Phone Comparisons: Google Pixel 3 vs Samsung Galaxy S10e

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Introduction

We live in an age of large smartphones… well, that may have sounded a bit dramatic, but it's true. Large handsets have taken over, and we're seeing less and less compact devices available in the market, especially when it comes to flagship-grade phones. That being said, the Google Pixel 3 and Samsung Galaxy S10e do belong in that category, which is why we're here to compare them. Granted, the Galaxy S10e is much newer than the Pixel 3, and a more fair comparison will occur later this year when we get a chance to compare the Samsung Galaxy S10e with the Pixel 4, but if you're looking to get a compact flagship now… well, read on. We'll kick things off with specifications, and go from there.

Specifications

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Design

These two phones could not be more different when it comes to design. The Google Pixel 3 sports a more regular design, with bezels above and below the display (which accommodate front-facing speakers), no notches, nor display holes. The phone is made mostly out of metal, with a glass panel at the top of its back side. The device also includes a rear-facing fingerprint scanner, and a single camera on the back. The Galaxy S10e, on the other hand, comes with considerably thinner bezels, though it does include a display hole in the top-right corner. This phone features a "glass sandwich" design, and it has two horizontally-aligned cameras on the back. A side-facing fingerprint scanner is also included in the package, and so is a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is not something the Pixel 3 can say for itself. The two devices actually offer a similar footprint.

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Both phones look good, but the Galaxy S10e offers that modern design that users are looking for these days. Its bezels are considerably thinner than the ones on the Pixel 3, though you do have to put up with that hole in the display. The Pixel 3 is less slippery than the Galaxy S10e, thanks to Google's coating, but the Galaxy S10e offers more display in almost the same footprint. As you can see, both have its pluses and minuses, but we'll go with the Galaxy S10e on this one, it doesn't have two front-facing speakers, but it has stereo speakers, and it simply looks better to the eye due to thinner bezels, the Pixel 3 does look a bit outdated next to the Galaxy S10e.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S10e

Display

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Both the Google Pixel 3 and Samsung Galaxy S10e include fullHD+ displays, and both ship with OLED panels. The Pixel 3 sports a 5.5-inch fullHD+ (2160 x 1080) P-OLED display, while the Galaxy S10e includes a 5.8-inch fullHD+ (2280 x 1080) Dynamic AMOLED panel. The vast majority of consumers will be happy with either of these two displays, both offer deep blacks, nice contrast, and so on, but the Dynamic AMOLED panel on the Galaxy S10e is quite probably the best fullHD+ panel in the business.

The Galaxy S10e's display simply looks better than the panel on the Pixel 3, while it also supports HDR10+, which, granted, you won't be able to take advantage of everywhere, but still… it's more future-proof, in a way. The Galaxy S10e's panel also looks better when you tilt the phone, both are quite visible at an angle, but the Dynamic AMOLED panel on the Galaxy S10e simply has an edge in this regard. Both of these displays are flat, by the way, so they're equal in that regard, even though both have curved glass on top of them.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S10e

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Performance

The performance comparison is always a tricky one, as it includes a number of factors. Google's Nexus and Pixel devices usually come out on top when it comes to performance, but that's not the case here, and the SoC different (generation gap) is not the only reason why. The Galaxy S10e comes with a newer SoC (Snapdragon 855 in the US, Exynos 9820 in Europe), a generation newer, an SoC that is not only more powerful in general, but it also consumes less power.

On top of that, the Galaxy S10e also includes more RAM than the Pixel 3, it comes in both 6GB and 8GB RAM variants, while the Google Pixel 3 is stuck with 4GB of RAM. Google also did not do a great job of optimizing Android 9 Pie on its Pixel 3 devices, so both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL suffered from RAM management, and various other issues for months. Granted, the company fixed the vast majority of Pixel 3's issues, but we're still inclined to give the performance section to the Galaxy S10e. It remains to be seen what will happen in 6 months, or a year, but at the moment, the Galaxy S10e simply seems like a better performer than the Google Pixel 3.

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Winner: Samsung Galaxy S10e

Battery Life

This is actually a really interesting category to compare, and one that may surprise you. The Pixel 3 comes with a smaller battery than the Galaxy S10e, a 2,915mAh unit compared to a 3,100mAh. The Pixel 3 also ships with a processor that is not as power efficient as the one in the Galaxy S10e, but the device does have a smaller display, not much smaller, but still. Having all that in mind, it's worth saying that the Pixel 3 edges out the Galaxy S10e when it comes to battery life. The Pixel 3 actually offered better battery life than the Pixel 3 XL, which managed to surprise some people, and it can take on the Galaxy S10e without a problem. If you're a heavy user, chances are you will have to charge up the Galaxy S10e's battery before the end of the day, which may happen with the Pixel 3 as well, but you'll need to push it more than the Galaxy S10e. On top of that, the Pixel 3 offers faster charging than the Galaxy S10e, at least when it comes to wired charging, but it does not have the reverse wireless charging of the Galaxy S10e. All things considered, this category belongs to the Google Pixel 3, at least in our opinion.

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Winner: Google Pixel 3

Cameras

It's not exactly a secret that the Pixel 3 is a really great low light performer, while pictures it offers in regular light are also really good. Is it better than the Galaxy S10e, though? Well, it all depends on the scene, to be quite honest. Both of these phones are extremely capable in both regular and low light, sunset, and sunrise, and so on. The Pixel 3 will provide you with a more usable image in pitch dark situations, while the Galaxy S10e can do an amazing job in low light in general, though the Pixel 3 still has an edge in that regard. In daylight, both of these cameras are great, and image processing is noticeable on both phones, though it's quite different.

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The Pixel 3's pictures look a bit more unrealistic than the Galaxy S10e's, but that's actually what most people prefer anyway, and it really doesn't have to be a bad thing. Front-facing camera performance is great on both devices, while the two devices are quite capable in the video department as well, though the Galaxy S10e has a slight edge in that regard. We were unable to pick just one phone in this comparison, to be quite honest, each of them has its pluses and minuses in the camera department, and are quite balanced in that regard.

Winner: Tie

Conclusion

There you have it, two compact flagships go head-to-head. Based on everything we've mentioned, we have to declare the Samsung Galaxy S10e a winner of this comparison, which is not exactly surprising. The Galaxy S10e wins in most categories, though it is also worth noting that the Pixel 3 is probably a better choice for those of you who are looking great speakers on a phone, the Galaxy S10e is solid in that regard, but the Pixel 3's front-facing speakers still have an edge. Everything else that is of importance has been mentioned in the categories above, and of course, you may disagree with us, but it seems like the Galaxy S10e is a step above the Pixel 3. The Pixel 4 will have plenty of competition once it hits the market, and the Galaxy S10e will be one of its main competitors in the compact flagship sector.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S10e