Galaxy S10 vs. Galaxy S10 Plus vs. Galaxy S10e: What Should You Buy?

Update March 15: Our Galaxy S10 review, Galaxy S10 Plus review and our Galaxy S10e review are live. We've updated the comparison below.

If you've been holding out on upgrading your Galaxy, there are three powerful new phones to choose from.

The Galaxy S10e is the most affordable and compact of the bunch; the Galaxy S10 is the standard flagship; and the Galaxy S10 Plus is the biggest and most premium phone in Samsung's lineup. (We're talking up to a terabyte of storage.)

These phones have some things in common, including the latest Snapdragon 855 processor, but there are some pretty big differences across the board. Here's how to choose the right Galaxy S10 for you. Note that we're not yet including the Galaxy S10 5G in this comparison, but we have the full scoop on that upcoming über flagship.

Galaxy S10e vs. Galaxy S10 vs. Galaxy S10 Plus: Specs Compared

    Galaxy S10eGalaxy S10Galaxy S10 Plus
Price$749$899$999
Display (Resolution)5.8 inches (full HD+)6.1 inches (wide quad HD+)6.4 inches (wide quad HD+)
Rear Camera(s)16-MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 12-MP dual-pixel wide (f/1.5, f/2.4)16-MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 12-MP dual-pixel wide (f/1.5, f/2.4), 12-MP telephoto (f/2.4)16-MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 12-MP dual-pixel wide (f/1.5, f/2.4), 12-MP telephoto (f/2.4)
Front Camera(s)10-MP dual-pixel (f/1.9)10-MP dual-pixel (f/1.9)10-MP dual-pixel (f/1.9), 8-MP depth-sensing (f/2.2)
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 855Qualcomm Snapdragon 855Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
RAM6GB, 8GB8GB8GB, 12GB
Storage128GB, 256GB128GB, 512GB128GB, 512GB, 1TB
microSDYes, up to 512GBYes, up to 512GBYes, up to 512GB
Battery3,100 mAh3,400mAh4,100mAh
Battery Life (hrs:mins)
9:41
10:19
12:35
ColorsPrism Black, Prism White, Prism Blue, Prism Green (except U.S.), Canary Yellow (except U.S.), Flamingo Pink (except U.K.)Prism Black, Prism White, Prism Blue, Prism Green (except U.S.), Flamingo Pink (except U.K.)Prism Black, Prism White, Prism Blue, Ceramic White, Ceramic Black, Prism Green (except U.S.), Flamingo Pink (except U.K.)
Size5.6 x 2.75 x 0.3 inches5.9 x 2.77 x 0.3 inches6.2 x 2.91 x 0.3 inches
Weight5.29 ounces5.5 ounces6.17 ounces

Price and value

The 5.8-inch Galaxy S10e starts at $749 for 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The 6.1-inch Galaxy S10 will run you $899 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage to start. And the 6.4-inch Galaxy S10 Plus is priced at $999 for its bigger display with the same 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

We will update this section as we learn more about additional prices for various RAM and storage options.

Design and display size

The Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10 Plus all sport Samsung's new design language, which includes an Infinity O display. Instead of featuring a notch that hangs from the top of the screen, there's a hole punch on the top right side. It's fairly unobtrusive, but the S10 Plus has a wider hole punch to accommodate its two front cameras, while the other phones have a smaller hole for a single front camera.

S10+S10+The key difference between the S10e, S10 and S10 Plus is size. The Galaxy S10e has a 5.8-inch, full-HD display, which is the same size screen as the iPhone XS. The Galaxy S10 steps up to a 6.1-inch, quad-HD panel, and the Galaxy S10 Plus packs a 6.4-inch, quad-HD panel. At 6.17 ounces, the Galaxy S10 Plus is on the hefty side but still a full ounce lighter than the iPhone XS Max (7.34 ounces), which has a slightly bigger 6.5-inch screen.

S10+ and S10S10+ and S10The screens on all three models benefit from Samsung's new Dynamic AMOLED technology, which includes dynamic tone mapping for a wider range of a color and a reduction in blue light aimed at making it easier on your eyes. However, while the displays on the S10 and S10 Plus are curved, the panel on the S10e is flat.

S10eS10eThe Galaxy S10 weighs a manageable 5.5 ounces, while the S10e is a remarkably light 5.3 ounces.

Color options

The Galaxy S10, S10e and S10 Plus all come in multiple colors, including Prism Black, Prism White and Prism Blue, as well as Flamingo Pink (except in the U.K.) and Prism Green (except in the U.S.).

The Galaxy S10e comes in Canary Yellow, but not in the U.S.

For those willing to splurge, the S10 Plus comes in Ceramic Black and Ceramic White, but those special editions will be available only if you to for the top-end 512GB or 1TB models.

Fingerprint in the screen (but not for S10e)

The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus feature a new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor embedded in the display, which should make it a cinch to unlock these phones. Unlike optical sensors, such as that found on the OnePlus 6T, this ultrasonic reader should provide better accuracy and security by creating a 3D contour of your finger.

S10S10One of the trade-offs for the cheaper Galaxy S10e is that it lacks an in-screen fingerprint reader; instead, Samsung embedded the sensor into the power button on the side of phone.

Cameras

As you might expect, the S10e has the fewest cameras, but it's no slouch. It offers the same 12-megapixel sensor as the S10 and S10 Plus, plus an ultrawide 16-MP camera. And you get Samsung's improved Scene Optimize feature for automatically recognizing up to 30 different scenes.

S10eS10eThe Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus add a third camera to the back, a 12-MP, f/2.4 lens that enables 2x optical zoom. The S10e has to make do with digital zoom.

On the front, the S10e, S10 and S10 Plus all share the same 10-MP, ƒ/1.9 lens for selfies, but only the Galaxy S10 Plus plus packs a secondary depth sensor up front, which enables bokeh in selfies and the ability to colorize a subject while keeping the background black and white.

Specs and performance

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 processor powers all three of Samsung's new flagships in the U.S, while Samsung's own Exynos 9820 will be the CPU elsewhere. Samsung says that built-in AI will predict and prepare for app launches, which should speed up performance, while improved support for the Unity graphics engine should boost gaming performance over previous Galaxy S generations.

Based on our Galaxy S10 benchmark testing, this phone does indeed live up to the hype. It scored 10,732 on Geekbench 4, which is the highest score we've ever seen from an Android phone. The iPhone XS is a bit faster in this test, but the S10 Plus pulled ahead on the 3DMark graphics test.

S10+ and S10S10+ and S10On the Galaxy S10e, you start with 6GB of RAM but can opt for 8GB, and you can choose from 128GB or 256GB of storage. The Galaxy S10 comes with 8GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of storage. The S10 Plus tops out at 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage — a first for smartphones.

Battery life and PowerShare

No surprise here. The Galaxy S10e has the smallest battery of the bunch at 3,100 mAh but that doesn't mean it will offer the least battery life; that's because it also has the smallest screen at 5.8 inches. This capacity is actually slightly better than the 3,000 mAh pack in the Galaxy S9.

S10eS10eThe Galaxy S10 features a generous 3,400 mAh battery, while the Galaxy S10 Pus boasts a huge 4,100 mAh battery. By comparison, the Galaxy S9 Plus had a 3,500 mAh battery. In our battery tests, the Galaxy S10 Plus lasted a whopping 12 hours and 35 minutes, which is one of the best times we've seen from a flagship within the last year.

The regular Galaxy S10 endured for a very good 10:19, while the Galaxy S10e lasted a solid but unspectacular 9:41 on our battery test.

All three Galaxy S10 phones offer Samsung's new PowerShare feature, which allows users to charge other phones or Samsung's new Galaxy Buds wirelessly. You just place the other handset or buds on the back of the phone.

Bottom Line

Given all the differences between the three new models, which version of the S10 should you consider? Here's how we break it down after seeing the three phones.

Get the Galaxy S10e if you want a compact phone that's easy to use with one hand but you don't want to sacrifice performance or pay a high price. The regular Galaxy S10 is the phone to get if you want a fairly big screen, a fingerprint reader in the display and a third rear camera for ultra-wide shots.

The Galaxy S10 Plus is the flagship to buy if you're willing to splurge on the biggest display and battery possible and a second front camera, plus the option for a crazy amount of RAM and storage.

Credit: Tom's Guide