Over the past several years, two undisputed trends have shaped the smartphone industry: smartphones are growing in size and getting more expensive. Although you can debate which company invented the largest phone and which company set the pricing standard, reality shows that an average smartphone today is larger than six inches in size and costs dangerously close at $1000.
This trend is largely driven by Samsung. All subsequent Galaxy S10 and S10+ models are significantly larger than previous versions and a lot more expensive. But as sizes and prices move up, there’s a considerable gap in the smaller and cheaper segment that has to be filled for those who don’t have deep pockets — in either sense of the phrase.
Samsung didn’t let price hikes cause another company to lose its edge. Instead, it launched the Galaxy S10e. It was a comfortable price point, much cheaper than the Galaxy S10, and easy to use with one hand. But at its core, it’s still a “Galaxy S10” — in terms of performance, capabilities, and hardware. This is a great combination that can be used as a complement to the Galaxy family.
Samsung Galaxy S10e review: Price & availability
Galaxy S10e went on sale on March 8th, 2019, starting at $749.99 unlocked through any U.S. carrier. An upgraded version was also available at $849.99 and has double the storage (256GB).
Although the Galaxy S10e is no longer available for purchase in retail, you can still find it at much lower prices through many retailers. New units are now available at a discount of $100, making the price for the device approximately $600.
Samsung’s Galaxy S10e was launched as a colored variant of the S10 series. The phone is available in Prism White and Prism Black. Flamingo Pink and Canary Yellow are also options.
Samsung Galaxy S10e review: The things I love
Although the Galaxy S10e is the most expensive model, it’s worth looking at because it’s smaller than the Galaxy S10s. It is approximately the same size and shape as the Galaxy S9, with a 19.9 aspect ratio. However, it is much shorter, slimmer, lighter than the base model. Although it is slightly larger than the GS9’s, the S10e lacks Samsung’s signature “Infinity Display” that has curved sides.
You can comfortably hold the S10e in your hand during the day.
That’s right, despite being a Galaxy S10 at its core, the S10e has a flat display — which once again may open up a new market of people who have up to this point resisted Samsung’s curvy screens. As an additional bonus, the S10e has a more sturdy metal frame to keep your phone in place. Although it makes the phone feel less slim, you quickly forget that this is a benefit. Because of its shape and size, the S10e can be held and used in one hand.
You get slightly more screen space without curved sides, but it’s still exceptional just like larger phones. Although it has a 1080p resolution (compared to 1440p), only the most avid pixel density fans will be able to complain about the 435ppi (pixels/inch) which is over 100ppi less than the Galaxy S10. Samsung makes the most impressive mobile displays today. The gap between Samsung’s and other phones is more evident for phones this expensive.
Functionally, this is a Galaxy S10 through and through — you’re not missing out on anything important.
It starts out as the full-fledged Galaxy S10e. This is one of its best features. The Snapdragon 855 processor, 128GB of storage, microSD card slot, stereo speakers, headphone jack, IP68 resistance, fast wireless charging, and on down the list … it’s all the same components and features as the larger more expensive versions.
The only significant changes include the shift to 6GB of RAM, although 8GB is also available with 228GB of storage. Additionally, it has a smaller 3100mAh lithium battery that’s required by its small packaging.
The S10e with 8GB RAM will not make a difference to your day. And I’m sure you won’t in the near future. Samsung still supports the Galaxy S9 and many of its latest flagships with 4GB. The S10e feels as smooth and snappy as the S10+. This is not a concern, but it’s important to stress. You will never feel let down or reminded of how cheap the Galaxy S10 was when you use the S10e every day.
You won’t miss the telephoto camera in the least — have some fun with the ultra-wide lens.
This is true even though the S10e’s 2X Telephoto Camera on the Back and Secondary Depth Camera on the Front were removed (the former only on S10+). This is a minor loss as Samsung’s digital Zoom is still excellent and the 16MP wide-angle camera far more practical and enjoyable. Samsung allows you to do exactly the same portrait mode effects with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7. The front-facing camera works great, even though Live Focus on the front is entirely software-driven. Although this camera is not as good as the Pixel 3, it’s still great for fast and consistent shooting.
There’s one thing that the S10e has over the S10+, and it is its fingerprint sensor. The Galaxy S10’s fingerprint sensor in-display is as impressive and futuristic as it looks. However, this technology shows that new technology does not always have to be the best. Although it’s slower and less consistent than capacitive sensors, which we all have gotten used to over the past five years, this is exactly what the S10e offers. You can also use the sensor as a power button by pressing the top right of the phone. Although it may be a little too high for me ergonomically, you can reach it with your thumb, or left index finger. If you prefer, it can pull down the notification shading. It can be activated with just a partial finger cover.
Samsung Galaxy S10e review: What I don’t like
Assuming you take the Galaxy S10 lineup’s core features and capabilities as a given, the only real “flaw” to be found with the S10e, in particular, is … its size. Although it may sound paradoxical, its small footprint is actually one of the main advantages of this phone. The S10e felt a bit cramped after just a couple of weeks with the Galaxy S10+. You’d be surprised at how fast your perspective on the right size of a smartphone screen can shift. If you have a larger 6-inch phone and are considering buying the Galaxy S10e due to its smaller price, it may be worth rethinking whether you need a smaller phone.
The S10e is a great value, but you should consider its size. You may find it a little cramped.
To reduce the size of the icons and provide more content, I had to immediately change my home screen grid from 4×4 to 5×5. To shrink the icons, I reduced the font size to an additional notch. Another option is to lower the screen zoom down to the low setting. You will likely want to adjust the screen size to decrease its size so that you can actually use your phone.
You’ll probably adjust your phone size perception over time with the S10e, just like many people have done in the opposite direction. If you are able to see clearly, the screen settings may provide some relief. Even if your eyesight is poor, the screen adjustments may be worth it to get a smaller footprint and make the device easier to use.
Switching to a smaller smartphone is not without its problems. The battery will need to be reduced. While the battery’s 3100mAh capacity is greater than that of the Galaxy S9 last year, it still has some limitations. The more powerful Snapdragon 855 processor and faster Snapdragon 855 CPU help make the most out of the power, however, you should also keep in mind the fact that the S10+ has a 4100mAh internal memory, while the S10+ only uses 3400mAh. The S10e is a bit weaker.
Although the battery can last you for a few days, it doesn’t give the same level of confidence as the S10+.
The battery drain has not been reduced by using a lower resolution display. However, I wasn’t expecting the Galaxy S10e with 1000mAh of battery to last as well as the S10+. And everyone needs to realize that because it has the largest battery capacity, the S10e will be the least reliable of the three.
Although the Galaxy S10e could last a day without any issues, I found it to be less reliable than the S10+. I had concerns about the battery life of my Galaxy S10+ so I changed a couple of things. For example, turning off the always-on display and making it pop up with a tap, as well as switching to power savings mode at 15%. If I did any extracurricular activities (e.g. streaming music or long Google Maps navigation usage), it was easy to switch to power-saving mode. This only occurred on the longest and most heavy day with my Galaxy S10+. So it’s not a battery champion, but it gets the job done — that’s fine for this size of the phone.
Samsung Galaxy S10e review: Is it worth buying?
It’s not surprising that the Galaxy S10e was launched at the same price as the iPhone XR. Samsung, much like Apple recognized the need to create a phone with a similar experience but at a lower price. This mission is met with great success by the Galaxy S10e. You get the same features and capabilities as the Galaxy S10e but in a smaller package. While you may have to give up some superfluous features like the ultra-high-resolution screen and the telephoto lens, the Galaxy S10 is still great. Sure the battery life isn’t great, but you’re giving that up with any smaller phone — it’s tough to beat physics.
Although the Galaxy S10e may not be the most attractive or appealing of all three Galaxy S10 models (the S10e and S10e), it is the best-priced model. It’s simple to show the Galaxy S10e what it has in common with more costly models. It’s also the best choice for someone who wants a small smartphone but doesn’t mind sacrificing the many core features of the modern Galaxy.
It’s the best thing for Samsung because it is a genuine Galaxy S10, which adds value to the entire set. You don’t have to grade it on any special scale. This Galaxy S10 is a new Galaxy S10 and not the worst. This is great for everybody.