Samsung Galaxy S10e Review

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Introduction

Unlike previously, Samsung this time launched a trio of flagship devices in its new Galaxy S10-lineup which include Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10 Plus. Sitting at the lowest position, the Galaxy S10e is the company’s take on an affordable flagship smartphone. It seems like Samsung wanted to flip off the Apple’s affordable flagship device i.e. iPhone XR with its Galaxy S10e.

 

Galaxy S10e Intro

 

In fact, Samsung Galaxy S10e is the company’s first flagship smartphone in a long time to not come with a curved display panel. To keep the price down, Samsung also decided to shift the fingerprint sensor to the power button instead of under-display. There are tons of other things that differentiate the S10e from its fellow siblings. 

 

Even though the smartphone doesn’t come with curved front, in-display fingerprint sensor, one less rear camera, and lower RAM capacity, it still comes with a Galaxy S10 moniker. What makes the Galaxy S10e “a flagship offering”? We’ll try to answer that question and more in this detailed review.

Price in India, Variants, and Availability

Samsung Galaxy S10e comes in a single storage variant featuring a 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Coming to the color variants, the device is up for grabs in Prism Black and Prism White options. The smartphone is available for purchase via all the major online e-commerce platform. You can also buy the device from the company’s official website. 

 

Coming to the price in India, the Galaxy S10e comes with two price tag i.e. INR 46,995 and INR 50,900 on Amazon India. The former is when you choose not to take any offer while the latter is for those who want to get benefit from No Cost EMI or Exchange Offer. It sounds a little confusing but that’s just how the pricing works for the new S10-lineup on Amazon India platform.

Box Contents

The Galaxy S10e comes packed in a premium black colored box with the device name written in massive font. Opening the device, the first thing which you’ll come across is the device itself sitting on top nicely. There is a rectangular section which consists of a punch-hole toting case, a SIM ejector tool, and some documentation.

 

Samsung Galaxy S10e Box Contents

 

Like the other S10 devices, there is a fast 15W fast charging adapter, a USB Type-C cable and USB Type-C OTG adapter. Since the device comes with a 3.5-mm headphone jack, Samsung has bundled in an AKG tuned in-ear headphones with braided cables. 

 

Here is a quick overview of what you’ll be getting inside the box: 

 

– Samsung Galaxy S10e

– 15W Fast Charging adapter 

– USB Type-C cable 

– Punch-hole toting back case 

– SIM ejector tool

– USB Type-C OTG adapter 

– Reading manuals

Specs at a Glance

Before we talk about the device in more detail, let’s have a quick look at the specifications first. 

 

– Display: 5.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 1080 x 2280 pixels

– Processor: Snapdragon 855 (US Variant) or Exynos 9820 (Global)

– RAM & ROM: 6GB and 128GB 

– Rear Camera: 12MP (f/1.5-2.4) +16MP (f/2.2)

– Selfie Camera: 10MP,  f/1.9

– Battery: 3100mAh capacity, 15W fast wired and wireless charging 

– Software: Android 9 Pie, One UI

– Weight: 150g

Dimensions: 142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm

 

With specifications out of the way, let’s see how well the Galaxy S10e actually performs in real life.

Design and Build Quality

The key difference between the Samsung Galaxy S10e and its elder siblings is the compact size of the phone. Thanks to the slim-bezels and Infinity-O display, the device is even smaller than the Galaxy S8 or S9 even though both the phone comes with the same display size. What’s more, the Galaxy S10e does not feature the curved display which is something we have been seeing since the S8. 

 

Samsung Galaxy S10e Build

 

The fact that the device lacks curves on the display makes the device more suitable for the one-handed usage It’s been a while since I’ve seen any flagship device with a compact form factor and frankly, that’s what makes Galaxy S10e “something different” when the slew of other phones comes with a massive design and display. 

 

Even though the smartphone comes with a cheaper price tag, it still comes with the same premium materials and similar design. The device makes use of glass material on the back as well as the front having a protection layer of Corning Gorilla Glass. Since it is made up of glass, the device is a little slippery so I would recommend you use a back case.

 

Galaxy S10e no doubt emits that flagship esque which I was expecting thanks to the aluminum frame between the glass panels. Although the device feels a little thick and that can be due to the lack of curved edges on the front. 

 

At the back, there is a dual-camera setup aligned horizontally accompanied by an LED flash. Apart from the company’s branding, there is nothing on the back panel. As mentioned earlier, the fingerprint sensor is embedded in the power button which you find on the right side. The power button is a tad higher than its regular position meaning you’ll have to stretch your fingers a bit. 

 

On the left side, there is a Volume Rocker and the Bixby Button and thankfully, you can assign the Bixby key to something else if you want. The smartphone is missing the notification LED sadly. To make up for it, Samsung has introduced a feature called the LED ring in the software.

 

Whenever you receive a notification, an LED ring appears around the punch-hole cutout. As expected, the device still flaunts the IP68 rating meaning it is water and dust resistance. 

 

No doubt, the Galaxy S10e feels fresh, premium and sturdy in the hand. In fact, I am in love with the compact form factor which the device is offering. If you’re someone who’s been waiting for a compact flagship device for a long time, then you’ll like the idea of Galaxy S10e.

Display

Samsung Galaxy S10e is equipped with a 5.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display which, as expected, offers amazing viewing experience. Samsung went with the Full HD+ resolution instead of the Quad HD+ in order to keep down the price. Surprisingly, the device still manages to brilliant colors, excellent viewing angles, and amazing color accuracy. 

 

Samsung Galaxy S10e Display

 

Even though the phone lacks a curved edge on the front, it still comes with all the Edge functionalities. There is a punch-hole cutout on the top right side housing a single selfie camera. I don’t mind the punch-hole cutout that much and in fact, it helps in giving much more real estate for the display. Not only that, it looks much better than the Apple iPhone X’s traditional and ugly rectangular notch. 

 

With 2280×1080 pixels, the sharpness on the display is accurate and gives you a crispier experience. Like the other S10 devices, this one too is HDR10+ ready meaning the range of details and colors will be increase while consuming media on the device. Although there are not many HDR10+ contents as of now, the HDR 10 content looks amazing on the device too. 

 

For an added protection, the display is equipped with a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on top. Even though it is not the latest one out there, the protection should be good enough to survive one or two accidental drops. Features like Video Enhancer improves the way you watch tv-series or movies on Netflix or YouTube. 

 

Samsung Galaxy S10e comes with a top-of-the-line display which is on par with the other Galaxy S10 devices. Even though the smartphone has low resolution, I still didn’t notice any major difference and in no way, the overall experience was compromised. When it comes to displaying, Samsung is on another level completely.

Performance

Under the hood, the Galaxy S10e is powered by the company’s own in-house Exynos 9820 chipset. The US variant, on the other hand, runs on the Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 855 SoC. Exynos 9820 is the company’s top-of-the-line chipset which is capable of handling all the heavy tasks.

 

The processor is fabricated over an 8nm manufacturing process which consists of eight cores – 2x Mongoose M4 clocked at 2.73GHz, 2x Cortex-A75 clocked at 2.31GHz and 4x Cortex-A55 clocked at 1.95GHz. 

 

For the smooth multitasking, the device is packed with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Unlike S10e, the rest of the two models of flagship S10 lineup packs 8GB of RAM. Of course, the S10e will be more prone to killing the background apps than the S10 and S10 Plus. Although you would not notice the difference at all in day-to-day usage. 

 

The Galaxy S10e is still a powerful smartphone with apps opening up quickly and rapid multitasking. In my daily usage, I barely came across with any kind of stutters or lag. Also, there was no heating issue in moderate or somewhat heavy usage. I tried playing PUBG Mobile on the device and the device was able to handle it very nicely.

 

Of course, you will come across with minor frame drops but the device still handles everything with perfection. 

 

At this price range, I can say the Galaxy S10e is one of the most powerful smartphones which is not going to let you down in any scenario. Even though the RAM capacity is a little less than the other S10 devices, the difference is not that significant.

Software

Samsung Galaxy S10e runs on the latest version of Android i.e. Android 9.0 Pie based on the company’s own One UI software. After using the Galaxy S10 lineup and the previous flagship devices, it seems like the brand has done an extra optimization in order to provide a smooth and fluid experience. 

 

For those who’re not aware, One UI is a major overhaul of the company’s flagship UI which now focuses on clean, minimal and one-handed usage. With the device’s compact factor and One UI as a software, the one-handed usage is significantly improved.

 

The all-new One UI software comes with lots of improvements, features, and customization which is why I love using it the most. There are the latest Android Pie features like Night Mode, Navigation Gesture and Adaptive Battery. 

 

In fact, Samsung has added its own slew of features which comes in very handy. For instance, the Edge Lighting notification style is much better than the regular Android one in my opinion. There are various other features that improve your overall user experience. You’re going to appreciate features like Smart pop-up view, Smart capture, Direct Share and a plethora of other useful features hidden inside the software. 

 

You can also use the Good Lock app through which you can fully customize your entire smartphone from the task manager to the quick notification pull-down menu. There are plenty of things to play around within the One UI software.

Cameras

Coming to the most important aspect of the Galaxy S10e device, Yes! We’re talking about the camera performance. The Galaxy S10e is equipped with a dual camera module at the back having a primary 12MP sensor with an aperture of f/1.5 or f/2.4 and a secondary ultrawide 16MP sensor with 123-degree field of view. For selfies, there is a 10MP front snapper with an aperture of f/1.9. 

 

Samsung Galaxy S10e Camera

 

The device comes with the same camera lenses as that of the other Galaxy S10 devices with the only difference being the absence of depth-sensing lens. The pictures which the rear camera churns out seems pretty decent with good color accuracy, lots of details but with over saturation.

 

The software optimization on the device is perfectly done with clicked pictures looking pleasant to the human eye. Other aspects like dynamic range, sharpness and exposure are up to the mark with the flawless camera performance. 

 

Samsung’s AI Scene Detection is a brilliant feature which works flawlessly. It automatically changes the aperture, exposure or dynamic range in order to churn out impressive pictures from the camera. The low-light performance is also up to the mark and thanks to Samsung’s own Night Mode, you can click well-lit pictures in low-light conditions. 

 

With that said, the only device from which the Galaxy S10-lineup is lagging behind is the Pixel itself. Whether it’s daylight, lowlight or selfies, this device has got you covered. Of course, the absence of a depth-sensing camera affects the camera performance but at this price point, Galaxy S10e has got some impressive cameras in it.

Battery Life

Samsung Galaxy S10e is fueled by a smaller 3,100mAh battery cell which supports the 15W Fast charging. Expecting a mind-blowing battery life with this much cell capacity would be unfair. You can only get through the entire day on a single charge on the moderate usage on this device. Sadly, on heavy usage, the device is not going to last you for an entire day.

 

Samsung Galaxy S10e Ports

 

The battery life is still decent and much better than I expected and that could be due to lower-resolution display on the front. Apart from this, there is nothing to write home about the battery. Samsung Galaxy S10e supports the fast 15W charging via the bundled charger adapter.

 

The device generally takes around 1 hour 25 minutes to completely charge from zero to 100% completely. The Galaxy S10e also supports the fast 15W wireless charging feature.

Audio, Biometrics, and Connectivity

For audio, the Galaxy S10e comes with a stereo speaker which makes use of the earpiece and the speaker grille at the bottom. In terms of audio, the device is not that loud and you can easily tell the difference between S10e and S10 Plus. At full volume, there is not a single level distortion in the speaker output.

 

You can enable features like Dolby Atmos to enhance the overall audio experience. The audio output from the 3.5-mm headphone jack is also flawless. The bunded AKG tuned earphones are of brilliant quality with braided cables.

 

Unlike other Galaxy S10 devices, the S10e doesn’t come with under-display optical fingerprint sensor nor there is a dedicated fingerprint sensor at the back. Instead, the company decided to integrate the speaker in the power button itself which is a nifty addition I guess.

 

I am liking this new location of the fingerprint sensor which is easily accessible. The fingerprint sensor still works accurately, quickly and is definitely reliable. There is a Face Unlock feature which is also quick but not reliable since the device uses a 2D representation of your face. 

 

For connectivity, the device comes with all the standard features like dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS and Type-C 1.0 reversible connector. The device comes with the NFC which can be used for the mobile payments and one-tap pairing connection.

 

Speaking of mobile payment, Samsung has its own payment service called Samsung Pay which I seem to like really well and now might be using it more than ever.

Pros and Cons

Pros

 

– Stunning AMOLED display 

– Compact form factor perfect for one-handed usage 

– 3.5-mm headphone jack 

– Snappy performance 

– Affordable Galaxy S10 smartphone 

– Flawless cameras

 

Cons

 

– Speakers are not that loud 

– No notification LED

Verdict

Frankly, Samsung Galaxy S10e managed to exceed my expectations in every possible way. The smartphone has all the flagship esque which the other two S10 devices possess. Of course, there are various compromises which the brand has made in order to keep the price down. I would not mind the removal of curved edges or under-display fingerprint sensor since it is not much of a deal breaker. The fingerprint sensor on the button works even better and faster while the no curved display contributes to one-handed usage. The device does not suffer in terms of build quality, performance, cameras, and even battery life. Considering the battery capacity, the device still manages to last longer and the same goes with the cameras. The removal of depth sensing does make a difference but at this price, Galaxy S10e is still an all-rounder smartphone. Even though the RAM is lesser, software optimization doesn’t let the device suffer in any way. I would recommend this smartphone to those who’re looking for a compact experience but without compromising on other aspects. You’re getting a powerful device with flagship esque leaking from all corners and all essentials present. At this price tag, Samsung Galaxy S10e is more affordable than the bigger S10 or S10 Plus.