Smartphone

OnePlus 7 Pro Review


The OnePlus 7 Pro is in my opinion the best all around Android phone that you can get and in a lot of cases, even the best smartphone that you can get! 

I tested this phone for more than a month and here is my full in-depth review with my final conclusion on the OnePlus 7 Pro!

Ok, so there are 6 sections in this review – Design, Display, Camera, Performance, Special Features & Battery Life and I want you to keep it’s $670 or £650 price point in mind throughout!


DESIGN

Starting off with the design – oh boy! I think the OnePlus 7 Pro is by far the best smartphone that you can get today, design wise.

It’s manufactured just like any other premium smartphone – we have a full metal frame surrounding the phone – it’s not stainless-steel like on the iPhone X’s and XS Max, it is actually made out of polished aluminium but it does feel very sturdy and premium. 

Both the back and front are made out of glass and they both curve around the frame in the exact same way. The transition between the black the frame and the front is almost seamless – you can still feel the frame protruding, but it feels much more unified than on the Galaxy S10+ for example. 

The glass back on the OnePlus 7 Pro

The glass back on the OnePlus 7 Pro

Now when it comes to how it feels in the hand..ehh..not that great!

Out of all the smartphones that I’ve used in 2019 – the iPhone XS Max, the S10, the S10+, the Pixel 3XL, 3a & 3a XL and even the regular OnePlus 7 – the 7 Pro feels very very chunky and a bit uncomfortable to hold in one hand – which I don’t really like.

The OnePlus 7 Pro (Left) vs the Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Right)

The OnePlus 7 Pro (Left) vs the Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Right)

Now it’s not just the massive 6.67” display that’s the cause of this, it’s also the thickness of the device. At 8.8mm thick – this is a full mm thicker than the S10+ and 1.1mm thicker than the iPhone XS Max. If you added a case to this, such as the new OnePlus Nylon Case, the 7 Pro would then measure 10mm or 1cm thick. 

In addition the OnePlus 7 Pro is also quite heavy in the hand. It weighs 206g which is 2g lighter than a XS Max but 31g heavier than an S10+.

Personally – I didn’t really notice the extra weight at all, only the thickness but some of the reviewers that I’ve spoken to, that also had the 7 Pro early, did say that they noticed the weight straight away – so that’s something to keep in mind.

The 7 Pro also comes in 3 colors; Nebula Blue, Black and Almond.

Mine’s the Nebula Blue color which I absolutely love however I usually go with black on any of my devices so that’s my personal choice, but I do think this Nebula Blue looks gorgeous, especially in the way it reflects the light. 

But there’s also that a Almond colored one which I do love a lot. I haven’t seen it in person but from the stills that I’ve seen, it looks incredible.

So design wise, even though I don’t like the thickness of the 7 Pro, I love everything else about it and I still think that this is the best designed phone on the market right now – so much better looking than the iPhone XS Max or the S10+, both of which have obstructions in the display, such as the notch or the camera cutout which take away from the viewing experience.

The 3 colors of the 7 Pro (Photo by OnePlus)

The 3 colors of the 7 Pro (Photo by OnePlus)

 

DISPLAY

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Not only do I think that this is the best design on a smartphone at the moment, this is also the best display that I have ever seen on a smartphone to date!

So it has that larger 6.67” AMOLED panel I mentioned earlier, which is manufactured by Samsung, with a resolution of 3120x1440, making it OnePlus’s highest resolution display yet. It has a PPI of 516, quite a bit higher than the 458 on the iPhone XS Max, text is just crystal clear and everything you do on this phone simply looks stunning. And since this is an OLED panel you also get perfect black levels and amazing rich colors for when you’re watching content.

The panel itself is made from Gorilla Glass 5, not the Gorilla Glass 6 that the Galaxy S10 has. Now I do have one scratch already this is from about 3 weeks of daily use compared to my S10+ that I’ve used daily for more than 2 months and it’s still flawless.

But you see, these are not the reasons why I think that this is the best display on any smartphone. There are 2 other reasons why I think that.

The Infinity Panel is what allows the 7 Pro to have a notch less display

The Infinity Panel is what allows the 7 Pro to have a notch less display

The first being the fact that there is no notch or camera cut-out at all on this! Thanks to this, you can enjoy FULL SCREEN content without ANY interruptions at all! This is something that we were hoping for in 2020 or even later but OnePlus has already managed to do it, by using Samsung’s New Infinity Display technology.

The second reason why I think that this is by far the best display on any smartphone, is the refresh rate. You see, the 7 Pro has a 90Hz refresh rate panel vs the 60Hz that regular smartphones have. This means that you get 50% more frames for the animations that you see on the display which means that everything you do is 50% more fluid than on other smartphones. So scrolling through the menus or through a website is buttery smooth, everything feels and looks amazing! A night and day difference from a Galaxy S10 or even an iPhone XS Max.

A comparison of the displays between the OnePlus 7 Pro (Top) and the Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Bottom

A comparison of the displays between the OnePlus 7 Pro (Top) and the Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Bottom

The only downside that I found in terms of the display, is that it doesn’t get as bright as the S10’s and I’ve also found that the S10 does indeed deliver richer colors when watching content on YouTube and better HDR tone mapping but these are only noticeable when comparing the 2 side by side, other than that – this is an outstanding display!

CAMERA

Ok, time to talk about the camera because this has always been the most controversial thing about OnePlus phones. They offered great specs, great performance but the downside has always been the camera, it just didn’t compare with Google, Samsung or iPhone cameras, and with the 7 Pro it’s pretty much the exact same story. 

On the back we have a triple lens camera module, similar to the S10+ or the Huawei Mate 20 Pro or P30 Pro but we have a main 48MP f/1.6 aperture sensor. However, this never takes pictures in full 48MP resolution and instead you get 12MP images out of this. The 2nd module is an 8MP f/2.4, 3X optical zoom one, but it’s actually just 2x optical zoom and the rest is done with that 48MP sensor. This means you get 3x “lossless” zoom essentially. Finally, the 3rd module is a 16MP f/2.2 aperture wide angle module which I do like a lot, since you can get so much more in the shot.

Camera Comparison between the OnePlus 7 Pro and XS Max. Note the lack of definition on the bushes in the OnePlus 7 image

Camera Comparison between the OnePlus 7 Pro and XS Max. Note the lack of definition on the bushes in the OnePlus 7 image

In day time it’s pretty good! It’s very comparable to competition. I did find the images to be a bit too soft which is ironic considering that these should be the sharpest with that 48MP sensor, when the other 3 smartphones all have 12MP sensors.  The HDR processing is decent as well but not as good as on the competition.

The night shots were actually better than I expected, better than on the iPhone XS Max but not as good as the S10+ or Pixel 3XL.

It’s video capabilities were also really good as well. It has superb stabilisation and 4K 60 video recording, I loved taking videos on this, however it was nowhere near as good the XS Max.

So the camera hardware is pretty good, definitely not the best one out there but still good. However OnePlus did released about 3 noticeable camera upgrades since it came out including; improved HDR, Night Mode capabilities and video recording, so it is definitely a better camera now.

The OnePlus 7 Pro’s pop-up front camera

The OnePlus 7 Pro’s pop-up front camera

Ok, but what about the front facing camera? How is it or more importantly where is it? Well, in order to make that display truly notch and punch hole-less OnePlus included the camera underneath the display and it uses a motorized pop-up system in just 0.53 seconds. It does close automatically in case you drop your phone, and according to OnePlus it will withstand over 300,000 openings and closings which should last you for at least 5+ years.

You can use it to unlock the phone but it’s not as secure as a fingerprint reader, so I personally would avoid it. 

Quality wise I really do like this front facing camera. It’s a 16MP f/2.0 aperture sensor and it takes some very good shots. In some cases even better than the Pixel 3 and the iPhone XS Max.

So overall we have good hardware, but the software needs more tweaks. Luckily OnePlus is releasing constant software updates to improve the camera and considering that this is a $670 phone, the camera’s more than capable enough for that price. 

 

PERFORMANCE

But what about the Performance?

Well, I’m happy to say that out all of the upsides that the performance on this phone is my favourite by far!

Spec wise, this thing is fully packed. We have the Snapdragon 855 Processor, 128GB of storage as the baseline and 6GB of RAM and then you can also get a higher end 256GB version with 12GB of RAM which is absolutely nuts!

The cooling pipe found in the OnePlus 7 Pro (Source: JerryRigEverything)

The cooling pipe found in the OnePlus 7 Pro (Source: JerryRigEverything)

The 7 Pro is noticeably faster by a large margin than my S10+, Pixel 3 and even my iPhone XS Max which costs double of what the 7 Pro does. Apps launch in just a fraction of a second, and they stay open in the background for ages, I could go back 15 apps and still find the app fully open which is crazy! If you combine this with the 90Hz refresh rate display, the new UFS 3.0 storage (this makes it the only smartphone in the world which gives you read speeds up to 1.7GB/s), and OnePlus’s OxygenOS (which is slightly modified version of stock android that lets you change the accent colors, navigation bar and more), then you have the fastest smartphone on the planet! 

Also, if you’re into gaming, this is an amazing device to play your games on. With that 90Hz refresh rate panel, you can game up to 90 fps, connect gaming controllers, and you even have a 10 layer heat pipe in the 7 Pro, which helps keep temperatures down during long gaming sessions. 

Overall, performance wise, this is the best smartphone that you can get at the moment, for day to day use at least.

SPECIAL FEATURES

When it comes to Special Features the 7 Pro is lacking, but I’ll start with what the OnePlus 7 Pro does have.

First off, fast charging is insanely fast on this phone! It uses OnePlus’s proprietary Warp Charging 30 technology which charges the 7 Pro at 30 Watts and you get 50% charge in just 20 minutes which is insane! This is the fastest fast charging on any smartphone at the moment. Also the charger does come bundled inside the box, unlike Apple’s. 

We also have stereo speakers now with a side facing speaker on the bottom and then the earpiece also acts as speaker itself. The sound quality is good, not as good as the S10+ or the Xs Max, but very close.

Also, I love the fingerprint sensor on this. It’s not an ultrasonic fingerprint reader like on the S10, but an Optical one, which is inferior from a hardware perspective since it uses a camera rather than soundwaves to read your fingerprint, but it is much faster than the S10+ one. I’d say it was the fastest and most accurate fingerprint reader I’ve ever used on a smartphone to date.

OnePlus have added a new haptic engine to this which is amazing. It’s very similar to the one inside the Pixel 3 which means that you not only get haptics or small vibrations when using some UI elements, but you also get the best typing experience on any smartphone which is also thanks to that large 6.67 inch display.

You can easily mute your phone or turn vibration on using the mute switch, which only Apple uses aside of OnePlus, as far as I’m aware at least. This means using a hardware switch rather than having to do it from the UI. 

However, the 7 Pro it does lack in a lot of areas where others don’t.

For example if you really care about a headphone jack, there isn’t one here. I actually prefer wireless headphones but I can see why this could be a huge downside for some.

There’s also no microSD card support at all which again, not really a downside for me since I mostly use cloud storage and everyone should, but if you need more than 256GB then a Samsung phone is one of the last few options left. 

But the main downside here for me is that there is no wireless charging at all on the 7 Pro. Now OnePlus’s excuse for this was that their Warp Charging was much faster, which I agree it is much faster than any wireless or even wired charging standard that we have today. But after using so many smartphones with wireless charging, I’ve even installed wireless changing pads in my home and office and the fact that I cannot use my OnePlus 7 Pro with any of them is very disappointing. You might expect this from the regular OnePlus 7 but not the Pro. Yes, I know wireless charging isn’t great but it‘s extremely convenient and for convenience purposes, I’m willing to accept a slower charge. 

The Pixel (Left) has an Always On Display whereas the OnePlus 7 Pro (Right) requires a tap to wake

The Pixel (Left) has an Always On Display whereas the OnePlus 7 Pro (Right) requires a tap to wake

Another issue is that there is no Always On Display at all on this. Always On is one of my favourite features ever, in a smartphone. Being able to see the time displayed, all the time, or the notifications without having to tap the display to see them is such a brilliant thing to have. Samsung has had this for years, Google has it, even LG has it but Apple and OnePlus don’t. And whilst you can install some 3rd party Always On Display apps they will just kill your battery in a matter of 2-3 hours. I just couldn’t find one that worked well enough.

Now, there is also no official water resistance rating on this device. OnePlus did say that they did that in order to keep the cost low, which makes sense. They did add some rubber seals to the ports so technically it is water resistant to rain and splashes, but we just don’t know to what extent. So I wouldn’t use this anywhere near a swimming pool or even listen to music in the shower, like I do with my S10 or XS Max. This isn’t a big downside since manufacturers don’t cover water damage anyways, but it still gives me a piece of mind if it has an official rating. Otherwise, like I said, I tend to avoid using this near water or steam. 

 

BATTERY LIFE

When it comes to battery life, the 7 Pro comes with a pretty big 4000mAh battery. Which does last me for quite some time but it’s not as large as my S10+ which has a 4100mAh battery. However, it definitely lasts me longer than my XS Max does.

Having that insanely fast 50% charge in just 20 minutes is a life saver but this also means that I need to pack that Warp Charger every single time I travel with the 7 Pro because since Warp Charging is a proprietary technology, the 7 Pro does not support the more common USB type C Power Delivery standard. So you need that Warp Charger every time you travel, if you want that 50% in 20 minute charge. If you didn’t take it you could use a MacBook charger for example, but the 7 Pro would charge very slowly

But for me the biggest downside to the 7 Pro’s battery is that it doesn’t support wireless charging.

CONCLUSION

So overall what’s my opinion on the OnePlus 7 Pro?

Well, it’s definitely not perfect. It lacks many features that other high end and even some low end smartphones have today, such as wireless charging, an Always On Display or a great camera. I mean the Pixel 3a which costs half of what the 7 Pro does, has a much better camera. 

But it does have the best display in a smartphone, the best daily performance on a smartphone, the best fast charging in a smartphone and also in my opinion, the best Android Overlay in an android phone which is even better than Google’s stock android since it does give you more customisation.

And considering that it does all that at almost half of what an iPhone XS Max costs that is seriously impressive so, good job OnePlus! 

Samsung Galaxy S10+ Review


I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy S10+ for the past 2 months now and I’m simply in love with this device. More so than with any other smartphone that I’ve used.

The Galaxy S10+ is sitting in my pocket at the time of writing this, which not a lot of devices get to do. It’s actually replaced my iPhone XS Max as my main device for these past 2 months and here’s my full in-depth review of the Samsung Galaxy S10+!


DESIGN

This year we are lucky enough to have three S10’s to choose from; the S10+, the S10 and S10e and, whilst this is a review of the S10+, I am just going to go over a few differences in design between the models now.

In terms of display size we get a 5.8” one on the S10e, 6.1” on the S10 and 6.4” on the S10+. Now the S10e does have a flat display rather than the curved ones we get on the S10 and S10+, and the S10+ is the only one with a dual camera cut-out on the front which allows it to have better 3D depth mapping.

Now back to the S10+, the design of this phone is absolutely outstanding. This is, in my eyes at least, the best looking smartphone on the market by far! We get some extremely thin bezels on this phone. The top frame is barely even there, and the speaker is now built into that frame. The sides of the phone are curved, and whilst this does impact usability, which I’ll cover in the software section of this video, it makes the phone absolutely stunning to look at.

The Prism Green S10

The Prism Green S10

The backs of these phones also look amazing. You can get all the S10’s in many colors, some are unfortunately exclusive to only a few countries. The Prism Black and Prism White ones are available pretty much everywhere so you can at least pick those up, and you also have variants such as the Prism Green, like our regular S10 which Vodafone UK provided for us to show in the video, so shout out to Vodafone for that!

But probably the best part about the design of the S10+ is that camera cut-out itself!

There’s no notch at all on the S10+ and we instead get a single cut-out for the front camera, which Samsung has managed to integrate the actual display panel itself! It is really impressive to see how the display wrapped around the camera cut-out, and that portion of the display does support touch input, so you’re not really missing out on anything here.

Many users have started making wallpapers that embrace the cut-out rather than hiding it. There is a Wall-E wallpaper for example just looks incredible, and many of them were made by the community and even Samsung themselves, to fully take advantage of that camera cut-out.

I honestly think that this is one the best things that happened to a smartphone in a while. Apple tries to hide the notch on their iPhones, whereas Samsung’s doing quite the opposite. 

Now the only small “complaint” that I have regarding the S10’s design, is the chin. Not the fact that it’s big, because it’s almost the same size as on the iPhone XS Max, making it the 2nd thinnest chin on the market right now, but the fact that it’s not the same size as the top bezel so it stands out quite easily.

Other than that, in my opinion, this is the most beautiful phone on the market and just a joy to look at! 

 

DISPLAY

Let's great straight to the point on this. This is by far the best display on any smartphone on the market right now! I don’t mean just on a smartphone either, but on any device in general. It’s one of those things that you have to see in person, to fully comprehend how good it really is. 

It’s a 6.4” 3040x1440 OLED display, with an aspect ratio of 19:9 and a pixel density of 522PPI. It’s got gorilla glass 6, and probably the best part about it, is that it can display HDR10+ content. If you are not aware of what this is it means the display can go as bright as 1000 nits, which is just insane on a smartphone.

Also, if you’re coming from an iPhone, Android does support Google’s VP9 codec, meaning you can watch 1440p videos on YouTube, rather than being restricted to just 1080p, like on Apple Products. So not only is the display higher res, but YouTube renders at a higher quality as well and it’s just an incredible experience for watching content.

 

CAMERA

Now the camera is unfortunately where some of the downsides of this phone start, but they aren’t major.

The difference in camera quality between the Note 9 and S10+

The difference in camera quality between the Note 9 and S10+

Whilst you do get a 3rd camera module on the back, which is a wide angle module, meaning you can capture significantly more in the shot than you could with the regular module, the image quality itself hasn’t changed that much from the Note 9 or even the Samsung Galaxy S9 from a year before. In fact, looking at the camera specs, they seem to be using the exact same modules.

Samsung has updated their image processing so the HDR shots especially look better but they’re still not better than on the Pixel 3 XL or the iPhone XS Max in a lot of cases. RAW image processing is good, but again nothing compared to the iPhone XS Max which has the best dynamic range on any smartphone today. 

On the video side, we did get a massive upgrade and that is the fact that you can now record for an unlimited amount of time, which was limited to just 5 minutes of 4K60, or 10 minutes of 4K30 before. That didn’t make a lot of sense, especially considering how much storage you can have in this phone, but I’m glad to see this restriction being removed. 

Slow motion is good if you only care about the result. It can shoot in up to 960fps in 720p, but the slow motion movement detection it done automatically and, at the time of writing this, manual mode is glitched. Long story short, recording the quick balloon pop scene in the video took about 5-6 attempts on the S10+, whereas the iPhone XS Max and the Google Pixel 3 XL nailed it the first time. So it’s very frustrating recording slow-motion on the S10, but when it does work, the result is pretty good. 

However, there are a few weird things with this camera. Take the fact that you cannot use the wide-angle lens or the telephoto lens when recording video, unless you switch to 4K30. 4k60 doesn’t work with the wide-angle for example. Why is it like this? I have no idea, it doesn’t make any sense at all for Samsung to limit this. 

Now don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not saying that this camera is bad. On the contrary, the S10+ has the best smartphone camera on the market, same spot as the Google Pixel 3, the iPhone XS Max or the Huawei P30 Pro, but they all have different ups and downs.

Take the iPhone XS Max for example, it excels in video and dynamic range when it comes to photos. The Pixel 3 has some amazingly good HDR shots and an insane Night Mode. The Huawei P30 Pro has that 5x or even 50x zoom, and an even better Night Mode. Then the S10+ has, in my opinion, the best wide angle camera on a smartphone today, the best front facing camera for video, since it can do 4K video on the front and it can take some outstanding shots with little to no tweaking required. 

In the end, there’s no perfect smartphone camera, but the Galaxy S10+ one is definitely as good as the competition, just in some other areas. 

PERFORMANCE

Performance wise though, this thing is a beast! It comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 in US and Canada and Samsung’s own Exynos 9820 in Europe and Asia, and this year, it seems like the Snapdragon models are a better choice. They are not only faster but they also offer a better battery life.

Since we’re UK based, we got the Exynos model and personally my experience with the S10+’s performance has been really good. I haven’t really had any major lag or freezes on the S10+, unlike what I used to get on the older Samsung models. My iPhone XS Max completely froze 3 times in the past 2 weeks alone, to the point where I had to force restart the device since the touchscreen was completely unresponsive, and I’ve never had that with the S10+. 

The cooling pipe in the S10+ (Source: JerryRigEverything)

The cooling pipe in the S10+ (Source: JerryRigEverything)

Yes, it’s not as powerful as an iPhone XS Max is, but it can easily handle all the everyday tasks extremely well so I’ve very pleased in this regard. And the fact that it comes with 8GB of RAM by default, and even 12GB on the higher end 1TB storage model, means that you’ll never have an issue keeping apps open in the background. 

Heck, it even has a vapor cooling pipe to keep the temperatures low during gaming or video editing, which both the regular S10 or the S10e lack.

 

SOFTWARE

But performance is nothing without a good software experience and I’m pleased to say that the S10+ has the best software experience I’ve seen in a Samsung phone.

The new OneUI is a huge improvement over the previous Samsung Experience UI. Not only do you get this really cool system-wide dark theme, but the whole idea behind Samsung’s OneUI is that you can use it with one hand and everything is gestures based now. So you can swipe down from the home screen to access the notification panel, and even the brightness slider. You swipe up in the middle to go home, you swipe up on the right-hand side to go back, and you swipe up on the left hand side to open up the multitasking bar.

I mean they’re not the best gestures out there, they are better than the Pixel but they are still slide up gestures of the previous buttons rather than something that was designed specifically with the lack of buttons in mind, like the swipe left and right that we have on the iPhone.

Now something that I do like is the fact that you can have folders on the app drawer. You can basically have the entire iOS app UI with a swipe up of a finger and then you can keep the home screen clean and simple, with just a few icons and a few essential widgets.

The Samsung Edge Panel allows you to quickly access your favourite apps

The Samsung Edge Panel allows you to quickly access your favourite apps

I also love Samsung’s Edge Panel that gives you a few extra apps when you swipe from the side of the phone, this is brilliant and extremely useful to have! You can even have tools here, contacts for example, and way more things than just apps. 

However there are a few things I dislike about this software apart from the slightly clunky gestures.

My main issue with the software is with accidental touch rejection. It’s pretty bad and that’s because of the curved display which makes it very easy for your palm to touch some of the icons on the edge. This was improved from the S9 to the Note 9, when Samsung made the edges less curved on the Note 9 and the accidental touches were almost fixed entirely but the edges are now back to being really curved on the S10+, which does make the phone looks nice but it also severely impacts the usability. So I ended up randomly liking comments or tweets, pausing YouTube videos, skipping videos quite a number of times. 

I also dislike the scrolling. There’s no bounce effect like we have on iOS, so everything feels very unnatural and nothing feels as smooth or as fluid as an iPhone does. This doesn’t apply to all Android phones to be honest. For example my Pixel handles a slide gesture much better than my S10 does which constantly struggles with this, mostly because of the curved display which is really annoying! 

Animations don’t feels as smooth as iOS either. Everything feels a bit choppy and unnatural, so if you’re coming from iOS this is something you’ll notice right away. 

And of course, there’s the updates. Samsung is usually about a year late when it comes to updates and even when they do release an update, such as the recent Night mode for the camera, not all S10’s get it at the same time. For example, I still don’t have it on my personal S10, yet the review unit from Vodafone does. Samsung did improve their update cycle and they have launched OneUI on the Note 9, S9, Note 8, even the S8 have it, which is great and all but it’s still far behind Google Pixel phones which get day 1 updates, or OnePlus phones which also get updated just a few weeks or months after Google phones.

SPECIAL FEATURES

This phone is the swiss army knife of smartphones when it comes to special features. It comes with pretty much everything you would need in a smartphone. 

It’s one of the few smartphones to still support a microSD card slot, so you can expand the top of the line 1TB model with up to 512GB of additional storage and have 1.5TB of storage in a smartphone which is just insane!

It doesn’t come with UFS 3.0 storage, which only the Galaxy Fold and the OnePlus 7 Pro have so that’s a bit disappointing, considering that those are Samsung’s own chips which would’ve given the S10+ read speeds of close to 3GB/s up from about 1.5GB/s and write speeds would have almost double as well.

But we do get a ton more features. We get an always-on display which is fully customisable. We also get a notification ring that goes around the camera cut-out, which was recently added in an update.

It does come IP68 water resistance, which same as on every other water resistant phone, but it is not covered under warranty.

We get dual stereo speakers, which are much louder than on something like an iPhone XS Max, and also a headphone jack which is really useful to have if you’re not fully invested into the wireless headphone ecosystem.

The S10’s can now reverse wireless charge any device that accepts wireless charging, like the Pixel 3XL for example

The S10’s can now reverse wireless charge any device that accepts wireless charging, like the Pixel 3XL for example

If you are though, Samsung has also released the Galaxy Buds, which are their answer to Apple’s 2nd generation AirPods. They isolate the sounds much better than the AirPods but their sound isn’t as full as the AirPods. The microphone on the Buds is pretty bad, but they do offer better controls than the AirPods, and probably the best part about them is that you can charge them on the back of your S10!

Yes, the S10 now has reverse wireless charging, so you can charge anything that supports wireless charging; your Galaxy Watch, your Galaxy Buds, or even an iPhone. Also, wireless charging is now even faster on the S10, with up to 12W charging, so that’s great. It can get to 33% in just 30 minutes of charge using fast charge, which is pretty impressive considering it’s large 4100mAH battery. 

The S10 is also one of the world’s first smartphones to feature WiFi 6 or WiFI 802.11ax, the brand new standard that can get theoretical speeds of up to 10Gb/s! There’s very few WiFi 6 routers and networks out there, but this is great for futureproofing. Also if you want 5G, Samsung will be selling that 5G variant of the S10+, which not only comes with 5G but also a larger 6.7” display as well as an extra 4th camera module. 

But there are 2 outstanding features on this phone which not a lot of reviewers talk about and these are by far the most impressive things on any smartphone.

By connected your Samsung phone to an external monitor you can enter DeX mode

By connected your Samsung phone to an external monitor you can enter DeX mode

The first one is DeX. So with the S10, you can use the USB type C port, which is also USB 3.1, and connect it to an external monitor. Once you do that, it boots into this DeX mode, which looks very similar to a Window 10 experience. So you have all of your apps here in full screen, and apps such as Microsoft Office and Chrome work just as they do on your full desktop computer. You can even attach a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard and basically transform your S10 into a desktop computer whenever you get back home from work. I find this is absolutely amazing! If you’re the kind of person that mostly uses their smartphone and nothing else, being able to use this as a full desktop PC when you get home is not just convenient, but it’s also far more affordable than buying a new computer. 

The 2nd big unique feature is VR. Samsung has the best mobile VR on the market right now. The GearVR which also comes with a motion controller is something that I recommend to every S10 user to get. The GearVR is made in partnership with Oculus so you have full access to thousand of Oculus apps and games and with the S10’s gorgeous 3K OLED display, everything looks stunning!. It’s something that honestly all of you need to try out! It’s that big of a game changer. 

|You can now unlock the S10 and S10+ using the in-display fingerprint reader (Source: Samsung)

|You can now unlock the S10 and S10+ using the in-display fingerprint reader (Source: Samsung)

Finally, we wouldn’t be talking about Special Features without mentioning the Fingerprint Reader. On previous Samsung phones, ever since the S8, we’ve had it on the back, which I was never a fan of. The one on the Note 9 was good, and much easier to reach since it was placed in the middle, rather than to the side. But I would have still preferred a Facial Recognition system like Apple uses on their iPhones or a fingerprint reader on the front. And this is exactly what Samsung has done with the S10. We’ve seen this rumored and leaked, ever since the S8, Samsung using an optical fingerprint reader but for whatever reason they never did. Even the S10 uses an Ultrasonic fingerprint reader, which is far more advanced than an optical one since it doesn’t need any light in order for it to work. Now my experience with this fingerprint reader has been ok. It’s definitely slower than a dedicated fingerprint reader and it doesn’t work as often as FaceID does on the iPhones. Initially it was working just 6/10 times for me, so I added my finger multiple times and now it works 8-9/10 times. Tip for those of you who have trouble with the fingerprint reader. But for me, I would always pick the S10’s fingerprint reader over one that’s on the back of the phone. This is Samsung’s first gen in-display fingerprint reader though, and I’m pretty confident that’s going to get even better with future software updates and new Galaxy phones as well. 

 

BATTERY

How the UI looks in the ‘Ultra Power Saving’ mode

How the UI looks in the ‘Ultra Power Saving’ mode

I found the battery life has been amazing for me. It can easily last me for a full day of use, even when I’m travelling and I’m a really heavy user.

The S10 also has this adaptive power saving mode that limits background usage of certain apps, based on what, how and when you use your. You can also manually toggle that Ultra Power Saving mode, which is not called anymore but it still works in a similar way, where the entire UI is black and you have this simplified UI where you can only use a few essential apps but the battery can last you for a few days, or even weeks by doing this. This with the S10+’s fast wireless charging and fast wired charging, and that 4100mAh battery means that this phone has given me the best battery life so far.



CONCLUSION

Ok, so what are my overall thoughts on the S10+?

Honestly, this is by far the best smartphone on the market right now, keep in mind that this is coming from someone who mostly uses Apple products. 

This is an amazing device with a stunning display, outstanding battery life, a very versatile camera and even the price of it is really good. On Samsung’s website, the S10+ starts from £900 for the 128GB model that also comes with 8GB of RAM, which is £200 less than an iPhone XS Max which only comes with 64GB of storage, no microSD card and a fraction of the features that the S10+ comes it.

The iPhone does offer a more fluid and optimised experience, everything just flows more nicely and if you’re heavily invested into the Apple ecosystem, then that’s a better choice. But for me, since I recently got an iPad Pro as well, I still have iOS for some things meaning that using an S10, an iPad and a MacBook is actually doable.

Also, since you cannot even use 2 apps at the same time on a £1100 iPhone XS Max for example, which you can easily do on the S10, the S10 is also a much better productivity tool that fits right in your pocket.