Price: Starting at $749
Release date: March 8
This is Samsung’s rival to the iPhone XR. It doesn’t have all of the features in the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+, such as the new in-screen fingerprint reader, the same advanced cameras or the really sharp and curved displays in the more costly models. But it does have the same brand new Qualcomm 855 processor and the most affordable price, starting at $749.
It’s a really nice phone for what you get and feels like a $1,000 phone. There’s a great 12-megapixel camera on the back that automatically switches to a wide-angle lens as you zoom out, which lets you fit more in a picture. It’s neat if you want to fit a lot of people in a picture, or capture a wide landscape in one shot, and seemed to work well in the little amount of time I had with it.
One of the coolest new features, which is also available in the more expensive models, is called wireless power share. It lets you wirelessly charge any other device that uses the Qi (pronounced: “chee”) charging standard. It’s built to automatically charge Samsung’s new wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds, when you drop them on the back of the phone, but I found cooler uses. I turned it on by swiping down from the notification menu and then was able to charge my iPhone when I placed it against the back of the Samsung phone. This means you can give some extra juice to a friend with a dying phone battery just by holding your phones together.
You have a choice of unlocking the Galaxy S10e with a standard fingerprint sensor built in to the side of the phone or by using facial recognition. But I prefer the in-screen fingerprint sensor that’s embedded inside the display of the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+, since it’s just a lot more fun to use and is really seamless. (More on that later.)
Samsung includes 128GB of storage at the entry level on all of its new phones, which is plenty for most people. (The latest iPhones start with 64GB of storage.) They’re all IP68 water-resistant, which means you can drop them in a pool or toilet and don’t need to worry about damage.