samsung galaxy s10 range

It’s the first major phone launch of the year and it doesn’t get much bigger than Samsung celebrating ten years of their Galaxy range. Phones sure have changed quite a bit since Samsung started making smartphones, but this isn’t going to be a trip down memory lane. Instead, I’m going to take you through the key features of the new Samsung Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10e.

Jump straight to the bottom of this article if you’re just after pre-order pricing in Ireland.

Introducing Four New Galaxy Smartphones

Every year at Samsung Unpacked we’re introduced to the latest range of Galaxy smartphones. Expectations were high this year for two reasons. It’s the ten year anniversary of the Galaxy range but also with another season of leaks-a-plenty, it was interesting to see if Samsung would deliver everything spotted in the run up to Unpacked 2019.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Samsung kicked off its 2019 Unpacked event by introducing us to the Galaxy Fold. A behemoth phone in both size, quality and, of course, price.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold, as the name suggests, is a folding smartphone-tablet hybrid. My personal first reaction to the Galaxy Fold is that it looks like a phone and a tablet that’s too small for me while also being quite chunky.

It’s an impressive piece of tech but it’s also far from being something for the everyday smartphone user, particularly when it’ll cost the guts of two grand. I’ll take a look at the Galaxy Fold another day.

For now, here’s the real meat of the meal – the Galaxy S10 range.

Samsung Galaxy S10+ and S10

As is always the case, the bulk of Unpacked focused on the twin flagships to enter their range this year. In terms of naming conventions, there are no big surprises as they went for Samsung Galaxy S10 and Samsung Galaxy S10+. There’s also the Samsung Galaxy S10e, but more on that later.

Samsung Sticking To Their Guns

Samsung can be incredibly proud of the fact they’ve been sticking to their guns on a few key features where other mobile manufacturers have departed from the norm, or perhaps have been creating a new norm. For example, despite Samsung offering free wireless Galaxy Buds for shoppers pre-ordering the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+, the 3.5mm headphone jack remains.

Image courtesy of BGR.com

The South Korean mobile maker also continues to avoid the notch display design which, like removing the headphone jack, has become the norm for companies like Google, Huawei and Apple. Instead, Samsung has put their front-facing camera behind the screen, visible through a pin-hole cutout.

The cut-out is bigger on the Galaxy S10+ than on the Galaxy S10 and S10e because it has two front-facing cameras. Samsung has also cleverly created stock wallpapers which take attention away from pinhole cutouts by using darker space in the corner.

Image courtesy fo 9to5 Google

Differences Between Galaxy s10+ and Galaxy S10

The big question weighing on people’s minds mulling over which of these two phones to buy is, what’s the difference between them? To be honest, there really isn’t that much and it comes down to:

  • Front facing camera
  • Screen size
  • Battery
  • Weight

As I mentioned, the S10+ has two front facing cameras, versus the single front facing shooter of the S10. This means the S10+ shoots those blurry bokeh style shots using two cameras, while the S10 uses software to make that magic Instagram moment.

Considering there’s a plus in the name, the S10+ has to be bigger in some departments and that’s where the rest of the differences come in. The S10+ has a 6.4-inch screen, 4100 mAh battery and weighs in at 175g. This stacks up against a 6.1-inch screen, 3400 mAh battery and 157g weight of the Galaxy S10.

There are a few other subtle differences, like the Galaxy S10+ also coming in a beast mode style 1TB ceramic model with a ridiculous 12GB of RAM, but I really don’t expect many of those, if any, to appear in Ireland.

That’s pretty much it for the differences, so let me run through the cool features appearing on both of these twin flagships

Similarities Between Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+

Don’t let that plus in the name deceive you. The bulk of the specs on these twin flagships match up.

  • Triple rear cameras
  • Ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint scanner
  • Reverse wireless charging
  • Remappable Bixby button (about time)

Kicking off with the cameras, on both phones you get a triple camera array. The triple lens setup, I can only imagine right now, will be great. I’ve gotten used to this on my Mate 20 Pro and I love it.

Image courtesy of Droid Life

Included is a wide-angle 12-megapixel (77-degree), telephoto 12-megapixel (45-degree), and ultra-wide 16-megapixel (123-degree). Unsurprisingly, this is very close to the Mate 20 Pro setup and I can’t wait to get hands-on and put these two phones head-to-head before throwing the Huawei P30 into the mix too.

Samsung has also introduced in-screen fingerprint technology into their range. I was surprised to see Apple stay away from this last year, but Huawei, Oppo and OnePlus all went this way. Samsung has done it slightly differently by developing ultrasonic technology which removed the dependancy on light behind the screen scanning your fingerprint. This should be more accurate and less annoying in dark conditions.

Another feature we saw on the Mate 20 Pro last year features here too in reverse wireless charging. Being honest, I think Samsung might have framed this technology better than Huawei did. I’m not saying they’ve done it better, but wireless power-sharing between phones is extremely slow. Samsung has shown this as the ideal tech to charge your wireless earbuds or your Samsung watch, rather than focusing on charging other phones.

Finally, I’m glad I can say that that stupid physical button that, in the past, Samsung insisted on having for you to access their smart assistant Bixby, can now be remapped to a feature you prefer. Thank you Samsung.

Should You Buy the Samsung Galaxy S10 or the S10+?

Right now, the answer to this question has to be, please wait for a few more weeks. Huawei is about to announce the P30 range which will likely include three phones like last year. That’s a P30 Pro, P30 and P30 Lite. So far, Huawei has just teased that we’ll see a 10x zoom but I also expect the Chinese manufacturer will bring features from the Mate 20 Pro into the P30 Pro. That means specs will largely either align with the Galaxy S10+ or surpass it.

However, if you are a Samsung fan, the choice will come down to your phone size preference and how obsessed you are with selfies. Those are the two key decision-making specs.

The Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung also announced a third phone: The Samsung Galaxy S10e. What does the “e” stand for? Some say “entry level”, others say “economy”. Regardless, it’s definitely a much lighter model. You give up triple rear cameras for dual primary cameras. The display is simplified with a larger bezel around it and the fingerprint sensor moves to the side of the phone and out of the screen.

The Galaxy S10e – Image courtesy of MacWorld

To be honest, that might very well be the best thing about the Samsung Galaxy S10e. You might remember me reviewing the Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium and noting that the side is the most natural location for a fingerprint scanner.

The Galaxy s10e gives up a fair bit of spec, but as you’ll see below, there’s also a fair change in the price. For me, I’d stick to the two flagships but the S10e looks like it’ll be a solid phone for the price. If I get hands on with it, I’ll do a more detailed review.

Pre-order Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+

The new Samsung Galaxy range is available to preorder from these outlets

  • Samsung Ireland
  • Harvey Norman
  • Carphone Warehouse
  • Three
  • Vodafone
  • Eir

If you pre-order before the launch you’ll also get a pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds worth €159. You redeem these directly from Samsung through their app, so just don’t expect to get them delivered with your new phone.

Pre-order the Galaxy S10 and S10+ from Samsung

You can pre-order the new Samsung Galaxy range, SIM-free, directly from Samsung Ireland. Here’s how much it’ll set you back:

  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 128GB – €1019
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB – €919
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e 128GB – €769

Pre-order the Galaxy S10 and S10+ from Harvey Norman

The new Samsung Galaxy range is also available SIM-free, from Harvey Norman. Pricing matches the direct pricing from Samsung:

  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 128GB – €1019
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB – €919
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e 128GB – €769

Pre-order the Galaxy S10 and S10+ from Carphone Warehouse

Network comparison store, Carphone Warehouse offer the Galaxy S10 range on Three, Vodafone and eir while also offering the range SIM-free.

You pay a €50 deposit online and then pay the remainder depending on standard network pricing. Speaking of which here’s the network pricing.

The price shown is the upfront cost along with the total 24-month total cost. This is calculated by taking your monthly plan cost, multiplying by contract length and adding the amount you pay on day one. By looking at this number, you can compare the total price you pay to get the new Samsung range and it’s usually more than SIM-free.

Pre-order the Galaxy S10 and S10+ from Three

If you want to pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S10 from Three, here’s their pricing on their €60 per month plan. This plan includes unlimited calls and texts with All You Can Eat Data.

  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 128GB – €379
    • 24-month cost: €1819
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB – €279
    • 24-month cost: €1719
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e 128GB – €99
    • 24-month cost: €1539

Pre-order the Galaxy S10 and S10+ from Vodafone

You can also pre-order from Vodafone. Pricing below is if you pick up the Galaxy S10 range on Vodafone’s RED Connect plan which includes unlimited calls and texts along with 15GB of data and access to either Spotify or Sky Sports Mobile.

  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 128GB – €399
    • 24-month cost: €1839
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB – €299
    • 24-month cost: €1739
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e 128GB – €149
    • 24-month cost: €1589

Pre-order the Galaxy S10 and S10+ from Vodafone

The Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ are available from eir too. Pricing below is for the Galaxy range on eir’s €55 per month plan which includes unlimited calls and texts along with 40GB of data and access to eir Sports.

  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 128GB – €399
    • 24-month cost: €1719
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB – €299
    • 24-month cost: €1619
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e 128GB – €149
    • 24-month cost: €1469

Samsung Galaxy S10 Release Date

The Samsung Galaxy S10 range launches on March 8th. You can expect most pre-orders to land on this date too. The range will be available from the retailers mentioned above for the same price, depending on stock of course.

Rewatch the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Event

What did you think of that?