- Small Form Factor
- Powerful Performance
- Justifiable Price Tag
- Impressive Camera
- Underwhelming Battery Life
- Odd Power Button Location
In today’s world of smartphone, it’s hard to come by a flagship specification in a smaller form factor. Only a handful number of manufacturers do it – like Sony with their Xperia Compact. Earlier this year, Samsung joins the game with their new Galaxy S10 series and one of the most compelling devices among the trio – is the Galaxy S10e. Here are our final thoughts on the device – this is the Samsung Galaxy S10e Review.
Design and Build Quality
The Samsung Galaxy S10e does share the same DNA as the other Galaxy S10 and S10+ but with a lot of noticeable changes that make the phone compact. In terms of design, it has a simple curved glass back with a normal glass on the front – as it does not have a curved display. We received the Navy Blue version of the S10e and the color and the design of the phone is visually pleasing. The metal frame on the device also carries the same color as the phone and it gives the whole phone a premium look with no compromises.
In terms of build quality, the phone is constructed with a metal frame and glass mostly. It does feel nice in the hand with even weight distribution and as it’s a small phone, it sits nice and snug in one hand – which is without a doubt my personal favorite thing about it. On the back, the camera does have a bump and to some, it may be bothering too much but for us, it was just fine. The drawback of this whole glass approach is that it makes the phone fragile and chances are – it would break if you dropped it. So, during our time, we used the S10e with Otterbox Symmetry to keep myself worry free. It still does have an IP Rating – meaning that the phone is waterproof and dustproof as well.
One thing that irks me about the S10e is the Power button which is located up higher. It would be nice to have the Bixby Button to be reprogrammed as the power button. Just a suggestion.
Specification and Benchmark
For a small phone, it sure does pack a punch. In the specification department, the phone does follow their bigger brothers. These are as follows:
- Samsung Exynos 9820 Octa-core Processor clocked in at 2.7GHz
- 6GB RAM | 128GB Internal Storage
To test the performance, we performed the following benchmarks – Antutu and GeekBench to give an idea of how powerful the phone can be. On top of that, in order to verify the specification, we used CPU-Z. Do take note that these scores are purely based on tests to see how capable the processor is and it varies on day-to-day usage.
On the front, the S10e houses a 5.7” FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED Display. Now, this is the successor to the Super AMOLED Display we saw on their previous flagship smartphones. On the top right corner, there is a pinhole camera – which they call it the Infinity O Display. For a display that almost touches the 6” realm, it is insanely compact and easy to use with one hand – thanks to the little-to-none bezels around the display, well, except for a tiny chin.
For some reason, it feels like the display is extremely responsive and it recognizes every tap and swipes accurately compared to their very own predecessors. The colors on the AMOLED Display is simply top notch. It has a punchy color and its vibrant enough. As it is a Dynamic AMOLED Display, it has the capability to produce true blacks and the brightness can go up to a point that it’s visible under bright sunlight. The display does support HDR 10 Content. So, watching shows on Netflix like Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and so much more was enjoyable. The camera on the top right corner may be a bit bother for some as it does stick out like a sore thumb, but it isn’t as distracting as it should be – thanks to the smart location along with the Notification bar up top.
If you are planning to get a smaller phone and have little to no compromises, then you are at the right place because this small phone has the potential to handle everything – thanks to the Exynos processor and 6GB RAM. During our time testing it, the phone was able to handle multitasking like a champ and it didn’t have any thermal issues where the phone would overheat of sorts. The Galaxy S10e does support Samsung DeX, which means it still has the power to output to an external display and gets you going.
The phone handles gaming and editing applications with no issues. We tested the phone with the usuals: Asphalt 9, Tekken and Republique. All the game managed to load up with no issue and it ran at the highest settings with no hiccups. We didn’t face any glitches or lag during our time using it – so it’s a good sign.
Battery Life & Charging
Under the hood, it has a 3000mAh battery to power up the device and during our time testing it, the phone barely made it halfway through according to my usage. During our tests, the S10e was only able to give a battery life of 6 Hours and 50 minutes with a screen on time of 4 Hours and 7 Minutes – if you were to use it like us. Under standby, the phone does manage to give an extra hour or two, but with a lower Screen on time of 2 to 3 hours. I really wish the battery could have been bigger but the good thing to note is that the S10e doesn’t use a QHD display which does save the battery from draining a lot.
In terms of charging, the S10e gets from 0-100 in an hour with few minutes with the included fast charger whereas, under Wireless charging, the phone has the capability to charge it in an hour and a half.
On the back, the Galaxy S10e has a dual camera setup instead of a triple camera setup like the S10 or the S10+. Samsung decided to remove the Telephoto and leave the Ultra Wide-angle as the secondary camera. Both the sensor is configured at 12MP with a variable aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.4 for the primary camera and f/2.2 for the wide angle sensor.
Both the camera has some serious potential in capturing good pictures on a day-to-day basis. The primary sensor has the upper hand because of its Variable Aperture, which allows you to shoot great low light shots and pictures in bright daylight as well. The Ultra Wide angle is an amazing camera in broad daylight but when it comes to shooting at night, it does suffer a lot as noise gets introduced. Colors are punchy and sharp. One feature that you’d want to turn off is the Scene Optimizer as it analyzes the type of pictures you take and boosts the contrast or color or other factors based on the situation.
On the front, the S10e houses 10MP Selfie Shooter. One thing that I am personally not a huge fan of the current Galaxy S10 Series camera UI is that the beautify mode is turned on by default which is indeed annoying. But once you toggle those various options off, pictures from the front camera isn’t particularly great but it’s useable.
Speaker & Security
The Galaxy S10e has a dual speaker setup – where the earpiece acts as a tweeter and the bottom facing speaker for the rest. The S10e, without a doubt, has some seriously good sounding speakers which I truly enjoyed during my time using it. Not only it’s loud but its also clear, crispy and the details are clear. Using the earpiece to talk over the phone is fine and everyone from the other end said that my voice was clear.
One of the things about the new Galaxy S10 series is that it no longer has one of my personal favorite security option – Iris Scanner, which makes it a huge bummer. But you do have Face Recognition where it uses the camera to see who you are. But I hope to see the Iris Scanner making its way back with the Note10. It does have a fingerprint sensor, which is located on the power button. Setting up and the accuracy is simply spot on.
UI & OS
Just like the other Galaxy S10 and S10+, the S10e runs the revamped UI from Samsung – One UI. This particular UI offers better usability for devices with bigger screens and on the S10e it felt completely fine. The UI is light, smooth and very soothing to use – which is nice. Under the UI, the phone is powered by Android 9.0. This means you get the latest features such as Digital Wellbeing to keep your phone usage in track, Dual App support and so much more.
Among the bunch, the Galaxy S10e looked very appealing to us because it answers a lot of our dream to own a flagship specification in a form factor that’s comfortable to use. The Galaxy S10e checks off a lot of the things on our list. To make things even better, knowing the fact that the S10e is priced at RM 2,699 is a no brainer.
If you are out there looking for a phone that has an impressive camera, good build quality and premium grade specification in a small package – look no beyond than the S10e.