Monday, April 8, 2019

Samsung Galaxy S10: Life 1 Month Later

I can't believe it has only been one month since I upgraded from my Samsung Galaxy S7 to the S10. I just love it! Here are some of my favorite things about it.

Prism colors! I got the blue one. I usually get a black phone, but this time I saw the prism blue and how it reflects in the light (see below) and it was love at first sight.

Huge screen. I didn't think it was a big deal at first to not have a black bezel on the top and bottom of the front screen. The physical size of the S7 and S10 are very similar. But once you get use to the longer screen, it's hard to imagine going back. There is only a small dark circle in the upper right corner for the camera. This really opened up a lot of usable screen space, which is most noticeable when viewing photos.

Hi-res screen. Speaking of screens, the screen resolution is so crisp and the letters are so smooth. You can go up to 3040x1440 (a.k.a., WQHD+).

Telephoto lens. At one point, I was considering the S10E, which doesn't have the telephoto lens. I didn't think I really needed it, but I discovered I use the 2x photo lens all the time for far away action photos.

Bixby routines. While this is not new to the S10, it's new to me. It's convenient for programming some things you do frequently. For me, I created a custom Bedtime routine that shuts down a lot of things. I was surprised you can even customize the 2 bottom shortcut buttons on the Lock screen. And you can also lock the screen orientation. You know how when you reach for your phone while lying in bed still, sometimes the screen rotates on you when you don't want it to? I set it to Portrait mode at bedtime. Lastly, having a set time for my bedtime routine that includes Airplane mode has the additional benefit of ensuring I limit my screen time at night.

Bedtime Bixby Routine 

Scan document feature on camera.
This feature is amazing! It's under Scene Optimizer. With this mode on, somehow Bixby recognizes when I'm taking a photo of a document and it reorients it so it's straight and crops it, even if you shoot it at an angle.

BEFORE: "Scan" hint while taking pic of a document

AFTER: Photo of document auto-cropped and auto-oriented

Apps Edge.
 I gotta admit I never saw the benefit of the Edge screen when Samsung rolled this design out a few years ago. I thought it was partially a parlor trick to create the illusion of an infinity display. But I have finally found a good use for it. Samsung lets you select Edge Panels. I especially like the Apps Edge panel to create custom shortcuts and folders. This has cleared up space on my home screen to tuck away popular apps that I use frequently, but not all the time.

Edge Panel customization options

Gestures for navigation bar. This is an Android Pie feature and not exclusive to the S10. This is also similar to what Apple iOS got last year. But the gestures are a lot more customizable on the S10. For example, Samsung gives you the option to:
  1. Not use gestures at all (if you like the classic 3 Navigation buttons -- menu, home, and back -- to still show 100% of the time on the bottom of your screen)
  2. Get hints for gestures with 3 grey lines along the bottom of your screen to remind you to swipe up. I am slow to change, so I chose this mode for now :)
  3. Go all in with gestures with no visual hints
Setting Gestures for Navigation Bar

Horizontal recent apps menu. This horizontal carousel view is also borrowed from iOS and is a Pie update. I like how it shows open apps side by side instead of vertically stacked cards behind one another because it's large enough that I can read the screens as I flip through them.

Bixby button remap. This is a new ability to re-assign the Bixby button on the left of the phone to do something else.

My one complaint is actually one of the most touted features on the S10: ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint recognition is not as responsive as the physical sensor. Often times, I give up after 2-3 times and use my PIN. Sometimes it thinks I'm off or it says to press harder.

Bonus tip: If you are looking for a slim clear plastic case to show off your gorgeous prism-colored S10 like me, I highly recommend this Trianium Clarium Case on Amazon. Best $9 you will ever spend for a case of this quality. It fits perfectly and snug, even along the bottom where the ports are. And the cutout for the camera lens on the back is not very deep, like other cases I've had in the past.

Prism Blue S10 in Trianium Clear Case

Overall, the S10 is a home run!


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