In recent years, smartphone sell figures are not rising enough and there are two main reasons behind it. First of all, flagships phone nowadays comes with a hefty price tag, somewhere around $1000 and secondly, smartphones are getting incremental updates which are not alluring enough. Smartphone brands are giving attention to the detail and started to give budget options in the flagship space.
Samsung Galaxy S10e Review
Samsung Galaxy S10e is the budget flagship offering from Samsung. In one side, it does not have all the bells and whistles like Samsung Galaxy S10 or S10 Plus, but it comes with all best internal hardware possible, a good looking display and most importantly (!) the headphone jack. Let us take a deeper dive and see if Galaxy S10e is the best budget flagship of the year.
First of all, the phone is much smaller than the rest of the flagships, making it usable with one hand. On the front, the glass does not have curved edges. The bezels around the display are tiny, with a slightly bigger chin. On the rear side, a curved glass design makes the delicate but trendy. The phone is also a bit slippery, so using a case will be a good idea.
On the sides, there is aluminium, making it sturdy but not heavy. The volume rockers and the dedicated Bixby button is on the left side. On the right, you will be able to spot the power button/fingerprint sensor combo. This is something new on Galaxy devices, but the sensor is extremely fast. You can swipe the sensor to pull down your notifications. But as it is on the right side, left-handed users might encounter some reachability issues.
Just like any other Samsung flagship, the display on the S10e is gorgeous. It is a 5.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED panel with a 19:9 aspect ratio. The resolution of the display is 2,280×1,080 pixels with a density of 435 PPI. The brightness level is good, there are no issues with using the phone outside. If you are pixel pipping, the Full HD+ display is fine. The display is also HDR and HDR10 supported, for vivid video content from sites like Netflix.
The front-facing camera is also housed inside the display, but it is small. After using a few hours you will barely notice it. I will prefer a punch-hole design over a notch any day. If you are still concerned, there are many wallpapers which helps to hide the camera, and as the display is OLED, it works.
Hardware and Performance
Galaxy S10e is packed up with all the latest hardware available. The phone is powered by either an 8nm octa-core Exynos 9820 or a 7nm octa-core Snapdragon 855, paired with 6 or 8 GB of RAM. For storage, there are 128 or 256 GB options and you can also add extra space with a microSD card, up to 512 GB.
As mentioned earlier, the phone comes with a headphone jack. The phone is also IP68 water and dust resistant certified. For connectivity, it has NFC and WiFi 6. So as you can see, performance-wise, the phone comes with the same capability as any other flagship.
The Samsung Galaxy S10e has a 3,100 mAh battery which is quite small even comparing to a mid-range device. The main reason behind it is the overall smaller footprint. With moderate to normal usage, you can last up to a day, which is not a great anyway. The expected screen on time is 4 hours, which might vary depending on your usage.
The phone comes with Qi and PMA wireless charging and you can also charge your Galaxy watch or Galaxy Buds from your phone, thanks to Wireless PowerShare technology. The PowerShare function is intended to use only with smaller devices, so if you want to charge another phone, it is gonna take awhile.
On the back of Galaxy S10e, you will be able to find 2 cameras. The first one is a 12MP wide-angle sensor with dual pixel autofocus and 77-degree field-of-view. It also comes with a variable aperture of ƒ/1.5 and ƒ/2.4. The second lens is a 16MP ultra-wide sensor with 123-degree field-of-view and ƒ/2.2 aperture.
On the front, there is a 10MP sensor with dual pixel autofocus with ƒ/1.9 aperture. The field of view of the lens is 80-degree.
The rear cameras work great most of the time. The photos come with plenty of dynamic range and close to natural colours. While using the wider angle lens, make sure you are away from the subject, otherwise, the edges will be distorted. In low light, the cameras take a hit as the images will have some sort of noise.
The front-facing camera is OK at its best. It is usable for some selfies, but if you want to get pictures with your friends, a selfie stick will be helpful as a result of a less wide lens.
When it comes to video 4K 60 FPS support is present, and you can take up to 960 FPS slow-motion video at 720p and 240 FPS in 1080p. While taking videos you can click images with a resolution of 9.1 MP.
Samsung Galaxy S10e has a single bottom-firing speaker, which sounds good. Although it is not loud, the sound is clear with an ample amount of bass. The phone comes with AKG earphones on the box. As it comes with a headphone jack, you can get some great quality music experience with any high-resolution audio supported headphones.
On the launch time, the phone runs on One UI version 1.1 on top of Android 9 Pie. The overall user experience is great and with dark mode, the One UI looks more gorgeous. If you love the vanilla Android experience you are out of luck, but after many iterations, Samsung has found a great alternative to that.
Although it is a flagship device, Samsung’s track record of updating their devices with a newer Android version is not good. Hopefully, the S10e will get Android updates for the upcoming year and security updates for 2 to 3 years.
Price and Availability
The price is the most interesting aspect of the Samsung Galaxy S10e. For the 128 GB variant, the phone comes for $750 and the 256GB variant costs $850. As you can see, the price of the device is much lower than its bigger brothers.
The phone is available in Prism White, Prism Black, Prism Blue, Prism Green, Flamingo Pink, or Canary Yellow colour options.
If you want the taste of Samsung’s flagship offerings in a budget, the Samsung Galaxy S10e is the finest choice for you. The phone comes with all the latest specs, with a smaller overall footprint, which makes it the best device for one-handed usage.
On the other hand, the display is a bit smaller and there are no Samsung Edge features present on the device. After the launch of Galaxy S10e, the competition got harder. For example, if you want a better camera experience, you cannot go wrong with a Google Pixel 4. On the other hand, if you do not have any brand fascination, OnePlus 7T will be a better choice which comes at a price tag of $600.