The Galaxy S10, on paper anyway, is without a doubt the finest smartphone Samsung has ever built. And I don’t say that lightly; Apple may have outstanding chipsets and Google may have “pure” software, but when considering the total package, a Pixel or iPhone doesn’t offer nearly as much as Samsung does with the S10. An amazing display that’s expertly tuned by the company that does mobile displays best, an in-screen ultrasonic fingerprint sensor and facial/iris recognition, 5G options, Wi-Fi 6, and the list goes on. We’ve never seen so many features packed into one phone before.
I thought complaining about the death of the headphone jack was out of my system but it’s still really easy to do.
The Galaxy S10 also has one feature that we’ve heard over and over is dead: a 3.5mm headphone jack. We’ve heard that it takes too much room inside the body of the phone. We’ve heard that it just isn’t as good as wireless options. We’ve heard that the tech is old and outdated. And we’ve heard that it cuts into the profit margin too much. Yet here it is in all its shining glory, ready for you to mate your favorite set of headphones with the phone that has everything.
Whoever said a phone with a 3.5 mm jack had to be thick and bulky was wrong.
I thought I was done ranting about the death of the lowly headphone jack. I, like others, got it out of my system well over a year ago once we “knew” that even Samsung would ditch the circular perfection that is a simple 3.5 mm audio jack plug for reasons listed above. There was no way the S10 would launch as a thick brick of a phone that was big enough to fit a 3.5mm jack into and if you valued your headphones more than you did your smartphone (guilty) you were going to have to swing into the niche market and use something like LG’s V series.
All of it was wrong. So wrong. So deliciously wrong.
So how can Samsung still include this archaic part that we were told needed to die a quick death? Courage, that’s how. It knows customers want to be able to buy a crappy pair of earbuds at the train station if they need them and that millions and millions of people already have headphones they like to use and a good many of them need to be plugged in.
It also knew there would be engineering difficulties if it were included and that profit margins would tank because of the enormous cost of this $0.03 part. Yet it was courageous enough to toil on and face a buying public that might think the S10 was outdated on day one because of the ancient technology under its back glass.
Does including the headphone jack make a phone better? You bet it does.
OK, I’m being over the top here because it’s fun to be over the top once in a while, but Samsung included a part that other companies really did omit and tell us these things when asked why. That is really cool. It shows that Samsung isn’t trying to follow the herd or any particular company and is confident enough to become the leader in the mobile space that the balance sheet says it is.
The S10 will sell millions and millions of units, and one of those sales will be to me. I’m getting one because Samsung includes a feature I want in a phone that can also do other amazing things. You might hate the headphone jack. You can use Bluetooth or USB headphones just fine with the S10. It’s the phone that really does have a little something for everyone.
The best wired headphones for the Galaxy series