Coming from the S6, which was the best phone I've owned, the s10e is as good with now better technology (of course).
Not wanting to spend $1000+ or increase in size from the S6, this left me with very few options.
I don't need a huge phone with amazing cameras or screen.
I was also looking for a battery that easily lasted into day 2 with moderate use, something my S6 never managed even in the early days.
Looking at a $400-500 Chinese budget brands with large batteries, they all had at least 1 major downfall and didn't quite fit my needs, so I bit the bullet and spent 300 extra on a known quality phone. My only concern was the battery.
The s10e ticks all my boxes:
- Size is perfect - S series functionality - Finger print reader - NFC - Fast processor - Bluetooth 5 - Bonus galaxy buds
Pretty much the same as the s6/7 series but the screen is obviously bigger. I couldn't bare to get a bigger phone due to functionality and pockets.
Brilliant picture and video.
A lot faster than my s6. Everything is pretty much instantaneous at this early stage.
Although not a top priority, the camera has come a long way since the s6 days. Front facing one is also much much better. No complaints. Better in high and low light. Can now replace stand alone cameras unless your looking for professional quality. There may be better cameras out there, but for a phone, you'd be getting very unnecessarily picky imo if you used the camera to affect your decision.
Loud and good enough for a phone. The included cord headphones are also pretty damn good for free. If you're not an audiophile or need wireless, these are perfect.
The headphone jack is a good feature imo. It's not quite obsolete as wireless headphones still aren't perfect. It doesn't hurt having it there and even though I will be using wireless, there have already been occasions where I've still needed it. Bluetooth 5:
So much better than 4.2. This is important for me as I listen to a lot of music on various speakers. Range is extremely good. Can easily be at the other end of the house now. It also doesn't impact the battery as much especially on stand by.
I've tried the galaxy buds and they're very good. They are optimised for galaxies so when I finally receive them, this should be an excellent combo for sound quality and functionality for a pretty reasonable price.
Voice command still has a way to go imo. I tried it but it's not there yet to provide enough convenience to warrant using it.
I may use in the car but that's about it.
Finger print reader:
This seemed contentious in most reviews I read. Particularly the awkward location of it. To me that doesn't make sense. You can record different fingers and seeing as you pick up your phone in various ways, you don't have to rely on your right thumb (which can be awkward). For example, I use my left middle finger, right index and right thumb. Depending on how you pick up the phone or in what position it is, any one of these fingers can get the job done easily. I could probably even record other fingers. I have zero problems with the location.
The accuracy and speed is immense! 10 times better than my s6. I got a cover with a notch taken out where the reader is and I have no problems.
Always on display:
I thought I wouldn't use this bit it's quite handy actually. It uses hardly any battery and you can set the brightness. Seeing the time without doing anything is really handy and you can see any notifications as well. I like this function.
Factory charger is not as fast as my s6. This is a bit annoying for a new phone. I get about 35% in 30 minutes. It's not bad but just not what I was used to or expecting. I'm hoping that this can change. I also bought a wireless pad charger that charges at 10w, but this is even slightly slower. I'm accepting it atm due to the fact that I also have one at work if I really need to top up. I'm less reliant on those quick charges than I used to be. Wireless chargers can also get better. The phone doesn't overheat and easily works with a case on.
This was the biggest point for me. I don't need a good camera or screen anymore. I just want to browse, watch a few videos, listen to some music and make a couple of calls. Fairly moderate use. I got sick of worrying that my phone wouldn't make it to the evening time. Most of my friends have a similar issue with newer phones (apple seems to fair better). I really wanted to have a phone that i would never have concerns that it won't last until I hop into bed at night.
So far, the s10e battery is passing. It's probably 20% better than my s6 in its early years. This is significant and allows me to never go to bed without at least 20% charge. On a quiet day I can also get away with not charging it over night and getting another quiet day out of it.
I've tested out different approaches to get the best out of the battery. This includes turning WiFi, Bluetooth, 'always on' and Gps on and off in various iterations. The good news is that leaving these functions on doesn't really affect the battery (s6 was horrible). I didn't notice any difference so I can now leave them on all the time, which is really helpful.
On the other hand, using the medium power option over the optimised option noticeably increases the battery life. I've used this on a few days where I've needed battery to go into the second day and it makes it easy. It does affect the functionality of some of your apps a little so it's not ideal to leave on all the time. It's a good function though.
I can't really speak for other features like gaming capabilities etc.
If you like Android and especially if you've liked older galaxies, this phone is near perfect imo. The size is key. It doesn't look like the demand is high for this size anymore, but they've definitely found themselves with very few competitors for this market. The only real competitor that I found was Google pixel 3a and even that was bigger. The s10e also looks the much superior phone.
I like to be able to personalise everything and Samsung makes it easy. The camera is good (for a phone), speed is fast, screen vibrant and headphone jack was smart. The battery should be better, but it's still pretty decent and definitely suffices. Finger print reader is excellent.
It's hard to fault this phone. I paid $850 for what looks like something nearly as good if not as good as the best phones on the market.