Samsung's Galaxy Fold, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus and Galaxy S10 5G: What the mobile devices mean for IT

Here are the takeaways from the Samsung Unpacked event and launch of the Galaxy Fold and new Galaxy S10 devices.

Galaxy S10: Samsung's lineup is solid, but maybe wait for Galaxy S10 5G Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S10 line and two other devices that'll require a bit of a wait. ZDNet's Larry Dignan discusses the latest Samsung news with TechRepublic's Bill Detwiler and Karen Roby.

Samsung launched its Galaxy Fold, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus and Galaxy S10 5G and it's worth a technology decision maker's time to see how they fit into the mobility management mix.

Sure, Samsung delivered its healthy dose of Knox, screen enhancements and preview of the future—hello foldable device—but don't get distracted by the bells and whistles.

TechRepublic cut through the moving parts to give you the key takeaways from the Samsung Unpacked event and launch of new Galaxy S10 devices.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

The pricing won't break the IT budget

Samsung, as it typically does, aims to cover as many price points and screen sizes as possible. The Galaxy S10 family outlined on Wednesday's Unpacked event held to that line. While your company may need more of a business case to justify the S10 Plus, the smaller-screened versions are portable and the pricing isn't crazy.

Here's the lineup:

Galaxy S10e: A more compact version of the Galaxy lineup with a 5.8-inch screen. The device feels good in your hand yet if you're in the phablet crowd it almost feels too small. The S10e display is flat, which Samsung notes can be a benefit for enterprise app developers looking for a standard approach to devices.

The memory and storage configurations are 6GB and 128GB storage and 8GB and 256GB storage. Keep in mind that a MicroSD card can support up to 512GB of storage. Battery is 3,100 mAh. Rear facing cameras are 16 MP Ultra Wide/F2.2 and Dual Pixel 12 MP OIS (Wide/F1.5/F2.4), AF. The front camera is Dual Pixel 10MP AF (F1.9).

Starting price: $749.

Galaxy S10: A 6.1 inch edge display with an ultrawide camera, Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner and Infinity-O display. The memory and storage configurations are 6GB and 128GB storage and 8GB and 512GB storage. Keep in mind that a MicroSD card can support up to 512GB of storage to get you to 1 terabyte.

The rear cameras are 16 MP Ultra Wide/F2.2 and Dual Pixel 12 MP OIS (Wide/F1.5/F2.4), AF with another 12MP OIS (Tele/F2.4), AF. The front camera is Dual Pixel 10MP AF (F1.9).

Battery is 3,400 mAh. Starting price: $899.

Galaxy S10 Plus: A 6.4 inch edge display starting at $999 with more configuration options. Memory configurations are 8GB with 128GB of storage or 8GB with 512GB of storage. There's also a 12GB and 1TB storage option. Toss in a 512GB and the high-end Galaxy S10 Plus can get 1.5GB of storage. Battery is 4,100 mAh.

The rear cameras are 16 MP Ultra Wide/F2.2 and Dual Pixel 12 MP OIS (Wide/F1.5/F2.4), AF with another 12MP OIS (Tele/F2.4), AF.

The front camera is Dual Pixel 10MP AF (F1.9) with an additional 8MP AF (Depth/F2.2).

It's likely that the mid-tier Galaxy S10 will wind up being a workhorse phone for the enterprise. One wrinkle worth watching is that Samsung devices still aren't in the Android Enterprise Recommended program. That omission may not matter given Samsung has a solid footing in the enterprise.

Additional resources

Galaxy Fold: What would I do with a $1,980 foldable phone?

Here is an excerpt from what I wrote on ZDNet about the Galaxy Fold:

Samsung outlined the Galaxy Fold at its Unpacked powwow and it has elicited a few cheers at least until the $1,980 price tag was disclosed. The luxury device is impressive, but I'm haunted by a simple question: What the hell am I going to do with the Galaxy Fold to justify the $2,000 price tag ($1,980 is the starting price).

This Galaxy Fold is clearly going to be a nice shot in the arm for the smartphone industry's margins and average selling prices. After all, somebody has to innovate somewhere for a device category that has flat lined.

And, in my ZDNet article about which Galaxy model to buy, I wrote:

Wait for the Galaxy Fold in April if...
  • You really don't care about your smartphone spending. This device starts at $1,980 and it has to be a convergence device to even begin to justify the price.
  • You want to be tech elite for a few days and use new display technology to humble brag a bit.
  • You can come up with enough use cases to allow your spouse to look the other way while you buy a smartphone when you should be funding the 529 plan or paying for a nice weekend vacation to an island.

Additional resources

samsung-unpacked-022019-6986.jpg

Wireless PowerShare is going to be a boon for business travelers

Samsung outlined a feature called Wireless PowerShare, which uses the Galaxy S10 as a charger for other devices. The Galaxy S10 can charge earbuds, smartwatches and other smartphones. When not plugged in, the Galaxy S10 can give you just enough juice to keep another device running. When plugged in, the Galaxy S10 acts as a wireless charging pad.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S10 should be able to enable a business traveler to leave a few cords and chargers at home.

gs10-hiner-1600px-10.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S10's Wireless PowerShare feature

Image: Jason Hiner/CNET

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is all about the enterprise pilots

Yes, Samsung's 5G version of the S10 will arrive some time in the second quarter, but the real plan by the company is to get the device into 5G pilots. You can read all about the business case for 5G, but the initial pilots will revolve around replacements for fixed broadband.

Those pilots are going to need front-end devices. Samsung's 5G device is likely priced more for C-level executives and early adopters, but some enterprises are going to procure them to gauge how they change the future of work.

Additional resources

Samsung thinks its Galaxy S10 line can be a thin client

Samsung is positioning the Galaxy S10 line as a thin-client and digital transformation device. Samsung didn't service up a lot of new developments for its DeX docking system, but officials have touted a bevy of use cases. These use cases are mostly in the pilot stage in the public sector, retail and healthcare with some nearing production. To wit:

  • S10's ultra-wide lens and stable video recording are being pitched to industries for first responders and insurers. Why? Field inspections are regularly needed.
  • Samsung has DeX and its devices in pilots with police forces looking to replace laptops.
  • Hospitals are also looking to use Samsung devices and DeX as thin clients.
  • Meanwhile, the Galaxy S10E, which is the 5.8-inch screen edition, is being pitched for retail for assistive selling.

The jury is out on whether the Galaxy S10 can serve as a thin client, but Samsung's approach with DeX is sound and the company remains committed to the cause. The smartphone as thin client replacement is a storyline worth following.

Also see

gs10-hiner-1600px-04.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S10 devices

Image: Jason Hiner/CNET