First up let’s start with the unboxing experience. At the back of these cleanly presented boxes we see some of the key features of the Galaxy A10s and the Galaxy A10.
In both boxes, we’re greeted with the paperwork inclusive of the quick start up guide and warranty card. Next is the phone itself which we will unwrap. Then we have a micro USB cable. A standard power brick to charge the phone, the Sim ejector tool and finally a pair of headphones. At this point you should keep in mind a couple of things: 1. No USB type-C here, 2. No fast charging capability and no AKG headphones on both phones. And for the price, that’s okay.
|SAMSUNG GALAXY A10s||SAMSUNG GALAXY A10|
|SCREEN||IPS LCD 6.2 INCH
720 x 1520 Resolution
|IPS LCD 6.2 INCH
720 x 1520 Resolution
|BATTERY||Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 3400 mAh battery|
|PROCESSOR||Mediatek MT6762 Helio P22 (12 nm)||Exynos 7884 (14 nm)|
|CAMERA||Main Camera (Dual)
13 MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide), AF
8 MP, f/2.0
13 MP, f/1.9, 28mm (wide), AF
5 MP, f/2.0
|STORAGE/STORAGE||32GB 2GB RAM, 32GB 3GB RAM
microSD, up to 512 GB (dedicated slot)
|32GB 2GB RAM, 32GB 4GB RAM
microSD, up to 1TB (dedicated slot)
|Android 9.0 (Pie)||Android 9.0 (Pie)|
|Blue, Green, Red, Black
Having both phones side by side its pretty hard to tell which phone is which since they look all so identical. From the chin to the v notch through the side bezels. To put it in perspective, the A10 cover can fit perfectly on the A10s missing ever so slightly on the camera cut out and the speaker cut out since the A10s it has a bottom firing speaker. I’ve had the chance to play around with both devices while reviewing them and there’s times I confused the two. They’re that similar.
On both phones the power buttons are on the right. The volume up and down buttons are on the right of the standard A10 and on the left of the A10s. You get a dual camera set up on the A10s and a single camera on the A10. At the bottom of both phones you get a headphone jack the micro USB charging port and the microphone. What the A10s has that the A10 doesn’t have is the bottom firing mono speaker. The A10s speaker is on the back of the phone. And of course the fingerprint scanner at the back of the A10s that the A10 doesn’t have. In terms of software, both phones ship with Android 9 pie straight out of the box with Samsung one UI running on top of android.
Now first major difference you’ll notice is the presence of that fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy A10s that lacks on the Galaxy A10. It’s not the fastest in the market neither is It the latest but it does get the job done unlocking your phone when you want to. Keep in mind that it does take a second to register your finger then unlock the phone and for the price, its a pleasant surprise that it was added to the phone in the first place. With the screen on it does u lock a bit faster. Overall its an added advantage over the A10 that has to do with native lock mechanisms and facial recognition. Speaking of facial recognition, thumbs up to Samsung for including face unlock on both devices. If you remember my Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 review, I was really disappointed that that phone, which is way above these 2 phones in terms of spec and price, does not have facial recognition. Props to Samsung for that. Facial recognition on both devices is also fast.
Now on to the cameras. The Samsung A10s has a dual lens camera set up at the back. A 2 mega pixel f/2.4 depth sensor for your portrait shots and a 13 megapixel f/1.8 Main camera and a 8 megapixel f/2. 0 front selfie camera. The Samsung A10 on the other hand has to do with one 13 megapixel f/1. 9 camera and a 5 megapixel f/2.0 front facing camera. None of these have a wide angle camera on board so they rely on software to crop the image to give that wide angle shot image.
Photos taken with the standard angle are impressing and pleasing to look at. Both phones capture good levels of detail and the difference majorly comes down to the colors. There is no dedicated wide angle lens on both but In terms of “wide angle” shots, side by side you can see that both fit the same perspective into one shot. A tiny difference might come up in the close up standard shots where the A10 brings you closer to the object than the A10s. Overall, there’s nothing blown out of the shots and they’re pretty clear. In terms of portrait pictures, the A10s has the upper-hand mainly because it has the second depth sensor lens to map out the blur compared to the A10 that doesn’t have a dedicated depth sensing camera or portrait mode
The selfies captured on both phones are okay quality. The difference comes in color temperatures on both phones. How they process the image. Colors on the A10s are more vibrant compared to the A10. In my opinion, the A10 keeps things more real compared to the A10s, no exaggerated skin tones, overdone sharpness etc. Another thing worth mentioning is that the A10s won’t allow you to change photo exposure when it is in portrait selfie mode, what Samsung call live focus. Speaking of portrait mode, the A10 doesn’t have a dedicated portrait mode. Portrait images are good and software does a good job mapping out those edges which is impressive but needs improvement which can follow in a future software update. The only downside is that portrait mode cant handle a lot of light so for great shots make sure you’re in balanced light.
All in all can we just give props to how cameras in the budget section of phones are getting good, really good. Images taken on both phones look crisp and accurate. Its impressive how software these days is implemented to do shots that need a dedicated separate camera to take -and its doing a great job at it. Both phones also don’t have a night mode so if that’s a deal breaker for you, you might want to look elsewhere.
So lets wrap this up with a specsheet so that you know which one to go for if you want to pick either of these up. I should mention that both phones have a lot of similarities but here is what differentiates them. The A10s you have to do with 32gb of internal storage with 2 or 3gb of ram, A Mediatek-helio P22 chipset, a 13, and 2 megapixel camera, an 8 megapixel selfie camera, a 4000mAh battery,a bottom firing mono speaker and a rear mounted fingerprint scanner .
On the A10, you still get 32GB internal storage with a choice between 2GB and 4GB of RAM, exynos 7884 chipset, a single13 megapixel rear camera, an 8 megapixel selfie camera , a 3400mAh battery and a rear mounted speaker.
Both the Samsung A10 and A10s are great entry level budget phones. They will really serve the purpose and performance needed to get you by for the price. Yes alot has been slashed off both phones to attain their retail prices and that’s understandable. However, there’s things that make you look at the A10s and ask yourself if you really need to pay that extra cash for it or just buy the A10 and call it a day. At the same time, there’s things on the A10s that are just a must have for people making it without a shadow of a doubt the best of the two. Well I say go for the Samsung A10s if you want a fingerprint scanner, a larger battery (lets face it, big is always better), improved camera specs and more nitty gritties added in that just make the phone better. If you want all the A10s specs minus the second camera which I really won’t lean on since the A10 does better than the A10s in some areas of the camera department; if you don’t mind the muffled tiny rear speaker and can do without a fingerprint scanner, then by all means have the A10. All in all these are some really good budget phones and I’ll say it again, the competition is heating up.
Watch the comparison video here: