Galaxy S10E vs iPhone XR preview, the art of the 'affordable' flagship

Galaxy S10E vs iPhone XR preview, the art of the 'affordable' flagship
This year, Samsung will directly address its Apple problem by releasing exactly as many "flagships" as there were iPhones in announced in 2018. The Galaxy S10 will take on the iPhone XS directly, the S10+ will size its large display up with the XS Max, while the lowly iPhone XR will receive a brand new flat earth screen competitor in the form of the Galaxy S10E

The iPhone XR didn't turn out to be the best seller that analysts hoped but it has been the most popular of the new iPhones since its release in the US anyway, as can be expected from gear that costs $250 less than the next step

The same could happen with Samsung's Galaxy S10E (no, not the lower-than-expected sales part!), this is why we decided to pit those two "budget" buddies directly against each other, and preview the expected specs and design of the upcoming S10E against Apple's already established XR warrior.



Galaxy S10E vs iPhone XR design

XR in coral, meet S10E in green

Just like the XR and like its larger siblings, the Galaxy S10E is expected to sport glass rear and metal sides, with a body that comes in black, white, green, blue and yellow, according to Roland Quandt who leaked the S10E press render you see below. 

The XR will then surely beat it in the range of available colors, with its coral and red options. No green, though, take that, Apple, and you call yourself an environmentalist!

Since Samsung hasn't mimicked the gargantuan 6.1" screen diagonal of the XR, but is said to instead go for the 5.8-incher of the S9 in a non-curved flat version, the S10E may end up being more compact than the XR. It could also have thinner bezels all around than the XR's abominations. 

Overall, the dimensions are expected to be pretty similar, while the phones would differ in their biometry solutions. Samsung has reportedly equipped the S10E with a side-mounted finger scanner, while Apple retrofitted even its low-end model for 2018 with a TrueDepth camera setup at the front for facial recognition. 


Galaxy S10E vs iPhone XR specs and displays

The S10E may redefine active screen area and basic storage notions in the class

With an Infinity-O "punch hole" design, the active area of the smaller S10E screen may be very similar to what the iPhone XR offers, considering Apple's unsightly "notch" protrusion that houses the FaceID camera kit. The Super AMOLED display is also likely to be with a higher resolution than the HD+ or so that the iPhone offers.


As to what comes under the hood, considering that the iPhone XR is equipped with Apple's latest A12 processor that can crunch 4K videos like it's a gaming rig, we doubt that the Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9820 chippery of the S10E will bench more than the A12. The leaked benchmarks of the eventual S10E chipsets also confirm this, plus Apple's processor has to drive what will likely be a much lower display resolution, too. 

In any case, you won't feel underpowered with any of those 7nm juggernauts that will make a cameo with the S10E, so apart from synthetic bragging rights, iPhone fans won't have much else to point to as computational advantage of the XR. 

Moreover, the S10E is said to start from a 128GB basic storage, while the lowly iPhone XR comes with 64GB which would be score one for Samsung as the RAM amount can't really be compared directly given the drastic difference in mobile operating systems.


Galaxy S10E vs iPhone XR cameras

Hey, Samsung's boss said S10 cameras must be top-notch!

The Galaxy S10E is expected to take over the camera set from the Note 9, infused with some newfangled computational photography. Thus, we can expect a dual 12MP (main) plus 12MP (telephoto) camera config on the Samsung phone, against a single 12MP camera on the XR. Score two for Samsung here, but we'd wait to snap a few samples for you at the event in two weeks before we can pass any judgment. 

Given Samsung's track record with cameras recently, we can only expect the Galaxy S10E to at least match and most likely exceed in low light what the iPhone XR is capable of, even if we discount the extra telephoto lens and zooming abilities of the S10E. Hey, the boss said cameras must be top-notch, after all!


Galaxy S10E vs iPhone XR battery life

Low-res displays come with a not-so-obvious advantage

With the alleged 3100 mAh battery pack of the S10E, and the 2942 mAh one in the XR, all the specs listed so far make one conclusion about the battery life of these two the most probable. While the S10E battery would be just 3% larger than what the iPhone offers, Samsung's phone would most likely have to drive much more screen pixels than the XR, and that component is what takes the largest toll on battery life. 

With the processor production nodes being equal at 7nm, the S10E can't expect help on that front, either, so if we have to guess, we'd have to give the endurance round to the XR which has proven that it can be a real "two-day battery" phone thanks to the lowball screen resolution that Apple equipped it with. The S10E may last less, but will likely do it in at least a Full HD style.

Galaxy S10E vs iPhone XR prices

$750 is the new $650

We now come to the most interesting part, how much would the S10E cost compared to the iPhone XR. While previously Apple used to launch iPhones at the fairly decent $649 price point, it is now a Benjamin above that, and Samsung is unlikely to price its direct competitor much lower considering it may offer better hardware (and a green eco-friendly model!). 

In fact, different Korean sources are claiming that the cheapest member of the Galaxy S10 portfolio will start from 800,000 won, and that translates to about $715, so we can expect the S10E to be priced about the Galaxy S9 tag at launch. So, at ~$750 vs $750, which one would you pick considering that they would both have flat displays (now that's logic)?

Galaxy S10E or the iPhone XR, which one would you get?

Galaxy S10E
77.69%
iPhone XR
22.31%

Related phones

iPhone XR
  • Display 6.1 inches
    1792 x 828 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A12 Bionic, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2942 mAh
  • OS iOS 13.x
Galaxy S10e
  • Display 5.8 inches
    2280 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera)
    10 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, 6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3100 mAh
  • OS Android 10
    Samsung One UI

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