Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Samsung Galaxy S9

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is finally here, so whether you’re looking to upgrade from a much older device from the company, or want to know whether your investment in last year’s S9 was worth it, read on.

Here’s our comparison of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S10.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs S9 – Design

There’s no doubting that the Galaxy S9’s design informed the aesthetics of its successor, the Galaxy S10. Both phones sport an extended aspect ratio display, protected by curved cover glass, with a notch-free screen, a metal frame and a curved glass back. Both are also IP68-certified against dust and water, and come with a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom edge – the latter a feature that’s almost exclusive to Samsung in the flagship space at this point.

Samsung Galaxy S9

Beyond these elements, however, the S10 starts to deviate from the blueprint laid out by the S9. Samsung’s recent flagships have been stalwart objectors to the notch that so many of 2018’s phones employed, and neither the S9 or S10 features one. The Galaxy S9’s screen is surrounded by a narrow bezel along each side, with a more noticeable chin and forehead – the latter of which plays host to not only the earpiece and front-facing camera, but also the gubbins required for the phone’s iris-recognition technology. The S10 has none of this.

The front of Samsung’s new top dog is almost all-screen, with an impressive 93.1% screen-to-body ratio (versus the S9’s 83.6 % ratio). In place of a notch, the S10 debuts Samsung’s “Infinity O” display technology – a small hole-punch cut-out in the top-right corner of the screen for the phone’s front-facing camera.

samsung galaxy S10

Samsung has ditched the S9’s iris-detecting tech, as well as its rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Instead, it showcases one of the industry’s first ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensors, which promises greater security than current optical solutions and makes for a cleaner overall design when compared to the S9. By the way of the front-facing camera, the S10 does retain rudimentary 2D face unlock functionality.

At launch, the S10 can be had in one of three colours: Prism White, Prism Black or Prism Green. Meanwhile, the assortment of colours that have released since the S9’s launch has raised the total to seven. Although some are market-specific, the Galaxy S9 is available in Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Titanium Grey, Lilac Purple, Burgundy Red, Sunrise Gold and Ice Blue.

Related: Best smartphones

Best Samsung Galaxy S10 Deals

Samsung Galaxy S10 with free wireless charger

For a limited time only, you can get a free ultra thin wireless charger when buying a brand new Galaxy S10 smartphone through Samsung directly. Plus, you can also save up to £300 when trading in your old phone.

Samsung Galaxy S10 (Prism White) with free Pay As You Go SIM Card

If you're after a bit of data to go with your brand new Galaxy S10 then Argos has you covered – giving you a free PAYG SIM right out of the gate. Credit plans are also available.

Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB Black – 30GB of data on O2

If you're willing to pay a small upfront then this deal takes your monthly cost right now. Plus, 30GB is a sizeable chunk of data for all your streaming needs.

Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB Black – 60GB of data on EE

A great deal with nothing to pay upfront for the brand new Galaxy S10. With 60GB in your pocket, you'll never be left wanting for lack of data.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs S9 – Specs and features

As you’ll see from the table below, the S9 is a thicker, heavier beast, despite its smaller display. Both screens offer HDR visuals, with the S10 boasting more robust support for the HDR10+ standard as well as a superior maximum brightness of an impressive 1200 nits.

While we haven’t yet benchmarked the S10, it’s fair to assume that it will bring an impressive bump in terms of general performance, graphical capabilities and memory-intensive processes, based on the superior hardware it is packing.

Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 is running the show in the US model, whilst the rest of the world will get an S10 powered by Samsung’s own 8nm Exynos chipset. The S9, meanwhile, still packs robust silicon, but it’s explicitly 2018 hardware keeping things ticking over inside the older Galaxy.

The benefits of opting for the newer S10 also extend to memory and storage, with twice the amount available to S9 users (8GB of RAM instead of 4GB) and twice the base storage at 128GB (compared to 64GB). The S10 is only available in one other storage SKU at launch, packing an impressive 512GB of internal space, while the S9 can also be had in 128GB and 256GB varieties. Both phones also support microSD expandability up to a maximum of 512GB on top.

Galaxy S10 Galaxy S9
Dimensions 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8mm 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm
Weight 157g 163g
Display 6.1-inch, 19:9 (Edge), Wide Quad HD+, Dynamic AMOLED+ 5.8-inch, 18.5:9 (Edge), Wide Quad HD+ AMOLED
Rear camera Dual Pixel 12-megapixel OIS f/1.5 – f/2.4 AF
+
16-megapixel ultra-wide f/2.2 FF
+
12-megapixel telephoto OIS f/2.4 AF
Dual Pixel 12-megapixel OIS f/1.5 – f/2.4 AF
Front camera Dual Pixel 10-megapixel f/1.9 AF 8-megapixel f/1.7 AF
Memory 8GB + 128GB
or
8GB + 512GB
– microSD up to 512GB (all versions)
4GB + 64GB
or
4GB + 128GB
or
4GB + 256GB
– microSD up to 512GB (all versions)
Battery 3400mAh 3000mAh
Charging Wireless PowerShare
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Security In-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor
2D face recognition
Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor
2D face recognition
Iris unlock
Processor Octa-core 8nm processor Exynos 9810 octa-core 10nm processor
Network Up to 7 CA, LTE Cat.20 LTE Cat.18

To support the new chipset when gaming, the S10 also features a vapour chamber cooling system, similarly to the Razer Phone 2, as well as integrated optimisation for the Unity game engine, which should help with gaming fidelity and reliability when playing compatible titles. No such inclusions feature on the S9, even though it already makes for a competent gaming phone based on the demanding titles currently available.

Not only does the S10 bring a larger battery to the table, but it also appends onto the existing fast wireless charging enjoyed by the S9. Reverse wireless charging means it can be used to top up any Qi-compatible wireless charging product on-the-go, including Samsung’s new true wireless headphones, the Galaxy Buds.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs S9 – Camera

Photographically speaking, the S9’s main 12-megapixel sensor made for a capable OIS-laden camera. However, it was eclipsed by the likes of the Huawei’s P20 Pro and Google’s Pixel 3. Not to mention, the offering of only a single sensor on the back placed the S9 behind the curve when it came to versatility.

The S10 uses a similarly specced 12-megapixel primary sensor with the same mechanical aperture setup as the S9, letting it switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4, depending on shooting conditions. That’s just the start, however. The phone’s main camera is flanked by two further sensors: a 16-megapixel, f/2.2 aperture, super-wide-angle, fixed-focus offering, plus a 12-megapixel, 77-degree, telephoto autofocus sensor with an f/2.4 aperture and OIS that supports lossless zoom.

samsung galaxy S10 back

Collectively, these should give the S10 Huawei Mate 20 Pro-levels of flexibility. This makes the S9’s single rear sensor setup all the more underwhelming.

Related: Best camera phones

As for the front-facers, the S9’s 8-megapixel, f/1.7 aperture-laden camera also falls behind the S10’s in-display selfie camera. The new Samsung flagship boasts a higher resolution 10-megapixel sensor, and although it also comes with a narrower aperture than the S9’s, the inclusion of dual-pixel autofocus should ensure sharper, cleaner selfies when using Samsung’s newest flagship. The verdict is still out on whether or not it will be able to compete in low lighting conditions when set against the S9.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs S9 – Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy S9 launched on March 16, 2018, with the base model initially starting at £769 in the UK. The phone has since dropped in price dramatically (available from some retailers for under £500), making it a smart purchase for those who don’t need the latest and greatest smartphone tech but who still want a capable handset.

The newly unveiled Samsung Galaxy S10 is available to pre-order from February 20 and is set to arrive in the market on March 8, 2019. Pricing starts at £799 for the 128GB model, while the 512GB version costs a more imposing £999.

Best Samsung Galaxy S10 Deals

Samsung Galaxy S10 with free wireless charger

For a limited time only, you can get a free ultra thin wireless charger when buying a brand new Galaxy S10 smartphone through Samsung directly. Plus, you can also save up to £300 when trading in your old phone.

Samsung Galaxy S10 (Prism White) with free Pay As You Go SIM Card

If you're after a bit of data to go with your brand new Galaxy S10 then Argos has you covered – giving you a free PAYG SIM right out of the gate. Credit plans are also available.

Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB Black – 30GB of data on O2

If you're willing to pay a small upfront then this deal takes your monthly cost right now. Plus, 30GB is a sizeable chunk of data for all your streaming needs.

Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB Black – 60GB of data on EE

A great deal with nothing to pay upfront for the brand new Galaxy S10. With 60GB in your pocket, you'll never be left wanting for lack of data.

Early verdict

There’s plenty to love about the Galaxy S9, but comparisons to the Galaxy S10 aren’t entirely fair. The S10’s improved hardware, enhanced design, superior camera setup and greater performance all mean it’s ready to take on its biggest rivals in 2019, while also making the S9 seems like a decidedly tired device by comparison.