Galaxy S10 deals, price and specs: Samsung issues ‘urgent’ fingerprint sensor security update – The INQUIRER

Galaxy S10 deals, price and specs: Samsung issues ‘urgent’ fingerprint sensor security update – The INQUIRER

SAMSUNG HAS OFFICIALLY shown off its Galaxy S10 lineup, which includes the Galaxy S10, S10+ and S10e.

The top of the line Galaxy S10 and S10+ offer a significant upgrade over their predecessors, with in-display fingerprint sensors, rear-mounted triple camera setups and reverse wireless charging support. The Galaxy S10e, on the other hand, marks the first time Samsung has added an “affordable” model to its flagship Samsung Galaxy S lineup, as it follows in the footsteps of Apple’s iPhone XR.

Samsung also unveiled the Galaxy S10 5G during its 20 February Unpacked event, but this won’t be available until June.  

We’ve rounded up everything we know about Samsung’s 10th-anniversary smartphone lineup below. You can also read our Galaxy S10+ review here

Release date

The Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+ and S10e can be ordered now and started shipping on 8 March. 

Galaxy S10 deals, price and specs: Samsung issues 'urgent' fingerprint sensor security update - The INQUIRER 1

The Galaxy S10 5G will go on sale in South Korea in April, though there’s no word when it’ll arrive in the UK. 


Over at the Samsung website, the Galaxy S10 is available with 128GB or 512GB storage for £799 and £999, while the S10+ is priced at £899, £1,099 and £1,399 for its 128GB, 512GB and 1TB variants. The “affordable” Galaxy S10e, which offers 128GB storage, is available from £699 SIM-free. 

EE is offering Galaxy S10 and S10+ from £48 and £53 per month, respectively, while the “budget” S10e will set you back £44 per month on an EE plan

Over on the O2 website, the Galaxy S10 can be picked up form £46.20 per month, the S10+ from £48.70 per month and the S10e from £42.59 per month. 

Sky Mobile is offering all three of Samsung’s new phones; the Galaxy S10 can be picked up from £33 per month, the S10+ from £36 a month and the S10e from £27. 

Tesco Mobile is flogging Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10e from £32.75, £39.99 and £42.49 per month, respectively; all of these are 36-month contracts that come with 5GB monthly data. 

Three is offering the Samsung Galaxy S10 from £29 on a £41 tariff, the S10+ from £45 per month and the S10e from £37 per month with the same £29 upfront fee. 

Vodafone is flogging all three S10 models; the Galaxy S10 from £54 per month and £49 upfront, the S10+ from £58 per month with the same one-off fee, and the S10e from, er, £99 on a £46 per month tariff. 

Virgin Mobile, which promptly began taking orders, is flogging the Galaxy S10 from £34 per month, the S10+ from £37 per month and the S10e from a modest £29 per month. 

Latest news

Samsung has issued an “urgent” update to the Galaxy S10 and S10+ that improves the performance of the under-screen fingerprint scanner. First spotted by GSMArena, the 6.9MB update is billed as a “biometric security patch for the fingerprint sensor|, though its unclear if Samsung has fixed the recently-reported spoofing borkage. However, the report notes that it noticed a “tremendous improvement in the performance of the fingerprint sensor post update.”

12/4/19: Samsung is thought to be having some issues with its Galaxy S10 trade-in programme, with users complaining that the firm is refusing to accept their devices.

As reported by Android Police, users have taken to Reddit to moan about the screw-up, which has seen Samsung tell them that their device hasn’t met its “trade-in requirements”, with many claiming that the firm is saying they’ve sent in a device that’s different than the one that they declared. 

In one case, a user sent in a Galaxy Note 9, before being told that he’ll be charged $550 for sending in a Galaxy S7. 

Others are allegedly failing to satisfy Samsung’s fact reset/power-on rules; with Samsung declaring that devices in perfectly working order couldn’t be turned on when they were received. 

Samsung has yet to comment. 

8/4/19: The Galaxy S10’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner can be easily spoofed using a 3D printed finger. The hack was demonstrated by Imgur user ‘darkshark’, who cloned his own fingerprint using a photograph taken on the S10+ and a home 3D printe in less than 13 minutes. He showed the device being unlocked by the fake print, stating that “the 3D print will unlock my phone… in some cases just as well as my actual finger does.”

I attempted to fool the new Samsung Galaxy S10’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner by using 3d printing. I succeeded.

“If I steal someone’s phone, their fingerprints are already on it,” he explained. “I can do this entire process in less than three minutes and remotely start the 3D print so that it’s done by the time I get to it. Most banking apps only require fingerprint authentication so I could have all of your info and spend your money in less than 15 minutes if your phone is secured by fingerprint alone.”

2/4/19: Samsung has confirmed, as recent rumours had suggested, that the Galaxy S10 5G will debut in South Korea on 5 April. 

While it’s yet to cough on pricing details, SamMobile reports that the Galaxy S10 5G will start at 1.39 million South Korean won (around £930) for a 256GB phone, while the 512GB model will fetch 1.55 million South Korean won (£1,040).

There’s no word on UK availability yet, but O2 has confirmed that it’ll be offering the device on its 5G network later this year. 

1/4/19: Samsung’s Galaxy S10 lineup could soon support 25W fast-charging speeds, up from the current 15W. So says tipster Ice Universe, who cites the president of Samsung Greater China as saying the firm is “considering” a future software update will bring souped-up charging speeds to the S10 range.

The president of Samsung Greater China said that it is considering opening the Galaxy S10’s charging power to 25W and developing the handheld super night mode to the S10 series.👍

— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) March 28, 2019

He also said the firm is developing a “super night mode”, similar to the nighttime shooting modes found on the Google Pixel 3 and Huawei P30

28/3/19: Owners of the Galaxy S10+ are complaining that the handset is suffering from signal issues. The borkage, affecting users in the US, sees the handset struggle to maintain a strong signal on the AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile networks, according to a thread on Samsung’s forum

This has been backed up by Android Police, which has found during its own testing that the S10+ has “greatly reduced signal strength” when compared to the likes of the Galaxy S9 and Pixel 3.

While Samsung has yet to comment, Spring has said that the issue will be fixed in a future software update. 

22/3/19: O2 has confirmed that it’ll be flogging the Galaxy S10 5G when it arrives in Blighty “later this year”. It’ll only be available to a select few, however, as the operator’s 5G network is only set to arrive in four UK cities this year: Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. 

21/3/19: Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S10 5G will arrive in South Korea in the first week of April.

So says Yonhap News, which reports that Samsung on Thursday confirmed that its 5G-capable S10 model will go on sale in South Korea on 5 April, before it arrives on the Verizon network in the US later in the month. 

There’s no official word on pricing, but Yonhap says the Galaxy S10 5G will fetch around 1.5 million won (around £1,010) in South Korea and will be flogged with free Galaxy Buds, a wireless charging package, and a 50 per cent discount on future display replacements. 

Naturally, the report doesn’t say when the Galaxy S10 5G will be available here in Blighty, but given no commercial 5G networks are yet live, it’s unlikely to be any time soon. 

18/3/19: Early adopters of the Galaxy S10 are complaining of a proximity sensor glitch that causes the handset to wake up when placed in a pocket. 

While the proximity sensor works properly when users are on a phone call, S10 owners have taken to Reddit and Samsung’s own forums to moan that when they place the phone in their pocket, for example, it doesn’t prevent the phone from waking up, in turn causing the S10 to drain more of its battery than it should. 

The handset’s “prevent accidental touches”, which is on by default, isn’t preventing the glitch from happening, and attempting to fix the issue using the S10’s lower screen sensitivity mode doesn’t work either. 

Samsung has yet to comment, but will likely fix the corkage in a future software update. 

13/3/19: Samsung has revealed more details about the crypto wallet on the Galaxy S10, confirming that it won’t support only of the most popular cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin. 

The ‘Samsung Blockchain Wallet’, which is now available to download from Galaxy Apps, will only support Ethereum and Ethereum-derived tokens to begin with Coindesk reports. It’s likely that Samsung will add support for Bitcoin to the wallet, but it remains unclear when this will happen. 

12/3/19: Galaxy S10 users have been quick to discover that its face unlock feature can be easily fooled. As shown by Unbox Therapy (below) and The Verge, the camera-based scanner – which lacks the 3D-mapping functionality of Apple’s Face ID – will happily unlock the device using a video of the owner, while security researcher Jane Manchun Wong was able to unlock her brother’s device using her own face because of family resemblance.

Worse still, one Reddit user claims that his friend with no clear resemblance could unlock his device consistently, likely because they both have a beard. 

Samsung has acknowledged the issue and said that users should use the screen-embedded fingerprint scanner to stay secure.

“Face recognition is a convenient action to open your phone. For actions requiring strong security, Samsung recommends using the new in-display Ultrasonic Fingerprint that unlocks only with your physical fingerprint,” a spokesperson said to TechRadar

“The Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner has been certified by FIDO Alliance with the world’s first Biometric Component Certification that recognizes its vault-like security and industry best-practice for biometric-enabled devices.”

11/3/19: While some reports claimed Samsung had seen lacklustre Galaxy S10 sales so far, the firm is boasting that its latest flagship has smashed pre-order records in the UK, generating more early sales than “any other Samsung smartphone” sold in Blighty.

Samsung tells us that the Galaxy S10+ has accounted for 57 per cent of sales, while 48 per cent of buyers have opted for the prism black model. 

7/3/19: Samsung will flog between 40 and 45 million Galaxy S10s in 2019, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting, up from earlier estimates of between 30 million and 35 million. 

In a research note, Kuo says that pre-release demand for the Galaxy S10, S10+ and S10e has been “much better than expected”, and his souped-up up estimates suggest Samsung’s latest flagships have seen a 30 to 40 per cent increase in shipments as compared to last year’s Galaxy S9 series. 

This, according to Kuo, is thanks to Samsung’s generous trade-in programmes, strong demand in China spec differentiation from iPhone models. Specifically, Kuo says buyers are being wooed by the S10’s in-screen fingerprint scanner, triple-camera setup and bilateral wireless charging support – none of which can be found on Apple’s iPhone XS.

6/3/19: JerryRigEverything, fresh from shaming the Galaxy S10’s fingerprint scanner, has pulled Samsung’s flagship apart on video (below).

While the handset’s the glass back was pried off without any borkage, things under the hood aren’t so straightforward. The teardown reveals that, for the first time, Samsung has decided to permanently solder the USB-C port to the motherboard – which means what was a cheap repair will now require a replacement motherboard.

The handset’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is another repairability nightmare; JerryRigEverything reveals that it’s inaccessible without removing the screen, a process that will almost always result in breakage. 

5/3/19: Some buyers of the Galaxy S10 have started to receive their devices early, according to a mega-thread on Reddit. While the S10, S10+ and S10e were pegged to officially start shipping on 8 March, some – mainly those based in the US – are reporting that their device is already on its way and is scheduled to arrive before the official release date.

4/3/19: The Galaxy S10 hasn’t made its way onto shelves yet, but it has made it into the hands of Zack Nelson of JerryRigEverything who has put the smartphone through a series of endurance tests.

While as with previous Galaxy flagships, the S10 showed no sign of kinking or creaking during Nelson’s attempts to bend the phone in half, nor did its screen succumb to a lighter’s flame, the in-screen ultrasonic fingerprint scanner didn’t fare so well. 

While the screen-embedded sensor continued to function after heavy scratching, the tests show that any cracks in the Galaxy S10’s screen will cause the scanner to go to Borksville.

29/2/18: Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S10 and S10+ will come with plastic screen protectors pre-installed. There’s a good reason for this too, as Sammy notes that some third-party, glass-based alternatives might not play nice with the handsets’ ultrasonic fingerprint scanner.

However, the firm adds that “Samsung-approved” third party screen protectors will be available to buy at launch. 

28/2/18: The first Galaxy S10+ benchmarks are in and show that, as has been the case for the past few years, the Snapdragon-powered models trump their Exynos siblings performance-wise.

According to AnandTech, which got its mitts on both Snapdragon 855 and Exynos 9820 variants of the Galaxy S10+, Samsung’s homegrown chip shows significant improvements over last year’s Exynos 9810 and Snapdragon 845 but falls short of Qualcomm’s latest and greatest.

In terms of video editing using the PCMark Work 2.0 benchmark, the Snapdragon variant scored 6,545 points versus the Exynos which scored 5,596; that’s even worse than the scored earned by the near three-year-old Pixel XL.

The gap is even wider when it comes to photo editing; the Snapdragon 855 model scored 17,492, compared to Exynos model’s lacklustre 11,412.

27/2/18: Samsung has confirmed at MWC that its Galaxy S10 lineup will ship with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet. Dubbed ‘Samsung Blockchain KeyStore’, the cold storage wallet lets users store Bitcoin, Ethereum, and beauty-related cryptocurrency called Cosmo Coin. 

The S10 phones, like Huawei’s Exodus 1, also support decentralised apps, or ‘dApps’. A blockchain-powered beauty app called ‘Cosemee’, for example, will reward users with Cosmo Coin for leaving beauty reviews.

20/2/18: Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S10, S10+ and S10e, and you can read all about it here

20/2/18: Samsung is set to launch its Galaxy S10 range later today, but that hasn’t stopped the leaks coming. The latest comes courtesy of a TV channel in Norway, which accidentally aired a 30-second advert for the incoming the Galaxy S10+ (below), in turn confirming its major features; an Infinity-O display, in-screen fingerprint scanner, triple rear camera and reverse wireless charging. 

18/2/19: We’re just days away from the official launch of the Galaxy S10+, but thanks to tipster Evan Blass, we know how much it’s likely to cost. Blass shared Chinese pricing details for Samsung’s super-sized model over the weekend, revealing that the top-end model with 1TB storage and 12GB RAM will retail for  ¥10,000 (around £1,150). It’ll also be available in with 8GB RAM and 512GB storage, which will set you back of storage for ¥9,000 (around £1,030). 

That’s about $1,500.

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) February 17, 2019

Samsung’s plus-sized Galaxy S10 has appeared in a hands-on video, just days ahead of its official launch. The minute-long clip (below), which comes courtesy of Mobile Fun, shows off the handset’s Infinity-O display complete with dual front-facing camera and an in-screen fingerprint scanner. It doesn’t offer a glimpse at the back of the phone, but the S10+ is expected to pack a triple-lens camera setup on its rear.

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