Samsung Galaxy M10 review

GSMArena team, 29 March 2019.

The competition

Believe it or not, there's not much to choose from in this price range. Most of the handsets in this segment are just not worth your money so it was rather hard to select proper competition for the Galaxy M10. So we boiled it down to only four handsets. But before we begin, we have to deal with the elephant in the room.

Yes, the ultra-wide angle camera on the back of the Galaxy M10 is a rare commodity around these lands but the lack of a fingerprint reader and the absence of an ambient light sensor put the phone in a tough spot. Those are some serious deal-breakers for a large number of users and it looks like Samsung has cut some corners that they shouldn't have.

Samsung Galaxy M10 review

The first competitor that springs to mind is the recently released and reviewed Realme 3. The phone falls in exactly the same category as the Galaxy M10 and as long as you can deal with the polarizing ColorOS, it has a lot to bring to the table. The Realme 3 offers a significantly more powerful chipset - Helio P60 - coupled with a more powerful GPU too. It also has a fingerprint reader, an ambient sensor and a lot longer battery life. But when it comes to camera and display quality, you won't find any noticeable differences. The Realme 3 takes an edge over the Galaxy M10 with some additional camera modes, though.

Realme 3 Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Redmi Y2)
Realme 3 • Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Redmi Y2)

The Redmi S2 is also a reasonable alternative although, you will hardly find any differences between the two. Battery life is just about the same, the chipset is marginally better and the Redmi's screen is brighter. Keep in mind that the Redmi S2 is almost a year-old phone so Xiaomi could be preparing a refresh as we speak.

With the recent price cuts, the Redmi 6 Pro is also a handset to consider. It costs just about the same and although we haven't reviewed it, it shares the same hardware as the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite so we have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Our tests show superior battery life, better screen and better camera across the board. The only real difference between the Redmi 6 Pro and the Mi A2 Lite is the software - the former comes with MIUI and the latter sticks to stock Android.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro) Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro) • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7

Our last recommendation is a bit above the price point - the Redmi Note 7. But for the extra cash, you get a lot more phone in return - better battery life, great camera, better build and a lot more powerful SoC. Not to mention the presence of a fingerprint reader and ambient light sensor. In short, the Redmi Note 7 is an altogether better phone. We just felt compelled to throw this one in here as it's by far one of the best value propositions currently on the market.

Verdict

So summing up our review findings - the Galaxy M10's battery life is okay, the ultra wide-angle lens is usable, the whole camera experience is comparable to the rest of the phones in its class, and video recording is even pretty good as far as Full HD videos go. And although not very bright, the screen is okay too. And that's all there is to say about the Galaxy M10.

Despite its low price, it's a tough one to recommend when you have the Realme 3 selling for the same amount of cash. The Galaxy M10 just has too many serious shortcomings. You will have to live with an underpowered SoC, average battery life, no fingerprint reader, no ambient light sensor, a bit sluggish menu navigation from time to time and a quiet, rear-facing loudspeaker. Also, the face unlock is really slow and unreliable so it's not an adequate alternative to the good old fingerprint scanner. And if you decide to spend a few bucks extra and aim for the Redmi Note 7, you will have literally none of the issues above.

Samsung Galaxy M10 review

Pros

  • Big screen with a tiny notch on a budget.
  • Camera performance is okay and the ultra-wide angle cam is unique in this this price segment.
  • Video recording quality is pretty nice.
  • Battery life is dependable but far from stellar.

Cons

  • No fingerprint reader and no ambient light sensor.
  • Relatively quiet loudspeaker, notto mention it's rear-facing.
  • Charges really slow with the included charger.
  • Ships with Android 8.1 Oreo instead of Pie.
  • Performance even in day-to-day usage is rather underwhelming.
  • The only biometric security feature (face unlock) is slow and unreliable.

Reader comments

I had bought the M10 and I feel that this phone was created to bolster the M20. All the marketing campaigns focus on the M20 and there's not a whole lot on the M10. Still, this feels way better than its Chinese competitors though I will say...

  • anurag
  • 17 Sep 2020
  • XSA

superb phone. when i bought this i was upset for no fingerprint sensor, why i am not purchasing m20 , and always comparing with m20. because m20 is only 1k costly form this phone. but time passes and passes. after all average phone. but this is also ...

  • Jonshev
  • 27 Jun 2020
  • IWU

This is better than iPhone x