The Samsung Galaxy S10+ Snapdragon & Exynos Review: Almost Perfect, Yet So Flawedby Andrei Frumusanu on March 29, 2019 9:00 AM EST
We’ve been in 2019 for a while. Although we've covered one or two smartphones in the last couple of months of the calendar year, the true “2019 flagship” phone season is really only starting now. Samsung’s Galaxy S10 is among the first releases in this new wave of phones, and for many markets it outright is the very first of a brand-new generation.
Samsung mixed things up this year by announcing the Galaxy S10 in San Francisco instead of the usual Mobile World Congress event. Though not unprecedented, the big reason here for the change in venues was to reflect Samsung's close collaboration with US carriers such as Verizon on 5G and other matters. Indeed 5G has been pretty much the buzzword for the last year or more, and the last few months have been especially busy in this regard. To that end, there will be a 5G model of the S10, however with its limited availability it doesn’t have nearly the same mass-market appeal as the new mainstream variants of the Galaxy 10.
As we’re nearing this upcoming transition period in technology, the new Galaxy S10 models have instead needed to double-down on the fundamental aspects of the phones in order to entice consumers who are increasingly holding on to their smartphones for three years or more. Here the introduction of a new screen, powerful hardware, bigger batteries, as well as a brand new triple camera setup gives users quite a number of reasons to upgrade.
Today we’ll be reviewing the lead member of the Galaxy S10 family, the Galaxy S10+. And in true AnandTech tradition, we're going to look at both variants of Samsung's king of phones: the North American Snapdragon 855 model, as well as the European Exynos 9820 model. With Samsung using different SoCs for what are otherwise (nearly) identical phones, this gives us a unique opportunity to take an in-depth look at the two new processors and compare & contrast them under very similar circumstances. And of course, there's a great deal to dig into with the Galaxy S10’s new screen and triple-module camera setup. This is going to be a long piece so prepare yourselves!
|Samsung Galaxy S10 Series|
|Galaxy S10e||Galaxy S10||
|SoC||(North America, China, Japan)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
1x Kryo 485 (Cortex-A76) @ 2.84GHz
3x Kryo 485 (Cortex-A76) @ 2.42GHz
4x Kryo 485 (Cortex-A55) @ 1.80GHz
Adreno 640 @ 585MHz
|(Europe & Rest of World)
Samsung Exynos 9820
2x Exynos M4 @ 2.73GHz
2x Cortex-A75 @ 2.31GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.95GHz
Mali G76MP12 @ 702MHz
2280 x 1080 (19:9)
3040 x 1440 (19:9)
3040 x 1440 (19:9)
|SAMOLED, HDR10+, 1200nits peak brightness|
|Gorilla Glass 5||Gorilla Glass 6|
|Dimensions||142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm
|149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8 mm
|157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm
|Battery||3100mAh (11.93Wh) typ.
3000mAh (11.55Wh) rated
|3400mAh (13.09Wh) typ.
3300mAh (12.71Wh) rated
|4100mAh (15.78Wh) typ.
4000mAh (15.4Wh) rated
|Primary Front Camera||
|Secondary Front Camera||-||8MP, f/2.2
Dual Pixel PDAF
|Primary Rear Camera||77° Regular Angle
12MP 1.4µm Dual Pixel PDAF
Tri-stack CMOS Sensor (Embedded DRAM),
4K60, 1080p240, 720p960 high-speed recording
Adjustable aperture f/1.5 or f/2.4,
OIS, auto HDR, LED flash
|Secondary Rear Camera||123° Wide Angle
16MP 1.0µm f/2.2
|-||45° / Telephoto lens 2x zoom
12MP 1.0µm f/2.4,
|4G Modem||Snapdragon X24 LTE (Snapdragon Integrated)
2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 20/13)
DL 2000 Mbps (7x20MHz CA, 256-QAM),
UL 316 Mbps (2x20MHz CA, 64-QAM)
Shannon LTE (Exynos Integrated)
2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 20/13)
DL 2000 Mbps (8x20MHz CA, 256-QAM),
UL 316 Mbps (3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM)
Dual NanoSIM/Hybrid SIM/microSD (Certain models)
|Wireless||802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2x2 MU-MIMO,
BT 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS/Glonass/Galileo/BDS
|Connectivity||USB Type-C, 3.5mm headset|
|Special Features||Side fingerprint sensor||Under-screen ultrasonic fingerprint sensor|
|heart-rate sensor (except S10e), face unlock,
fast charging (Qualcomm QC 2.0, Adaptive Fast Charging, USB-PD),
wireless charging & reverse charging (WPC & PMA),
IP68 water resistance
|Launch OS||Android 9.0 with Samsung OneUI|
The big changes of the new Galaxy S10 series can be summed up into three main aspects: a new design with a new screen, new internal hardware with the latest-generation silicon, and a new camera setup consisting of three camera modules.
On the design side, Samsung has continued its tradition of introducing a new design language with every second Galaxy S generation. The S8 and S9 were the first Samsung phones to employ new wide aspect ratio displays, and the new S10 continues this trend towards the inevitable conclusion of a screen-only phone. The key characteristic of the S10+ is the in-display cut-out of the front facing cameras, offering a unique new alternative to the display notch.
The new AMOLED display offers a 3040 x 1440 resolution and now comes with HDR10+ support, with Samsung promising some big increases in peak brightness. We’ll continue on the design of the S10 on the next page in more detail and talk about other new features such as the new under-screen ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.
On the internal hardware side, brand-new SoCs from Qualcomm and Samsung S.LSI promise generational jumps in performance and power efficiency. These latest SoCs benefit from newer manufacturing nodes, upgrades to the CPUs and GPUs, and introducing new dedicated blocks for neural network inferencing in the form of a new DSP and a new NPU.
For the cameras, the Galaxy S10+ incorporates much improved processing as well as support for high dynamic range image capture. And this time around Samsung doesn't include just one or two camera modules, but instead the company has moved up to three rear cameras for their flagship smartphone. Altogether the phone now uses a trifecta of wide angle, regular main, and telephoto modules.
The Galaxy S10 mainline series comes in 3 models: the Galaxy S10e, the regular Galaxy S10, and the up-sized Galaxy S10+. With Samsung offering so many phone variations – 6 in all – we've decided to dedicate our coverage to just a single model. To that end, out of popular demand following last year’s review of the Galaxy S9, we've opted to focus on the headliner Galaxy S10+, taking a look at Samsung's big flagship and the Exynos and Snapdragon versions that it's comprised of.
Diving right into the detailed specifications, the SoC situation was quite a controversial topic for Samsung in 2018, with the Samsung LSI (S.LSI) Exynos-powered variant of the Galaxy S9 delivering underwhelming performance and power efficiency compared to its Qualcomm counter-part. And coming into 2019 those concerns are still present as Samsung continues its dual-sourcing strategy.
The challenge for S.LSI (and the new Exynos in particular) is daunting: HiSilicon launched their Kirin 980 SoC nearly six months ago, taking the lead in delivering the first Android SoC built on TSMC’s 7nm manufacturing node. Thanks to its process advantage and Arm’s impressive new Cortex-A76 CPU core, HiSilicon was able to deliver significant performance and power efficiency gains, which we've seen first-hand in devices powered by the new chip. On paper then, the Snapdragon 855 is quite similar to the HiSilicon chip in terms of CPU design and manufacturing technologies, and our first results back in January pointed out to similar great performance and efficiency gains.
We’ll come back to the chipsets in further detail over the next few pages, but suffice it to say, the new chipsets are going to play a critical role in the new phones and will dictate a lot of the user experience of this new generation.
Moving on, let's talk about RAM and storage. The base configurations for the Galaxy S10 and S10+ come with 8GB of LPDDR4X DRAM, while the S10e starts at 6GB, so no phone at any tier is starting short on RAM. What is also great is that Samsung has phased out the 64GB storage tier for this generation, meaning that all S10 models come with at least 128GB of storage. I think this is a pretty important aspect of the value proposition Samsung is making with the Galaxy S10’s base configurations, as it contrasts very favorably against Apple's stingy storage tiers, which sees all of its iPhone configurations start at just 64GB, with the higher-tier 256GB models costing an extra $150.
Going up to higher capacity configurations, the S10e also comes in a 256GB configuration that includes an extra 2GB of DRAM, all of which tacks another $100 on to the price tag. Meanwhile the S10 and S10+ can jump from 128GB of storage to 512GB for an extra $250. And finally at the top, the S10+ is available in an ultra-premium configuration that sports 12GB of DRAM, 1TB of NAND storage, and a ceramic back, for which Samsung is charging a $600 premium over the base configuration.
Another notable change in internal specifications from generation to generation has been the increased battery capacities. The new Galaxy S10 comes advertised with a new 3400mAh battery while the S10+ claims a 4100mAh unit. I say "advertised" here because Samsung is being a bit misleading with their numbers; for the new phones Samsung’s has shifted from listing the design capacity of the batteries to their typical capacity, which inflates the numbers some.
Sticking with the more traditional design capacity then, the Galaxy S10 and S10+ would be rated for 3300mAh and 4000mAh respectively. Which compared to Samsung's last-generation phones, is still a 10% and 14.2% increase respectively over the Galaxy S9 and S9+. In practice, the nominal capacity (actual usable cycle capacity) for one of my S10+ units shows up as 3891mAh, which as it happens is higher than even the 3747mAh showcased on my Note9.
Along with the capacity changes, Samsung seems to have also changed their battery chemistry or charging behaviour, as the PMIC is now programmed to reduce its charge capacity and voltage at 300 cycles instead of 200 cycles. Similarly, the degradation curve appears to have been delayed, and it now reaches a lower 90% of the battery's design capacity after 700 cycles instead of 300. The degradation curves had been rather consistent for a few generations, so it’s interesting to see such a big change in the S10, and it's something to keep an eye on in the next year or two of usage.
On the back of the phone we have the new horizontal camera layout. The, with the inclusion of three camera modules, the S10 marks the first time Samsung has ever included a wide-angle module in their Galaxy S flagships. After many years of this being an LG-only feature, we suddenly have 3 major vendors all offering a trifecta of regular angle, wide angle and telephoto camera modules.
Relative to the S9, the main and telephoto modules in the S10 haven't changed in terms of their official specifications: they are still 12MP sensors, one with a f/2.4 2x zoom / 45° FoV lens and 1µm pixel pitch sensor, the other with Samsung’s dual-aperture f/1.5 or f/2.4 main module with 77° FoV and a 1.4µm dual pixel PDAF sensor. It’s to be noted that the S10 adopts new sensors for both these modules, even though their specifications on paper remain seemingly the same as on the S9. Added to the duo is the new 16MP f/2.2 1µm pixel pitch 123° wide angle unit, which gives the new Galaxy S10 a new perspective on the world.
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xian333c - Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - linkHow to buy that unicorn on table in ur shout?
Brightontech - Sunday, April 21, 2019 - linkit is an awesome phone
<a href="https://www.brightontech.net/2019/04/audiovideo-ed... Editor and Video Converter</a>
Video Editor and Video Converter
Jhereck - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - linkHi Andrei another question regarding the patch designed to increase PELT resonsiveness : is there any way a third party kernel can include it, therefore making s9 and s10 the devices they should be ?
You know like last year when you tried to play with s9 exynos kernel in order to match snapdragon power and power efficency ?
Thanks in advance
Rixos - Thursday, May 2, 2019 - linkIt's kind of sad, I was actualy looking at the s10e as a replacement device for my galaxy S7 but as I live in Europe I would be getting the Exynos variant. Worse audio quality, less processing power and worse camera results. Basically seeing this kind of ruined the purchase for me. In some sense I wish I would not have seen it, the S10e is likely still a great upgrade for my S7 but knowing that there is a better version out there just ruins it for me. I guess ignorance sometimes really is bliss.
theblitz707 - Thursday, May 23, 2019 - linkI see this is in every review. I actually went to stores and used my phones ambient light sensor and an another phones flashlight to measure display brightnesses. Although slightly inaccurate lg g7 gave a 1050lux reading with boost on.(all test on apl100) Taking that as a base s9 plus did 1020 s10 plus did 1123 and p20 pro did around 900 when i shone my flashlight to each sensor. So why everyone makes it seem like they are less bright than they actually are? Does using a flashlight to trigger high brightness impossible to imagine? Let me tell you those oled screens get very bright with high ambient light like outside on a sunny day.
ballsystemlord - Monday, June 3, 2019 - linkSpelling and grammar corrections. I did not read the whole thing, so there maybe more.
Samsung new L3 cache consists of two different structures
Samsung's new L3 cache consists of two different structures
Similarly, the A75's should be a ton more efficient the A55 cores at the upper performance points of the A55's.
Similarly, the A75's should be a ton more efficient than the A55 cores at the upper performance points of the A55's.
Arm states that the new Cortex A76 has new state-of-the-art prefetchers and looking at what the CPU is able to do one my patterns I'd very much agree with this claim.
Arm states that the new Cortex A76 has new state-of-the-art prefetchers and looking at what the CPU is able to do to one my patterns I'd very much agree with this claim.
The nature of region-based prefetchers means that fundamentally any patterns which has some sort of higher-level repeatability will get caught and predicted, which unfortunately means designing a structured test other than a full random pattern is a bit complicated to achieve.
"have" not "has" and a missing y:
The nature of region-based prefetchers means that fundamentally any patterns which have some sort of higher-level repeatability will get caught and predicted, which unfortunately means designing a structured test other than a fully random pattern is a bit complicated to achieve.
Switching over from linear graphs to logarithmic graphs this makes transitions in the cache hierarchies easier to analyse.
Excess "this" and analyze is with a "z":
Switching over from linear graphs to logarithmic graphs makes transitions in the cache hierarchies easier to analyze.
Indeed one of the bigger microarchitectural changes of the core was the addition of a second data store unit.
Indeed, one of the bigger microarchitectural changes of the core was the addition of a second data store unit.
...we see that in the L3 memory region store curve is actually offset by 1MB compared to the flip/load curves, which ending only after 3MB.
"ed" not "ing":
...we see that in the L3 memory region store curve is actually offset by 1MB compared to the flip/load curves, which ended only after 3MB.
"Traditionally such misses are tracked by miss status holding registers (MSHRs), however I haven't seen Arm CPUs actually use this nomenclature."
This is almost certainly a run on sentence with missing punctuation. Try:
"Traditionally, such misses are tracked by miss status holding registers (MSHRs). However, I haven't seen Arm CPUs actually use this nomenclature."
"Again to have a wider range of performance comparison across ARMv8 cores in mobile here's a grand overview of the most relevant SoCs we've tested:"
"Again, to have a wider range of performance comparison across ARMv8 cores in mobile here's a grand overview of the most relevant SoCs we've tested:"
giallo - Monday, June 17, 2019 - linkhow much did they pay you to write this bullshit? you must be true downs
theblitz707 - Monday, August 19, 2019 - linki discovered something about display brightness on oleds recently. I did a test with a7 with auto brightness on.
Lets assume, on a slightly dark room you set your brightness to 25nits(whites), so when you go out to the sun phone boosts around 750-800 nits.
Now lets assume on a slightly dark room you set your brightness to 250 nits, now when you go out to the sun phone boosts to 900nits. (what i actually did was not go in a dark room but while i was outside i covered the sensor with my hand so it thought i was in a dim place)
I used to assume everytime you go out to sun it would get maxed but apparently it still depends on what you set your phone before.(dumb a bit if you ask me, cuz you know, its THE sun, brightest thing..) I believe this might be the reason why you didnt reach to 100APL 1200nits.
P.s. I know every brightness sensor is different but i had tested lg on full white and i had gotten 1050 lux, i also tested s10 or plus, all white and i had gotten 1120lux on white,100APL.(It was painfully hard to find the sensor to shine the flashlight, its somewhere around upper part of the phone under the display).
It would be cool if you retested the brightness in this way:
1- After you put auto brightness on, Go in a very dark room or cover the sensor, so phone put itself to a dark brightness, after that happens, set the brigthness to max while you are still in the dark room.(auto is still on).
2- Now go under sun or shine a phone flashlight to sensor and test the brightness on white APL100. That would be really nice.
theblitz707 - Monday, August 19, 2019 - linklg is g7 on boosted, forgot to mention