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Samsung Galaxy S10 5G review: bigger, faster and lasts longer



The Galaxy S10 5G is the largest, most advanced and most expensive smartphone in Samsung’s current lineup, aimed not just at being “the 5Gone” but also the best one.

Unlike the OnePlus 7 Pro, which comes in either 4G or 5G versions that are identical in size, weight and features, the S10 5G is its own phone. It’s bigger, heavier, thicker and has more cameras and sensors on the back and front than the S10+.

The front is filled by the 6.7in QHD+ AMOLED screen, which curves at the sides and has an large oval-shaped cut out in the top right of the display for two selfie cameras and a depth sensor.

The screen is really lovely, as you’d expect for a top Samsung: bright, crisp and colourful with good viewing angles. It is not quite as bright or smooth as the fantastic 90Hz screen on the OnePlus 7 Pro, but better than all the rest.

samsung galaxy s10 5G review
 The selfie cameras and sensors poke through an oval-shaped hole in the top right of the screen, taking up notification space in the status bar. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The massive screen means the S10 5G is a very big phone. At 77.1mm wide and 162.6mm tall the S10 5G compares similarly to 5G rivals such the OnePlus 7 Pro or the 4G-only iPhone XS Max. But the way the back tapers at the sides and its comparatively light 198g weight, which undercuts the competition by 8-10g, makes the S10 5G just about manageable. I could fit it in a men’s jeans pocket, but anything smaller was a struggle.

If you don’t want the biggest of phones and the downsides of weight, cost, size, one-handed use, etc that come with them, this is most definitely not for you.

The display hides Samsung’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner for unlocking the phone with your thumb on the screen, which works well enough but isn’t as fast or accurate as the optical sensor on the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G or traditional fingerprint sensors.

The phone is water resistant to the international IP68standard, or depths of up to 1.5 metres in fresh water for 30 minutes. Drop the S10 5G in the toilet and you’ll be able to rinse it afterwards. It also has a headphone socket, which is rare in 2019.


  • Screen: 6.7in QHD+ AMOLED (502ppi).
  • Processor: Samsung Exynos 9820 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 855.
  • RAM: 8GB of RAM.
  • Storage: 256GB.
  • Operating system: One UI based on Android 9 Pie.
  • Camera: rear triple camera + depth sensor, front 10MP selfie-camera + depth sensor.
  • Connectivity: single sim, LTE, 5G, wifi, NFC, Bluetooth 5, wireless charging and GPS.
  • Dimensions: 162.6 x 77.1 x 7.9mm.
  • Weight: 198g.

36-hour battery life

samsung galaxy s10 5G review
 A USB-C port and a headphones socket take care of physical connections. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Galaxy S10 5G has the same processor, memory and storage as most of the other Galaxy S10 versions and therefore performs similarly. In this US this means Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor, but in the UK, Europe and many other regions it means Samsung’s own Exynos 9820, as tested here.

It’s a fast-feeling phone, if not quite the fastest, and will handle most of what you can throw at it. Games and augmented reality experiences, which are being pushed hard with 5G, were smooth but made the phone heat up quite a bit.

The S10 5G has the largest battery in Samsung’s S10 phone line and so lasts the longest at 36 hours between charges. With the screen set to default FHD+resolutionand the always-on display (AOD) setting off, the phone made it from 7am on day one until 7pm on day two with fairly heavy usage, mainly on 4G with bursts on Vodafone’s new 5G network where available in London.

The S10 5G is also faster charging than Samsung’s other phones with a 25W charger included in the box. It hit 90% in an hour, which is still not the fastest charging phone but is a significant improvement over other Samsung devices. Wireless charging at up to 15W with a Qi charging matt works well, as does wireless power sharing charging something else from the back of the S10 5G such as Samsung’s Galaxy Buds.

Network performance

samsung galaxy s10 5g review
 The S10 5G’s 4G performance was worse than the regular S10, but both performed worse than rivals on the same Vodafone network. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The S10 5G proved great on Vodafone’s new 5G network, which was significantly faster than 4G when available, routinely managing 200Mbps download speeds in areas where Vodafone’s 4G network managed around 20-50Mbps.

But the S10 5G’s 4G performance on Vodafone’s network was poor, spending a significant amount of time dropping down to 3G in areas where a OnePlus 7 Pro and Huawei P30 Pro had strong 4G signal on the same Vodafone 4G network. The issue was particularly problematic on public transport.

This poor performance gave rise to further testing which revealed that the poor signal performance on Vodafone’s 4G network wasn’t isolated to Samsung’s new 5G phone – but also its regular 4G phones including the Galaxy S10. The 4G-only phones had a slight advantage of around half a bar of signal strength over their 5G counterparts on the same network.

However, when the Samsung phones dropped down to 3G their internet connection effectively became unusable causing everything from web pages and apps, to messages and even email, to time out. But it’s worse than simply being offline, as the phone thinks it has a working internet connection, leading to an extremely frustrating scenario where the phone continually tries over and over to perform the task you’ve set it before timing out after a minute or so.

To be clear, Samsung’s S10, S10+ and S10e performed the same as the OnePlus 7 Pro and Huawei P30 Pro (two of the best for network performance) on both EE and Three’s 4G network in and around London and the south of England. The problem appeared only to be on Vodafone. But neither Vodafone nor Samsung could explain the signal issues faced by the Samsung S10 5G and other S10 smartphones.

A Vodafone spokesperson said: “We’ve recalled the device and SIM for internal testing. We would welcome the opportunity to walk around with the Guardian in the areas they have visited to better understand the user experience found so as we can better understand any issues and implement improvements or fixes.”

A Samsung spokesperson declined to address the 4G problem and instead said: “The 5G user experience is only going to get better as 5G network coverage improves and expands. Samsung is working closely with our partners to provide updates to the device so that consumers can get the best network performance.”

Samsung One UI

samsung galaxy s10 5G review
 Samsung’s One UI is good, but its gesture navigation options are difficult to use with one hand with a screen this size. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Galaxy S10 5G runs Samsung’s new One UI version of Android 9 Pie, which is the same as the other S10 variants.

One UI is a big upgrade over previous versions of Samsung’s software, refocused around making phones with large screens more usable, which was useful here. The top of the screen is generally for information display, while the bits you have to touch have been moved towards the bottom.

The only thing that hasn’t aged well are Samsung’s gesture navigation options, which replace the traditional three-key navigation bar at the bottom of the screen with swipe pads where the buttons would be. It’s not a fluid experience and is difficult to use one-handed on this size of screen.

While more beneficial for the larger Galaxy S10+, the S10 still benefits from generally having the top half of the phone for viewing information and the bottom half for touch-based interactions. Rival systems such as that used by OnePlusHuawei or even Google’s upcoming Android Q are far better.


samsung galaxy s10 5G review
 The camera system on the back is the best of Samsung’s current lineup, keeping pace with most rivals but falling short of Huawei’s highs. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Galaxy S10 5G has the same three regular cameras on the back as the S10 and S10+ but adds a 3D depth camera for good measure.

That means you get a main 12-megapixel camera, 12-megapixel telephoto camera and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera providing zoom from 0.5 to 2x, and then on to a 10x hybrid zoom.

There didn’t appear to be much difference between the cameras on the S10 5G and S10/S10+. It produced some excellent photos in good light, with solid but not class-leading low-light performance, despite the new night mode.

Video capture was very good, arguably better than many rivals, with fun depth effects using the extra sensors on the S10 5G. The selfie camera is the same as the S10+, which is excellent.

Overall, the camera on the S10 5G is good, but falls short of the best from Huawei.


samsung galaxy s10 5G review
 The glass back tapers in towards the metal band at the top and sides. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
  • The stereo speakers are pretty good.
  • The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is incompatible with most screen protectors, but a compatible one comes included in the box.
  • The haptic vibrations are sharper than last year’s model, but not as good as Apple’s iPhone or the OnePlus 7 Pro.
  • Palm rejection was good at preventing mis-touches on the curved screen edge, where your hand rests on the touchscreen when you grip.


The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G costs £1,099 in crown silver or majestic black on either EE or Vodafone. So far, the phone is not available to buy standalone and SIM-free in the UK.

For comparison, recommended retail prices for the competition include the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G on plans starting at £59 a month on EE, the 4G 6.4in Galaxy S10+ for £899, the 4G OnePlus 7 Pro from £649, the 4G Google Pixel 3 XLcosts £744, the 4G Huawei P30 Pro for £899 and the 4G iPhone XS Max costs £1,099.


The Galaxy S10 5G has all thehallmarks of a range-topping Samsung. A big, bright screen, sleek design, solid performance and excellent battery life – the best of any of Samsung’s S10 variants.

The rear camera is also very good and Samsung’s One UI is great, as long as you’re happy using navigation buttons as the swipe gestures are hard to use on this size of phone. It is massive and expensive, meaning only big-phone lovers are going to want to even try and use it.

Its 5G performance is solid on Vodafone’s new 5G network. But the poor 4G performance on Vodafone of the S10 5G and its smaller S10 siblings, which neither the network nor Samsung have managed to explain, mean I strongly recommend not buying any top-end Samsung phone on Vodafone.

It may not quite be the best 5G experience available at the moment – that’s the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G – but it’s close run thing. And where the OnePlus is an EE exclusive in the UK, the S10 5G is available on a wider range of mobile networks.

The S10 5G is the biggest and best Samsung you can buy, at least until the recently launched Note 10 arrives in stores, which could take the crown.

Pros: great screen, ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner, hole-punch notch, wireless charging and powershare, great camera, good performance, good software, good haptics, headphone socket, microSD card slot, 5G.

Cons: massive phone, expensive, poor 4G performance on Vodafone, slow software updates.

samsung galaxy s10 5G review
 The silver back shines in a mixture of pleasing colours depending on the light and object around it. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian


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A List Of All Android Phones That Are Running On Google’s Android 10 Right Now




Unlike iOS, Android is riddled with the problem of fragmentation. Hence, even after Google announces the next stable iteration of Android, it takes most OEMs months to come out with a stable update for their crop of devices. Android 10, the latest iteration of the world’s most popular smartphone operating system, was officially unveiled on September 3.

The Android 10 update was a significant upgrade in that it focused on privacy and other finer details that make up for a much more robust, and secure experience. Some important updates include an all-new dark mode, support for foldable phones, new gesture navigations and live captions.

Enlisted below are the phones that have either received stable Android 10 updates or open betas based on stable Android 10.

  1. Google Pixel Series
Google Pixel 3a

This was a no-brainer. Coming from the house of the company that owns Android, the Pixel series of phones are the first phones to get new software updates. Starting from September 3, stable Android 10 has been rolled out to all Pixel phones: Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel 2XL, Google Pixel 3, Google Pixel 3XL, Google Pixel 3a, and Google Pixel 3a XL.

  1. Essential Phone
Andy Rubin's Essential Phone has a screen so big it wraps around the selfie cam

This phone, made by the company founded by the father of Android (Andy Rubin), was the first phone apart from the Pixel series to receive the stable Android 10 update. The Essential Phone is the only smartphone that has stepped out of the company’s stable and is famously known as the first mainstream phone to have a notch. Essential Phone has had a great record in terms of delivering software and security updates (probably because there’s only one phone they ever had to care about).

  1. OnePlus 7/ OnePlus 7 Pro

OnePlus has been one of the few OEMs that have had a good track record in terms of delivering updates inspite of having a relatively bigger portfolio of phones. On the day of the announcement of stable Android 10, OnePlus also announced its open betas for the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro. If you own either, you can simply head to the blog post and copy the Android 10 ROM to your phone for a local system upgrade. Upgrading to the Open Beta based on Android 10 won’t erase any data but we’d still recommend you take a backup just in case anything goes wrong.

4. Redmi K20 Pro


This is by far the most interesting update of all. Redmi, that is known to take its own sweet time to deliver Android updates (because of highly customized MIUI), was one of the first OEMs to announce a beta based on stable Android 10. Owners of Redmi K20 Pro had chance until September 8 to try their hands on a stable Android 10 update. A new report suggests that the final update will roll out to all Redmi K20 Pro owners in October, which is still pretty commendable.

As mentioned above, these are phones that either run stable Android 10 or open betas based on stable Android 10. If you’re interested in checking if an official beta’s available for your phone or not, you can head here to do so.


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Huawei Mate 30 Pro Leak Shows Stunning Design And Cool Features




Now the latest iPhones have been revealed, attention turns to Huawei. Its Mate 30 series is now the most highly-anticipated launch, for several reasons.

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro looking pretty snappy.

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro looking pretty snappy. @EVLEAKS

The unveiling takes place in Munich on Thursday, September 18, but a series of press renders have leaked, according to the ever-dependable Evan Blass.

There will be four phones in the series, the Mate 30 Lite, Mate 30 and the one we’re. concerned with here: the Huawei Mate 30 Pro. The fourth will be the Mate 30 Pro Porsche Design, which is more of a niche model.

There have already been reports of exactly what the new Pro will look like, but the new images from Blass show greater detail of what could be Huawei’s most handsome phone yet.Today In: Innovation

Here’s what to expect at the Munich launch.

Front and rear of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, it's claimed.

Front and rear of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, it’s claimed. @EVLEAKS

Four cameras in a circle

This is the bit we’ve seen before but the latest images look splendid. The circular bezel around the four cameras evokes a camera lens itself, so it’s a particularly satisfying piece of design.

And note that the cameras don’t seem to protrude very far at all, unlike almost every other smartphone out there apart from the Nokia 9 PureView.

The notch isn’t small – room for a second camera

The front-facing camera and other tech are sitting in a bigger cut-out than on the Huawei P30 Pro, for instance. This suggests that the new phone will have two cameras, designed to make face unlocking faster and more secure than on current Huawei phones. Perhaps secure enough to authorize payments? We’ll see, though remember the current Huawei flagships include a fingerprint sensor under the display so that’s likely here as well.

Is this the sumptuous waterfall edge to the Huawei Mate 30 Pro?

Is this the sumptuous waterfall edge to the Huawei Mate 30 Pro? @EVLEAKS

The display design is sumptuous

This is what’s called a waterfall display. No, there’s no actual water involved, it means the way the display cascades over the edges like, you’ve guessed it, a waterfall. It’s one of the things that makes the phone looks so gorgeous and appealing.

Only one button – so where’s the volume control?

There’s a simplicity to design with fewer buttons, especially since there’s no visible fingerprint sensor, too. But the only previous phone with barely any buttons, from LG, had big volume rockers either side of the fingerprint/power button. This doesn’t seem to, seeming to confirm a previous rumor that the volume controls, like the fingerprint sensor, will be buried under the display. Cool, huh?

And one big unanswered question

This kind of leak can’t answer the biggest question of all: what software will the Mate 30 Pro use? Unless something changes in the U.S.-China trade negotiations, it seems Huawei can’t use the full Google Mobile Services Android on its next phones.

Now, things are changing very quickly in this situation but I doubt there’ll be any movement before this week’s reveal.

So, don’t be surprised if there’s a gap between announcement and release or even if Huawei play things close to their chest.

It could choose to put its own Harmony OS onboard but it’s made clear that’s a back-up, not the first choice.

It could put open-source Android on the phone and find some way to make it easy for customers to add apps like Google Maps, Gmail and so on. That’s possible, too.

That may not be answered this week, but for everything else, not long until we know.


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Mobile Phones

Google Pixel 4 XL revealed in full in three new hands-on video leaks




Last year’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL both suffered from high-profile leaks before their official launch, but Google’s 2019 flagships seem to have taken things to another level entirely. A new leak – or rumor – about the Pixel 4 seems to rear its head every single day, and with three new hands-on videos appearing online today, just about everything there is to know about the next generation of Google phones now seems to have been revealed.

The three new videos basically show off the larger Pixel 4 XL in full, even going as far as to showing off all three different colors the handset is expected to come in – white, black and coral. None of the videos are in English but, between them all, there’s unlikely to be any huge surprises when Google finally announces the Pixel 4 range next month.

The videos confirm the rumors of the 90Hz Smooth Display on the Pixel 4 phones, with the screen being able to dynamically switch between 60Hz and 90Hz refresh rates, depending on the content being displayed. However, the 90Hz mode’s smoother scrolling can affect battery life – like we saw on the OnePlus 7 Pro – and it seems you will be able to turn off the Smooth Display feature to conserve battery.

Another new feature that, so far, Google has omitted from its previous Pixel handsets is a pre-installed Recorder app. Whether the app will be able to record both external audio (like voice memos) as well as internal audio (screen recording) is as yet unclear, but we’re sure we’ll find out soon enough.

The phone’s camera app is also shown off, revealing an updated user interface, improvements to the Night Sight mode, as well as sample images taken on the Pixel 4 XL.

Another pre-installed app called Pixel Themes indicates there could be multiple themes to choose from to customize the phone, while something called Ambient EQ could be something that screen color hue based on environmental conditions.

A hardware detection app confirms that the Pixel 4 XL boasts a 6.23-inch display with 3,040 x 1,440 resolution. There are two camera lenses on the rear – one featuring a Sony IMX363 12.2MP sensor with f/1.7 aperture, while the other is a telephoto lens housing a Sony IMX481 16MP sensor.

In terms of other specs, the earlier rumors of 6GB RAM and 128GB on-board storage seem to be true.

One notable thing that isn’t demonstrated in the videos is the Soli aerial navigation gestures… so there’s a chance we may be able to see at least one new thing during Google’s launch event.


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