what we expect from Samsung is greater software optimization, as last year's results in terms of autonomy were quite disappointing. We will give you the official verdict with our full review.
The price doesn't go up...much
Price is also a determining factor in whether or not to switch to the new model. This year, however, there is a surprise: Galaxy S10 is sold at a starting price of 929 euros in the 8/128GB variant. It is, therefore, the same price as last year, a great move by Samsung despite the updated SoC, a greater amount of RAM and battery, twice the internal memory and a photo compartment that certainly has no comparison with the Galaxy S9.
This year the portfolio will be lighter
What is certain is that, during our first impressions, the new Galaxy S10 has shown a huge step forward compared to the previous generation, having obtained updates from the hardware point of view and quite remarkable features. If it made almost no sense to switch from S8 to S9 last year, for sure it is not possible to say the same in 2019.
Although our opinions may change following a more in-depth test of the Galaxy S10 during review, we can initially say that if you own a Galaxy S8 (better) or a Galaxy S9, the upgrade this time is really worth it.
S9 vs S10 - Comparing Specifications
|Galaxy S9||Galaxy S10|
|Processor||Exynos 9810 / SD845||Exynos 9820 / SD855|
|Display||5.8" Super AMOLED
|6.1" Dynamic AMOLED
|Memory||4GB RAM + 64/128/256GB||8GB/128GB
(microSD slot up to 512GB)
|Rear camera||12MP, OIS, f/1.5 - f/2.4||16MP (Ultra Wide/F2.2) FF
Dual Pixel 12MP OIS (Wide/F1.5/F2.4), AF
12MP OIS (Tele/F2.4) AF
|Front camera||8MP||10MP AF f/1.9|
|Battery||3000 mAh||3400 mAh
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
|Biometric sensors||Fingerprint sensor
2D Face Scan
2D Face Scan
|OS||Android Pie (One UI)||Android Pie (One UI)|
Did you follow the presentation of the Galaxy S10? Will you buy Samsung's new smartphone?