Samsung Galaxy S10 5G review

The best 5G phone around, but still a hard sell

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The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is an excellent phone, and while we’ve mentioned the differences between the US and global versions, both are still top-tier devices with fantastic screens, slender frames, great performance, plenty of storage and, naturally, 5G.

As a result, the phone isn’t reliant on 5G to be great, but it is reliant on 5G to justify its price, especially given the fact you can pick up a 4G Galaxy S10 Plus, which is very comparable, for significantly less.

If you’re an early adopter who loves having cutting-edge tech, know 5G’s coming to your area and can justify the expense, then we can confirm, 5G doesn’t come in a better package than this. For anyone else, the slew of fantastic 4G smartphones around now should tide you over until 5G becomes more established.

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Who's this for?

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is an across the board piece of cutting-edge tech, from the Dynamic AMOLED screen through to its excellent cameras, and the 5G data speeds it can reach if you’re in the right place.

This makes it a dream device for early adopters who want one of the best smartphones around and don’t mind paying for the privilege.

Should you buy it?

If you know you want a 5G phone and money isn’t an object, then yes, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is easy to recommend. It has the best screen of any 5G device, the most consistent camera across the front and back, even though the Oppo Reno 5G has better zoom, and it packs a headphone jack too for good measure.

If you don’t need a 5G phone but think you might soon, then we’d recommend you stick with your current handset and see how fast 5G coverage ramps up over the next year. Alternatively, you can go for a 4G phone SIM-free, so you aren’t tied down with a contract, and upgrade to 5G when the time is right for you.

First reviewed: August 2019

This isn't the only flagship worth your money, or even the only good 5G phone. Check out these alternatives:

OnePlus 7 Pro 5G

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If you want a Snapdragon 855 device with 5G, the OnePlus 7 Pro is a great option. Like the S10 5G, it also has an excellent AMOLED display that’s pin-sharp, though features an all-screen, notch/punch hole-free front.

It also has a cleaner looking interface, and a bit more optical zoom, with a 3x telephoto camera, vs 2x on the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. That said, the S10 5G camera does edge ahead, especially when it comes to video.

Read our full OnePlus 7 Pro review and 24 hours with the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G

Huawei P30 Pro

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Huawei’s P30 Pro stormed the scene when it introduced periscope cameras to the masses, enabling over double the zoom found on flagships like the iPhone XS Max.

Also loaded up with a large OLED screen, a subtle teardrop notch and 128GB of storage, like the S10 5G, it’s an across the board flagship. While there’s no 5G, and you won’t be able to pick it up in the States, in the UK and Australia, it costs a lot less at £899 or AU$1,599.

Read our full Huawei P30 Pro review

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

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The obvious alternative to the S10 5G is the S10 Plus. Its screen is slightly smaller, and it doesn’t include the ToF cameras on the back or the front, but other than those features, and 5G capabilities, it’s virtually identical, despite costing significantly less.

It also comes in a 1TB capacity version which costs little more than the 256GB Galaxy S10 5G, so if storage is more important to you than speed, it’s the obvious choice.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review

Basil Kronfli

Basil Kronfli is the Head of content at Make Honey and freelance technology journalist. He is an experienced writer and producer and is skilled in video production, and runs the technology YouTube channel TechEdit.