It’s hard not to get smitten by the Galaxy S10e. No, it doesn’t offer triple cameras on the back or a curved AMOLED screen, but the S10e delivers everything a user is expecting from a flagship, that too at a reasonable price.
You get the fast and zippy Exynos 9820 processor, reasonably good dual-cameras on the back and sharp AMOLED display with a punch-hole design. I was also pleasantly surprised with how Samsung managed to make the Galaxy S10e so compact.
Samsung Galaxy S10e specifications: 5.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED (2160 x 1080)|Exynos 9820 processor| 6GB RAM + 128GB storage, microSD support|16MP ultra-wide (f/2.2), 12-MP dual-pixel wide (ƒ/1.5, ƒ/2.4)| 10-MP dual-pixel (ƒ/1.9) front camera|3,100 mAh battery with wireless charging support| Wireless PowerShare|OneUI, based on Android 9.0 Pie
Samsung Galaxy S10e price in India: Rs 55,900
Samsung Galaxy S10e review: Design and display
The Samsung Galaxy S10e measures 142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm and weighs 150 grams, which is tiny compared to the Galaxy S10+. But if you have used the Galaxy S7, the Galaxy S10e is practically the same size.
The phone fits comfortably in the palm of my hand, and the entire screen is easily reachable when using the Galaxy S10e with one hand. I think, the Galaxy S10e feels like an ideal size for a smartphone.
In terms of aesthetics, the phone looks exactly the same as the Galaxy S10+, featuring the same glass back. When you hold the Galaxy S10e, it feels like a premium smartphone. Yes, it’s slippery in the hand. You’ll probably want to buy a good case.
The display is flat, while the back is slightly curved. There’s a punch-hole camera at the top-right of the display that helps to achieve those slim bezels.
Samsung offers two colours: prism black and prism white. I have a prism black Galaxy S10e, and it’s absolutely stunning.
On the side of the phone, you will find the capacitive fingerprint sensor. It works as fast as advertised. Sorry folks, but the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is reserved for the Galaxy S10 and S10+. At the bottom, you will find a headphone jack alongside a USB-C port for charging.
The S10e’s display is the best I have ever seen on a smartphone in recent times. The 5.8-inch display uses Samsung’s new “Dynamic AMOLED” display technology. Sure, it doesn’t have WQHD+ screen resolution, but I am okay with a Full HD Plus resolution. Oh yes, it’s HDR10+ certified as well. It’s bright, colorful and viewable from all angles.
Samsung Galaxy S10e review: Performance and battery
The Galaxy S10e uses Samsung’s latest Exynos 9820 processor, coupled with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The performance was excellent, and I struggled to see any real difference with either the Galaxy S10e or iPhone XR in terms of daily usage.
Honestly, I haven’t seen app crashes or performance dip in my week-long testing. It runs games like Asphalt 9 and Angry Birds without a glitch. Graphics performance felt the same, too.
The 3,100mAh battery on the S10e lasted exactly about a day. That was while using it as my primary device and receiving hundreds of emails and push notifications, taking pictures, playing a quick game, and listening to Spotify. Don’t expect a two-day battery life here, but the battery life on the S10e should be good enough for most users.
The Galaxy S10e supports wireless charging as well as Wireless PowerShare. The PowerShare feature will allow users to wirelessly charge other Qi-enabled products like the Galaxy Buds.
Video playback, whether from Netflix or YouTube, looked and sounded great. The speakers on this phone have been improved to offer greater loudness.
Just like the Galaxy S10 and S10+, the S10e now runs OneUI, which is based on Android 9.0. Samsung’s new Android interface for its Galaxy smartphones is a major departure, both in terms of look and feel, when compared to the older software on previous generation Galaxy phones. And I am glad Samsung finally revamped its Android interface.
OneUI is built on top of Android 9.0 Pie. The default UI elements are large, with big text. The UI offers nice touches, like the dark mode and Samsung’s gesture interface. Thanks to OneUI, the Galaxy S10e is easier to navigate with one hand. And yes, the software is heavily customisable, something I really liked.
And the best part of OneUI: you can finally remap the Bixby button for other functions, though apparently you can’t change it to Google Assistant.
Samsung Galaxy S10e review: Camera
The S10e has two cameras on the back – one 12MP primary sensor with a variable aperture and another 16MP ultra-wide angle lens. Up front is a 10MP lens.
I am happy with the results of the Galaxy S10e, and it seems to do a fine job. In outdoors, I was able to capture some detailed and coloured shots. The S10e’s HDR mode works surprisingly well. If you are upgrading from the Galaxy S6 or S7, you will notice a sharp increase in the picture quality.
Shots taken in low light were decent enough, though I was expecting slightly better results. Plus, you can also take professional-looking pictures with “bokeh” or the fun blurred effect that you see from high-end cameras.
The S10e’s 10-megapixel front camera is fairly decent. Selfies have the same pin-sharp subject, blurred background as the rear cameras manage.
Samsung Galaxy S10e review: Bottom line
Let’s be honest, I really like the Galaxy S10e, though I wish the battery life could have been better. That said, there’s nothing wrong with the Galaxy S10e. Its AMOLED display is great, performance is sold, the dual cameras are vastly improved but nowhere near Pixel 3’s camera, and OneUI feels surprisingly good.
If you are like me and want a premium compact smartphone, then yes, the Galaxy S10e is the best phone to buy. At Rs 55,900, its price is easier on the wallet.
If you don’t want the Galaxy S10e, go for the iPhone XR. Or, you could look at the Google Pixel 3 and it simply boils down to your preference at the end of the day.