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Should you upgrade to the Galaxy S10e from the Galaxy S8?

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

Best answer: The Galaxy S10e is a great upgrade choice coming from a Galaxy S8. The S10e is similarly sized to the S8, and is upgraded across the board in all of its components and specs. But it provides the same core Samsung experience as the phone you already have. If you like the Galaxy S8 but it's just feeling a bit old, the S10e is an excellent upgrade.

If you like your Galaxy S8, you'll love the S10e

Samsung does a fantastic job of improving on its flagship phones year after year while keeping most of the core experience intact to make the transition to a new model as seamless as possible. Even though the move from a Galaxy S8 to an S10e is a two-year upgrade, the basics of the phone haven't changed a ton — but that's a feature, not an issue. You can put down an S8 and pick up an S10e and feel right at home — from the very similar overall dimensions down to the individual features and feeling of how it operates.

The Galaxy S10e is effectively a perfect two year evolution of the S8.

Even though the S10e has the latest Android 10 software with One UI (which the S8 will have soon enough), it simply feels like an upgraded version of Samsung software rather than something entirely new. The hardware design and feel have been refreshed, but not completely redesigned. The mainstays like a headphone jack, microSD card slot, wireless charging and water resistance are all the same.

Then you get a whole host of marginal improvements. The S10e's display is roughly the same size as the S8, and is actually lower resolution, but is an improved panel with even better brightness and colors; Samsung still makes the best displays in the business. A new processor (Snapdragon 855), more RAM (6 or 8GB) and more storage (128 or 256GB) offer you better daily performance both today and for the next two years. The 3100mAh battery, paired with that new processor, offer a little bit better battery life. The new Android 10 software is great now, and unlike the S8 there's a future of software updates ahead.

There are few things that are entirely new on the S10e, but again they come without any loss to what's already on the S8. The mono speaker on the bottom of the S8 is paired with another speaker at the top of the phone for a stereo experience. The main camera has improved slightly with a variable aperture and new software, plus it has a great wide-angle camera next to it that's incredibly fun to shoot with and adds Live Focus portrait mode effects. The front camera has also been improved, with a new sensor. Wireless charging speeds have improved as well, so long as you have the latest generation Samsung accessories. Small improvements on their own, but improvements you'll be able to appreciate every day nonetheless.

CategoryGalaxy S8Galaxy S10e
Operating systemAndroid 8.0 OreoAndroid 10
Display5.8-inch AMOLED, 2960x1440 (18.5:9)5.8-inch AMOLED, 2280x1080 (19:9)
ProcessorSnapdragon 835
or Samsung Exynos 8895
Snapdragon 855
or Samsung Exynos 9820
Storage64GB128/256GB
ExpandablemicroSDmicroSD
RAM4GB6/8GB
Rear Camera 112MP Dual Pixel, OIS, f/1.712MP Dual Pixel, OIS, f/1.5 or f/2.4
Rear Camera 2n/a16MP wide-angle, f/2.2
Front camera8MP, f/1.7
auto focus
10MP, f/1.9
auto focus
AudioMono speaker
3.5mm headphone
Stereo speakers
3.5mm headphone
Battery3000mAh3100mAh
ChargingQuick Charge 2.0
Fast Wireless Charging (9W)
Quick Charge 2.0
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 (12W)
Water resistanceIP68IP68
SecurityRear fingerprint sensorSide fingerprint sensor
Dimensions148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm
155 g
142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9mm
150 g

Really, the S10e is just a perfect evolution of the S8 two years on. There isn't one big standout improvement, but a bunch of little changes and additions that come without any downsides or losses. The cumulative effect of all of these little improvements, paired with no feature losses, is notable as a complete device upgrade.

The final decision of whether or not this is the right upgrade path for you really comes down to how much you enjoy the core Samsung experience offered by your Galaxy S8. If you like how your Galaxy S8 works, but the hardware and performance are just feeling a little tired after two years, then it's an easy decision to hop over to the S10e. If you want a phone that's an actual change of pace, with different features and philosophies, you have to find that elsewhere.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.