Deceptive Interactive Samsung Ad Touts Reverse Charging On Galaxy S10

Samsung has kicked off a new advertising campaign, recently reported from Sydney, Australia by Notebookcheck, that shows off the new Galaxy S10's reverse charging via an interactive demonstration. Likely powered by standard Qi charging technology and hardware, the ad shows a Galaxy S10 held at arm's length and tells passersby to "Charge Your Phone Here."

A spot on the back of the pictured device shows people where to place their phone to start charging. Users can walk up to the signage and put their phone up to the designated spot to catch up on a percent or two. Presumably, the company wants to show off how the built-in charging mechanism can be used to charge up another gadget on the fly.

The Galaxy S10 Family

Samsung’s Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10e, and Galaxy S10+ are the latest run of flagship handsets from the Korean tech giant. Only the larger two flagships ship with reverse wireless charging, accessed by turning the feature on via Quick Settings in the notification shade in One UI but each device packs a range of features and specs worthy of a top-tier mobile device.

Aside from being powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC or an in-house Exynos 9820 chipset depending on the purchase region, the handsets offer 6GB up to 8GB depending on the version purchased. That's stacked with a minimum of 128GB storage too, scaling up to as much as 1TB for the top model of the larger Galaxy S10+.

For snapping photos, the Samsung Galaxy S10e packs a 12-megapixel main shooter and 16-megapixel ultrawide lens. The other two handsets gain an additional 12-megapixel telephoto lens. A 10-megapixel camera sits at the front of all of the devices except for the Galaxy S10+, which packs in a specialty 8-megapixel secondary sensor for high-accuracy depth sensing in almost any conditions.

The internal battery scales up with pricing too, starting with the Samsung Galaxy S10e at 3,100mAh compared to the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ at $899 and $999 to start, respectively. Those pack in a 3,400mAh capacity battery and 4,100mAh battery respectively.

Finally, Samsung has included the world's first under-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner on the larger two devices -- a 6.1-inch curved AMOLED (3040 x 1440) panel in the Galaxy S10 and a 6.4-inch panel with the same specs in the Galaxy S10+. The smaller device follows the reverse wireless charging trend and utilizes a side-mounted fingerprint scanner under the power button instead of under its 5.8-inch AMOLED (2160 x 1080). That's also a flat panel instead of a curved panel.

Here’s why the ad deceptive

Samsung has had advertisements and campaigns that are either moderately or outright deceptive in the past. A prime example of that is the recent discovery that ads meant to show the camera quality of the Samsung Galaxy A8 Star were actually using stock DSLR photos. Those were photoshopped fairly heavily before being uploaded to the company's Brazil webpage for the phone.

This latest ad may not go nearly as far towards showcasing an actual lie -- the company has since updated the above-mentioned site to ensure that users are aware the photo wasn't taken with that handset -- but it isn't exactly honest either. In fact, it will almost certainly confuse at least a moderate subset of consumers who are in the market for a new smartphone and aren't well-apprised of how wireless charging works.

The standard rate of charging for Qi devices tends to range from around 7.5-watts to 10-watts. While it can go as low as 5-watts or as high as 15-watts, those are by far the most common requirements for standard wireless charging. Conversely, the Wireless PowerShare found in Samsung's most recent flagships is much slower at 4.5-watts.

Put simply, it isn't really feasible to charge a smartphone using the feature found on Samsung's Galaxy S10 family of handsets or at least not quickly enough to be of any use. Samsung is essentially advertising that's what it will do anyway. There's no disclaimer to be seen to explain to potential buyers that its handset probably shouldn't be used to charge another phone or that its output rating is too low for most phones. It isn't immediately clear whether the advertising board uses a similarly-rated charger either. In fact, the rating isn't shown anywhere at all.

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About the Author
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Daniel Golightly

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]