Launched alongside the Samsung Galaxy S10, the S10 5G sounds like it’d simply be the same phone with the added benefit of 5G connectivity– that’s far from the case.
Instead, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G apes its siblings in other areas too. It’s got a bigger screen, thicker body and a few exclusive features that would have been nice to see on the other versions.
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G price and release date
The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will launch in the UK in ‘early summer’ and it’ll likely be one of the first phones we can buy here that’ll take advantage of the next generation of mobile connections. Expect it to land in the USA around the same time.
No price has been confirmed yet but expect to it to be pushing the £1000/$1000 end of the scale.
Related: Best Phone 2019
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G – Design and Screen
2019 is the first year we’ll see 5G phones shipped and the actual network switched on, it also seems like it’ll be a year of these phones feeling a little thicker and heavier than previous flagship devices. That’s because these phones require separate 5G modems – your current phone will likely have its modem built into the CPU – and bigger batteries to keep them going.
As more space is needed, Samsung has given the Galaxy S10 5G a 6.7-inch display and made it thicker and heavier than its daintier brothers. After finally getting my hands on a working version of the phone I can say that while it’s noticeably heavier and harder to hold comfortably than the S10 Plus, it’s not too bad and certainly looks bulkier in pictures than it feels.
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Size aside, the rest of the design in the same as the other versions. There’s a metal rim on the sides, glass on both the front and back plus a headphone jack on the bottom. It’s got the same IP68 water resistance rating too, along with support for wireless charging.
The large 6.7-inch Infinity O display is stunning, with fantastic colours and brightness levels that Samsung said can reach 1200 nits. I have been using the Galaxy S10 Plus for an extended period and it’ll likely be the best display on any phone and with the S10 5G you’re getting an even bigger panel. In the top corner you’ll see the pill-shaped cutout where the two front cameras sit.
There’s also an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor under the display and this works a whole lot faster and more reliably than the optical versions you’ll find in the OnePlus 6T or Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
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Samsung Galaxy S10 5G – Performance and 5G
Powering the S10 5G is either a Snapdragon 855 (USA) and or Exynos 9820 (Europe and Asia) chipset, paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. Unlike other models, the 5G lacks expandable storage and doesn’t have a microSD card slot.
There’s also no supercharged ‘Performance Edition’ with the 5G, so no 12GB RAM and 1TB storage option.
Samsung hasn’t yet divulged which 5G modems it is using in either of the models. I assume in the Snapdragon 855 version it’ll pack the X50 modem – don’t expect to see the newer X55 until later in the year – but things are little murkier for the Exynos version.
Related: What is 5G?
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G – Camera
The other obvious difference between the 5G model and other iterations of the S10 is the camera array.
The S10 5G takes the three cameras from the S10 Plus – a 12-megapixel main sensor with a varying aperture lens, 16-megapixel ultra-wide and 12-megapixel telephoto – and adds an hQVGA 3D depth-sensing camera into the mix too. This 3D camera is there to aid augmented reality (AR) content and add extra blur to Live Focus shots.
As I haven’t used the camera on this exact I can’t say for sure it’ll produce exactly the same shots as the S10 Plus but all specs point to them being the same. The S10 Plus shoots nice pictures and there’s plenty of variety with the selection of cameras. However, the low-light performance isn’t on par with the Pixel 3.
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G – Battery life
Interestingly, it’s the only S10 model to support super-fast 25w wired charging; something you’ll likely need in order to quickly juice up the hefty 4500 mAh cell.
There’s wireless charging too, and Wireless PowerShare functionality for turning the phone into a Qi-enabled charging pad for other devices.
In many ways this is the ultimate version of Samsung’s 2019 flagship device. It’s got the largest screen, most cameras and biggest battery. If you’re planning on fully embracing 5G this year, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will likely be one of the best picks.
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