Galaxy S10 vs. Galaxy S8: Should you upgrade?

Best answer: While the Galaxy S8 is still kicking along in 2019, the S10 delivers meaningful upgrades in just about every single way. It has a vastly improved processor, upgraded cameras, and all-new technology like an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Worthy upgrade: Samsung Galaxy S10 (opens in new tab) (From $750 at Samsung)

The Galaxy S10 is a far superior phone compared to the S8

The Galaxy S8 is now over two years old, and in the smartphone world, that's equivalent to a lifetime. It's still got a great display, reliable cameras, and a good processor, but compared to the S10, it's outdone in just about every single category.

Here's a quick comparison of some of the top spec upgrades to give you a better idea of what we're talking about:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CategoryGalaxy S8Galaxy S10
Display5.8-inch AMOLED
2960x1440 (18.5:9)
6.1-inch AMOLED
3040x1440 (19:9)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 835Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
RAM4GB8GB
Front Camera8MP, f/1.7
Auto focus
10MP Dual Pixel, f/1.9
Auto focus
Battery3000mAh3400mAh
SecurityOne-touch fingerprint sensor
Iris scanner
In-screen fingerprint sensor

Perhaps even more important for a lot of people, the Galaxy S10 comes equipped with a total of three rear cameras whereas the Galaxy S8 has just one 12-megapixel sensor.

On the S10, your camera package includes the following:

  • Rear Camera 1 — 12-megapixel Dual Pixel | f/1.5 - f/2.4 | OIS
  • Rear Camera 2 — 16-megapixel | 123-degree wide-angle | f/2.2 | Fixed focus
  • Rear Camera 3 — 12-megapixel | 45-degree telephoto | f/2.4 | OIS

Another big change has to do with the display. In addition to being larger size-wise, the bezels have also shrunk quite a bit thanks to Samsung's adoption of a hole-punch screen. This means that the front-facing camera now sits in the display itself, allowing for smaller bezels compared to the S8. It's a unique look that may take some time to get used to, but we think it's a great trade-off.

All of your favorite S8 staples are still here

Samsung Galaxy S8 in hand

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Unlike some manufacturers that get rid of fan-favorite features with new generations of phones, the Galaxy S10 keeps a lot of what makes the S8 so great.

There's still a microSD card slot for expandable storage (up to 512GB), fast wireless charging, MST and NFC payments via Samsung Pay, and — yes — a 3.5mm headphone jack 🙏.

There's also all-new tech we think you'll really like

Using the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S10

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

On top of spec upgrades and old features making a return, the Galaxy S10 also comes equipped with all-new technology that we haven't seen before.

Most notably, the fingerprint sensor has moved from the back of the phone to underneath the screen on the S10.

Samsung's using ultrasonic sensor technology from Qualcomm that creates a 3D model of your fingerprint — including its various grooves. That may sound complicated, but in day-to-day use, it means you can securely unlock your phone by just placing your finger on the designated part of the display and you're good to go.

Something else that's new is a feature called "Wireless PowerShare." In addition to being able to place the Galaxy S10 on a wireless charger to top it up, you can also place Qi-enabled devices on the back of the S10 to use its battery to charge them.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.