Since the introduction of Android
7 Nougat, and even more so with Android 8 Oreo and 9 Pie
, our battery life testing has become a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, Google's mobile operating system is getting more aggressive at killing tasks that are consuming significant power and haven't had any user interaction. As a result, our usual PCMark Android battery test now fails on some phones, so we have fewer results to share, though still enough for a solid relative gauge.
Futuremark's PCMark for Android Work 2.0 Battery test takes workloads from the benchmark itself (image and video editing, email and web browsing) and scripts them in a loop that runs until battery levels drop below 20 percent. This test is more real-world in terms of its setup, because we calibrate display brightness on all devices to 200 Lux and the test then locks that display brightness in for the duration. In these tests, Bluetooth connectivity and Location services are disabled, though WiFi and mobile data is left enabled.
Samsung squeezed a 3,100 mAh battery pack (non-removable) inside the Galaxy S10e, compared to 3,400 mAh for the Galaxy S10, 4,100 mAh for the Galaxy S10+
, and 4,500 mAh for the Galaxy S10 5G. in the PCMark Work 2.0 battery life test, the Galaxy S10e lasted for 10 hours and 3 minutes (603 minutes total). That is around an hour less than the the Galaxy S10+.
Compared to the OnePlus 7 Pro
, which sports a capacious 4,000 mAh battery, the Galaxy S10e lasted around 100 minutes longer, and that was with the competition's best foot forward. When configuring the OnePlus 7 Pro to run at its native resolution and 90Hz refresh rate, the Galaxy S10e lasted 136 minutes longer.
It should be pretty clear at this point that the Galaxy S10e is not a budget phone in any sense of the word. That is certainly true of its overall performance. Whether evaluating general purpose workloads or jumping into gaming and graphics, the Galaxy S10e with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
SoC underneath the hood performs like most other flagships with the same SoC. The only exception is the smaller design means there is less surface area to dissipate heat. Combined with the smaller RAM allotment on this particular SKU (6GB instead of 8GB), the Galaxy S10e generally fell just slightly behind the Galaxy S10+. That was not always the case, however, and the difference in performance is negligible.
To the point, the Galaxy S10e is a smaller, more affordable version of the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+. What's interesting about the Galaxy S10e, however, is that Samsung
did not hamstring the handset by dropping in a slower processor or taking away a bunch of features. That does not mean the Galaxy S10e is exactly like the pricier models. It lacks things like a third (or even fourth) rear camera and an in-display fingerprint reader, in case those things matter to you.
Nevertheless, the trade offs are fair, and for most users, are probably not bothersome. Even without a third camera lens, the Galaxy S10e takes excellent photos. It also unlocks quickly using the face unlock feature, and while the in-dispay fingerprint scanner is gone, we found that it could be finicky on the Galaxy S10+ anyway.
From our vantage point, the trade offs Samsung made in order to hit a more affordable price point ($649.99)
are not dissuading factors in considering this handset. Some people may disagree with that assessment, but for the average user, the Galaxy S10e every bit a flagship Android phone. It won't leave you wanting, in other words.
The recent introduction of the OnePlus 7 Pro at the same price point muddies the water a bit. It has a bigger and faster display, the same Snapdragon 855 foundation, and a more robust camera arrangement. Where the Galaxy S10e wins is in battery life, water and dust resistance, and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) connectivity. Samsung phones also tend to be featured in various promo deals
, which could potentially tip things in the Galaxy S10e's favor. Still, it's a tough choice between the two.
For some, it may simply come down to size preference. If you prefer a smaller handset (less than 6 inches), the Galaxy S10e is an excellent option, with a high-end feature-set and strong all-around performance befitting a flagship phone.