Samsung Unveils Cheaper Galaxy S10e to Take on iPhone XR

Alongside the standard Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus, Samsung today also unveiled the Galaxy S10e. It’s a cheaper version of its more premium counterparts and will compete directly with Apple’s iPhone XR which serves a similar purpose.

At first glance, it’s clear the S10e is part of the S10 family. It bear a similar resemblance to the standard S10 and S10 Plus in which it features an all-glass design with a metal rail. You’ll find the standard array of volume, power, and Bixby buttons on the sides, while the bottom houses a USB-C port and loud speaker. There’s also a headphone jack, in case you were concerned.

Of course, there are some differences with the S10e to make it cheaper, and one of the most notable is the display. Instead of going with a curved screen, Samsung opts for a 5.8-inch flat display with a resolution of 2340×1080, a significant step down from the 3040×1440 resolution of the higher-end S10 models. The screen still features a Super AMOLED panel and 19:9 aspect ratio, but you don’t get the attractive curves of the more expensive variants. You also get a thicker border around the screen, a clear indicator this device is cheaper.

Another notable external difference between the S10 and S10e is the camera array on the back. Instead of three sensors, the S10e only gets two, with a main 12MP f/1.5-f/2.4 camera and a secondary, ultra-wide 16MP f/2.2 camera. There’s also only one 10MP f/1.9 selfie shooter embedded in the hole-punch display instead of two like on the S10. You’ll get the same photo and video quality as the other two phones, but you won’t get the improved telephoto capabilities. A minor trade off for some, a major dealbreaker for many others.

Luckily, the specs under the hood of the S10e are practically the same as the S10. You get a Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. There’s also Android Pie with Samsung’s One UI, Bluetooth 5.0, stereo speakers, a microSD card slot, a 3,100mAh battery, and wireless charging. It does include a smaller 3,100mAh battery, but since there’s a smaller screen, you should be okay.

Getting into security, this is where the Galaxy S10e yet again differs from the normal S10. Instead of an ultrasonic fingerprint reader under the display, Samsung opts for a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. Yes, it might be more reliable than the in-display scanner since Samsung’s been making hardware readers for years, it’s a shame the cheaper model didn’t adopt such a high-end feature. Because if it did, I think a lot of people would’ve been really happy.

Rounding things off, the S10e also comes with reverse wireless charging to charge a second device using the S10e’s battery, LTE, and a much more compact form factor.

The Galaxy S10e will start at $749 and go up for pre-order on February 21st. The device will launch on March 8th.