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Samsung Galaxy S10e – Trumping OnePlus At Its Own Game

8.1

Samsung is no stranger in the mobile market. Over the past few years, the South Korean giant has been hard at work keeping loyalists and the mid-range market happy.

Following the launch of Apple’s iPhone XR, Samsung decided to follow suit and launch their own “entry-level” flagship dubbed as the Samsung Galaxy S10e, not only allowing Samsung to diversify their options even further, but also compete in the upper mid-range segment, a segment that Samsung hadn’t been able to entice thanks to the introduction of rivals from China.

The Samsung Galaxy S10e, like the Apple iPhone XR, shares a lot in common with its elder brothers, the XS and XS Max. However, Samsung is the one with the decryption codes decided to push the S10e up a notch, making it a more attractive option on paper.

With all the competition surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S10e, where does the Samsung Galaxy S10e stand? Well, here’s my analysis after using it as my main device for the past month.

01 | Design and Build Quality

Samsung Galaxy S10e - Trumping OnePlus At Its Own Game 2

Samsung continues its use of glass and steel on the Samsung Galaxy S10e. It’s built with glass on the front and back with steel railings surrounding the phone. What it hasn’t continued on is its design language that defined the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S8 series of devices, completely ditching the little forehead and chins its predecessors had left. With this change, Samsung pushed the selfie camera embedded into a cutout within the display to keep things looking neat.

While Samsung had been holding out on the notch, their punch-hole seems to have garnered a ton of attention despite still taking up a considerable amount of real-estate on the display. But it seems like not being connected to any of the side railings seems to be the more attractive option after all.

Unlike its predecessors, Samsung has re-done the button layout on the S10e and its elder brothers. On the S10e, you’re looking at the addition of the Bixby button over on the left beneath the volume rocker. Over on the right, Samsung has gone for a fingerprint sensor embedded within the power button keeping it clean.

The Samsung Galaxy S10e comes in a neat selection of colors. The Samsung Galaxy S10e comes in Prism White, Prism Black, Prism Green, Prism Blue, and Canary Yellow.

Other design features of the S10e include a 150g weight, 142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm dimensions as well as the inclusion of Corning’s new Gorilla Glass 5 upfront.

Coming over to the overall feel in the hand, I found myself loving the S10e’s size. After switching from the Poco F1(review), the miniature size of the Samsung Galaxy S10e grew on me. And following my review of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus a few months ago, I found the fingerprint sensor on the Samsung Galaxy S10e a whole lot more satisfactory.

With all the competition surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S10e, it seems like the Samsung Galaxy S10e is the most compact flagship of 2019. Apple’s iPhone XR’s display comes in at 6.1-inches and Sony has given up on its Xperia Compact lineup.

02 | Display & Audio

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Coming over to the display of the Samsung Galaxy S10e, I was pleased to see how well the display on the Samsung Galaxy S10e performed. Despite being a 1080p+ panel, the display performed admirably well with more than enough sharpness and saturation. However, one area where the S10e did fall a bit short was in the brightness department.

Samsung, in typical fashion, has had included a decent amount of options to play around with the display including a dark mode that Samsung dubs “Night Mode”.

And while the Samsung Galaxy S10e does lack a 1440p QHD+ display like its elder brothers, the night mode on the S10e made me forget about the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus that I had been rocking a while ago. The inclusion of the new Night Mode on the S10e simply calls for a sweet treat given how well Samsung has themed One UI.

Core apps such as the Calendar, Messaging, Dialer, the Settings section were pure black with a hint of grey here and there. Even though it’s not the best implementation of a Dark mode, it was definitely respectable that Samsung decided to include it on the S10e with its AMOLED display.

Coming over to the audio side of the Samsung Galaxy S10e, I was pleased to hear how well the S10e’s speakers perform. There’s a driver embedded within the earpiece as well as one driver beneath the phone. And while everyone rambles about how the bottom-firing speaker could easily be blocked with your hand, I’m yet to figure where else Samsung could put the speaker on the device.

Regarding audio quality, there isn’t a whole lot to get excited about, but they do get the job done. The speakers on the S10e had a decent amount of volume and more than enough clarity. With that being said, the inclusion of the headphone jack is definitely respectable, especially now that Samsung has axed it from the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus.

My media consumption experience was pretty positive. From the inclusion of an HDR10-enabled display to the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack, the S10e pretty much ticked all of the practical boxes here.

03 | Performance & UI

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The Samsung Galaxy S10e comes with an Exynos 9820 under the hood, at least for the devices that Samsung releases in the Asian market. While the Qualcomm variant does get a ton of attention, the 9820 is a decent performer in of itself too.

Coming over to a few benchmarks from the norm, the S10e managed to score 4359 and 9575 in the single-core and multi-core department. Over on the AnTuTu side of things, the S10e managed to score over 320,000 points as a whole, keeping itself in the flagship game.

ModelSamsung Galaxy S10ESamsung Galaxy S10Samsung Galaxy S10 PlusSamsung Galaxy S10 5G
Size/Display5.8-inch, Full HD+ Flat Dynamic AMOLED, 19:9 (438ppi) 6.1-inch Quad HD+ Curved Dynamic AMOLED, 19:9 (550ppi)6.4-inch Quad HD+ Curved Dynamic AMOLED, 19:9 (522ppi)6.7-inch Quad HD+ Curved Dynamic AMOLED, 19:9 (505ppi)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 855 / Samsung Exynos 9820Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 / Samsung Exynos 9820Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 / Samsung Exynos 9820Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 / Samsung Exynos 9820
Storage6GB/8GB RAM (LPDDR4X), 128GB/256GB
+ MicroSD slot (up to 512GB)
8GB RAM (LPDDR4X), 128GB/512GB
+ MicroSD slot (up to 512GB)
8GB/12GB RAM (LPDDR4X), 128GB/512GB/1TB
+ MicroSD slot (up to 512GB)
8GB + 256GB
(No MicroSD)
Battery3100mAh3400mAh4100mAh4,500mAh
CamerasRear: Dual Camera with OIS
– Wide-angle: 12MP Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS (77°)
– Ultra Wide: 16MP FF, F2.2 (123°)
– 0.5X optical zoom, up to 8X digital zoomFront:
– Selfie: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, F1.9 (80°)
Rear: Triple Camera with Dual OIS
– Telephoto: 12MP PDAF, F2.4, OIS (45°)
– Wide-angle: 12MP Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS (77°)
– Ultra Wide: 16MP FF, F2.2 (123°)
– 0.5X/2X optical zoom, up to 10X digital zoomFront:
– Selfie: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, F1.9 (80°)
Rear: Triple Camera with Dual OIS
– Telephoto: 12MP PDAF, F2.4, OIS (45°)
– Wide-angle: 12MP Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS (77°)
– Ultra Wide: 16MP FF, F2.2 (123°)
– 0.5X/2X optical zoom, up to 10X digital zoomFront: Dual Camera
– Selfie: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, F1.9 (80°)
– RGB Depth: 8MP FF, F2.2 (90°)
Rear: Quadruple Camera with Dual OIS
– Telephoto: 12MP PDAF, F2.4, OIS (45°)
– Wide-angle: 12MP Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS (77°)
– Ultra Wide: 16MP FF, F2.2 (123°)
– 0.5X/2X optical zoom, up to 10X digital zoom
– 3D Depth: hQVGA



Front:
– Selfie: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, F1.9 (80°)
– 3D Depth: hQVGA
Extra FeaturesIP68, Wireless Fast Charging 2.0, One UIIP68, Wireless Fast Charging 2.0, One UIIP68, Wireless Fast Charging 2.0, One UIIP68, Wireless Fast Charging 2.0, One UI
ColorsPrism White, Prism Green, Prism Black, Canary YellowPrism White, Prism Green, Prism BlackPrism White, Prism Green, Prism Black | Ceramic Black, Ceramic White ( Exclusive for 12GB/1TB varaint)Prism White, Prism Green, Prism Black
NetworkEnhanced 4×4 MIMO, Up to 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat.20
– 2.0Gbps download, 150Mbps Upload*May differ by market and mobile operator.
Enhanced 4×4 MIMO, Up to 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat.20
– 2.0Gbps download, 150Mbps Upload*May differ by market and mobile operator.
Enhanced 4×4 MIMO, Up to 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat.20
– 2.0Gbps download, 150Mbps Upload*May differ by market and mobile operator.
Enhanced 4×4 MIMO, Up to 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat.20
– 2.0Gbps download, 150Mbps Upload + None Standalone (NSA), Sub6 / mmWave (28G, 39G)
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/ b/ g/ n/ ac/ ax (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM
– 1.2Gbps Download / 1.2Gbps Upload
*May differ by market and mobile operator.
Bluetooth® v 5.0, ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo*, Glonass, BeiDou*)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ b/ g/ n/ ac/ ax (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM
– 1.2Gbps Download / 1.2Gbps Upload
*May differ by market and mobile operator.
Bluetooth® v 5.0, ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo*, Glonass, BeiDou*)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ b/ g/ n/ ac/ ax (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM
– 1.2Gbps Download / 1.2Gbps Upload
*May differ by market and mobile operator.
Bluetooth® v 5.0, ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo*, Glonass, BeiDou*)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ b/ g/ n/ ac/ ax (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM
– 1.2Gbps Download / 1.2Gbps Upload
*May differ by market and mobile operator.
Bluetooth® v 5.0, ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo*, Glonass, BeiDou*)

Coming over to the overall usability and UI of the Samsung Galaxy S10e, I’d bet most of the enthusiastic folks reading here would be aware that the S10e comes running Samsung’s new One UI software under the hood. Samsung’s new One UI brings a major facelift to Samsung’s dreaded TouchWiz UI that Samsung has been rocking and updating over the years.

Samsung’s new One UI retains a whole lot of the classic Samsung characteristics but still manages to feel new and fresh if you’ve been using Samsung devices for the past few years.

Memory management seems to be fine. Not too bad and not too impressive either. At times, I found that when I recalled a number of apps that I had been using a few hours ago, it would usually reload the app as if nothing had happened. Other than that, the phone ran smoothly. No hiccups and that’s great!.

Regarding gaming performance, the Samsung Galaxy S10e performed admirably well in pretty much every game I could throw at it. And while I’m not a hardcore mobile gamer, Real Racing 3 and PUBG Mobile have been my picks for the past few years, and both ran admirably well on the S10e. With that being said, I think it’s safe to say that pretty much any phone released nowadays is able to perfectly cater to folks who are into casual games.

Sadly, the Samsung Galaxy S10e, along with the S10 and S10 Plus lacks UFS 3.0 and sticks with UFS 2.1 here. And while it’s a major upgrade over the now-dead eMMC storage, it’s sad to see that Samsung managed to supply OnePlus with UFS 3.0 rather than packing it in the S10 family of devices.

04 | Camera Performance

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The Samsung Galaxy S10e comes with a 12MP plus 16MP setup on its back. Up on front, you’re looking at a 10MP setup housing itself inside of the cutout. The Samsung Galaxy S10e shares identical setups with its elder brothers, the S10 and S10 Plus, excluding the telephoto shooter.

Like the S10 family of devices, the S10e’s main camera features Samsung’s dual aperture mode. For folks who missed out on the Galaxy S9 launch, the dual aperture mode allows the S10 family of devices to switch its aperture between f/1.5 and f/2.4, allowing the device to capture more light. The main 12MP shooter on the Samsung Galaxy S10e shoots your usual 12MP shots with the inclusion of the dual aperture mode. However, the 16MP shooter takes the S10e to the next level with the inclusion of an ultra-wide shooter, keeping up with the trends of 2019.

Coming over to the video side of things, the Samsung Galaxy S10e is capable of recording videos up to 4k/60FPS. However, the S10e is unable to record videos with its ultra-wide shooter, making its a bummer for folks who really wanted to take advantage of that extra FOV.

Coming over to a few sample shots of the Samsung Galaxy S10e, I think we’re safe to say that the Samsung Galaxy S10e performed admirably well. Shots taken from the main 12MP shooter turned out to be great. The detail produced is good and so its the processing Samsung has grinding underneath its hood.

Shots taken outdoors and indoors are incredible. However, things get a tad bit shaky when shooting at night. Sure, the inclusion of a Night Mode was urgently needed, especially with Google and Huawei trumping the competition. But the way how Samsung handles night mode is definitely something they could work on.

Shots taken with the night mode enabled look okay on the surface. However, outdoor shots with dark skies and dark rooms often cast a whiteish-blue tint, suggesting that the only thing that Night Mode does on the S10e is simply lengthening the shutter speed, and that’s about it.

05 | Battery

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The Samsung Galaxy S10e features a 3100mAh battery along with a 5.8-inch display.

The Samsung Galaxy S10e isn’t a major athlete in durability tests, I’d bet many smartphone fanatics may have been expecting that. Despite the smaller size and partly thanks to the 3000mAh battery, the Samsung Galaxy S10e managed to last me about 4-5 hours on a single charge, but that’s when I was hoarding on social media apps non-stop. I personally don’t use my phone that much, but when I’m out on a trip, I’m guilty of using my phone non-stop.

However, if you don’t use your phone that extensively, the Samsung Galaxy S10e did manage to last me about 75% of my day on average before requiring another charge. And while that’s not incredible, it’s definitely okay for many folks who do use their phone for a few hours a day.

And while all of that may be fine for many folks, the worst thing about the Samsung Galaxy S10e has to be its 15W fast-charging adapter that Samsung includes inside the box. Samsung was expected to increase the charging speeds to a respectable 25W on the Samsung Galaxy S10 family of devices by the time the S10 5G came around but it seems like Samsung has pushed the whole topic under the rug for now.

06 | Pricing & Conclusion

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The Samsung Galaxy S10e retails about RM2,099 in Malaysia and about $570 in the USA. For under that price, you could either fork out for a OnePlus 7 or a Xiaomi Mi 9, both phones that save you a bit of your buck. But then, if you were going for the OnePlus 7 in the first place, you’d rather pick up the Galaxy S10e for a bit more. Over the OnePlus 7, not only are you getting an ultra-wide camera, but you’re getting a newer design, wireless charging, and an incredible form factor.

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is a major recommend from me. Not only does it come with an excellent design, but it also comes with an excellent design, support for wireless charging, an excellent set of cameras (indoors and in daylight), an excellent display, and an excellent compact size to top it off.

What remains to be bummed about the S10e has to be its mediocre low-light performance and its bundled slow charger, and that’s about it.

Coming over to the pricing again, Pricing the Samsung Galaxy S10e is definitely a major heads up for competition. With the price of the Galaxy S10e falling by the day, the Samsung Galaxy S10e is becoming an excellent option for folks looking to pick up a decent phone in the upper-midrange segment.

8.1
Samsung Galaxy S10e – Trumping OnePlus At Its Own Game
Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy S10e is a major recommend from me. Not only does it come with an excellent design, but it also comes with an excellent design, support for wireless charging, an excellent set of cameras (indoors and in daylight), an excellent display, and an excellent compact size to top it off. What remains to be bummed about the S10e has to be its mediocre low-light performance and its bundled slow charger, and that's about it.
The Goods
Excellent Display
Excellent Cameras
Comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack
The Bads
Still uses UFS 2.1
Decent Battery Life
Mediocre Charging Times
Lackluster Low-Light Camera Performance

Usman Abdul Jabbar

19, Tech Enthusiast, Founder/Managing Editor at GeeksULTD and a Competitive Counter Strike Global Offensive player with aims of learning about web servers, web designing and computer hardware. Believes console exclusives are incredible and is still a strong follower of the PC Master Race. To contact me, follow me, or even constructively criticize me, contact me however you feel is right!
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