At the glitzy Samsung #Unpacked event held last week at the Discovery building in Sandton, we witnessed the global launch of the Samsung Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10+ phones, as well as a sneak peek at the Galaxy Fold and the future of 5G. In attendance were hosts Minnie Dlamini Jones and Maps Maponyane, joined by Map’s dad; and President and CEO of Samsung Electronics South Africa Sung Yoon, who announced Cassper Nyovest as the new ambassador for Samsung South Africa.
Being part of this night was truly magical, but the icing on the cake for me was that South Africa was part of the global launch and this wasn’t simply a lavish event that followed the international launch – we were there at the same time as San Francisco and London via live feed.
Since the event, I’ve been playing with the Samsung Galaxy S10+ and I’ve decided to give you my feedback on this phone as I see it, not as a technical review, but an experience. Or you can skip my dribble and head straight to the specifications at the bottom of this page. Go on. I don’t have feelings, I’m a robot.
A phone is a phone is a phone, right? It’s how it feels that sets it apart from the rest. And I’m not talking about how it rests comfortably in hand and doesn’t feel chunky, but rather, it’s those subtle user experience features like how applications open or react based on physical inputs, or how an email or SMS notification alerts you while you’re busy playing PUBG.
Each time I interact with the Galaxy S10+, it surprises me. A perfect example of this happened yesterday during a meeting when I reached for my phone, lifted it, and pushed the power button – switching it off. You see, the phone reacted instantly when I touched to lift it, then recognised my face and unlocked BEFORE I even pressed the power button, and so reverting to chill mode as I stared at a black screen. I then had to press the power button again so that it recognised my face for a second time and unlock, but next time, I’ll know.
It’s those sorts of simple things. Like when it notifies you of a message without the massive intrusion of a full-screen notification, available instead as an elegant picture-in-picture view, or how it lets you know that the camera is actively looking for your beautiful face during biometric scanning. Oh, and the camera. I mean, multiple cameras. It’s insane.
The S10 is available in Prism black, white, green and gold. Mine is white and looks like a stunning pearl white that changes to light blue and even pink when tilting it from side to side. The weight and size of the S10+ is simply marvellous, with a large 6.4-inch curved dynamic AMOLED Infinity Display and 4100mAh battery, and it weighs only 175 grams without the cover and 192 grams with the supplied clear plastic cover. As a matter of interest, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is also the first HDR10+ certified smartphone and even in direct sun, you won’t be hunting shade to make that all important swipe left or right decision.
Samsung has decided to include PowerShare on the Galaxy S10, making you the centre of attention by charging any other Qi-certified smartphone or wearable at the local hang. And I’m all for making life easier, so the inclusion of Bixby Routines is seriously cool. It automates your daily routines from the moment you wake up, drive to work or school, get home and play some PUBG and eventually land up in bed.
(Pre-order your Samsung Galaxy S10 now, you’ll get a pair of Galaxy Buds valued at R3,000 for Fr33…)