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Samsung Galaxy S10e Review

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review - The Samsung Galaxy S10e may be the "baby" of the S10 range, but does it still pack a punch? Find out in our review.

| Samsung Galaxy S10e in Camera Phones

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Galaxy S10e

Quick Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S10e offers a great double camera setup on the rear with a 16mp ultra-wide-angle camera and a 12mp standard wide-angle camera with OIS. All cameras can record 4K video, and that includes the 10mp selfie on the front of the screen, which also benefits from Auto-Focus so that your selfies are actually in focus - unlike most other smartphones! The smartphone also benefits from a great Night mode that delivers great results, partly thanks to the bright f/1.5-2.4 aperture available in the main camera. The S10e, like the S10 and S10 Plus, deliver a great combination of features, style, and build quality, and we struggled to find fault with the smartphones.

+ Pros

  • Great colour reproduction, exposure and dynamic range
  • 12mp standard camera with OIS
  • 12mp standard camera has f/1.5-2.4 aperture
  • 16mp ultra-wide-angle camera gives good results
  • Excellent 4K video available with all cameras, including front
  • 10mp selfie-camera with auto-focus
  • Stereo speakers and headphone socket

- Cons

  • Panoramic mode insists on using the ultra-wide camera
  • Limited maximum ISO speed (of ISO1250)
  • Bixby Button


Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Samsung Galaxy S10e (11)

The Samsung Galaxy S10e may be one of the smallest smartphones in the flagship S10 range from Samsung, but it still packs a punch. Featuring multiple cameras, a 5.8inch "Infinity-O" screen, and flagship features, we find out how this premium camera phone performs. 


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Samsung Galaxy S10e Features

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Samsung Galaxy S10e (7)

The Samsung Galaxy S series continues to introduce new features, with a focus placed on the cameras on offer, the S10e features an ultra-wide-angle 16mp camera, and a 12mp "standard" wide-angle camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS), and an aperture that can be changed from f/1.5 to f/2.4. The bigger phones in the range, the S10 (with 6.1inch screen), S10 Plus (6.4inch screen), and S10 5G (6.7inch screen) all offer three (or more) cameras on the rear, with the same ultra-wide angle 16mp camera, the same "standard" wide-angle 12mp camera, and an additional 12mp f/2.4 telephoto (2x) camera.

The S10e features a fingerprint reader on the side, whilst the S10 and bigger feature an in-screen fingerprint reader. They all benefit from an updated design, with an "Infinity-O" display, giving a larger screen, and smaller bezel, with a small cut-out for front camera(s). 


S10e Cameras at a glance:

  • 16mp Ultra-Wide, 123 degrees
  • 12mp Main, with f/1.5 or f/2.4 aperture, with OIS
  • Selfie: 10mp f/1.9 with Dual Pixel AF
  • S10 / S10 Plus: 12mp 2x Telephoto, with OIS
  • S10 Plus: Additional 8mp RGB depth camera for the front


The camera app is full of shooting modes, including a number of new features, offering a Night mode, ultra-wide Panoramic, Live Focus, and a Scene optimiser that will automatically detect the scene and adjust settings accordingly. The night mode takes a number of shots and combines them for improved light capture, as well as reduced noise.

The selfie camera features auto-focus, which is still rare on smartphones, with most having a fixed focus, which means you need to be a set distance from the camera, otherwise you'll be out of focus. The S10+ features a second RGB depth camera, for improved "Live focus" and blurred backgrounds. The single-camera S10 and S10e still offer "Live Focus", but Samsung says the results may not be as good. The S10 5G offers a 3D depth camera and offers "Live Focus" for video as well as stills. 

There are a number of creative effects, including a number of built-in effects/colour options are available, as well as the adjustable "Live Focus" which lets you adjust the background, and blur effect applied. 

4K UHD and HDR10+ recording is available and supported by YouTube, and it's also possible to record 4K UHD video with the selfie / front camera. You can also switch on Super Steady stabilisation for FullHD video recording. 

With the Samsung Galaxy S10 range, you get a smartphone with a screen that dominates the front, with a small cutout for the front camera(s). This makes a change from the S9, which has small top and bottom bezels, with the top one housing the camera(s). Ranging from the compact S10e with a 5.8inch screen, all the way up to the S10 5G with a 6.7inch screen, the number of cameras available changes depending on the model you go for. You also get a high-resolution Dynamic AMOLED HDR10+ display in all of the smartphones, with the S10e, featuring a FullHD+ resolution instead of QuadHD+ on the others.


Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Samsung Galaxy S10 Range
Samsung Galaxy S10 Range, with S10e on the right

Here's a quick run-down of the main differences between the S10e, S10, S10 Plus, and S10 5G: 

S10e S10 S10 Plus S10 5G
5.8inch, FullHD+ (flat) 6.1inch, QuadHD+ (curved edges) 6.4inch QuadHD+ (curved edges) 6.7inch QuadHD+ (curved edges)
+ 3D depth camera
Selfie camera Selfie camera Selfie camera + RGB depth camera Selfie camera + 3D depth camera
3100mAh 3400mAh  4100mAh 4500mAh
150g 157g 175g 198g


The S10e, features a fingerprint sensor on the side, and Gorilla Glass 5, while the others in the range feature an in-screen fingerprint reader, and Gorilla Glass 6. You'll find built-in stereo speakers and a built-in headphone socket. The smartphones are water and dust resistant, with an IP68 rating, meaning they should survive being underwater for half an hour, at a depth up to 1.5 meters. 

Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth, GPS, are all built-in, as you would expect. 

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Samsung Galaxy S10e (17)
Samsung Galaxy S10e - Samsung has released a number of free wallpapers that make clever use of the "hole" in the screen. 

Key Features

  • 12mp standard (wide), with OIS, f1.5-2.4
  • 16mp ultra-wide-angle camera, f/2.2
  • 10mp selfie camera, with Dual Pixel AF, f/1.9 aperture, 8mp RGB depth camera (S10+)
  • 5.8inch screen, FullHD+ resolution, AMOLED, HDR10+, Gorilla Glass 5
  • AutoHDR, with raw shooting in Pro mode
  • 4K UHD video recording, up to 60fps, 4K UHD available with front camera
  • 960fps slow-motion video recording
  • ISO50 to ISO800 can be manually selected
  • HDR, and new ultra-wide Panoramic shooting
  • Waterproof (IP68 rating)
  • 6GB RAM / 128GB Storage, MicroSD slot
  • 3000mAh battery (S10e), with wireless charging
  • Available in a number of colours (depending on location)
  • Not available on the S10e:
  • S10/S10 Plus: 12mp telephoto (2x), with OIS, f/2.4
  • S10/S10 Plus: In-screen fingerprint reader

Samsung Galaxy S10e Handling

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Samsung Galaxy S10e (5)

The most noticeable feature of the Samsung Galaxy S10e, is how small the phone seems, in comparison to other premium smartphones these days, with the S10 Plus, OnePlus 7 Pro, and Huawei P30 Pro seeming almost too big in comparison. However, it's all relative, what will be considered too big for some, will be just right, and the S10e may seem too small, so we'd recommend having a hands-on look at these in person if you're undecided.

The S10e looks almost "cute", particularly in "white", as the rear of the smartphone shimmers between pale blue, and pink when light reflects off the phone. 

The phone looks and feels good, with minimal bezels, with thin black edges around the screen. The metal edges that surround the phone look stylish, and there's a protective plastic covering to help prevent scratches, while you decide what case you want to put your phone in. As the smartphone range is well supported, there are a multitude of case options out there, and the flat screen will make it easier for a case to provide protection for the screen, compared to the curved screens on the rest of the S10 range. 

A nice thing to see is the inclusion of a screen protector, already fitted to the smartphone, with a hole cut out so that the camera isn't covered by plastic.

As with the S10 and S10 Plus, one thing we're not so keen on is the Bixby Button, annoyingly this button can be accidentally pressed, bringing up Bixby, and in order to change the settings on this, you have to setup Bixby (and sign in to a Samsung account). We're not alone in wanting to disable Bixby, with 178,000 Google results on how to disable the Bixby button, however, thankfully you can customise the Bixby button to do something much more useful, like open the Camera app.


Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Samsung Galaxy S10e (18)

The cutout for the front cameras is something you can quite quickly get used to, and is less noticeable on the S10e, with just one front camera, compared to two on the S10 Plus. If you want a smartphone that has nothing but the screen, then you'd need to look at something like the OnePlus 7 Pro, which has a pop-up selfie camera.

The smartphone is compact, fast and responsive, and the screen looks great!

The screen looks great, even on standard settings. You can alter the colour reproduction, with options for Natural or Vivid, and you can adjust the colour temperature when on the Vivid mode. 

The fingerprint reader is on the side of the phone and is actually the power button as well. 


Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Samsung Galaxy S10e Rear Cameras Closer

The camera app is easy to use and has a number of different shooting modes, including: 

  • Food
  • Night mode
  • Panorama (Ultra-wide)
  • Pro / Manual mode
  • Live Focus
  • Photo - features Scene optimiser, automatically detects the scene and adjusts settings to give you the best result.
  • Video
  • Super Slow-motion
  • Slow motion
  • Hyperlapse

The manual mode gives you a good level of control over settings, and you're even able to manually select whether you want to use an f/1.5 or f/2.4 aperture on the main camera. Being able to change a physical aperture on a smartphone camera remains unique to Samsung. You can set the ISO speed from ISO50 to ISO800, with higher speeds (ISO1250) available in auto modes. 

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Samsung Galaxy S10e (1)

Ultra-wide panoramic mode - if you don't want to use the ultra-wide angle camera, then you're out of luck, as unfortunately, the camera insists that the ultra-wide-angle camera is the best (and only) option. 

Focus is very rapid, and in manual mode, you can see how quick the camera focuses, with the focus area displayed on-screen. 

Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Samsung Galaxy S10e (12)

The phone features a USB Type-C connection, a headphone socket, and stereo speakers. The phone supports dual SIMs, or you can use one SIM, and expand the memory with a MicroSD card. There's plenty of ram and storage built-in, with 6GB ram, and 128GB of storage. 

Geekbench gives a score of 4471 single-core, and 10319 multi-core, ever so slightly faster than the S10 Plus. AnTuTu gives a score of 331041, again slightly faster than the S10 Plus - most likely due to the lower resolution screen. Whilst very impressive, it is not as quick as the OnePlus 7 Pro

Battery life - The phone has a battery rating of 3100mAh, and battery management seems reasonably good, although some have complained about it being a little too short. If you're going to be away from a power source, we'd recommend getting yourself a portable power bank just in case.  

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