In March I upgraded my smartphone to the new Samsung Galaxy S10e which is targeted as the “Budget” version of the S10 range. This review is just some of my thoughts about living with the phone for 5 months so it’s not going to include any technical specs. But if you are looking for the technical details of the phone it can be found on Samsung’s website here.
What features do you get?
Does the S10e have fewer or inferior features than the S10 and S10+? The obvious thing is the added screen size and infinity display on the S10 and S10+ which you don’t get on the S10e, although the display border is still very small and the selfie camera is integrated into the screen giving you the biggest possible screen amount for the size of the phone. Also, compared to the S10 and S10+ the S10e has the fingerprint reader integrated within the power button on the right hand side of the phone and I find it really easy to use and that’s the natural place you would put your thumb when opening the phone. The phone uses the latest version of Android and is really easy and intuitive to use. As with all Android phones it learns and tailors notifications to you, like telling you the traffic before leaving for work, letting you know the weather in the morning and suggesting nice places nearby to eat. As well as this the phones software learns how you use it and will adapt to get the best possible battery life. For example, it will shut down and sleep apps that you don’t use as often. The phone also uses WiFi 6 which is designed for stronger connections and when the signal is too weak it will automatically swap over to your phone data to make sure your streaming is uninterrupted.
- It has a futuristic design the phone looks and feels like a premium product. The whole phone is glass and I got mine in black and it is a really nice, almost chrome black colour.
- The phone just works and no task seems too big for it. Since I have had the phone it has never been slow at all and hasn’t missed a beat.
- The screen display quality is really good. Watching HD content on Amazon or YouTube is brilliant, the image is really clear and there is no motion blur. Auto brightness works really well even in really bright blazing sunshine. The night mode for the screen is great as well as the blue light filter which reduces the strain on your eyes when using the phone before bed.
- It comes pre installed with a screen protector which is a great idea considering the glass screen could probably pick up scratches quite easily without it.
- The camera takes amazing quality photos as well as 4K HD 60FPS videos. I’ve been finding myself using the phone instead my digital camera. It includes specific modes for food photos, Instagram, Slow motion video, facial recognition, best shot mode which detects the scene and tells you the best position to point the camera to get the best photo. The camera also has scene detection and will alter the image quality and colour depending on what you are taking a photo of. Another great feature is to swap to wide angle mode on both the front and rear facing cameras, so if you are taking a picture where you can’t fit everything in or taking a selfie and can’t fit everyone in you just tap the wide angle button and it zooms out to fit everything in to the picture which I’ve been finding a really great feature on the phone. Another feature I only just noticed the other day was when taking a picture a notification popped up saying image quality may not be at it’s best due to due the lens being dirty, so that’s a cool feature to tell you when to clean the lens. See some of the photo’s I’ve taken below in a mixture of conditions in low light and sunlight.
- Fast charging only takes around 1 hour 30 mins to fully charge. Wireless charge and power share also helps if you are out and about and need a boost of charge, although I have only ever used it once with a friend who has the standard S10 just to test out how it works, so this is one of those features that is good to have but may not necessarily use that much.
- The average battery life I have been getting with my phone is 2 full days, including using social media and streaming videos on YouTube. I put this to the test one day when I went to a Classic Car show at Bicester Heritage and I was taking photo’s all day on the phone and sharing online, and the phone lasted all day with some charge left over for the day after too.
- The fingerprint reader is really really quick. From touching the fingerprint reader (on the right hand side of the phone) it unlocks in under a second and is surely one of the quickest out there. Also compared to the S10 it is a lot quicker, although not the same supersonic reader on the more premium phone.
- The camera is normally great but if you start to apply any zoom when taking pictures you do start to loose image quality.
- Glass screen and glass back make you very conscious of damaging or dropping it so I would strongly recommend getting a protective case. The downside being that you lose the really slim and sleek feeling of the phone when it has a case on.
- The camera sticks out of the phone so if you put it down on a hard surface it is resting on the camera and could potentially damage it, although getting a case would sort this.
- Bixby voice assistant which is built into the phone is OK but nowhere near as good as Google Assistant, but luckily you can set it to default to use Google Assistant which I did straight away after getting the phone.
- Not exactly a negative with the phone but Samsung always seem to be releasing newer versions so more likely sooner than later there will be rumours of the S11 and this phone will become “outdated”.
Overall it is an amazing phone and I haven’t found myself wanting anything more from the phone. I honestly don’t think you would need any other phone as this has such a wide range of features. Obviously there are phones out there with more extreme gaming capabilities, bigger cameras and more storage but if you are looking for a phone with the best overall features I would strongly recommend the S10e. Also looking at the benefits of the S10 and S10+ over the S10e and the pricing difference this seems to be the best of the bunch and the option most people are going to go with.