Samsung Galaxy S10 review

GSMArena team, 05 March 2019.

Synthetic benchmarks

Samsung's fresh new S10 lineup is once again powered by the best the industry can offer - the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 or Samsung's in-house Exynos 9820 chipset, depending on the market.

We typically get Exynos in our neck of the woods, and so is our S10 review unit. The 8nm chip's CPU is in a 2+2+4 configuration with two big Mongoose M4 cores clocked at 2.7 GHz, two Cortex-A75 cores ticking at 2.4 GHz, and 4 Cortex-A55 cores runninsg at 1.9 GHz for less demanding applications. The GPU is Mali-G76 MP12. Unlike the S10+ which can be had with 8GB or 12GB of RAM, the S10 only comes with 8GB.

Samsung Galaxy S10 review

As we established in the S10+ review, the M4 cores of the Exynos CPU offer the highest per-core performance in the Android world, still a little short of the iPhone XS' Vortex. The Snapdragon 855's Kryo Gold in the Mi 9 and the standard Cortex-A76 in the Mates' Kirins can't quite keep up.

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone XS
    4823
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
    4543
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    4522
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    3503
  • Huawei Mate 20 (perf.)
    3401
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro (perf.)
    3390
  • Sony Xperia XZ3
    2486
  • OnePlus 6T
    2431
  • Google Pixel 3
    2377

The Snapdragon snaps back in the multi-core test, where the Mi 9 takes the lead - the S10 is on par with the Mate 20 pair in multi-core loads, but none can match the Mi 9.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone XS
    11472
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    11181
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    10387
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
    10174
  • Huawei Mate 20 (perf.)
    10138
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro (perf.)
    10110
  • OnePlus 6T
    8977
  • Sony Xperia XZ3
    8607
  • Google Pixel 3
    8146

In Antutu, the S10 scores a notch below the S10+, but some 10% more than the Mate 20 and the Snapdragon 845 devices of last year. The Mi 9 is well ahead, however, even beating the iPhone XS (yes, yes, cross-platform benchmarking isn't a reliable source of data for performance comparisons).

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    372006
  • Apple iPhone XS
    346379
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    333736
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
    328366
  • Huawei Mate 20 (perf.)
    308307
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro (perf.)
    308050
  • OnePlus 6T
    293994
  • Sony Xperia XZ3
    284555
  • Google Pixel 3
    233699

In the offscreen graphics tests in GFXBench the Mi 9 and S10 pair post largely the same fps numbers, securing a healthy lead to the tune of 20% over the S845 devices and about 30% more than the Kirin 980s.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone XS
    98
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    70
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    69
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
    68
  • OnePlus 6T
    60
  • Google Pixel 3
    57
  • Sony Xperia XZ3
    56
  • LG V40 ThinQ
    56
  • Huawei Mate 20 (perf.)
    55
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro (perf.)
    54

GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone XS
    60
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
    43
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    42
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    42
  • Google Pixel 3
    35
  • OnePlus 6T
    35
  • Sony Xperia XZ3
    35
  • LG V40 ThinQ
    34
  • Huawei Mate 20 (perf.)
    33
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro (perf.)
    33

Onscreen tests put a heavier strain on the Mali in the higher-res Galaxy than the 1080p display of the Mi 9 exerts on the Adreno inside it. Hence, the fps scores are significantly higher on the Snapdragon device than what the S10+ and S10 can output.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone XS
    60
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    56
  • Google Pixel 3
    55
  • OnePlus 6T
    53
  • Huawei Mate 20 (perf.)
    51
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    37
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
    37
  • Sony Xperia XZ3
    31
  • LG V40 ThinQ
    29
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro (perf.)
    27

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone XS
    47
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    35
  • Google Pixel 3
    33
  • OnePlus 6T
    31
  • Huawei Mate 20 (perf.)
    31
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    23
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
    23
  • Sony Xperia XZ3
    19
  • LG V40 ThinQ
    16
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro (perf.)
    16

The Exynos Galaxy S10 and S10+ perform to a very high standard, delivering the highest single-core CPU results among fellow droids and demonstrate similar raw graphics power to what we got out of the only S855 device we've tested so far. It will be interesting to see how Galaxy S10/S10+ units with the Snapdragon SoC compare to their Exynos stablemates, and we'll be sure to check that when we get a chance.

On the S10, much like on the S10+, we observed significant heat build up under sustained load with the throttling that comes with it - a 10% drop in Antutu scores after 6 runs and no more in subsequent runs. The entire device becomes warm, which means it's dissipating heat efficiently, but also that it's generating a lot of it. Again, we're eager to compare against a S855 version.