The Samsung Galaxy S10+ is one of those phones that can appeal to just about anyone. It has the best display you’ll find on any smartphone, top-of-the-line performance, triple rear cameras, and Samsung’s best software experience to-date. Add that together with a stunning design and downright impressive battery life, and you’ll quickly see why it’s easily worth the $1000 asking price.
The best unlocked Android phone.
Samsung’s consistently been behind some of the best Android phones to hit the market, and with the Galaxy S10+, the story’s no different. No matter if its the display, cameras, or design that draws you in, the S10+ really does have something for everyone and is more than worth its asking price.
Who should buy this phone
The Galaxy S10+ is a phone for people that want a device with virtually no compromises. The phone’s not easy on the wallet, but when you look at everything it brings to the table, it’s easy to see why.
Whether you want to use your phone as an entertainment powerhouse or for staying productive while on the go, the S10+ is there to answer the call. Its Super AMOLED display is the best you’ll find on any smartphone right now, making it great for both watching movies and checking Slack messages. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor also ensures that the S10+ is up for any task you throw at it, and when it comes to battery life, this is a phone that keeps going and going no matter what.
The S10+ is also a great choice if you want one of the best camera experiences around. Not only do pictures and videos look great, but thanks to the inclusion of a telephoto and ultra-wide-angle lens to accompany the main rear camera, the possibilities are endless with the type of moments you can capture.
To make all of this even better, buying the Galaxy S10+ is as easy as can be. Not only can you buy it unlocked directly from Samsung’s website, but it’s also sold at third-party retailers like Amazon and B&H.
Is it a good time to buy this phone?
Yes. The Galaxy S10+ was released in March 2019 and won’t be replaced by its successor until about the same time in 2020.
Reasons to buy
- Industry-leading AMOLED display
- Triple rear cameras are a lot of fun
- Fast, reliable performance
- Stupendous battery life
- Expandable storage
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Wireless charging
Reasons not to buy
- In-screen fingerprint sensor is slower than traditional ones
- Camera cutout in the display
- Samsung has an iffy track record for software updates
There are so many great Android phones available, but the Galaxy S10+ stands out
There are a lot of great unlocked Android phones out there that do a lot of things right, but when you add up all of its various parts, the S10+ comes together as something really special that manages to stand out from the crowd.
From a hardware point of view, Samsung nailed just about everything. Not only does the phone look gorgeous, but it’s also incredibly functional thanks to an IP68 water/dust resistance rating, headphone jack, and stereo speakers.
Whether it be the design, display, or software, the S10+ stands out in the best ways possible.
And, of course, there’s that display. We’ve already mentioned it a couple of times at this point in the article, but the 6.4-inch screen on the S10+ is seriously that good. AMOLED displays aren’t anything new in 2019, but the colors and clarity you get from the S10+ are unlike anything else out there.
Under the hood, the S10+ is just as impressive. The Snapdragon 855 processor is paired up with 8GB of RAM, and in real-world use, that translates to everything running buttery smooth no matter what it is you’re doing. Plus, thanks to the 4,100 mAh battery, you can keep on using and using the S10+ like there’s no tomorrow before having to worry about charging it (whether it be wired or wirelessly).
On the software side of things, this is the best version of Samsung’s custom Android software that we’ve ever seen. There are still a lot of features and some duplicate apps, but it’s much easier to navigate than before and has an overall cleaner aesthetic that we really appreciate.
Alternatives to the Samsung Galaxy S10+
The Galaxy S10+ is a great choice for so many people, but of course, there are some potential buyers who either don’t want to go all-in with the Samsung way of doing things or don’t have $1000 to throw down on a new phone. That’s why there are other phones out there that offer a different experience and are worthy of considering.
The best camera is also a great phone.
The Pixel 3 XL, Google’s latest flagship Android phone, remains as one of our favorite devices you can buy. Its build quality, screen, and software are all well and fine, but what really sets it apart is its camare package. Whether you’re taking a selfie or using the main camera, the Pixel 3 XL takes amazing photos and videos.
There are two main reasons you should consider the Pixel 3 XL over the Galaxy S10+ — cameras and software.
While the Galaxy S10+ offers more functionality thanks to its triple camera setup, the Pixel 3 XL’s single rear camera takes the best-looking photos of any smartphone. Period. There’s no fancy zoom or ultra-wide-angle lens to play around with, but when it comes to pure image quality, the Pixel 3 XL takes the cake.
Also, since this is a phone from Google and Google owns Android, the software experience is pretty hard to top. Not only is it clean, simple, and easy-to-use, but the Pixel 3 XL is first-in-line for big software updates and security patches the moment they’re released.
A smaller, more affordable version of the S10+.
Really like the Galaxy S10+ but aren’t a fan of its large size and/or can’t afford it? The Galaxy S10e is for you. Outfitted with a lot of the same features as the S10+, the S10e is much more compact with a 5.8-inch display, and costs a fair amount less at just $750.
In addition to this year’s Galaxy S10 and S10+, Samsung also introduced a new „budget“ variant of its popular flagship series with the Galaxy S10e.
Compared to the S10+, the S10e has the same processor, 10MP front camera, 12MP main rear camera + 16MP ultra-wide sensor, and AMOLED display technology. The sides of the screen aren’t curved and its size is smaller at 5.8-inches compared to 6.4-inches on the S10+, but for some users, the smaller, non-curved display will actually be a benefit.
The S10e also lacks the S10+’s 12MP telephoto rear camera, 8MP depth sensor for the front-facing camera setup, and uses a regular side-mounted fingerprint sensor instead of an in-screen one. If you want the majority of the S10 experience in a small, more affordable package, the S10e is the way to go.
The best choice for people that want a stylus.
The Galaxy S10+ may be Samsung’s latest and most powerful big phone, but don’t count the Note 9 out quite yet. It’s still plenty powerful, is running Samsung’s latest One UI software, and has all of the advantages that come with the S Pen. Not to mention it’s a lot more affordable than it used to be.
The Galaxy Note 9 is easily the best Note phone Samsung has ever made. The battery has jumped up to 4000mAh, which gives you effortless all-day battery life, the AMOLED display is a thing of beauty, and the S Pen is better than ever.
Samsung’s since pushed its One UI / Android 9 Pie update to the Galaxy Note 9, making it look and feel a lot like the Galaxy S10+. The internal specs aren’t quite as impressive as what the S10+ is equipped with, but they’re still more than enough for most users.
And, of course, the Note 9 is still Samsung’s latest phone to ship with its iconic S Pen. Along with using it for notes and drawing, the addition of Bluetooth on the Note 9’s S Pen allows it to be a remote shutter button for the camera, presentation clicker, and more.
A flagship in every way but price.
OnePlus has a formula that just works: make a phone that can compete with flagships in most ways, then drop the price by a few hundred dollars. It’s amazing what you can get for just $550 in the OnePlus 6T, with great hardware, above-average cameras, super-fast software, and a packed spec sheet.
With a price of just $550, it almost doesn’t make sense how good the OnePlus 6T is. Great hardware and a super spec sheet rival the competition, and the 6.41-inch AMOLED screen is no slouch. The cameras are a step down from the top tier, but they’re consistent and produce great images. And its OxygenOS software is actually capable of challenging Google’s in simplicity and speed.
The OnePlus 6T isn’t perfect, and has many shortcomings when compared head-to-head with the other phones here. But with a price tag that’s about $450 less the Galaxy S10+, it’s hard to complain about the small issues. Given its price, it’s shocking how close the OnePlus 6T gets to the competition, and there’s a good chance you’ll be willing to forego a few nice-to-have extras to save so much money.
The best budget Android phone for most people, hitting all of the basics at an incredible price.
The Moto G7 is a budget-priced winner in every respect. From the modern design to the dual camera setup and excellent performance, the Moto G7 represents the pinnacle of Motorola’s dominance in the budget phone space.
In a world filled with great low-cost Android phones, the Moto G7 stands above the rest — and that makes sense, because Motorola has been dominating this space for years. The Moto G7 retails for $300, yet offers a modern design and many of the same software features as the higher-end smartphones on this list.
It has a big screen, good battery life, surprisingly quick performance, and a nicer camera than you’d expect for the money. It has modern conveniences like a USB-C port and fast charging, plus bonuses like a 3.5mm headphone jack. Motorola’s software is also fantastic, with a clean interface and useful features you’ll take advantage of every day.
There are so many amazing unlocked phones available today if you’re not looking to tie yourself into a carrier. You can also get most of the Galaxy S10 features in a smaller size (for less money) with the Galaxy S10e. The Google Pixel 3 XL is a great phone if you value software and camera performance above all else, If you like Samsung phones but can’t live without the S Pen, the Note 9 is still a great buy. And if you’re concerned about getting the absolute most bang for your buck, the OnePlus 6T and Moto G7 are both worth a look.
But the Samsung Galaxy S10+ is the best unlocked Android phone you can buy today. It has amazing performance, the best display on the market, solid cameras, and no clear issues or downsides.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joe Maring is Android Central’s News Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He’s been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012, and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Andrew Martonik is the Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central. He has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at AC since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.
Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he’s writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there’s a correlation.
This article was originally posted on Android Central