Samsung Galaxy S10E review: overlooking the cheapest Samsung phone would be a mistake – CNET


It's been about two months since I tested the Galaxy S10E, Samsung's best buy among the S10 phones, and I'm still sold the same way. It may seem boring compared to the 6.7-inch quad camera S10 5G or the flexible Galaxy FoldThe S10E is also much safer, and reliability is a pretty universal feature when it comes to buying a new phone. The S10 5G is only as fast as its supporting networks, and … you know everything about Galaxy Fold screen issues,

The best thing about the Galaxy S10E is that it is a complete and tidy package that offers the same core features as the $ 1000 package Galaxy S10 Plus, but for a much smaller sum. Starting at $ 750, $ 669, and $ 1,199, the Galaxy S10E is a high-quality home run with just a few bugs. In fact, two "tradeoffs" to the Galaxy S10E could solve potential problems you might have with the larger Galaxy S10 Plus. The "E" may stand for "Essential", but it also stands for "Excellence".

To go a little deeper, the S10E uses the same Android Pie interface with Samsung's One UI at the top and the best Snapdragon 855 chipset inside. The screen is great, the battery life is very long, and you can use the phone to charge Qi-enabled devices wirelessly. You can throw as much water and dust on it as on any other Galaxy S10 phone.

Continue reading: Best Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus and S10E cases

There are two main differences. First, the screen is flat and not curved. This makes it look less revealing, but you may also find it easier to tap the cursor at the beginning of a text box. For me, this often falls into the curve that can be a no man's land for recognizing taps. Or if you're like my mother, the S10E may be easier to hold thanks to a flat screen and straight sides. Then there are people like my brother: damn a no-frills man who just wants a phone, and hell with the frills.

Another "compromise" that could turn out to be an advantage is that there is no ultrasonic fingerprint reader on the screen like the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus and S10 5G to have. Instead, the fingerprint scanner is a capacitive pad that is integrated in the on / off switch. It is actually more accurate than the in-screen reader.

A price war is the biggest threat to the Galaxy S10E. It's one that doesn't come from the iPhone XR ($ 749 at Amazon)that costs the same and has fewer goodies (like smaller storage capacity). It is the OnePlus 6T ($ 395 at Amazon) This is the biggest threat – this was also our top value phone for 2018. It is also rumored that Google will release a cheaper Pixel 3 Lite this spring, which could mean trouble for the US S10E if it were the price of the 6T comes closer.


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The S10E has the same core camera as the other S10 phones.

Angela Lang / CNET

The most important thing is that the Galaxy S10E is a small but nice powerhouse that is worth the price. If you don't need a 6.4-inch screen or telephoto lens, this is the Galaxy S10.

Read on to find out everything that's different about the Galaxy S10E, including the fingerprint sensor, cameras, and battery life. Go to the bottom for a comparison with other phones and a full comparison of specifications.

Galaxy S10E compared to Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus

Don't be tempted to consider the S10E the rest of the trash. It's the smallest and least adorned, but it's a strong phone by itself. Significant differences result from the size, the number of cameras, the screen resolution and the battery and storage capacity.

For example, the Galaxy S10E has 128 GB or 256 GB storage options, while the S10 Plus surpasses an astonishing 1 TB. Most people in the world don't really need 1 TB of storage space. 128 GB with a 512 GB microSD option is a generous starting amount for most. And while the 3,100 mAh battery sounds smaller than the S10 Plus's 4,100 mAh battery, it lasts all day. It ran 17 hours in our loop video drain test. That's not a lot of corner cutting.

This mini comparison shows the main differences:

Galaxy S10E, S10, S10 Plus, S10 5G

Samsung Galaxy S10E

Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

Display size, resolution

5.8 inches AMOLED; 2,280 x 1,080 pixels

6.1-inch AMOLED; 3,040 x 1,440 pixels

6.4-inch AMOLED; 3,040 x 1,440 pixels

6.7 inch AMOLED


12 megapixels (wide angle), 16 megapixels (ultra wide angle)

12 megapixels (wide angle), 16 megapixels (ultra wide angle), 12 megapixels (telephoto)

12 megapixels (wide angle), 16 megapixels (ultra wide angle), 12 megapixels (telephoto)

12 megapixels (wide angle), 16 megapixels (ultra wide angle), 12 megapixels (telephoto) 3D depth (HQVGA)

Front camera

10 megapixels

10 megapixels

10 megapixels, 8 megapixels

10 megapixels, 3D depth (HQVGA)


128 GB, 256 GB

128 GB, 512 GB

128 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB

256 GB


6 GB, 8 GB

8 GB

8 GB, 12 GB

8 GB


3,100 mAh

3,400 mAh

4,100 mAh

4,500 mAh


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The Galaxy S10E, S10 and S10 Plus.

Angela Lang / CNET

Goldilocks design and size are just right

You have heard that I and others call the Galaxy S10E a "small" phone, but this is not a mini device like the 3.3-inch Palm. It is roughly the same size and size as an iPhone XS ($ 900 on Amazon), but it's significantly smaller than the Galaxy S10 Plus. I called it gorgeous in comparison, but with a 5.8-inch screen, nothing shrunk.

I have relatively small hands, so the S10E is pretty much perfect for me. It is a sleek, slippery phone, and although it has worn away some table tops, I feel more secure in the hand with the straight sides and smaller frame than with the larger S10 Plus. I would recommend a case to most people.

Tap: The 5.8-inch screen is anything but small, although typing feels more compact than on a larger screen. If you assume the 6.4-inch display of the Galaxy S10 Plus, the digital keyboard of the S10E feels "small". However, if you come from a phone with a similarly sized display, you won't notice a big difference.


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The fingerprint reader and the on / off switch of the Galaxy S10E are one.

Angela Lang / CNET

Take pictures with one hand: Especially for my smaller hands, the Galaxy S10E was a relief when taking pictures. I tend to hold the S10 Plus steady with two hands and then shoot a finger quickly to focus when the autofocus doesn't read my mind. Sometimes I have to use the tip of my nose. I don't have to tell you how embarrassing it is to peck your phone screen like a bird, but I know I can't be the only person who does this.

The S10E is small enough to keep still with one hand and focus with the other when needed. Samsung's Shot Suggestions software also tries to make things easier for you by automatically taking a photo if you align the shot along a suggested policy.

The flat screen is actually not a step back

I like the more haunting look of the curved sides of the other Galaxy S10s, but so far the flat screen is fine. You can still use the Edge Screen tab, which serves as a speed dial to open your favorite apps and contacts from any screen. I use it to open apps like Google Drive and Google Keep Notes every day.

Screen resolution and pixels ($ 449 at Amazon) The density is the lowest among all S10 phones (438 ppi compared to 550 ppi on the Galaxy S10 and 522 ppi on the S10 Plus), but I was immediately able to tell the difference from the phones on maximum brightness. This is because the screen resolution of the S10 Plus is lower by default. Most users do not change this setting immediately. I could still read well outside.


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The Galaxy S10E's display isn't technically as good as the S10 Plus, but your eyes don't care.

Angela Lang / CNET

Comparing the S10E and S10 Plus screens, I browsed websites, viewed a downloaded Netflix video, and enlarged HD photos. If anything, the blues are a little brighter on the S10 Plus and a little darker on the S10E. Yellow and red are getting warmer and fuller on the S10E. With the S10E you don't lose any quality worth mentioning.

Note that the S10E has Gorilla Glass 5 on the front, while the other S10 phones use a slightly harder Gorilla Glass 6 (everyone uses Gorilla Glass 5 on the back). If you're concerned about drops, glass screen protector is a smart game. The Galaxy S10 phones all come with a thicker plastic sheet that is glued to the screen. Samsung says this is a $ 30 screen protector, but it wasn't for me, so I removed it.