Samsung goes big with the next-gen Galaxy S10 5G smartphone

samsung galaxy s10 5g news announcement4
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

For the 10th anniversary of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, it’s either go big or go home, and Samsung is going gargantuan because its ultimate flagship smartphone this year, apart from the experimental Samsung Galaxy Fold, isn’t the Galaxy S10 Plus, but the Galaxy S10 5G.

The phone shares many of the same specifications as the Galaxy S10 Plus, which the company announced alongside the Galaxy S10 and a lower-cost Galaxy S10e, but there’s a massive 6.7-inch screen instead of the 6.4-inch seen on the Plus. That’s the biggest screen we’ve ever seen in a Galaxy S device. Samsung has also managed to keep the S10 5G’s size almost the same as the 6.4-inch Galaxy Note 9, which is an impressive feat achieved by shrinking down the bezels through the new hole-punch camera display technology.

What exactly is 5G? It’s the fifth-generation mobile network technology, following 4G LTE, and it promises much faster data speeds and lower latency. While there aren’t a lot of 5G networks available yet, U.S. carriers are expected to ramp up deployment in 2019 through 2021, though it’s unlikely we’ll see any kind of nationwide coverage soon. Instead, select cities will have specific 5G zones, so these 5G phones won’t offer too much for the immediate future and will frequently drop back to 4G LTE when there’s no 5G service available.

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Galaxy S10 5G is different not just in size from the rest of the S10 range, but because it also has a 5G logo on the back. More importantly, it has a fourth camera on the rear. The ultra wide-angle, telephoto, and standard lenses that are present on the S10 and S10 Plus are paired with a fourth Time of Flight (ToF) camera on the S10 5G to accurately capture 3D depth data. This ToF camera is also present on the front next to the standard 10-megapixel selfie camera. Samsung said this will enable augmented reality experiences that are only possible through 5G, though no examples were shared of what this may look like.

The ToF cameras also enable a new feature called Video Live Focus — considering Samsung’s Portrait Mode is called Live Focus, which is a portrait-mode live effect for videos, where a blur is added behind a subject. A new tool called Quick Measure is also available, and while Samsung hasn’t mentioned what it does, we presume it means using the depth camera to get measurements of objects in the real world, not unlike Apple’s Measure app.

The rest of the specs, as previously mentioned, are in line with the S10 Plus including the 8GB of RAM, 128GB of base storage, and the in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.

The entire Galaxy S10 range may feature the latest Snapdragon 855 processor from Qualcomm, but it’s the special X50 modem that’s used in the S10 5G that enables connectivity to 5G networks. The rest of the phones do not use this modem, so they won’t work with 5G networks at all. To ensure 5G doesn’t cause any major battery drain — which was a problem with some of the first 4G devices — Samsung has outfitted a massive 4,500mAh battery in the Galaxy S10 5G. To juice this beefy battery back up, Samsung’s also outfitting the S10 5G with Super Fast Charging at 25W, so you shouldn’t need to wait too long to get back to 100 percent.

Price and availability

We don’t know how much the Galaxy S10 5G will cost, but we know it will be more than $1,000 considering the S10 Plus starts at that price. We do know it will launch in the second quarter of the year (April through June), and will be sold exclusively on Verizon first before coming to Sprint, Spectrum Mobile, Xfinity Mobile, T-Mobile, and AT&T later in the same quarter.

Product Review

Samsung's Galaxy S10 phones are its most refined yet. Be prepared to pay up

Samsung has unveiled its lineup for its most popular smartphones, and it includes the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus. The two flagship phones boast hole-punch cameras, fingerprint sensors embedded in the display, and beefier batteries.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. S10 Plus vs. S10e vs. S10 5G: Which should you buy?

With four stunning Galaxy S10 phones to choose from, Samsung is bombarding us with choice, but which one should you buy? We compare the S10, S10 Plus, S10e, and S10 5G in various categories to find out exactly how they differ.
Product Review

If price is top of mind, Samsung’s Galaxy S10e is the flagship phone to buy

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus are joined with a new entry into the Galaxy S family -- the Galaxy S10e. It costs a little more than the original price of the Galaxy S9, but it’s meant to be the more affordable phone compared to the…
Mobile

Samsung beefs up just about everything in its Galaxy S10 smartphone range

Samsung has unveiled its 2019 flagship smartphone lineup, and there aren't just two phones as usual -- there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.
Home Theater

Samsung Galaxy Buds first look: Are they ear candy or ear worm?

Samsung’s answer to the oddball design of Apple's AirPods is the new Galaxy Buds, which are cheaper, better looking, and bring some neat features. Can Galaxy Buds snuff out the AirPods?
Mobile

Folding smartphones hinge on the success of the Samsung Galaxy Fold

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.
Mobile

Adobe Premiere Rush CC is coming to the Samsung Galaxy S10 this year

The Samsung Galaxy S10 boasts a number of hardware improvements over previous Samsung phones, but it also offers a few software improvements too. Adobe Premiere Rush CC, for example, is coming to the Samsung Galaxy S10 later this year.
Wearables

Samsung's new Galaxy Watch Active can track your blood pressure

Looking for a new fitness buddy? Samsung just launched the Galaxy Watch Active and the Galaxy Fit, two new wearables with a raft of fitness-focused features that'll keep you moving and get you down the gym.
Mobile

Here’s where you can buy the brand-new Samsung Galaxy S10

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is one of the most-anticipated phones of the year, offering a new chipset, beautiful display, and more. Now that the phone has been announced, however, you might be wondering where you can get it for yourself.
Gaming

Samsung Galaxy S10 optimizations make it great for Fortnite

Samsung's new line of Galaxy S10 devices have been optimized for gaming. All three offer improved support for the Unity engine and the S10 Plus also offers vapor chamber cooling, similar to the Xbox One X.
Mobile

From folding phones to 5G -- here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked

Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event treated us to a real parade of technological excellence, from folding phones to new fitness wearables. Here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked on February 20.
Mobile

Google’s radical Gmail redesign is finally rolling out on Android

Google is slowly but surely giving its apps a refresh, modernizing them and ensuring that they're easy to use. The latest app to get a redesign is the Gmail app for Android, which has been redesigned with a few tweaks.
Mobile

The best Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus cases to protect your $1,000 phone

Can't get enough of big phones? The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is absolutely up your alley. But it's still fragile, and damage is easily gathered through normal life. Protect it with the best Galaxy S10 Plus cases.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. Galaxy S9: How much better is Samsung’s new flagship?

You'd naturally expect the Samsung Galaxy S10 to be better than last year's S9, but just how do the two phones differ? We break down the specs and compare Samsung's flagships in various categories to pick a winner.