Samsung Galaxy Observe 10 Overview: The Observe For Everybody Else


Samsung Galaxy Observe 10 Overview: The Observe for everybody else

MSRP $950.00

“The Galaxy Observe 10 will fulfill all with a giant display and a compact measurement.”


  • Essentially the most compact Observe telephone thus far
  • Enticing Aura Glow coloration
  • Expansive display
  • Useful S Pen enhancements
  • Day-long battery life


  • Digicam is a step beneath the competitors
  • No MicroSD card assist or headphone jack

The Galaxy Observe 10 Plus stole a variety of hearts at its debut, however I seemed inquisitively and in admiration of the smaller Galaxy Observe 10. Not simply because it’s the primary time Samsung has launched two Observe telephones, however as a result of shifting it round in my handcrafted it really feel in contrast to every other gadget: an enormous 6.3-inch display in a one-hand-friendly kind that felt like liquid and seemed prefer it too.

I’m in love with its measurement, and my ogling gaze made me virtually miss what Samsung was telling me: This doesn’t have all of the options because the Observe 10 Plus. I winced because the air was knocked out of me. “OK,” I believed. “What are we lacking?”

After spending a while with the Observe 10, the reply will not be a lot. Observe smartphones have all the time indulged within the extra, so what occurs while you make a “lite” model? Effectively, you come away with a lavish, highly effective telephone that’s nonetheless greater than what most individuals want, with a stylus besides, if that’s your factor.

If you happen to’re into the larger, extra feature-packed Observe 10 Plus, take a look at our full assessment.

Compact design, nonetheless a giant show

What catches the attention first with the Observe 10 is undoubtedly the dazzling, color-changing colorways. All named with the befitting “Aura” prefix, the Observe 10 is available in Aura Glow, Aura White, and Aura Black. Aura Glow is the mannequin I acquired and doubtless the one you’ll need most for its lovely rainbow-spectrum reflections. The Galaxy Observe 10 makes me want I may take footage of my telephone with my telephone.

Corey Gaskin / Digital Traits

The Observe 10 is definitely smaller than final yr’s Observe 9, whereas nonetheless sustaining virtually the identical giant display measurement — 6.3 inches in comparison with the Observe 9’s 6.4-inch display. That is because of the slimmed-down bezels across the display, supplying you with extra display actual property than ever earlier than; it has among the slimmest bezels I’ve seen on a telephone. It appears and feels smaller than the Observe 9 in-hand, like a barely wider Galaxy S10. It’s comfy, and I by no means thought I’d say a Samsung Observe– of all telephones — is completely usable with only one hand.

The Galaxy Observe 10 makes me want I may take footage of my telephone with my telephone.

For reference, the Observe 10 Plus has a sprawling 6.8-inch display however it’s virtually the identical footprint because the Observe 9. As Samsung will get higher at becoming larger screens in smaller units, it is smart to make a good bigger-screened Galaxy Observe 10 Plus, however making a smaller telephone is a welcome addition too.

Talking of the display, the Observe 10 differs from the Plus in display decision. It has a 2,280 x 1,080 decision (401 pixels per inch). In apply, you actually received’t be capable of inform a distinction in sharpness with out making a concerted effort. It’s nonetheless the identical Dynamic AMOLED panel that’s HDR10+ licensed, vivid, and will get lots brilliant while you’re out and about within the solar. It’s spectacular.

Note 10 screen vs. iPhone XS screen
Observe 10, high. iPhone XS, backside. Corey Gaskin/Digital Traits

As you may see within the comparability above, whereas the pink jacket on the topic wasn’t as darkish as it’s within the iPhone XS in actual life, the Observe 10’s display is distinctly brighter.

There’s a casualty we should always handle, which Samsung mentioned was within the title of the thinner physique and large battery inside — the beloved 3.5mm headphone jack. I, like many, am not stoked to wish an adapter if I need to use wired headphones, but additionally like many, by now, I’ve not less than one pair of Bluetooth headphones. It’s not usually I would like or need to go wired however the possibility is beneficial. A USB-C to three.5mm dongle will not be included within the field, sadly, only a pair of USB-C AKG earbuds.

The Bixby button has additionally disappeared, nicely, type of. Technically it’s the ability button that has disappeared, and the previous Bixby button is now a sleep/wake key. Press and maintain the button, and it calls upon Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant. So how do you flip the telephone off? There’s a brand new software program button within the notification drawer, or you may customise the bodily sleep/wake key within the settings menu to supply up the ability menu while you press and maintain it, successfully disabling Bixby.

The S Pen

The S Pen, nonetheless accessible from the underside of the telephone, has some aesthetic modifications; particularly, there are beveled edges you possible received’t discover until you’re evaluating it on to final yr’s S Pen. The stylus does add some gestures to its repertoire within the type of Air Actions. Very like we noticed on the recently-announced Galaxy Tab S6, you may maintain the button on the S Pen and wave it like a magic wand to change between digicam modes or media inside a gallery, in addition to zoom the digicam with a round movement to the left or proper.

For essentially the most half, these work nicely in apply, although it could take a number of tries to get used to the gestures. Air Actions are helpful for taking images or video on a tripod setup however in any other case won’t get a lot use in your each day life. Extra integrations could crop up in third-party apps, although, because of the open software program improvement package for third-party builders. For the time being, it really works in Samsung’s Gallery app and YouTube.

Corey Gaskin / Digital Traits

The S Pen has additionally turn out to be extra professionally-viable with a brand-new Microsoft Workplace integration. Now, you may take written notes within the Samsung Notes app and transcribe them into editable textual content, after which export it to a Phrase doc. Samsung’s transcription know-how is pretty correct, deciphering my terrible penmanship adeptly, punctuation and all. Nonetheless, writing on a display this measurement, you’re unable to suit full sentences on one line, which can create some formatting points you’ll must rectify when transferring to a Phrase doc. It may be useful for shorter notes and lists, although, and it’s impressively educated on 62 languages and 1000’s of handwriting samples, so it ought to transcribe nicely for a great quantity of individuals.

The opposite draw back is that the transcribed textual content exhibits up on the Phrase doc in a textual content field — which means that you must lower it from the textual content field after which paste it inline on the doc. It’s a bit clunky. Nonetheless, it is a good step in the direction of making the Observe 10 a extra common software for productiveness, and hopefully, we’ll see extra choices for export with third-party apps like Google Docs.

The S Pen has turn out to be extra professionally viable with a brand-new Microsoft Workplace integration.

The final new trick for the S Pen is an app known as AR Doodle. It brings the S Pen’s drawing performance to actual life, transposing your doodles into real-life objects and faces with augmented actuality and face-tracking know-how. We’ve seen this earlier than from apps like Google’s Only a Line app; it’s not a characteristic I see myself utilizing ever however it was mildly entertaining to mess around with. Facial monitoring works nicely however issues can appear to get somewhat off monitor when plotting objects round you somewhat than simply on faces.

Home windows integrations and DeX enhancements

Maybe extra interesting is a seamless resolution to the long-awaited hyperlink between your telephone and pc, akin to what Apple gadget homeowners take pleasure in with their iPhones and Macs. As I discussed earlier, Samsung and Microsoft teamed up for some particular options, and this specific one builds on Microsoft’s Your Telephone app, which helps you to see notifications, messages, and your latest images on a related Home windows PC or laptop computer.

Samsung’s two key additions are the flexibility to take telephone calls and mirror your Observe 10 on a Home windows gadget. Whereas the previous shall be enabled at a later date, the latter is reside, proving to be a enjoyable option to work together together with your telephone for duties and even enjoying video games — like somewhat digital field to run Android apps. There’s a slight lag in gaming however it’s nonetheless fairly usable.

Setup is pretty straight-forward — we’ve got a information you may observe. All that’s required is a sign-in to your Microsoft Account in your Observe 10 and registering your linked units — however it’s not almost as plug-and-play because the hyperlink between iOS and MacOS, which has a safe handshake behind the scenes by way of your web connection and a easy “would you want to make use of this characteristic” immediate. Samsung and Microsoft’s implementation additionally solely permits you one gadget to pair together with your telephone, forcing you to de-register via the web site in case you’d prefer to hyperlink one other laptop computer or PC. That is one other strike towards its seamlessness, as Apple units haven’t any restrict for connections.

Joel Chokkattu/DIgital Traits

Samsung’s DeX mode, which permits a desktop Android interface when its telephones are related to an exterior monitor, can now additionally run on Home windows and Macs, just by connecting your Observe 10 by way of USB cable. You’ll must obtain the Samsung DeX app in your pc however no information out of your telephone will get saved on the PC until you progress it there.

Basically, it’s somewhat digital machine that pops up and runs in your pc in its personal sandbox. It really works as supposed, and will be a simple option to switch information, however there doesn’t look like way more you get out of this integration apart from one other display with peripherals on which you’ll be able to run DeX.

Speedy efficiency, RIP MicroSD playing cards

There’s a great quantity to love within the efficiency space, however some curious omissions really feel like they have been made for the sake of making separation between the Observe 10 and the Observe 10 Plus. The Observe 10, just like the Observe 10 Plus, is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor. The place it differs is RAM: the Observe 10 has 8GB and the Observe 10 Plus has 12GB. Extra RAM isn’t essentially a great factor, and 8GB is lots. By means of per week of heavy and different makes use of, I can’t consider a single occasion the place I believed, “Rattling, this wants extra RAM.” This shall be adequate now and sure the close to future too.

Listed below are some benchmark outcomes:

  • AnTuTu 3DBench: 363,358
  • Geekbench 4 CPU: 3,370 single-core; 10,707 multi-core
  • 3DMark Sling Shot Excessive: 5,624 (OpenGL); 4,895 (Vulkan)

The Observe 10 beat the Observe 10 Plus in AnTuTu and 3DMark scores, which isn’t uncommon because it doesn’t must energy as giant of a display with a excessive decision. These scores are excessive and place the Observe 10 in our checklist of best-performing telephones, which additionally embody the likes of the OnePlus 7 Professional and the iPhone XS.

My most important concern is storage. You solely get 256GB for the Observe 10 (Observe 10 Plus patrons can select between 256GB and 512GB), and there’s no MicroSD card slot, regardless of there being one on the Plus mannequin. For a $1,000 gadget geared toward energy customers and professionals, it is a powerful capsule to swallow. In actuality, 256GB needs to be greater than sufficient for most individuals, however I can’t assist however really feel like this restrict was made arbitrarily.

Flicking across the Android 9 Pie working system and testing out options confirmed a speedy telephone by all accounts. Every day duties are dealt with instantly, whereas multitasking and gaming confirmed equally pleasing pace and fluidity. One UI, as all the time, is feature-packed with menus inside menus inside menus. I nonetheless very a lot admire Samsung’s creature comforts like a button to scroll to the highest of lists, which sadly isn’t current in each app, and the sleek aesthetics of Evening mode, the corporate’s darkish person interface setting. Its potential to show net pages black is actually the one purpose I exploit Samsung’s browser over Google Chrome as a result of it appears that good.

I can’t consider a single occasion the place I believed, ‘Rattling, this wants extra RAM’.

What about 5G? The subsequent-gen community know-how isn’t extensively accessible but and can take a number of years to completely develop, however If you happen to have been hoping for 5G on a Observe gadget, you’ll need to get the Observe 10 Plus 5G, particularly. It’s the identical precise telephone because the Galaxy Observe 10 Plus, simply 2 grams heavier and it could hook up with 5G networks.

A robust however acquainted digicam

The triple-camera setup on the rear is a primary for a Observe telephone, following its debut on the Galaxy S10 vary. Sporting comparable three lenses and megapixel pairings because the S10, the Observe 10 brings collectively a 12-megapixel most important lens, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens. Whereas the Observe 10 has the identical variable aperture (f/1.5 and f/2.4) on the principle digicam, the telephoto lens has a wider aperture than the Galaxy S10, which makes a giant distinction in low-light images. There’s additionally now a Evening Mode you may manually allow, and it additionally works for the 10-megapixel selfie digicam, which has a narrower f/2.2 aperture over the S10.

Packing top-flight digicam specs, however no time-of-flight (ToF) sensor, the Observe 10 nonetheless has among the greatest {hardware} you will get in a telephone digicam and due to this fact among the greatest outcomes. Although tweaks over the Galaxy S10’s triple-camera setup are slight, they make a noticeable distinction – in good methods and unhealthy.

The great comes with the telephoto lens and low-light efficiency. Modifications to aperture make the Observe 10’s telephoto lens a a lot better performer than the S10, particularly in low-light. In such situations, the S10 couldn’t usher in sufficient mild to light up the complete shot, the place the Observe 10 may. In truth, the Observe 10, total, picked up extra coloration and element in lower-light scenes than the S10, not simply in night time photographs.

The unhealthy is that among the time I discovered the S10 to be a extra correct performer in daytime and dynamic scenes. However a big a part of the digicam expertise is similar between the 2 telephones. Flip on the Evening Mode characteristic on these two, and our favor once more lies with the S10, which didn’t over-brighten and over-sharpen as a lot because the Observe 10 did with Evening Mode enabled. In truth, I favored the S10’s Evening Mode over a number of competitor’s respective night time modes.

So, how’s the Observe 10 form up towards perennial pictures powerhouses just like the Pixel 3 and iPhone XS? As talked about, the Observe 10 takes good footage on the subject of element and the convenience with which you’ll be able to set off the shutter and are available away with a delightful picture. However in comparison with these two, the Observe 10 has a marked tendency to over-brighten, over-saturate, and over-sharpen in daytime and nighttime images.

This over-brightening contributes to total flatter scenes on the Observe 10, notably in low-light, in comparison with the Pixel 3 and iPhone XS, regardless of the Observe’s beautiful element seize. All three seize nice images, however the iPhone’s extra correct coloration seize and unequalled HDR processing most frequently produced essentially the most correct photographs. The Pixel 3 is available in second behind the iPhone XS in coloration accuracy but additionally produces extra pleasing distinction with its extra saturated colours in sure scenes, notably darker sunsets or equally dynamic photographs, the place dialing up distinction will be favorable. The iPhone’s HDR tends to even issues out extra, illuminating the complete scene extra adeptly than both the Observe 10 or Pixel 3.

In low-light, the Observe 10 does present higher noise discount than each the iPhone XS and Pixel 3, however each different side of the picture was usually too out of whack as compared. Having a wide-angle lens is the principle benefit of the Observe 10 over the Pixel and iPhone, and it captures some pleasing and distinctive photographs you simply can’t get in any other case. However the subsequent iPhone is rumored to have a wide-angle digicam, so competitors will simply get fiercer.

All in all, the Observe 10 is a wonderful pictures software, which captures images pretty much as good as its opponents — however not on a regular basis. Regardless of the extra versatile three-camera setup, I’d personally want the iPhone XS or Pixel in my pocket for his or her higher picture processing, which produces extra favorable photographs in a greater variety of scenes.

On the video facet, Samsung has added its Dwell Focus Video mode from the S10 5G. It’s portrait mode however for video, so that you get a background blur impact round topics. However as a result of the Observe 10 doesn’t have the time-of-flight sensor on the again to seize depth info just like the Observe 10 Plus, blur results can solely be utilized by facial recognition, and due to this fact can’t be used for pets or objects, in contrast to the Observe 10 Plus. Frankly, neither is ideal and each look somewhat synthetic and inauthentic, particularly when the topic strikes, however it will be good to have the ability to do greater than faces on the Observe 10 (the video pattern above is from the Observe 10 Plus).

The Observe 10 options an audio zoom characteristic for movies, dubbed Zoom-In Audio. A number of mics are used to focus on audio on the topic within the body whereas firming down the environment, intensifying the targeted audio the additional you zoom in. It really works nicely in my testing, efficiently drowning out the background noises to the purpose the place the topic was most distinct.

Rounding out the video options are enhancements to steadiness within the Regular Shot video mode in addition to the addition of this characteristic to Hyperlapse movies. You even have a local video editor that’s extra highly effective, because it now helps you to add transitions, music, and even doodles from the S Pen to your films. Utilizing it’s straight-forward and helpful for shorter clips, however you’ll undoubtedly need to plug into DeX or switch the information to a pc for something longer than a few minutes.

Is the battery capability sufficient?

Corey Gaskin / Digital Traits

The Observe 10 Plus is full of an enormous 4,300mAh battery, and it nonetheless will simply barely final you thru a full day. I used to be fearful once I heard the Observe 10 solely has a 3,500mAh battery capability, however fortunately it’s able to lasting a full day. You may head to mattress most nights round 11 p.m. and nonetheless have 20% to 30% battery capability remaining.

We’re nonetheless operating our battery check on the Observe 10, however will replace this story when it has concluded with the outcomes.

Even higher, after years of lagging behind the competitors in quick charging know-how, the Observe 10 lastly provides a 25-watt brick within the field. Nonetheless, whereas it charged our Observe 10 Plus from zero to 100 in simply an hour and two minutes, it constantly took us an hour and half-hour to recharge the smaller Observe 10 — and we tried it via a number of shops. It’s not as quick as we’d like, however nonetheless speedier than telephones just like the iPhone XS. You may’t even purchase the particular 45W charger for even sooner charging because it solely works with the Observe 10 Plus, which is a disgrace.

Wi-fi charging continues to be accessible, as is reverse wi-fi charging, which helps you to recharge units like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds and even the Galaxy Watch Lively 2 by inserting them on the again of the telephone.

Worth, availability, and guarantee

The Samsung Galaxy Observe 10 is $950, which is $150 lower than the Observe 10 Plus. It’s accessible now, and you may take a look at all of the offers and costs from numerous carriers on the Observe 10 and Observe 10 Plus right here.

Samsung affords a regular restricted guarantee that covers producer defects one yr because the date of buy.

Our Take

The Galaxy Observe 10 is the one Observe telephone I’d ever use because of its small measurement. It’s enjoyable, lovely, quick, compact, however the one purpose I nonetheless have a second telephone in my pocket is as a result of I do know I can do higher with the digicam. Even whether it is versatile, it falls a step wanting the competitors.

Are there higher alternate options?

For underneath $950, you will get the iPhone XS, Pixel 3, and even the OnePlus 7 Professional. With the iPhone XS and Pixel 3, you’ll sacrifice a wide-angle lens (and a telephoto lens on the Pixel 3, although it’s confirmed to be an awesome zoomer with out it) however achieve longer-term software program assist and faster updates, in addition to higher digicam efficiency. The iPhone XS additionally has extra premium supplies, utilizing chrome steel as an alternative of aluminum. The Pixel 3 has an older processor, half the RAM, and received’t look almost as gorgeous with its giant bezels and dated design. You could need to wait a month or so for the Pixel 4 to actually step issues up.

The OnePlus 7 Professional has comparable internals and a triple-camera setup for a number of hundred {dollars} much less, additionally missing expandable storage just like the Observe 10, but additionally misses an IP water-resistance score and wi-fi charging. It does have a 90Hz display, although, which makes utilizing it an absolute pleasure. Take a look at our information to the very best smartphones for extra.

Need extra choices? Examine our checklist of the very best smartphones bought right this moment.

How lengthy will it final?

The Galaxy Observe 10 will final you greater than three years, and after chances are you’ll begin to see some indicators of battery degradation. The IP68 water resistance score means it’s protected from drops within the pool, however it’s wrapped in glass, so chances are you’ll need to seize a case.

Samsung usually helps its telephones via software program updates for 2 years, so count on to get Android 10 and Android 11, however in all probability not Android 12.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. If you happen to’ve been dying for the S Pen expertise however felt that Observe units have been simply too huge, the Observe 10 is right here to avoid wasting you.

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