Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Every Bit A Flagship For Less

Samsung Galaxy S10e - One UI, User Experience And Camera Performance

Samsung ships the Galaxy S10e with Android 9.0 Pie, and presumably will roll out an update to Android Q sometime after it launches. The company's recently overhauled One UI adds a skinned layer on top of Android 9.0 Pie. It's fairly light in the grand scheme of things, though the experience differs from a pure Android implementation.

Samsung Galaxy S10e Homescreen Samsung Galaxy S10e Apps
Samsung Galaxy S10e Recent Apps Samsung Galaxy S10e Split Screen

The One UI skin places a set of apps on the bottom of the screen, where they are conveniently reachable without having to overly stretch your thumb. I consider my hands to be on the small side, and had no trouble reaching all eight icons without having to use a second hand. That is one of the advantages of a smaller handset.

Navigation is a bit trickier at first, until you get accustomed to One UI's layout and design elements. Once you do, you'll find that it's a clever skin in places. One example is the recent apps screen. You can swipe and scroll through recent apps horizontally, and access certain functions by tapping on the icon, such as the split screen view. One UI makes certain tasks incredibly easy and convenient.

Samsung Galaxy S10e Settings Samsung Galaxy S10e Settings Expanded

This is a matter of taste and preference, of course. One of the things users are likely to notice right away is the emphasis on making tasks reachable. Open up Settings, for example, and more than a third of the display at the top will be occupied by the "Settings" header on top of a white background. This is intentional, as it pushes tasks to the bottom portion of the display, making it easy to reach the top option ("Connections," in this case) with your thumb. Once you start scrolling, the options take up the entire display.

Camera And Sample Photos

Samsung Galaxy S10e Camera

The Galaxy S10e is the only model in the Galaxy S10 series with dual-camera arrangement on the rear—the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ both have triple camera arrays, and the Galaxy S10 5G adds a fourth to the mix. Here's how it breaks down (Galaxy S10e specs on the left, Galaxy S10 specs on the right)...

Samsung Galaxy S10e Camera Specs

The other Galaxy S10 phones add another 12MP wide-angle sensor, while the Galaxy S10 5G also gains a 3D depth camera. Otherwise, the Galaxy S10e uses the same 12MP and 16MP cameras, and the camera software is the same as well. For budding photographers who want to have more control over how their shots turn out, the Pro option unlocks a series of fine-grain controls.

As always, lighting plays a role in how images turn out. Here are couple of inside photos that show how the Galaxy S10e handles less-than-ideal lighting...

Samsung Galaxy S10e Kitchen
Samsung Galaxy S10e Red Sox

The Galaxy S10e does a good job of capturing details in low light, without splattering images with a bunch of grain. Both of the above photos were taken during the daytime, though there are no windows in the kitchen—the main light source is across the way, through the living room.

Here are couple of outside shots taken in direct sunlight...

Samsung Galaxy S10e Basketball Hoop
Samsung Galaxy S10e Lady Morgan

There are several different modes and filters to play with, depending on what you are trying to achieve. In short, though, the camera on the Galaxy S10e is fairly robust and flexible, and capable of delivering crisp, vibrant, and clear looking photos.

Here are a few more sample shots taken with the rear camera arrangement...

Samsung Galaxy S10e Garden Samsung Galaxy S10e Car
Samsung Galaxy S10e Yamaha Raider S Samsung Galaxy S10e Mirror

The front-facing camera is exactly the same as it is on the Galaxy S10—both are equipped with a 10MP selfie camera with dual pixel autofocus, f/1.9 aperture, and 80 degrees field of view. The Galaxy S10+, meanwhile, adds an 8MP RGB depth camera, while the Galaxy S10 5G uses a 3D depth camera for its second shooter.

Here's one last sample photo, this one a selfie...

Samsung Galaxy S10e Selfie

The front-facing camera on the Galaxy S10e does a good job of picking up details in both lighted and shadowed areas, as this shot shows. It also tries admirably to avoid washing out images in direct sunlight, though is not able to avoid it entirely.

Now lets bounce our way to the CPU and GPU performance benchmarks...

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