Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy S10e
Samsung Galaxy S10e (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Galaxy S10e

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You're definitely getting your money's worth with the Galaxy S10e. The phone shares the same primary rear and front cameras as the S10 and S10+, which means it'll take the same great photos. It is also powered by the Snapdragon 855, but if there's one factor that makes it stand out, it's the small form factor.

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Solid all-rounder

Exquisite design
Class-leading hardware
Outstanding cameras
IP68 dust and water resistance
Small form factor
Costly

OnePlus 6T

6T

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OnePlus has established itself as a value leader, and even at $550 the OnePlus 6T offers great value for your money. That said, you're missing out on water resistance, a headphone jack, and wireless charging. Then there's the camera — for a $550 phone, it is strictly average.

OnePlus 6T

A few compromises

Clean software
Fast updates
Excellent performance
Great value
No 3.5mm jack
Average cameras
No water resistance
No wireless charging

With the Galaxy S10 series, Samsung has introduced a low-cost option in the form of the Galaxy S10e that retails for $750. That's $150 less than the starting price of the S10, and you get the same great hardware albeit with a few omissions. It's time to find out if it can steal market share away from the likes of OnePlus.

The Galaxy S10e has more features than you'll end up using

Samsung clearly knows how to make a solid flagship, but over the last two years, we've seen a lot of affordable flagships that offer top-notch hardware for several hundred dollars less. OnePlus in particular dominates this category, and the OnePlus 6T at $550 is still great value for the hardware on offer.

The small size makes the Galaxy S10e the perfect phone for one-handed use.

Samsung's take on this segment is the Galaxy S10e. The phone costs $200 more than the 6T, but even at a first glance it's easy to see that it's loaded with features. But what makes the Galaxy S10e truly stand out is its diminutive size — with a 5.8-inch screen and height of 142.2mm, it is perfect for one-handed usage.

The industry has switched to taller screens in recent years, but the S10e with its compact form factor is the ideal device if you're looking for a smaller phone with top-notch hardware. You're not missing out on any core features from the S10 or S10+ either: the S10e has the same IP68 dust and water resistance, Samsung Pay, fast wireless charging, 3.5mm jack, and a microSD slot.

Samsung flagships have always stood out for the sheer number of features they offer, and the S10e absolutely delivers on that front. There's no area where the device is found lacking, and when you compare it next to the 6T you'll see just how feature-rich it is. The 6T is missing the headphone jack and MicroSD slot, and you lose out on water resistance as well. There's no wireless charging either, and when you factor in all the omissions it's easier to understand why the device costs $200 less.

The $200 premium gives you a much better camera

Galaxy S10e

If nothing else, get the Galaxy S10e for its fantastic camera. Samsung has done a great job retaining most of the features from the S10 and S10+, with the S10e featuring the same primary cameras at the front and back.

The Galaxy S10e blows the 6T out of the water when it comes to camera quality.

That means you're going to get the same great photos as you would on the more expensive flagships, and while the S10e is missing the zoom lens, it has the same wide-angle shooter at the back. In my opinion, you'll get much more utility out of that anyway.

One of the main issues with OnePlus phones is the camera quality. The 6T has the same sensor configuration as its predecessor, and while you get decent shots in daylight, the quality goes down considerably in low-light scenarios.

A close spec contest

The Galaxy S10e is powered by Qualcomm's latest 7nm Snapdragon 855 platform. It is also the first phone in the world to feature a Wi-Fi ax modem. You get 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as standard, and the 3100mAh battery is adequate for all-day usage. Interestingly, the S10e is the first Samsung flagship in a few years to feature a fully flat display.

Both phones feature exquisite hardware — but the S10e has the absolute latest specs.

So if you're not a fan of the curved screens on the S10 and S10+, the S10e is a great alternative. The display itself is just as great, even though the resolution is slightly lower at 2280x1080. Considering the device is designed for one-handed use, there's a standard fingerprint sensor on the side, just above the power button.

The OnePlus 6T is no slouch, and last year's Snapdragon 845 platform still has plenty of grunt left. The 6.41-inch Optic AMOLED display may not be quite as vibrant as what Samsung is offering, but it is decent enough for the price tag. You also get 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as standard, and the 3700mAh battery easily manages to provide a day's worth of use.

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CategorySamsung Galaxy S10eOnePlus 6T
Operating systemAndroid 10
Samsung One UI
Android 10
OxygenOS
Display5.8-inch AMOLED, 2280x1080 (19:9)
HDR10+
Gorilla Glass 5
6.41-inch Optic AMOLED, 2340x1080, (19.5:9)
DCI-P3
Gorilla Glass 6
ChipsetSnapdragon 855
1 x 2.84GHz Kryo 485
3 x 2.41GHz Kryo 485
4 x 1.78GHz Kryo 485
Adreno 640
7nm
Snapdragon 845
4 x 2.80GHz Kryo 385
4 x 1.70GHz Kryo 385
Adreno 630
10nm
RAM6GB/8GB6GB/8GB
Storage128GB/256GB128GB/256GB
MicroSD slotYes (up to 512GB)
Hybrid slot
No
Rear camera 112 MP, f/1.5-2.4
1.4um, OIS
Dual Pixel PDAF
16 MP, f/1.7
1.22um, OIS
PDAF
Rear camera 216 MP, f/2.2
Wide-angle
20MP, f/1.7
Front camera10 MP, f/1.9
1.22um, Dual Pixel PDAF
16MP, f/2.0
1.0um
ConnectivityWi-Fi ax, Bluetooth 5.0
AptX, NFC, A-GPS
FM radio
Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0
AptX, NFC, A-GPS
Audio3.5mm jack
Stereo speakers
USB-C
Single speaker
Battery3100mAh
Non-removable
3700mAh
Non-removable
ChargingUSB-C 3.1
15W
USB-C 2.0
20W
Water resistanceIP68No rating
SecurityFingerprint sensor (side-mounted)In-display fingerprint sensor
Dimensions142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9mm
150g
157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2mm
185g
ColorsCanary Yellow, Flamingo Pink, Prism White, Prism Black, Prism Green, Prism BlueThunder Purple, Mirror Black, Midnight Black

OxygenOS is the best third-party skin around

Where the OnePlus 6T comes into its own is the software. OxygenOS is the best third-party skin around, and the clean interface combined with the powerful hardware makes the 6T one of the fastest phones in the market today.

OxygenOS takes a commanding lead when it comes to software.

OnePlus has also shown over the course of 2018 that it is better at delivering software updates on time. The 6T came with Pie out of the box, and it has consistently picked up security updates and bug fixes in the last five months.

Samsung has pared back a lot of customizations with One UI, with the interface resembling Google's aesthetic in a lot of ways, but it still isn't quite as minimal as OxygenOS. Software updates continue to be an issue for Samsung, and that isn't likely to change this year.

If you prefer a cleaner interface with faster updates, the 6T is the obvious choice.

It all comes down to value

The Galaxy S10e and OnePlus 6T may not be in the same category, but they share similar fundamentals. For Samsung, the fact that it is able to deliver most of the features as the S10 and S10+ at the $750 price point suggests just how serious it is at diversifying its flagships.

If you're looking for a compact phone with the latest hardware and fantastic cameras, the S10e is absolutely worth its asking price. If you're instead looking to save some cash and don't necessarily care about all the features on offer with the S102e, the 6T is still a fantastic choice in 2019.