Đánh giá điện thoại Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

I’ve been using the Galaxy S10 Plus ($834 at Amazon) every day since Samsung launched the phone four months ago as one of its flagship models for 2019. Despite the threat of being overshadowed by the foldable Galaxy Fold and the faster Galaxy S10 5G (and being knocked out from below by the value-buy Galaxy S10E), the Galaxy S10 Plus has hung on as one of the top Android phones of the year. Soon, the S10 Plus’ best virtues — its sharp screen, three top-notch cameras and all-day battery life — will face another challenge from within Samsung’s ranks, the upcoming Galaxy Note 10, which is all but confirmed to launch Aug. 7 in New York.

Everything that’s great about the Galaxy S10 Plus is set to get even better in the Note 10, even if you’re not drawn to the Note’s S Pen stylus, the digital pen that’s the Galaxy Note’s signature feature, from the S10 Plus’ battery life and camera prowess, to the likelihood that the Note 10 will be compatible with 5G data networks. For example, the Note 10’s rumored 4,300mAh battery could dominate the S10 Plus’ already impressive 4,100mAh juice box.

Samsung likes to build on its strengths, so the Galaxy Note 10 would also include the S10 Plus’ fantastic screen clarity and features like wireless power sharing, which lets you charge other devices from the phone itself.

The Note 10 could also correct one of the S10 Plus’ biggest missed opportunities, the lack of a night mode that sharpens, brightens and vastly improves photos taken in extreme low light. The Huawei’s P30 Pro and Google Pixel 3 (and the cheaper Pixel 3A) are the S10 Plus’ major competitors now. Low-light shots aren’t a deal-breaker for me, especially when weighed against the Galaxy S10 Plus’ other benefits, but being able to match those other night modes would make the S10 Plus the undisputed champion across the board.

The accuracy of the in-screen fingerprint reader is another opportunity for the Note 10 to beat the S10 Plus.

So what does the S10 Plus still have in its favor? It’s sure to cost less than the Galaxy Note 10, a benefit if you’re not sprinting to sign up for 5G (read about our global 5G speed tests here). And it’s the only one of Samsung’s four new Galaxy S10 phones to have a 1TB storage option and a ceramic finish for the 512GB and 1TB models. Do you really need all that storage? Is it worth the $250 price tag to pay for it, and for the ceramic finish? “Need” would be a stretch, but if you want it, it’s nice to know it’s there.

As it stands now, the S10 Plus is still an excellent device that I’d be happy to use every single day — and I think you’d feel the same way, too.

Galaxy S10 Plus price: $1,000 now seems normal
At $1,000 for the 128GB model, $1,250 for 512GB and a cool $1,600 for the 1TB storage option (!), it’s a costly device. (It starts at £1,099 in the UK and AU$1,499 in Australia.) Of course, when you look at the Galaxy Fold’s $1,980 starting price and Huawei Mate X’s $2,600 price tag, the S10 Plus seems almost reasonable as a phone you can buy today, without emptying out your bank account or waiting for 5G networks to kick in.

As for the standard Galaxy S10, it’s not a great “deal,” shaving off only $100 and losing a second front-facing camera, a little screen space and a little battery life.

As for comparisons with other phones, I wouldn’t upgrade from the Galaxy S9 Plus ($400 at Walmart), but I would from any older Galaxy phone. The bottom line is that you have more general flexibility with camera shots on the S10 Plus than with the Pixel 3 ($813 at Walmart). Night mode is one exception, and both the Pixel 3 and Huawei’s P30 Pro have dedicated night modes that easily outpace the Galaxy S10 Plus. If nighttime photography is a make-it-or-break-it feature for you, you may want to wait for next month’s Galaxy 10 or October’s (likely) Pixel 4. Or cross your fingers that Samsung might push out a meaningful software upgrade.

Lovely to look at, but a slippery devil
Samsung is partial to glossy finishes that reflect light in unusual ways. My review unit is the 128GB version in Prism White, and it definitely reflects iridescent shades of pale blue, mint and pink in the light. This color is nice and subtle. Flamingo Pink, Canary Yellow, Prism Green and Prism Blue are bolder — there’s Prism Black as well.

Right away I noticed that the S10 Plus has a tendency to slip out of hands and off surfaces, especially if they’re not perfectly level. It’s shot out from between my fingers numerous times, usually landing on my purse, a table or my lap. It also slid off my nightstand, a couch, a chair, but has emerged unscathed so far. I like to review phones the way they emerge from the box, but I’m going to want a case for this one.

Samsung got the placement of its fingerprint reader right — it moves from the back of the phone to integrate with the screen. But, while convenient, accuracy is a problem, especially when it comes to using Samsung Pay or Google Pay for mobile transactions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to try my print three or even four times to get it to unlock the phone or verify a transaction. It’s a bad experience that makes for sore thumbs, impatient people in line behind you, and daily aggravation.

After hailing the potential of the in-screen fingerprint reader so long, the reality of the technology makes me long for the Galaxy S10E’s fingerprint sensor in the power button, and that’s too bad.

In-screen fingerprint scanner has problems
Samsung got the placement of its fingerprint reader right — it moves from the back of the phone to integrate with the screen. But, while convenient, accuracy is a problem, especially when it comes to using Samsung Pay or Google Pay for mobile transactions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to try my print three or even four times to get it to unlock the phone or verify a transaction. It’s a bad experience that makes for sore thumbs, impatient people in line behind you, and daily aggravation.

After hailing the potential of the in-screen fingerprint reader so long, the reality of the technology makes me long for the Galaxy S10E’s fingerprint sensor in the power button, and that’s too bad.

You’ll have the best luck when you deliberately place your thumb over the target, press down slightly on the screen and give it a solid second to unlock. You can’t just skim the sensor. I also recommend scanning four fingers so you have backups. I used my right thumb twice, my left thumb once and my right index finger.

This fingerprint scanner is a big deal because it’s the first to use Qualcomm’s ultrasonic technology. That means it’s using sound waves to get a 3D image of your print. It’s billed as much more secure than an optical sensor, which essentially takes a 2D photo of your finger. but that seems to apply more to natural films of gunk and goo. When I squeezed an oily (and delicious) churro between my fingers and then tried to unlock the phone, I mismatched 20 times straight. Turns out, there is a limit.

One other note: There’s no more iris scanning, which had been a signature feature since the Galaxy S7. That’s an odd move for Samsung, which is typically a fan of More Features. You will still have Android’s built-in face unlock, but I don’t recommend using it because it isn’t secure enough for mobile payments. You can use it if you’d like something fast and convenient, but I’ll stick with security.

The real question is where’s Samsung’s version of Apple’s Face ID? It’s now trailing the iPhone in this feature by two years, which is something Samsung really, really hates to do. Now, without iris scanning, the brand has no facial recognition feature it can point to that’s secure enough for mobile payments (the Face Unlock option built into Android is not). Rumor has it that Android Q, the next version of Google’s software, will fold a secure Face Unlock into the code, but we haven’t seen that in the Android Q betas yet.

Brilliant display, but, O, that ‘notch’
The Galaxy S10 Plus has an Infinity-O “notch” that’s really a hole cut in the display to make room for two cameras. Its oval shape attracts more attention than the single lens of the Galaxy S10 and S10E, but I’m not really a stickler about notches anyway.

More to the point is the feeling of having a large screen with slim bezels. Most of the time, it sort of blends into the background, not calling too much attention to itself. But when the screen is brightly lit, like with a white background, the asymmetry of a pill-shape cut-out becomes more noticeable. I wonder if the Infinity-U display, like the one Samsung put on the midrange Galaxy A50 and A30, would look better, though it’d also look more like an eyebrow-style notch than this. The solution to the all-screen dilemma may be out there yet.

The screen itself is gorgeous, with a 6.4-inch AMOLED display and 3,040×1,440-pixel resolution. Outdoor readability is fantastic. When I wake up in the middle of the night and read the phone to fall back asleep, the screen is actually too bright, even with the brightness turned low and the blue-light filter on. Heck, it’s even too bright using Android’s Wind Down mode that shifts colors to grayscale.

Finally, remapping the Bixby button is real
After two years of complaints, Samsung has listened to fans and released some software to let you remap the Bixby button to open another app.

The capability has always existed — even Galaxy S Active phones of a few years back let you set your convenience key — but Samsung was reticent. Better you should learn to love Bixby, it reasoned. That’s why it’s nice to see Samsung do the right thing here.

Android Pie and One UI
There are two words to describe the One UI design: big and bubbly. Icons are large, flat circles that take a while to get used to since many of the designs have changed, from the color of the Gallery icon to the shape of the Galaxy Notes app.

I mean it: these icons are huge. Using them on the home screen made me feel like a kid. I immediately switched to a smaller icon size (therefore, a larger app grid on the home screen) to fit in more of my go-to apps without digging through folders or swiping extra screens.

Even though I like my screen icons smaller, seeing the larger icons in the app drawer was fine — they are easier targets to hit. I also liked that some larger app menus and “cards” are easier to read without craning your neck or squinting. This is especially noticeable in Bixby Home, which you access by swiping to the left of the home screen.

Bixby Routines: I’m not a huge Bixby fan and I only call it up by accident, but Bixby Routines could change my mind. I was impressed with the IFTTT-like flexibility to set up routines, and the presets are easy enough for novices to get their feet wet.

For example, I set up a morning routine that starts at 6 a.m. and turns on the Always-On display (yes, you can turn it off), surfaces specific lock screen shortcuts and turns off the blue-light filter I’ll turn on for a bedtime routine.

I’ve been testing the Galaxy S10 Plus while also using it to cover the MWC conference in Spain, so I haven’t had a set routine to really dig into how well this works. That’s difficult when bedtimes and wake-up alarms are erratic, and when you can’t set a real “home” to use as a baseline test. I’ll be able to take a deeper dive once I’m settled back in San Francisco.

Gesture navigation: Navigation buttons are turned on by default, but you can unlock even more screen space by turning on gesture navigation in the quick settings menu. Turn it on and the bottom of the display expands, leaving you with three horizontal dashes in place of the buttons. To navigate, you lightly flick up to use them (they “bounce” back down). It’s not a difficult adjustment, and it’s always nice to have alternatives.

Kids Home: There’s a new a mode in the notifications setting called Kids Home, which opens a parent-protected profile/walled garden for kids to take photos and download apps. Young kids, that is. Older ones would roll their eyes and scoff, then find out the password and change all your language settings.

Wireless PowerShare really works
I love this feature, which will charge any other Qi-enabled device when you place it on the Galaxy S10’s back. Samsung isn’t the first to implement this, but it’s a real asset, especially for topping up accessories, or giving your friend’s phone a boost. Wireless charging isn’t as fast or efficient as wired charging, but this does allow you to leave more cables at home, especially for short jaunts. I can see a scenario where you charge your phone overnight and charge up a second device on top of it.

Your phone will automatically turn it off when your phone hits 30 percent. Since battery life is so good, that should be plenty to get you through the rest of your day. Note that Wireless PowerShare won’t work if you have under 30 percent battery life remaining.

I’ve already used this naturally twice. The night I got the S10 Plus, I needed to use the new wireless power-sharing feature when I noticed that my Galaxy S9 Plus was down to 7 percent and going to die while I was still setting up the new phone. I was at dinner, with my cables in my hotel room, and hey, this is exactly what the feature’s meant for. So I turned it on and flipped it over and watched my battery climb back up to a barely healthy 13 percent.

Since the phones were back to back, with the Galaxy S9 Plus facing up, I could still tap and type away, as long as I was careful not to shift its position on the Galaxy S10 Plus’ back. I’m happy with this one.

The second time, my CNET en Español colleague Juan Garzón innocently asked how much battery life I had left, then asked if he could get a top-up. My battery drained from 57 percent to 30 percent, but he got from the low double digits back up to 30 percent, and both our phones still had hours of life to go.

Three rear cameras are pretty great
Testing a camera is a massive undertaking in itself, and Samsung has added a lot of elements. There are three cameras on the S10 Plus’ back (12-megapixel, 12-megapixel telephoto, 16-megapixel ultrawide-angle) and two on the front (10- and 8-megapixel, respectively).

Photo quality is very good overall, but I have some complaints about low-light mode in a section below. We’ll have plenty of deep dive camera shootouts and comparisons in the coming days, but here’s my general assessment for now.

Let’s start with this handy chart to compare the cameras on the S10 Plus to the other S10 phones.

Three cameras, three views: You can take a photo using any of the three lenses just by tapping the on-screen icon. I mainly shoot with the standard 12-megapixel lens, switching to the telephoto to go close up (2x) on a faraway detail, like the statue on top of a fountain, or to the ultrawide lens to fit more of my friends or the scene into the shot. Ultrawide angle has a 123-degree field of view, so it does distort the image slightly and you might notice that your friends look a little stretched.

Better portrait mode shots: Called Live Focus, portrait mode photos get a three more effects on the Galaxy S10. In addition to the regular blur slider, you can also apply spot color, and effects called “Zoom” and “Spin.” Best yet, you can adjust the intensity of these effects before or after you take the shot, even switching to a different effect. There are still minor issues. Spot color doesn’t always work smoothly and flyaway hairs can still get blurred out in these portrait shots, but images are nice on the whole, and the effects can be striking. Unlike last year’s Galaxy S9 ($850 at Walmart), the S10 only saves the Live Focus shot, not the portrait mode and standard photo.

Scene optimizer: The S10’s camera AI can recognize 30 scenes and autoadjust settings to improve the pic. You can tap the on-screen control to turn it on and off, especially if you don’t like the preset result. Note that you won’t be able to use the dedicated night mode with scene optimizer turned off.

Shot Suggestions: This is a menu setting that will guide you to line up the shot and focus area, then automatically take the photo when it’s all aligned. I liked it when taking photos of buildings and street scenes, because it meant I didn’t have to hold the phone with one hand and press the shutter with the other.

Other times, the feature took more photos than I wanted, or took them before I was ready. You have to keep going back into the menu to turn it on and off if you sometimes want more control. An on-screen toggle would make this much more convenient.

Quick GIF-maker: If you change a camera setting, you can record a short GIF when you press and hold the shutter button. The playback isn’t totally smooth, and the quality isn’t as good as shaving a GIF from a video, but it’s easy to do and gets the point across for a quick tweet.

Instagram Mode: Samsung hasn’t pushed this out yet, but I did get a demo on the S10 5G. If you have an account, you can flip it on to use the same filters and post directly to Instagram without leaving the app.

Smooth video: Video results were great, thanks to the HDR10+ format and a super smooth motion control setting you turn on by tapping the icon of a hand when recording video. I got the perfect opportunity to test this on a troupe of guys tumbling on the pavement outside Barcelona’s main cathedral.

HEIF: Save photos in the HEIF format, in addition to raw. HEIF is hailed for its space-saving abilities.

Low-light camera shots can’t match the Pixel 3
Like last year’s Galaxy S9, all the S10 phones have a 12-megapixel dual aperture lens. That means the aperture automatically adjusts from f2.4 to f1.5, to let in more light. As a rule, more light = better photos.

The S10 phones also get a new Bright Night Shot mode that aims to take clearer, brighter photos in very low light conditions. Unlike the Pixel 3’s Night Sight and the P30 Pro’s dedicated nighttime mode, Bright Night Shot is integrated into the native camera and kicks itself into gear as long as Scene Optimizer is toggled on.

While I like that it’s integrated, it also means you have less control over when the feature comes into play. The only indication it’s on is the tiny icon of a crescent moon, and maybe an on-screen tip to hold the camera steady a while longer. I had to work pretty hard to find conditions that brought me that crescent moon icon. Oftentimes, even in a very dark bar, the scene optimizer algorithm chose other settings, like people, architecture and so on.

When I finally got one that worked — a shot of some street lights, there was only one real difference between the two shots. With Scene Optimizer on, the street lights look starry.

In general, low-light photography isn’t getting the boost I really wanted. Most low-light performance is the same as on the Galaxy S9, and I’m really missing the dramatic results of Google and Huawei’s phones. It’s very clear in side-by-side comparisons that the S10’s shots are on average mushier than on those competitor phones.

This difference isn’t enough to wave off most phone buyers, but you’re not going to win any low-light photography arguments with fervent fans of those other phones.

More epic camera shootouts to come.

Two front-facing cameras are better than one
The Galaxy S10 Plus is the only one of Samsung’s new phones to give you this combination of front-facing cameras: a 10- and 8-megapixel combo (the S10 5G has a 3D depth-sensing lens; this does not). Several phones have two front-facing cameras, and it’s a feature I like because you can expand your viewfinder to fit more in.

Selfies are very good on the whole, though again, the Pixel 3’s camera takes crisper shots, particularly at night. I like that you can apply most of the same effects to the selfie cameras as the main lenses. Overall, you’ll be satisfied with most shots, and will probably, in fact, make many of your friends jealous.

AR Emoji is much improved, but still a little creepy
Samsung’s take on making animated emojis of your face and body gets a big improvement in the Galaxy S10 phones. It’s no longer as creepy as it was in earlier iterations, and you have many more customization options.

You still can’t choose your own body type, and some of the color choices for your hair, eyes and skin aren’t rich or varied enough. For example, there’s still no option for hazel eyes or my hair’s shade of brown. Everything looks a little gray. There are few outfit options to express your sense of style. I still identify more with Apple’s Memoji, maybe because it’s more cartoonish.

AR Emoji has a lot more new use cases and stickers. For example, you can toss a “mask” of your face on someone else’s body as they talk. It’s amusing, in a horrifying kind of way. You can also use your friend’s body to perform a weird voodoo doll dance with a “mini me” AR Emoji of yourself. I… I don’t know.

Battery life and performance are off the charts
Battery life is phenomenal on the Galaxy S10 Plus’ 4,100-mAh ticker. I’ve used the phone for long days of uploads, downloads, maps navigation and tethering to my laptop as a mobile hotspot, an activity that’s sure to suck much life out of my year-old Galaxy S9 Plus review phone.

The S10 Plus kept me going from early morning to the small hours of the night, often with some reserves to spare. I never worried about running low, and that’s not something I could say about last year’s Galaxy S9 even when it was fresh out of the box. It also lasted an average of just over 21 hours in our looping video drain test in airplane mode, which is excellent. In comparison, the Pixel 3 lasted 15 hours, the Galaxy Note 9 went for roughly 19 and a half hours and the S9 Plus for about 17 hours. The iPhone XS Max ($1,100 at Amazon) went for 17 and a half hours.

It’s expected for battery life to shorten over time, so a year from now, you may need to rely on your charger more. But starting at a higher bar gives me hope that the S10 Plus’ power management will do well by you over a typical two-year lifespan, if not longer.

Performance on the S10 Plus is solid and seamless, using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor (some countries get the Galaxy Exynos 9820 chipset). Gameplay was nice and sensitive on my baseline testing game, Riptide Renegade — very detailed, and I didn’t suck as much as I usually do. I’m not the world’s best gamer, so I handed the phone to CNET editor Roger Cheng, who is. He gives the S10 Plus two thumbs up and said that the punch hole notch wasn’t as distracting as he thought it would be.

Benchmark testing also put the S10 Plus ahead of the competition. This is the first of the Snapdragon 855 phones, so we’ll see how other handsets perform. Overall, I expect a progression of speed from 2019 devices, or at least the ability to process complex computational tasks like advanced photography, without lagging.

Galaxy S10 Plus versus…
Galaxy S9 Plus: The S10 Plus improves on the Galaxy S9 Plus in every way. If money is no issue, you’ll prefer the S10 Plus, but performance gains may seem incremental if you don’t use all the camera tricks or Wireless PowerShare.

iPhone XS Max: Apart from the classic iOS versus Android argument, the biggest differentiators are the triple cameras and the different takes on portrait mode — the iPhone XS Max has more dramatic lighting choices, while the Galaxy S10 Plus goes more for a textured background. Samsung’s phone has far more storage options, much longer battery life and a headphone jack.

Google Pixel XL: The Pixel phone far surpasses Samsung’s in low-light and night shots, and its portrait selfies are better. Screen resolution is higher, too. But the Galaxy S10 Plus counters with phenomenal storage options, more camera flexibility, much longer battery life and Wireless PowerShare.

LG V50: A 5G phone, the LG V50 has higher screen resolution than the S10 Plus, and is on par with many other features, at least on paper. We haven’t tested the just-announced LG V50, so we can only compare specs. Samsung’s phone has more greater storage options and a fingerprint scanner on the front rather than the back. Without knowing the price, it’s too soon to lean one way or the other.

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The Galaxy S10 Plus is an outstanding phone for 2019, although serious photographers will find its nighttime camera shots lacking. Competition, including from the upcoming Galaxy Note 10, is mounting.

DESIGN
9
FEATURES
9
PERFORMANCE
9
CAMERA
8.5
BATTERY
10
MẠNH
  • The Galaxy S10 Plus has a phenomenal AMOLED screen, monster battery life and loads of useful camera tools. The option to wirelessly charge another device is convenient and really works.
YẾU
  • Nighttime and low-light shots on the Galaxy S10 Plus aren't as clear or crisp as dedicated night modes on the Pixel 3 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro. The ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint reader isn't always fast or accurate. Mispresses on the curved, edge-to-edge display are a minor annoyance.
User Rating: 5 (1 votes)

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