Samsung celebrates 10 years of Galaxy with 3 new phones

Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored
Updated Wed February 20, 2019

Samsung is celebrating a decade of Galaxy S phones with the launch of three new phones. The Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, and Galaxy S10e are now official. And yes, you read that right -- Samsung has three new smartphones. On paper, all of them meet the standard for a "flagship" top-tier device, and our review in a few weeks will see how that plays out in the real world.

In the meantime, preorders and a launch are right around the corner. Carriers and Samsung itself will kick off preorders for the S10, S10+ and S10e on Thursday, with a March 8 release date. It might seem like a long wait, but in reality it's just a few weeks away. Unlocked and without a contract, the Galaxy S10 will start at $899, the S10+ at $999, and the S10e at $749.

It's a similar lineup to Apple's iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. And it makes sense, as not everyone needs all the bells and whistles. Samsung is keeping the playing field pretty level, but there are some core differences between the devices.

Let's run through the specs

The Galaxy S10 features a 6.1-inch display, while the S10+ gets a 6.4-inch display. Both are Super AMOLED Infinity O displays. The big change this year is a small pinhole camera in the right corner. This will handle selfies and video calls, along with some sensory gathering. It doesn't provide facial unlocking, like the notch on some iPhones, but it is less of a screen cutout. Additionally, Samsung has embedded a fingerprint sensor into the display on the S10 and S10+.

There are also three cameras on the back of the S10 and S10+: a superwide lens, a normal lens, and a 2x optical zoom lens. Samsung is estimating 24-hour battery life on both of these models thanks to software customization.

For $749, the S10e definitely brings a lot of value. It has a flat 5.8-inch Super AMOLED Infinity O display with one camera on the front. It also has a fingerprint sensor built into the power button and will be available in some fun colors. You get both superwide and normal lenses on the back, but no 2x optical zoom lens.

All of these are powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor to ensure a smooth experience when using Android 9.0 with the Samsung One user interface. Plus, Samsung has worked under the hood of the software to help it be more intelligent and to stretch out battery life.

Like other phone manufacturers, Samsung is hard at work on designing phones that anticipate what you might do. The Bixby virtual assistant on Samsung's S10 line will pick up on your daily routines and try to execute them for you. For instance, if you check Instagram first thing every morning, it will learn this and have it open. Or it will pick up on how you use the device in the car and learn to automatically switch off Wi-Fi, open maps and start streaming music.

And last but not least, all three devices will feature Wireless Power Share. Essentially, this lets you wirelessly charge other devices from the back of your S10, S10+ or S10e. And yep, it will let you juice up the also-just-announced Galaxy Buds -- Samsung's $129 latest attempt at true wireless earbuds, that will directly compete with Apple's $159 AirPods. Galaxy Buds are tuned by AKG for a balanced listening experience and should deliver six hours of Bluetooth music streaming.

If you preorder a Galaxy S10 or S10+, you'll get a free pair of Galaxy Buds with that order. Customers who buy the S10e will need to order their own from Samsung.

Samsung will be kicking off preorders at 12:01 a.m. ET February 21, and you can see the deals below. In addition, if you trade in an eligible device to Samsung, you can get as much as $550.19 to put toward a Galaxy S10, S10+ or S10e.

Here are the preorder details

Samsung.com

  • The Galaxy S10 will start at $899.99 unlocked for the 128GB storage model.
  • The Galaxy S10 will start at $999.99 unlocked for the 128GB storage model.
  • The Galaxy S10e will start at $749.99 unlocked for the 64GB storage model.