Galaxy S10e vs. iPhone XR: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs Apple iPhone XR
Samsung Galaxy S10e vs Apple iPhone XR

Samsung Galaxy S10e

The Galaxy S10e offers almost everything that the Galaxy S10 family does, at a more affordable price point. You get the same stunning design, outstanding performance and a wide range of colors. However, it doesn't have the ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor, has less RAM in the base model and lacks a telephoto lens.

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Premium Flagship

Excellent performance
Dynamic AMOLED display
Stunning design
Wide range of colors
Outstanding camera
No in-display fingerprint sensor
Lower RAM than others in series
No telephoto lens
Smaller battery than other S10s

Apple iPhone XR

The iPhone XR offers some of Apple's key iPhone features at an affordable price. However, it removes the dual camera, the display is lower resolution and the base storage is only 64GB. The iPhone XR offers a cut-down version of Apple's flagship, at what is still a premium price.

Apple iPhone XR

Affordable iPhone

Surprisingly good display
Capable speakers
FaceID is very good
Wide range of colors
Less than full HD display
No secondary camera
only 3GB of RAM

The iPhone XR is perfect if you want to jump into Apple's ecosystem at an affordable price, while the Galaxy S10e offers the very best of the Galaxy S10 family, at an outstanding price tag.

Should you buy the Galaxy S10e or the iPhone XR?

Both Samsung and Apple take different paths to reach lower costs than their flagship counterparts. Samsung's Galaxy S10e loses a rear telephoto camera, drops the screen resolution from 1440p to 1080p, minimizes the battery, and omits the fancy in-display fingerprint sensor. But overall the phone shares much of the same foundation as its Galaxy S10 and S10+ family, including a brand new Snapdragon 855 platform, between 6GB and 8GB of RAM, a minimum of 128GB of storage, the same main rear cameras, and ultra-fast 2Gbps LTE.

Apple, on the other hand, drops the number of rear cameras from two to one, and takes the resolution from just over 1080p in the iPhone XS to around 820p on the iPhone XR. What's interesting is that with the iPhone XR, Apple increased the screen size over the iPhone XS to 6.1 inches, finding a middle ground between the two flagships. That bigger screen makes the phone awkward to use in one hand, something that the Galaxy S10e offers with aplomb thanks to its compact 5.8-inch screen size and smaller bezels.

Still, Samsung appears to have found the better compromise between price and performance, though Apple likely boasts a battery advantage over the S10e.

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CategoryGalaxy S10eiPhone XR
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 PieApple iOS 12
Display5.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED2280x1080 (19:9)Gorilla Glass 56.1-inch IPS LCD179x828 (19.5:9)True-tone, 120 Hz touch-sensing
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 855Apple A12 Bionic
Storage128GB / 256GB64GB / 128GB / 256GB
MicroSD slotYes (up to 512GB)None
Rear camera 112MP Dual Pixelf/1.5 / f2.4OIS, 77° FOV12MPf/1.8m, 26mm wide angleOIS, PDAF
Rear camera 216MP Ultra-Widef/2.2, 123° FOVNone
Front camera 110MP Dual Pixelf/1.9, 80° FOV7MPf/2.2, 32mm
ConnectivityWiFi 802.11ac, Cat 20 LTE (2Gbps download)Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFCWiFi 802.11acBluetooth 5.0 LENFC
AudioStereo SpeakersDolby Atmos technologyStereo Speakers
ChargingFast ChargingUSB Type-CFast Wireless Charging 2Reverse Wireless ChargingPower Delivery 2.0Wireless Charging
Water ResistanceIP68IP67
SecurityFingerprint SensorFace ID
Dimensions69.9 x 142.2 x 7.9mm150g150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm194g
ColorsFlamingo PinkPrism BluePrism WhitePrism BlackBlackRedYellowBlueCoralWhite

So which should you buy? It largely depends on your platform preferences, but despite the iPhone having some pretty great specs, it can't compete with the Galaxy S10e.

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs Apple iPhone XR

The Apple iPhone XR offers the latest from Apple, including the outstanding Apple A12 Bionic processor, and allows you to get the latest Apple experience at a more affordable price. However, it does cut down on certain features and the lack of a Full HD display and dual camera in 2019, is unforgivable. It also lacks gigabit LTE, whereas the S10e offers 2Gbps speeds with some networks.

The Galaxy S10e offers everything you could want in an Android smartphone

The Galaxy S10e also offers everything you could want in an Android smartphone, and represents Samsung's biggest answer yet to the challenge of companies like OnePlus, Motorola and Nokia.

With a starting price of $550, the Galaxy S10e starts $150 lower than the Galaxy S10, without any real drawbacks. On its own, the Galaxy S10e is an outstanding device, and compared to the rest of the Galaxy S10 family, there are many compelling reasons it could be your next smartphone.

Nirave Gondhia

Nirave Gondhia has been writing about the mobile industry for over a decade and began his career selling and fixing phones in the UK. He's used every flagship smartphone over the past five years and carries at least two phones at all times - currently, he's using the iPhone 11 Pro, [Samsung Galaxy Fold and Motorola RAZR. Say hi to him on Twitter at @nirave.