Friday, October 18, 2019

But why the ‘Hole Punch’?

In a world, long-long ago I wrote a review about Samsung’s Galaxy S8 smartphone and sitting down to write about their latest offering, the S10, I am reminded of the many positives and negatives I felt.

In that review, I spoke of the fantastic screen, the superb camera and the build quality all of which are true with this latest version. The screen is somehow better than before, the camera, or should I say cameras (x4) are just out of this world, and the quality of how the phone feels in your hand is… Well, there really aren’t words to describe, you just need hold it for yourself.

No words can describe just how good the screen looks

So that’s all well and good but what about the things that I didn’t like from the S8? Has Samsung fixed them? In one word; sorta… Let me explain.

I didn’t like the fingerprint reader on the old phone, the placement of it made little to no sense to me. For this latest phone, Samsung has moved it back to the front but hidden it under the screen, ‘sorta’ fixing it. Now, on the front is a good place to have the fingerprint reader I admit, what’s not good about it though, is because it’s built into the glass you have to guess where to put your thumb to unlock it. I get it wrong and have to move my thumb 1 in 3, not great. I’m sure with more time using the phone I’ll get better, but at this stage it’s annoying.

The triple rear camera setup is fantastic

But my biggest complaint of the S8 was the placement of the speaker. I found that in regular use I would endlessly cover it while listening to music or watching videos. Now, Samsung has ‘sorta’ fixed it by using the earpiece speaker to act as a second speaker so now even if I cover the bottom one the other speaker still works. ‘Sorta’ fixing the problem.

Finally, let’s talk about the screen, yes, it’s incredible, and, yes, it’s probably the best screen on any phone right now. However, there are two problems I have with it, firstly, the edges of the Infinity-O display make it very easy to press things without even knowing it by merely holding the phone, This hasn’t been fixed since the S8 and with the current obsession with making the front of smartphones all glass I don’t see the problem going away. Secondly, let’s talk about the ‘O’ in Infinity-O. Again with the push buy smartphone makers to get more screen on the front of your phone they have to come up with new and bizarre ways of hiding the ‘selfie’ camera, Apply used a ‘notch’ and everyone but Samsung copied them. And so, to be different, they went with what is being called a ‘hole-punch’. As far as I’m concerned, it’s better in every way to the ‘notch’, but it is a little odd. And the selfie camera isn’t a good as it should be.

Samsung’s ‘Hole Punch’ front facing ‘selfie’ camera in all its glory

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is probably the best phone on sale right now, yes it has problems and yes is too expensive, but all modern smartphones are!

To end this review, I’m going to be lazy and just sum-up in precisely the same way I did with my S8 review… This is one sexy, slippery phone!