Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Is this the best Galaxy S10 you can get?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the most affordable in the Galaxy S10 series of smartphones, but is cheapest always the best option?

Samsung Galaxy S10e
Galaxy S10e offers a polished experience of the S10 for a lesser price.

Samsung Galaxy S10e is the company’s latest offering in its ever-growing Galaxy S-lineup. Samsung launched the S10 series earlier this year, which included the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+ and the Galaxy S10e. The Samsung Galaxy S10e is supposed to be the budget flagship by the company, comparing to the ranks of Apple iPhone XR.

The Galaxy S10e is basically the toned-down version of the S10, offering the same performance and experience, while at the same time shaving off some little bits to get the price down. However, is the shaved price tag low enough to justify those shaved off features? Find out in our review.

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung Galaxy S10e is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 coupled with Adreno 640 or the company's own Exynos 9820 coupled with Mali G72 processor depending on which country you purchased it. We got the Exynos variant for our review. The device comes with 6/8GB RAM and 128/256GB of storage.

Samsung Galaxy S10e
The S10e comes with a punch-hole display

The device sports a 5.8-inch (2220 x 1080 pixel) 19:9 aspect ratio Dynamic AMOLED display. For optics, it features a dual-camera setup on the back, consisting of a 12-megapixel, f/1.5-2.4 variable aperture sensor with OIS and a 16-megapixel, f/2.2 aperture ultrawide sensor. For selfies, it sports a 10-megapixel, f/1.9 aperture sensor. All of this is backed by a 3,100mAh non-removable battery.

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Design

The Galaxy S10e sports a glass-metal sandwich design with front and rear Gorilla Glass 5 panels with a metal frame in the middle. There is no curved glass on the back or front like in the S10 and the S10+.

Design of the Samsung Galaxy S10e is plain but functional. The back glass panel attracts a lot of fingerprints, but feels great in hand and offers wireless charging. The cutout in the front display for the camera is something I got used to quite easily.

Samsung Galaxy S10e
The front has no notch

The speaker grille is located above the display, whereas, the 10-megapixel front camera is housed inside the display cut-out on the top right corner of the display. The bottom of the device also has a small chin.

Samsung Galaxy S10e
The rear glass looks and feels good

Coming to the back, Samsung Galaxy S10e sports a dual-camera setup paired with an LED flash aligned horizontally on the top. There is a small camera bump, but not that significant for you to be scared.

Samsung Galaxy S10e
Left, Right, Top, Bottom

The right edge consists of an elongated power button with an embedded fingerprint sensor. The volume rockers are located on the left edge with the infamous Bixby button just below them. The smartphone still sports a headphone jack which has gotten pretty rare to see at the price point but is a welcomed feature.

Overall, design-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S10e is nothing we haven't seen in Samsung's lineup before, but at the same time it feels extremely comfortable to use. It looks quite subtle, which according to me is a good thing. The glass back provides a premium look to it and the device is quite sturdy.

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Software

The software section is where Samsung has not received much love in the past few years. However, with its new Android Pie based One UI skin the company is hell-bent changing that. The Galaxy S10 series is the company's first devices to come out with One UI pre-installed out of the box.

Samsung Galaxy S10e, UI, Software, OneUI
Samsung Galaxy's OneUI user experience is highly modified

One UI has made single-handed usage much easier, which didn't matter much with the S10e cause of its small form factor but will help a lot with smartphones like the Galaxy S10+. The new night mode and other features have made the smartphone a delight to use. The Notification ring around the front camera cutout is a good way to embrace the camera cutout.

However, not everything is solved yet. It still comes with a lot of bloatware from Samsung and Microsoft which isn't always welcomed. However, during the setup process, Samsung gives you an option not to install Samsung apps, which I feel is a great option to have. Also, all of the bloatware can be removed.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 launched: Price, alternatives and more

One UI offers a polished user experience, compared to something like the Google Pixel's stock android or OnePlus's Oxygen OS. However, animations are an area that the company should focus on and improve.

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Performance

Performance is a major area of concern on any device, the same goes for the Samsung Galaxy S10e. Our review unit came with a Samsung's Exynos 9820 coupled with Mali G76 GPU and 6GB of RAM.

Samsung Galaxy S10e, AnTuTu, Geekbench
AnTuTu 7 (Right) and Geekbench 4 (Left)

We ran our usual benchmark tests to evaluate how the device performs. On AnTuTu the device was able to score 316979, which is great considering the price and competition. On GeekBench it managed to get a single-core score of 3828 and a multi-core score of 9676. The performance numbers of the device on paper are comparable to the price of the device.

While playing light games such as Temple Run and Crossy Chicken, the phone runs flawlessly. Heavy games like Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG Mobile cause a little bit of hiccup on the phone, probably due to outside temperatures touch 45-degrees celsius.

Also Read: Top 5 Oppo A9 alternatives: Redmi Note 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy M30 and more

Overall, the performance of the Galaxy S10e is above average considering the price paid for the smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Display

Samsung Galaxy S10e
The AMOLED display is amazing

Samsung Galaxy S10e sports a 5.8-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2220×1080 pixels and comes with an aspect ratio of 19:9. The brightness levels are able to get super low and immensely high depending on the situation. The colours are more vibrant and the blacks are great thanks to the AMOLED panel. The camera cutout is something people can get easily used to.

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S10e features a dual camera setup on the back, consisting of a 12-megapixel, f/1.5-2.4 variable aperture sensor with OIS and a 16-megapixel, f/2.2 aperture ultrawide sensor. For selfies, it packs a 10-megapixel, f/1.9 aperture sensor.

The images I took with the rear camera came out quite good and were quite detailed and with great colour accuracy. Its portrait mode is also able to do a very good job. Super slo-mo is a great feature, which can be used to create some amazing recordings. The second ultrawide sensor is a great choice and gives a fish-eye effect.

Samsung Galaxy S10e Camera Samples
Front with Normal (Right) vs WideAngle (Left)

Coming to the front camera, the story is pretty much the same. There is a beauty mode, which comes turned on by default. It also has a wide-angle effect, which they achieve by cropping the normal photo mode.

Overall, the camera quality is good enough. Devices like the Google Pixel offer a way better camera experience, but software features like super slo-mo are something that will hook any user up.

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Battery

The device is backed by a 3,100mAh battery, which easily lasts almost a whole day on a single charge. Charging time with the included charger is around 120 minutes, which is great. If you are not a heavy user, you can easily make it work till the end of the workday without the need to plug it in.

Samsung Galaxy S10e
The included case is nice

We ran PCMark’s Work 2.0 Battery Life test, which subjects the phone to heavy usage and finds out how the battery performs in those conditions. The device yielded a result of 10 hours and 3 minutes, which is adequate in comparison to similar battery capacity smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Verdict

Samsung Galaxy S10e
Overall, the S10e offers a nice polished experience.

Samsung Galaxy S10e costs Rs. 55,990 at the time of writing this review. For that price, smartphones like the OnePlus 7 Pro offer a lot more and are having better value for money, but comparing how polished the Galaxy S10e is, makes you wonder what to buy. The refinement of the smartphone along with the convenience of wireless charging and Samsung Pay really makes you want to buy the S10e.

If you want a polished experience and not raw power, the Samsung Galaxy S10e is a great option for you to check out.

Also Read: List of smartphones confirmed to get the Android Q update: Xiaomi, Samsung and more

Investing Rs. 6,000-7,000 more will get you a Galaxy S10, however, for many people the S10e is just perfect. It has a small form factor which is rare to find in this day and age. It has the same software and performance as its big brothers. But at the same time, it also lacks a bit in some areas like the camera.

So the point still remains, that is the Galaxy S10e a better option over the S10 or the S10+. It all boils down to the user. If you don't mind the smaller screen and a smaller battery or smaller cameras, or you don't absolutely want the in-display fingerprint sensor, you might wanna save some cash and go for the Samsung Galaxy S10e.


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