Compare Galaxy S10e Deals

Samsung’s Galaxy S10e might not be quite as impressive as the rest of the lineup, but its lower price offers a tempting proposition. 

  1.  Cheapest S10
  2. Doesn’t scrimp on performance
  3. New design is stunning
  1.  Wait a few months for a price drop
  2. Camera software could be better

Samsung has pulled the trigger slightly earlier than usual this year and its trio of new Galaxy flagships are already out in the wild. 

Both the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus represent Samsung’s biggest leap forward in recent years, but these phones share a major drawback: they’re both absurdly expensive. Thankfully, this isn’t something that the Galaxy S10e has to worry about. The smallest of the three is also the cheapest, although it’s still a flagship smartphone in almost every respect. If funds are a little low, and you’re keen to pick up one of Samsung’s latest smartphones as soon as possible, this is where your wallet should be headed.

Samsung Galaxy S10e review: What you need to know

You might have guessed already, but the Galaxy S10e is Samsung’s answer to the iPhone XR. Cheaper than Samsung’s other two flagships, the S10e has a few key differences, but is otherwise practically identical to its siblings.

For starters, the S10e’s screen is slightly smaller and is lower in resolution. All of Samsung’s new Galaxy phones share the same primary and ultra-wide camera sensors on the back, but the S10e lacks the third 2x optical zoom lens and there’s no fancy in-display fingerprint reader, either.

Otherwise, all of the phones are singing the same tune. 

Despite costing less, the S10e shares Samsung’s latest top-end mobile chipset, the Exynos 9820, which is built using a smaller, 8nm fabrication process and offers vastly improved speeds. The phone also includes 128GB of onboard storage, which can be expanded via microSD.

Samsung Galaxy S10e review: Price and competition

The Galaxy S10e also beats Apple’s iPhone XR when it comes to price. Samsung’s key rival is charging £749 for its cheapest iPhone with half the internal storage, which can’t be expanded like the S10e.

That’s not too shabby, but things begin to look a little less positive when you start looking at the rest of its Android opposition. The soon-to-be-released Xiaomi Mi 9 offers a Snapdragon 855 chipset, triple camera arrangement and a larger screen at a huge saving of £169.

Design and key features

Unsurprisingly, the S10e looks almost identical to its siblings. It’s a little bit smaller than the regular Galaxy S10 – the screen is 5.8in across the diagonal, rather than 6.1in – but it still incorporates the same silver-tinted edging and wide range of colours.

 In fact, the Galaxy S10e has an exclusive paint job, although this new “Canary Yellow” colour won’t be to everybody’s taste.

However, there’s no doubt that these new Galaxy phones are Samsung’s best-looking handsets to date, with the firm finally bringing aesthetics into line with their exorbitant price tags. The elegant-looking Galaxy S10e is achingly attractive, its small size fits nicely in the hand, and layers of Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and rear of the phone ensure that its lavish looks are well protected against drops and scrapes.

One thing that I didn’t like, though, was the phone’s over-tendency to pick up smudges on the rear panel. Perhaps this is more noticeable with the lighter-looking “Prism White” model (see above) that I was sent to review, but the back of the phone was difficult to clean, no matter how many times I tried to brush off the grease.

The Prism White colour is probably the pick of the bunch, simply because it looks different to the rest. 

Still, the phone’s physical particulars remain unchanged from the rest of the lineup. There’s a USB Type-C charging port at the bottom, with support for Samsung’s 15W Fast Wireless Charging 2, while a power button is sensibly placed on the right edge. A dedicated Bixby button (which can be disabled) sits on the left along with the volume rocker, and it’s nice to see that the 3.5mm headphone jack has reappeared alongside the solitary speaker grille on the bottom of the phone.

Unlike the S10 and S10 Plus, the Galaxy S10e doesn’t include an under-display fingerprint reader for secure unlocking. Instead, the sensor is embedded in the power button, as with Sony’s recent smartphones. I much prefer this unlocking arrangement as it’s where my thumb naturally sits when holding the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S10e review: Display

The Galaxy S10e is fitted with Samsung’s new Dynamic AMOLED screen, which is Full HD+ in resolution, as opposed to the S10 and S10 Plus’ screen resolution of Quad HD+. That’s certainly not a bad thing, though: this is still Samsung’s best display yet and it also supports the HDR 10+ standard for the first time. This allows for a far better viewing experience, with increased dynamic range when watching movies and playing Android games.

The numbers don’t lie when it comes to technical testing, either. 

Using our X-Rite display colourimeter I measured an sRGB colour gamut coverage of 95% on the phone’s default “Normal” display profile, with a total volume of 96%, which is very, very good. Meanwhile, the phone’s “Vivid” mode is closer to the DCI-P3 colour space and much better suited for video playback.

Performance and battery life

Like the rest of this year’s flagships, the S10e features an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor – although UK models come equipped with Samsung’s own Exynos 9820 equivalent – paired with 6GB of RAM.

 This new octa-core mobile chipset is built using an 8nm fabrication process,  with two powerful cores clocked at 2.73GHz, a further two clocked at 2.31GHz and four clocked at 1.95GHz. There’s also only one storage option available in the UK, at 128GB, although this is expandable via microSD up to 512GB.

Should I get one?

These beefed-up innards translate to an effortlessly speedy experience overall and provide benchmark results that rival the very best in the business. As you can see from the Geekbench 4 single and multi-core CPU tests below, the S10e is just as powerful as its pricier Galaxy-labelled siblings, and manages to stand its ground quite nicely against the Snapdragon 855-powered Xiaomi Mi 9.