Android 10 review: Good today, better tomorrow

To celebrate the next big version of Android, Google did the unthinkable: It killed its fanciful dessert-themed release names and gave its smartphone OS more conventional branding. Say hello to Android 10.

Not everyone loves the change — it means I couldn’t devour an entire dessert for our review video — but it speaks to a pretty dramatic shift in Google’s priorities all the same. It’s no surprise, then, that I could say the same about Android 10 itself. On the surface, it’s a grab bag of interface tweaks, usability enhancements, privacy changes and more. In some ways, Google is even using this release to play catch-up with the competition. More broadly, though, Android 10 feels very much like a transitional state — an attempt by Google to lay the groundwork for a smartphone future that’s coming at all of us fast.

  • Dark mode looks great
  • 5G and foldable support are crucial
  • Project Mainline speeds up crucial updates
  • More obvious privacy controls are helpful
  • Better for managing notifications
  • It’ll probably be a while before you get it
  • Some gestures need more polish
  • Project Mainline isn’t enabled for everyone


Android 10 isn’t perfect, but it builds on a strong foundation with helpful features like a dark mode, mostly improved gesture navigation, more nuanced notification controls and better privacy tools. It won’t completely reshape the way you use Android, but by re-engineering some key software updates and adding support for foldable devices and 5G, this transitional update is all about paving the way for tomorrow.