Go with what you know, or something shiny and new?
The latest flagship smartphone from Samsung has officially arrived. The brand new Galaxy S10 brings with it updated features — like an improved display, a fancy fingerprint scanner, and a trio of rear-facing cameras — but is it worth the upgrade from your current handset? The answer, as always, is it depends on what phone you’re using now. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular smartphones of the last couple of years to see if the Samsung Galaxy S10 should be your next big tech purchase.
Samsung Galaxy S9
Last year’s Galaxy S9 was a solid phone, but wasn’t a huge leap forward from its predecessor. This year’s model makes a few notable differences, particularly in terms of its Infinity-O display and its hole punch housing for the front-facing camera in addition to its 3-camera setup on the back. The processor has been upgraded from the Snapdragon 845 to the Snapdragon 855, RAM has gone from 4GB to 8GB, and baseline storage has taken a significant jump from 64GB to 128GB.
On paper, it looks like a yearly update would be an easy choice — if the Galaxy S9 wasn’t such a solid phone to begin with. Yes, you may notice the difference in some of the updates, but it’s not as if the Galaxy S9 was a slouch to begin with. One of the more intriguing software features introduced with the Galaxy S10 is Samsung’s new OneUI Android skin, but that’s already making its way to last year’s model so you won’t be missing much there. If you’ve got the cash, there are enough improvements with the latest model to justify the purchase, but you wouldn’t be left in the dark if you stuck with the Galaxy S9 for a bit longer.
Verdict: No Upgrade Necessary
Google Pixel 2
For many, the choice between a Galaxy and a Pixel depends on their preference for bells and whistles. Google’s smartphone doesn’t go for flash but typically works well in terms of speed and basic functionality with its stock user interface. Samsung, on the other hand, adds a ton of features in terms of both software and hardware. The Galaxy S10 has a bigger screen, a high-end design, and so many more cameras. On the other hand, the Pixel 2 was a generally subtle smartphone. Nothing about it was particularly interesting, but it worked well.
If you haven’t jumped on the Google Pixel 3 and are torn about which Android phone to get next, the Galaxy S10 would be a solid upgrade. With its large Infinity-O display and notable bumps in RAM and storage, we wouldn’t blame you for giving up Google’s vision of Android to see what Samsung has to offer.
Verdict: You Should Probably Upgrade
Apple iPhone 8
Apple and Samsung have always been major competitors in the smartphone space, and jumping from iOS to Android isn’t just a matter of personal preference. If you’ve lived in Apple’s ecosystem long enough, it may a take a lot before you even consider jumping ship. Additionally, the differences between the two operating systems and hardware optimization means you can’t exactly compare hardware in terms of just numbers — much of the difference depends on the experience rather than raw data.
If you own the iPhone 8, there is enough new features to experience with the Galaxy S10 that the switch to Samsung and Android wouldn’t be entirely crazy. Apple has made plenty of significant upgrades since last year’s iPhone and Samsung has done the same. The Galaxy S10’s design is attractive, its construction is solid, and although its software may still be a bit bloated, Samsung seems to have a good thing on its hands with its new OneUI skin.
Verdict: Upgrade Only if You’re Android-curious
Samsung Galaxy S8
Not everyone needs or wants to upgrade their smartphone every year. It’s an expensive habit and may be unnecessary during years of mild upgrades. Many choose to upgrade every other year for these reasons, as well as the possibility that they are on a two-year contract. In these instances, the difference between models is typically more obvious. The Galaxy S10 is bigger, faster, has more storage, a new camera setup, and new software features. Samsung’s OneUI is coming to the Galaxy S8, but with everything else that’s been updated, it likely won’t be the same experience as you would find on this year’s model.
If you’re finally looking to move on from your Galaxy S8 and still enjoy Samsung’s version of Android, then you should definitely consider the Galaxy S10. The hardware and software updates are significant and should be enough to hold on to for at least another couple of years before you decide to upgrade again.