We played with Samsung's off-limits Galaxy S10 5G
Today, Samsung announced 4 new models in its acclaimed Galaxy S line, which, turns out, is in its 10th year now. The standard trio includes the S10 and S10+, as well as the S10e newcomer. You can think of the first two as the direct rivals of the iPhone XS and XS Max, and the third device is Samsung’s answer to the iPhone XR.
So where does this put the Galaxy S10 5G – the fourth new S10 phone this year? Well, the S10 5G is meant to be on top of the smartphone food-chain; an apex predator of sorts, albeit one rarely spotted in the wild… As tough to find as the S10 5G may be, though, we managed to track one down, and while the device itself already looks like a Galaxy S on steroids, the software seemed to be in an incomplete state, which is why we had to mainly focus on the phone's design. Well, that, and the lockscreen, which we had access to.
This remarkable beast has the biggest display, the most cameras, and the juiciest battery of any other Galaxy phone. However, while Samsung promises specific release dates and prices for the rest of the series, the same is not true for the Galaxy S10 5G. What we know is that it’s going to be a Verizon exclusive in the US for a while, but when it comes to actual release timing or cost, we’re pretty much left in the dark for the time being, suggesting that there’s going to be a bit of a wait until the S10 5G is unleashed.
5G is an up and coming network technology, and there’s a lot that can be said about its potential. Samsung sees the biggest benefit in the higher speeds and lower latencies, which are what’s going to allow for scenarios such as downloading a full TV show season in just minutes, playing intensive online games with virtually no lag, or having 4K video calls over the mobile network. Of course, we’d presume that general web browsing with the Galaxy S10 5G is also just going to be considerably faster than what we're used to with the good old 4G networks of today.
To make sure users can really benefit from this cutting edge connectivity, Samsung has equipped the S10 5G with an absolutely massive, 6.7” curved AMOLED display, which is the biggest in any Galaxy phone, including any Note. This is also supported by a massive 4,500 mAh battery. Devices with such pumped-up characteristics usually end up being pretty bulky, but that wasn't the impression the S10 5G left us with. Sure, it's a large phone, but its size seemed pretty OK during our little affair.
Of note is the design that's observed around the back and the sides of the Galaxy S10 5G. As usual, the rear panel if a nice, shiny piece of glass, but in the S10 5G it wraps around the sides more than it does with Sammy's other phones. The rear glass panel almost completely hugs the sides of the phone, and the aluminum side frame is for the most part reduced to a seriously slim line.
In terms of overall elegance, the Galaxy S10 5G is fine, but it does come across as a bulkier and more utilitarian version of the other S10 phones, including the S10e, which is surprisingly impressive. It's clear the S10 5G is a vision of the future, an early adopter's kind of device that's meant for a select few at this point. Perhaps next year will be the year when even the mainstream flagships like the S11 will get 5G support, but until then, at least Samsung has this beast of a handset to offer, and you know what? If you happen to be a lucky consumer covered by a pioneering carrier that already has a 5G network set up and going, the S10 5G might as well serve you in a pretty epic way... provided you have ideas on how to put that extra bandwidth to good use. Now, what's the price, Samsung?