Of the 5 phones Samsung announced today (S10e, S10, S10+, S10, 5G, and Galaxy Fold) the Galaxy S10e is likely my favourite out of the bunch, or tied with the Galaxy Fold. The Galaxy S10e isn’t the traditional “mini” variant of the flagship phone, but it is likely the closest we’re going to get.
The S10e is the smaller of the S10 family, except that it has the same size 5.8” screen as the S8 and S9 – either way it feels smaller. This is thanks to the higher screen to body ratio offered up with going to the Infinity O display, and as I said with the S10+ hands-on, the camera cutout isn’t an issue in the slightest. It’s all the way up in the corner, and if you have a darker wallpaper, I can almost guarantee it just fades out of vision after the first few days. The display is a 5.8” Dynamic AMOLED display, which means like the S10 and S10+ it has the same insane lamination and the same reduced errant blue light, making this display an absolute pleasure to look at. Despite the Galaxy S10e actually having a slightly lower screen resolution (FullHD+ compared to QuadHD+) than the S10 and S10+, I didn’t really notice. I was actually surprised to read the spec sheet and find out the S10e has a lower resolution screen than the other two. The screen does not come off as lower quality in the slightest.
In news that will annoy some and delight others, the S10e’s screen is actually flat, unlike the other Galaxy devices. This makes getting screen protectors on the phone a hell of a lot easier than before, though it does lose some pizazz associated with the screen for some. One strange piece of news is that the cover glass is Gorilla Glass 5 and not the most up to date Gorilla Glass 6. I’m not sure why they changed, but they did.
Jumping into the camera and we see that not a lot has changed. It’s an S10 with one camera missing, and the least useful one at that in my opinion (the telephoto). It’s just as fast, just as effortless to use and also has the new direct to Instagram mode in the camera which is something that I hadn’t thought of previously wanting, but something that makes a lot of sense.
Samsung didn’t change a lot when they made the S10e. It’s the Same SoC, a Snapdragon 855/Exynos 9820 depending on your region, 6/8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, 128/256GB of internal storage with a 512GB MicroSD slot. They mainly got rid of the telephoto camera, and reduced the battery size to 3100mAh due to the size of the chassis, and these are all changes I’m fine with.
Lastly, and the most important thing, in my opinion, are the colours. Exclusive to the Galaxy S10e is my favourite colour, and it is called Canary Yellow. It is bright, it is obnoxious and I am all here for it. There are the other colours like Prism Black, Prism White, Prism Green and Prism Blue, but Canary Yellow and Flamingo Pink are the ones that really stand out.
At £669, the Galaxy S10e isn’t an inexpensive phone, but it isn’t a cut-down phone either. This is mostly the same phone as you get with the S10+ with a smaller screen, and Samsung should be applauded for not hamstringing the S10e. The Galaxy S10e is Samsung’s attempt to aim a shot across the bow of the Apple iPhone XR, and it looks like it’s going to give it a good challenge.