• Tuesday, July 23, 2019

INTRODUCTION

 

This is the Samsung Galaxy S10e. For quite some time we can see flagship smartphones becoming bigger and bigger as more and more things are packed inside of them, however there are many people who would like to have flagship features placed inside a compact device. Sony has, lately, stopped producing compact phones, but Samsung is now joining in in the race. Stay with us to see what we think about it.

Unlike the S10 Plus, the Samsung Galaxy S10e has a bit more differences compared to the S10. The form factor is smaller, the display is no longer curved, the fingerprint scanner isn’t ultrasonic, the battery capacity is reduced and we’ve lost one camera sensor. However, all this is done in order to adjust the phone to the less demanding users who will still be able to buy a highly capable phone for less money compared to the baseline S10. As you’re probably used to hearing from us, we like to take a look inside the factory box and start our reviews with that, so let’s begin.

The content of the factory box isn’t different at all compared to the boxes of the Galaxy S10 and the S10 Plus. Here we have a 15W fast charging adapter with a USB Type-C charging and data transfer cable, 3.5mm AKG headphones, USB Type-A to Type-C converter, user manuals, a SIM tray tool and replacement buds for the headphones.

While the S10 and the S10 Plus have received Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection, the S10e only got Gorilla Glass 5 level of protection on both front and the back of the phone. Available color options for this phone are Prism White, Black, Green, Canary Yellow and Flamingo Pink. Once again, the edges are made of aluminum, and we still have the IP68 water and dust resistance certificate. Bezels are somewhat thicker compared to the S10 and the S10 Plus exactly because the screen is flat, but edge functionality is still present.

Samsung Galaxy S10e Video Review

DISPLAY

This phone has the same new Samsung Dynamic AMOLED panel we could see in the S10 and the S10 Plus. This is an improved version of the Super AMOLED technology which is basically the same with a difference that it’s capable of showing HDR10+ content. Colors on this phone are vibrant and nicely saturated, while blacks are very deep.

The S10e with its 5.8” display sits in the hand perfectly, and especially well compared to other phones of the series. Everything has its pros and cons, and the screen size is no different. While it’s compact and due to it suitable for everyday use, watching videos or playing games might be a weird experience especially if you transition from a bigger display. Take PUBG Mobile for example – you’ll cover the whole display with your thumbs which means that there won’t be too much space that you can actually see.

The aspect ratio of 19:9 has stayed the same, but the resolution is different, and this time you won’t be able to change it. The phone will keep on lighting up 1080 x 2280 pixels whether you like it or not. All content is perfectly sharp and you won’t notice any pixelization whatsoever.

As with the S10, the Infinity-O punch hole has found its place in the upper right and corner of the phone inside of which there is a single front-facing camera sensor. When you unlock the phone or use the timer for selfies, around the hole you can see nice effects lighting up, and in the Play Store there are many applications that let you customize this even more. This let’s you make the phone unique to you, so for example you can use the application called Energy Ring (that we have downloaded) and that shows battery percentage around the camera.

HARDWARE

This phone is also powered by the latest and greatest Samsung chipset so far, the Exynos 9820 Octa, which is built on an 8nm process. In China, Latin America and the USA, the phone will come with a Snapdragon 855 on board.

Anyway, whatever you do with this phone, no matter what task you put upon it, it will deliver, and do it instantaneously. This is only confirmed by the AnTuTu Benchmark score of 335.000 points, which is in the top 1% of all devices tested.

The only difference compared to the S10 and the S10 Plus is that the S10e comes in somewhat different memory configurations. While they come with a baseline of 8GB of RAM, the S10e comes in versions with either 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage or 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage memory, but if you feel that this much memory is too little, there’s a hybrid dual SIM tray that lets you use a microSD card for up to 512GB of additional storage.

When it comes to sound reproduction, the phone has two sound sources, which means that here we have stereo sound.

SECURITY

The fingerprint scanner is, as we’ve already mentioned, not built into the display. In order to keep production costs relatively low, the fingerprint scanner is located on the right edge of the phone, and we think that it’s placed a little too high. It works flawlessly, it’s very fast, and much faster than the ultrasonic one in the S10 and the S10 Plus, and it’s definitely one of the best we’ve tested so far.

The front facing camera can register your face and use this image to offer facial unlocking, however, as we’ve seen in other S10 devices, this method of unlocking is not secure at all. The phone unlocks when you point it towards a video or photo of the owner, which is incredibly bad.

Android 9.0 Pie OS comes directly out of the box together with Samsung’s One UI on top of it.

CAMERA

While the S10 and the S10 Plus had a triple main camera setup, the S10e has one sensor fewer. The main sensor is the same on all phones, and it bears the resolution of 12MP and a variable aperture that changes from f/1.5 to f/2.4 on demand, depending on how much light falls on the lens. The S10 and the S10+ had a secondary telephoto sensor, which is missing from the S10e, which has received that third wide angle camera sensor, again to keep the costs down.

Camera interface has remained quite rich, and inside of it you can find all of the same features that are in the S10 and the S10 Plus as well, except there’s a button missing here – the one that employed the telephoto lens in the S10 and the S10 Plus. Among other things there is the HDR mode, AI scene optimizer and Live Focus.

PHOTO QUALITY

Night mode hits in automatically through the scene optimizer, but we think that it doesn’t really perform that well since it sacrifices the quality for just a bit more brightness. Inside the Pro mode you can manually adjust all photo parameters, so if you want to take matters into your own hands, you definitely can.

Photos made in daylight are really good, both normal and wide-angle shots. All photos are plenty sharp, and you can’t see any digital noise even in shadows. The wide-angle camera doesn’t have the autofocus mode, which makes it fail sometimes, which is mostly visible in night shots. The normal sensor will capture much better photos in the dark.

When it comes to video recording, the Galaxy S10e captures videos in maximum 4K resolution at 60FPS, which are the only one not stabilized – all other resolutions offer video stabilization. There’s also the Super Steady mode which captures videos in 1080p resolution with the wide-angle camera. This amazing stabilization is achieved by cropping the pixels outside the FullHD area.

On the front there is the same 10MP sensor that was present in the Galaxy S10. It makes amazing photos and it’s equipped with Phase Detection Autofocus system. Thanks to the autofocus, the sharpness is amazing, while edge separation also works great in the Live Focus mode.

CONNECTIVITY

Samsung Galaxy S10e is a dual SIM device that supports either two nanoSIM or one nanoSIM and one microSD storage expansion cards. A USB Type-C port located on the bottom of the phone serves for charging and data transfer. There is also a 3.5mm audio port at the bottom, so you can use those sweet, sweet AKG headphones that came with the phone.

The AKG headphones are different compared to the ones that came with the S9 series – they come in a greater color variety, but more importantly, their sound reproduction is improved. Is seems that the older headphones were louder, but these output much better sound with nicer deep tones and basses.

BATTERY

The smaller the version of the S10, the lower the battery capacity. The S10 Plus has the capacity of 4100 mAh and the S10 has 3400 mAh. The smallest Galaxy S10e can boast with the capacity of only 3100 mAh. We say boast since, taking into account the capacity, it performed quite well in terms of autonomy. We were skeptical and thought that the phone wouldn’t last a full day, but we’ve been left surprised. This phone is capable of lasting a full day, provided that you’re not a high demanding user. Screen On time will not astonish you, though, it’s around 5 hours of constant usage.

Just as the other phones from the S10 lineup, the S10e has reversible charging support, which means that the phone is capable of wirelessly charging up other devices, like the Galaxy Buds or Galaxy Watch. The charging adapter you get inside the factory box has the power output of 15W which, in 2019, isn’t that’s much. Some competitors offer much faster charging options, twice, or even three times as fast. This is probably the only area where Samsung might use some improvements. A full charge takes around one hour and 20 minutes.

FINAL WORDS

Samsung Galaxy S10e is a remarkable phone in terms of compact devices, however, there’s a great number of flagship phones you can buy for this price. This is a phone for those who search for a small device, however, if you don’t mind having a phone only 0.3” bigger, we’d recommend the baseline Galaxy S10 over the S10e. This phone’s autonomy may be a deal breaker if you’re a heavy user. Its price is also a significant factor as it officially costs 680 euros, but you can find it on the market for 600 euros. Anyway, if you don’t use you phone all day every day, but still want to have a great new generation phone, the S10e is a great choice.

Samsung Galaxy S10e Full Specifications

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Advantages and disadvantages

Reasons for and against it

Great display with HDR10+ support
Camera in on par with flagships
Premium build quality as the S10/S10+
At the moment the best small phone
3.5mm audio port and top notch AKG headphones.
Battery autonomy is good compared to the capacity
Facial unlocking fails easily so we don’t recommend it
Wide-angle camera doesn’t have autofocus