The Galaxy S10e comes with an in-display selfie camera.
Armed with a 3,100mAh battery, it supports fast charging, and wireless reverse charging.
The Galaxy S10e is available in a range of attractive color options.
Samsung’s Galaxy S10-series is official and the company has launched three smartphones in the series. The most affordable one of the lot is the Galaxy S10e. Then comes the standard Galaxy S10 followed by the premium Galaxy S10+. Samsung has gone with a similar strategy as Apple where it launched two premium smartphones, and one affordable smartphone. In fact, the Galaxy S10e is more like an answer to the Apple iPhone XR.
Of course, Samsung has cut some corners to lower the cost, but it doesn’t seem to have compromised on the overall experience. You get the same chipset as the premium models, upgraded base storage and RAM, software and features like wireless charging to name a few. At the Unpacked event in San Francisco, I got to play around with the smartphone and here are my first impressions.
Galaxy S10e design
The design has always been a strong point of Samsung’s premium smartphones, and the same is true in the case of the Galaxy S10e as well. You get a premium glass design, which also adds wireless charging and reverse wireless charging features. And just like the iPhone XR, the Galaxy S10e is also available in 5 different colors.
The sides are rounded and have stainless steel finish, adding to its premiumness. On the right, you have power/sleep button, whereas the volume rocker and the dedicated Bixby button is on the left. The power button also doubles up as a fingerprint scanner. Along the bottom, you have the USB Type C port, and thankfully, the 3.5mm jack lives on too. The compact nature of the smartphone makes it easier to hold and operate with one hand.
Infinity O display, the notch killer
Last year, a lot of smartphones featured different types of notches, and this year is turning out to be about in-display cameras. The Galaxy S10e comes with an in-display (or punch hole) camera, which is similar to what we have already seen on the Galaxy A8s that was launched in China. There is one thing that I couldn’t help but notice. The diameter of the punch hole is quite big, and as the notification font is small, some space on top and bottom of the notification panel is getting wasted.
Samsung has equipped an AMOLED panel, but unlike the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+, this one is a flat display. Measuring 5.8-inches, the display runs at full HD+ resolution and aspect ratio of 19:9. Yes, Samsung has compromised on the resolution, but still, the panel offers good color reproduction, and viewing angles are good too.
When we talk compact phones, they are often disappointing. The iPhone XR is a good example where you get an LCD display, a single rear camera and so on. Even Samsung has cut corners here and there, but the Galaxy S10e somewhat offers a premium experience when it comes to the chipset, storage, camera features and more.
At the back, you get a dual camera setup comprising of a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens with a variable aperture (f/1.5 – f/2.4), and the other is a 16-megapixel sensor with ultra-wide angle lens having a field of view of 123 degrees. Up front is a 10-megapixel selfie snapper with f/1.9 aperture and it records 4K videos too.
Samsung has also added AI features where the NPU can detect between 30 scene types and tweak the settings accordingly. There is also a new shot suggestion feature where the AI will detect the scene and suggest you – say switch to portrait mode or ultra wide-angle, among others.
Hardware and software
Under the hood is a 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core SoC with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage for the base model, and 8GB RAM with 256GB storage for the higher model. However, in markets like India, the smartphone will be powered by an 8nm Exynos 9820 SoC with an octa-core CPU. The ensure smooth and cooler gaming, Samsung has also equipped the smartphone with heat pipe cooling, which should come handy when playing intense titles such as Fortnite, Asphalt 9: Legends, among others.
Connectivity wise, the smartphone supports Gigabit LTE with peak speeds up to 2.0Gbps, and it is also Wi-Fi 6 ready, promising up to 20 percent faster speeds. In the software department, the smartphone runs Android Pie out-of-the-box with One UI skin on top. It also comes with support for Digital Wellbeing.
To keep things ticking, the smartphone is armed with a 3,100mAh battery with support for fast charging, and improved wireless charging. Samsung has also added reverse wireless charging which will allow you to wirelessly charge other compatible smartphones, the Galaxy Buds earphones and the Galaxy Watch as well. Samsung is also using AI to pre-load app cache which allows for faster load times for frequently used apps.
The Galaxy S10e is an interesting smartphone that is compact, powerful and comes with premium features. You get the latest chipset, more storage and RAM, and powerful cameras with wide-angle lens to name a few. The presence of AI features, IP68 certification for water and dust resistance, and heat pipe cooling for smooth gaming are few features that should appeal to customers who want a flagship smartphone that is compact, powerful and feature rich at the same time. It remains to be seen how Samsung will price the smartphone in India.
Disclaimer: The writer is in San Francisco on Samsung’s invite. Samsung took care of his travel and accommodation.