We've received an update from the developers regarding the auto-brightness:
"From Android P, a user's brightness setting pattern is learned, and when the user sets a specific brightness the automatic brightness is controlled to be closer to that specific brightness.
That learning takes time. If you set a specific brightness continuously it takes about a week or two to reach the point where it automates to that brightness, for example.
However, when you set the brightness, the brightness can be applied immediately in the short term. If more than 30 seconds after the screen is turned off and the ambient light environment changes by more than 60%, this short term setting brightness will return to the light that was relearned.
If you want to reset the usage pattern to the brightness curve to default in order to start the learning process again:
Settings > Apps > Show system apps (upper right click) > Device Health Service > Storage > Manage Storage > reset Adaptive brightness [click]"
Short version of the above is that an S10 learns your preferred auto-brightness level over time.
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Thank you for the update.
Whilst I appreciate this may be a more clever way to optimise your phone it still bothers the community that have upgraded to the S10/S10+, which supposedly have better screens, to have lower perceived image quality/resolution/gamma and lower set of capabilities. Isn't it possible to port it over the exact same advanced screen options that feature on S9/S9+ ?
The white levels are simply not the same - and not sure this is much to do with the actual brightness... thanks again for looking into this.
Not sure it's a error to be replicated per se. It's just an inferior looking quality of image. They will have to make the comparision to see the very obvious difference.
So I've had my s10 for over 2 weeks and not only is it not as bright at my s8 on max brightness, it has never ever ever stayed at the brightness I set. Ever. I finally broke down and installed Velis and it's worked exactly as I want ever since (meaning like my s8). Velis tells you what the light sensor is reporting, and I'm starting to wonder if the sensor is also a problem.
I agree with what everyone has said. I would suggest that this is a software problem because I can sometimes achieve better brightness and whiter whites in some applications, for instance vlc, even when the brightness is set to '100%'.
I can literally turn the auto brightness off, turn the slider to maximum and then switch between Chrome and vlc and the brightness will go up and down.
So it's either a bug, or Samsung are intentionally reducing the screen brightness (possibly to prevent burn in). Wouldn't be surprised either way.
To clarify further: it's specifically to do with the video enhancer mode.
When I turn on video enhancer, then open vlc, it unlocks a higher level of brightness than is otherwise available. If I turn off video enhancer, there's no change.
(NB, when I say brightness I mean brightness. It's not the increased saturation and contrast from the s8/s9)
Edit: also tested on YouTube and twitch. Same thing.