1. Make a Smart Switch

At the end of the day, the in-display fingerprint sensor is an okay first-gen sensor, but disappointing on such a pricey phone. Registering your fingerprints correctly at an angle as opposed to vertically improved my hit-rates, but the S9's rear sensor is still superior in every way. Phones used to have two cameras: one on the front and one on the back. The S10 has a total of five cameras: two on the front and three on the back. All of them are not equal, though. Each camera has its own focal length to achieve a different field of view — essentially how much fits into a photo.

This is the default shooting mode when you fire up the camera app. This camera gives you 2x zoom optical and not digital so details are sharper.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus vs Galaxy S10 comparison review - PhoneArena

Flipping to this camera gives you a really wide field of view that fits more i. The question people want to know is whether or not the ultra wide-angle camera takes phone photography to the next level or not. Photos taken with the ultra wide-angle camera are good enough to toss up on Instagram or Twitter where additional image compression will crush the details even further. For the vast majority of users, this is fine — better to get the really wide view than not. As you can see in the two sets of photos above, having three different cameras gives you three different kinds of shots.


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You can include a lot into a shot with the ultra wide-angle camera or zoom in super close with the 2x telephoto camera. Each camera is useful and toggling between the three is as simple as tapping a tree-shaped icon in the camera app.

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But I'm not satisfied with the image quality of the ultra wide camera. I know I'm nitpicking, but I couldn't unsee the muddy details when I was editing ultra wide photos for Instagram, especially shots taken in dim lighting or at night. The poorer-than-expected image quality from the ultra wide camera was enough to stop me from posting any pictures to my feed.

Photos taken with the regular wide-angle camera and 2x telephoto camera are noticeably sharper than ones shot with the ultra wide-angle camera and it's easy to explain why: both come with optical image stabilization OIS whereas the ultra wide-angle camera has doesn't. I tried a bunch of things in hopes of getting sharper ultra wide shots, but none helped. From turning off the AI Scene Optimizer but then nighttime photos would look worse , to manually locking the autofocus, to using the "pro" mode to manually adjust the settings, there's really no getting around the softness of the ultra wide-angle camera.

Perhaps, a future software update can tone down the image processing so details don't get smushed together. They look good, but they could have been better. I'm not asking for perfection, but when Google and Apple are raising the bar using computational photography techniques that use deeper machine learning and image processing to enhance photo quality, it's disappointing to see Samsung try to brute force it with hardware alone. Samsung needs to get onboard with computational photography or risk getting left behind.


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  • Like any ultra wide-angle lens for a real camera, there is some noticeable distortion to the images — straight edges appear curved and warped. The curvature isn't as extreme as what you'd get from a fisheye lens like the kind found on a GoPro, but it is noticeable as you move further away from the center of the photo. By default, ultra wide-angle photos will have a slight bend to them. However, you can straighten out the curve by turning on the "ultra wide lens correction" within the camera app's settings under the "save options" menu. As you can see in both sets of photos below, turning on the lens correction makes shots look more natural.

    Besides the obvious tighter framing of each shot, some things like lights are exposed differently. Take a look at the street lights on the left side of the night shot below. In the non-corrected photo, the lights appear as orbs. But in the corrected image, the lights are starbursts.

    System Update 13

    Overall, the OnePlus 6T took the least-pleasing and worst photos in my opinion not shocking since the camera's always been one of the weakest points on OnePlus phones and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro came in second to last. Huawei's phone can take great shots, but only if you mess with the manual mode.

    For regular point-and-shoot pictures how most people use their phones , it was too hit-and-miss. Is it a good camera?

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    Sure it is. But I wished Samsung had done more to blow every other phone camera away. This is the third year in a row Samsung's kept virtually the same image quality for its Galaxy S phones. It really feels like Samsung's either hit a ceiling or resting on its laurels. I urge the company to strongly invest in improving image processing. Previous Samsung phones like the S9, Note 9, and Note 8 zoomed in on portrait photos using the 2x telephoto camera. You can still adjust the background depth after the shot's taken, but you no longer get the twofer "close-up" and a "wide-angle" shots like on the S9 and Note 8 and Note 9.

    The Pixel 3 XL's single camera portrait mode continues to impress and is arguably the best. They're so much yellower and redder compared to the others. It would be in Apple's best interest to tweak these colors because they're too warm. Huawei's Mate 20 Pro and the OnePlus 6T simply can't hold up to the others with one having a light vignette around the corners and poor foreground and background separation look at Mike's head on the Mate 20 Pro pic and the other being too soft in the face notably in his glasses and facial hair.

    The selfie camera also works a little differently. For whatever reason, the megapixel camera is zoomed in instead of zoomed all the way out like it is on the S9. There's a button you can tap to zoom out to get a wider view, but this is a trick; you're not switching between the two cameras in the hole punch, just artificially cropping out of the main camera. This trickery creates the illusion that you get a wide lens and a ultra wide-angle lens like you do on the Pixel 3, but you're really not.

    System Update Instructions

    Below, you can see the regular default field of view when you fire up the selfie camera and then the wider field of view when you tap the zoom out button. No offense, but I can crop in on a selfie by myself if I really want to. There's no need to pull silly tricks like this, Samsung. There's less "beautification" going on and you can definitely see details are sharper, dynamic range is improved, and exposure is better see areas like the nose, forehead, scarf, and fluorescent lights in the selfies below , but we're reaching a point where the changes are relatively minor.

    A big leap forward would be like the Pixel 3's Night Sight , but for selfies.

    System Update 13

    The gesture controls here are a little more muddled. I love that Samsung are finally moving away from the navigation bar but the results leave much to be desired. As for benchmarks, the S10 fell short. And the Galaxy S10 does move things forward - but it doesn't move things forward enough nor does it move forward in directions that feel like they matter. I expected more.

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    I expected a triple-lens camera just as capable as a Huawei. I expected gesture controls that made navigating the S10 as slick and intuitive as the Pixel. I expected an Exynos processor as powerful as its Snapdragon counterpart and I expected an in-screen fingerprint sensor that learned from the mistakes of the Oppo R17 Pro. Instead, what I got was closer to a personal best.

    Most people will buy this and have a great time with it. As a device, the S10 offers excellence on many fronts. However, across many of these fronts, it feels like Samsung are struggling to keep up rather than leading by example. They're setting the baseline rather than the world record when it comes to the quality of Android smartphones. Still, if you lean towards more compact handsets, the Galaxy S10 is one of the best Android handsets you can buy in The aggregate quality of the hardware is head-and-shoulders above most of the competition and the software experience here is arguably the best you can find on Android.

    As far as flagship smartphones go, the Galaxy S10 is a jack of all trades but a master of none.