Samsung just announced its Galaxy S20 smartphone lineup, and while all three models are big upgrades over the Galaxy S10 line, they’re also more expensive. The Galaxy S20’s starting price is $999, and that’s for the base model. The S20+ and S20+ Ultra start at $1,199 and $1,399, respectively.
There’s good news, however: Samsung will continue to sell the Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+, and they’ve dropped the price for each model by $150. That means you can get a Galaxy S10e for $599, a Galaxy S10 for $749 or the Galaxy S10+ for $849 — all three of which are ridiculous deals for equally impressive hardware.
With the fact that Samsung is going to continue selling the Galaxy S10 smartphones at a more affordable price, we thought it would be a good idea to see how they stack up to the competition.
The answer? Very well, but making a decision on which phone to buy is going to boil down to more than just how much you want to spend. Let’s take a look.
The Galaxy S10e vs. iPhone 11
Both phones have two rear-facing cameras, including an ultra-wide-angle camera. The S10e’s display measures 5.8 inches, while the iPhone 11 measures 6.1 inches. The screen size doesn’t tell the entire story, though, with the S10e’s screen having a slightly higher resolution than the iPhone 11.
The S10e has a fingerprint sensor on the side, embedded in the power button, while the iPhone 11 uses Apple’s Face ID facial recognition platform.
The iPhone 11 has storage options of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. The S10e, despite starting $100 lower, has 128GB or 256GB storage options, and has a microSD card slot that will accept up to 512GB of additional storage.
Either phone provides a valuable option for its respective platform, but with the Galaxy S10e now priced $100 lower than the iPhone 11, it’s hard not to recommend it to someone who is ready for a higher-end smartphone and doesn’t care about Android or iOS.
Galaxy S10 vs. iPhone 11 Pro
In both regards, you’re getting a lot of phone for the money. The S10 has a 6.1-inch Quad HD+ display, compared to the iPhone 11 Pro’s 5.8-inch Super Retina XDR display. Both of which are bright, clear and have vivid colors.
Triple camera arrays are found on the back of both phones, each with a wide-angle standard camera, an ultra-wide-angle camera and a telephoto camera.
The S10 is available with storage amounts of 128GB or 512GB, while the iPhone 11 Pro has 64GB, 256GB or 512GB. The S10, once again, includes expandable storage of up to 512GB via a microSD slot.
The S10 pushes forward the lineup’s capabilities, much in the same way the iPhone 11 Pro does over the iPhone 11. You get a better display, another camera and a slightly different design.
The Galaxy S10+ vs. iPhone 11 Pro Max
The S10+ and iPhone 11 Pro Max share all of the same features as the non-Plus and Max versions, save for the display. The S10+ has a 6.4-inch Quad HD+ display, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR display.
And, of course, the prices are different. The S10+ is now priced at $849, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1,099.
I’ve used the iPhone 11 Pro Max since it launched in September and the S10+ off and on since it launched last March. They are powerful and reliable phones, with stunning cameras.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max has better battery life, which for some, is a make or break feature, but with a $250 difference between the two phones — it could be an excusable shortcoming of the S10+.
OnePlus 7T walks the line between all three S10 models
The OnePlus 7T is the epitome of that company’s approach to smartphones. It’s loaded with all the flagship features we expect to see in the top-of-the-line smartphones, only it’s t $599, well below Samsung and Apple prices.
For example, the Galaxy S10e and the OnePlus 7T are the same price, however, the 7T has a 6.55-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate, compared to the S10e’s 5.8-inch screen. The 7T’s higher refresh rate means tasks like scrolling in Chrome or playing games will be smoother and free of stutter.
The OnePlus 7T uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor, while the S10 lineup uses Snapdragon 855. The 855+ is supposed to be slightly faster and have better graphics performance, but I’m not sure anyone would be able to tell the difference. I know I couldn’t when I reviewed the OnePlus 7T.
A fair camera comparison with the OnePlus 7T would be the S10+. The 7T has a triple camera setup with a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens. The S10+, on the other hand, has the same triple-camera arrangement, but with the main and telephoto cameras being 12 megapixels and the ultra-wide-angle camera coming in at 16 megapixels.
The rest of the spec sheet for the OnePlus 7T reads similar, taking features from the high- and low-end Galaxy S10 phones and combining them into a fully capable phone that I had no problem recommending when it first launched, and I still don’t.
The difference between the OnePlus 7T and any of the Galaxy S10 models boils down to whether or not you want to stay within Samsung’s ecosystem. Granted, the OnePlus 7T is an Android device and will work with Samsung’s products and apps, but there’s something to be said about using a Samsung phone with a Samsung smartwatch and Samsung wireless earbuds.
Apple or Samsung?
Ultimately, the decision may simply come down to which operating system you feel more comfortable with, or which ecosystem you’re already heavily invested in.
If you pay for iCloud storage, have more friends on iMessage than regular text messaging and have several Apple products in your home or on your wrist, your best option is likely to stay within Apple’s ecosystem.
However, if you’re ready for a change, or an avid Android user — Samsung makes some of the best phones available. And just because the S10 lineup is last year’s crop, that doesn’t mean it can’t compete with the latest from Apple or OnePlus.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.