Samsung Galaxy S10e Review: Every Bit A Flagship For Less

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Samsung Galaxy S10e - Gaming And Graphics Performance

Next we'll see how the Galaxy S10e  holds up with GFXBench, which has been one of our standard mobile graphics performance benchmarks for years. In order to ensure display refresh (v-sync) and resolution are not limiting factors, we are comparing off-screen test results here. GFXBench tests OpenGL ES graphics workloads and we're specifically testing GLES 2.0 and 3.0 rendering performance in the following two benchmark modules. 

3D Graphics Benchmarks: 3DMark & GFX Bench
Pushing The Pixels
Samsung Galaxy S10e GFXBench Manhattan

Samsung Galaxy S10e GFXBench T-Rex

We were able to generate benchmark scores from Apple's flagship iPhone XS Max, and it took the lead here overall. The leaves our collection of Android phones jockeying for second place. The Galaxy S10e ties for a second place finish, performing on par with every other Snapdragon 855 flagship device on the market today, including the more expensive Galaxy S10+.

Futuremark's 3DMark has been a staple 3D graphics benchmark at HotHardware across all mobile and desktop platforms alike. In this case, we were running 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, which is targeted for mobile devices and also runs at 720p in offscreen mode, so as to take display resolution out of the equation. This test and its 3D graphics engine are also based on the legacy OpenGL ES 2.0 API. 

Samsung Galaxy S10e 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited

The Galaxy S10e falls back a bit here, dropping a couple of notches below the Galaxy S10+. This reinforces our suspicion that the smaller design is not able to wick away heat quite as effectively as physically larger handsets. That said, the performance difference between the Galaxy S10e and Galaxy S10+ is rather small.

Next up, let's take a look at the more current-generation 3DMark Sling Shot test, which is powered by an OpenGL ES 3.1-based graphics engine. 

3DMark Sling Shot is a newer benchmark module that's been added to the 3DMark mobile suite, though we do have a few top-shelf Android phones, the iPhone X, and the new Samsung Galaxy S10+ and LG G8 ThinQ in the mix. Sling Shot is a much more advanced OpenGL ES 3.1 and Metal API-based test that employs more advanced rendering techniques, like volumetric lighting, particle illumination, multiple render targets, instanced rendering, uniform buffers and transform feedback.

3DMark Sling Shot Test
Futuremark 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Benchmark

In this test we again run it in off-screen mode, so as to remove display resolution differences from the equation and thus can compare cross-platform results more reliably.

Samsung Galaxy S10e 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme

The same story plays out, though this time there is a bigger gap between the Galaxy S10e and Galaxy S10+. As with every benchmark, we ran this test multiple times to ensure accurate scores. We could feel the phone getting hot when stressed for prolonged periods of time, so a lower benchmark score seems to be a trade off of going with a smaller handset, all other things being equal.

It's also worth noting that the Galaxy S10e we received for review is the model with 6GB of RAM. That is 2GB less than the Galaxy S10+, which could also account for lower benchmark scores in some cases.

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