Best answer: The Galaxy S10 series still has a lot going for it in 2020, especially thanks to price cuts Samsung introduced when the S20 made its debut. However, with the recent launch of the Galaxy S20 FE, the older S10 lineup is a bit tougher to wholeheartedly recommend.
How much does the Galaxy S10 cost these days?
Samsung upped its prices across the board with the Galaxy S20 series, pushing some of us out of the market for its high-end phones. Thankfully, it continues to sell the S10 lineup with official price cuts, offering an enticing option for those who want a flagship phone but can't get into four-figure prices for one.
Looking at the retail prices of the Galaxy S10 family, here's what we're now dealing with:
- Galaxy S10e — $600
- Galaxy S10 — $750
- Galaxy S10+ — $850
Compared to the Galaxy S20 series, which starts at $1,000 and goes all the way up to $1,400, these are much more accessible price points. And, what's even better, you shouldn't ever have to pay that full retail amount. Right now for Black Friday, you can pick up the Galaxy S10 for just $600.
It's also not uncommon to find additional savings from third-party retailers. You can often find any of the Galaxy S10 models for a few dollars less than when shopping on Amazon, and if you prefer getting your phones at Best Buy, there's usually some discount offered when you buy and activate the phone on the same day.
Should I just get the Galaxy S20 FE instead of the Galaxy S10?
When talking about buying the Galaxy S10 in 2020, we also have to consider Samsung's recent launch of the Galaxy S20 FE. It offers many of the core features and experiences found on the more expensive Galaxy S20 handsets, but at a much cheaper price.
The Galaxy S20 FE retails for $700, and at that price, you're getting a lot. Some of the key features include a 120Hz AMOLED display, Snapdragon 865 processor, three rear cameras, and a huge 4,500 mAh battery. Compared side-by-side with the Galaxy S10, it's undeniably the better phone.
With that being the case, is there an argument to be made for still considering the Galaxy S10 over the S20 FE? It all comes down to price. At $750 or $850 for the S10 or S10+, respectively, it just makes sense to get the Galaxy S20 FE instead. It costs less, has better specs across the board, and is backed by an extra year of software updates. Even the Galaxy S10e is a difficult sell against the S20 FE, but given its lower price and more compact size, it could still be a better fit for some shoppers.
Is the Galaxy S10 still powerful enough in 2020?
The Galaxy S10 has been updated to the same One UI 2 software, so you aren't being left behind in terms of software features that launched with the S20. Thanks to Samsung's commitment to three years of updates for many of its phones, you can also expect software updates to keep rolling in until 2022. The Snapdragon 855 processor and 8GB of RAM are more than capable for anything you'll need to do, and the battery life will hold up to everyone but the most hardcore users.
Other areas of the experience, like the display and hardware design, feel modern on the S10 even though they aren't the absolute latest and greatest Samsung has to offer. You're also getting the same base-level features like water resistance, wireless charging, fast charging, and a microSD card slot. The S10 even has something the S20 doesn't: a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
The only place the Galaxy S10 shows its age is in the cameras, as Samsung really took a big step forward with the S20's shooters both front and back. The Galaxy S10 just isn't very capable in low-light scenes, and its telephoto camera is nowhere near as capable as the S20's. The ultra-wide and front-facing cameras are more comparable, but still off the pace of the latest devices. Altogether you're still going to get good — and very consistent — camera performance, but it just isn't going to feel like a bleeding-edge device in that respect.
Should I buy the Galaxy S10 during Black Friday?
Black Friday is one of the best times of the entire year to buy a new phone, with many companies using it to offer their best possible deals. This Black Friday, one of the various phones on sale is the Galaxy S10. Normally retailing for $750, you can now pick it up for just $600.
That's a really good price considering everything it has to offer, but even at that lower price, we'd still urge you to get something like the Galaxy S20 FE instead. It's also discounted for Black Friday, with it down to $549.
Oldie, but a goodie
Still a solid phone in 2020
For a year-old phone, the Galaxy S10 is still really solid. Its hardware and specs feel modern, and it's running the latest Samsung software. It's no longer as good of a deal given the release of the Galaxy S20 FE, but if you can find it on sale, it's still a decent choice.
Get something new
Modern Samsung for less
The Galaxy S20 FE is one of the most compelling phones Samsung's launched in a long time. It offers about 90% of the regular S20 experience for hundreds of dollars less, making it one of the best values of the entire year. If you haven't checked it out yet, you really should.
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