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Samsung Galaxy S10e vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus: Which to Pick?

author Luis Silva (July 2021 Updated: March 2022 - 6 min. reading time)

The Galaxy S21 Plus will cost you more, but it's the best of the two.

You'll get better performance (+50%), better glass protection, a better display, better cameras, and better battery life. But the Galaxy S10e adds external storage.

Anything else?

The Galaxy S21 Plus also features a higher refresh rate, larger (+0.9") display, faster-charging speeds (25w vs. 15w), and more RAM (8GB vs. 6GB). But the Galaxy S10e also brings a lightweight body (50 g./1.76 oz less) and a headphone jack.

How much more are you willing to spend on the Galaxy S21 Plus?

If you're going off-contract, you'll have to spend approximately $571 more.

Is the Galaxy S10e still worth getting in 2022?

The Galaxy S10e is still one of the best phones you can buy in 2022 (depending on your budget), as it still retains its value. Having said that, the OnePlus 9 has better performance, better cameras, more security updates, faster charging, and more RAM.

Is the Galaxy S21 Plus still worth getting in 2022?

Of course, I still recommend the Galaxy S21 Plus in 2022. Its overall score hasn't dropped much yet, mainly because of its good performance, good battery life, excellent glass protection, and 8K recordings. But if you've been dreaming about other phones, the Apple iPhone 12 should also be one of them.

Keep reading to learn more about what sets them apart, how they fare against their competition, and you'll know what the industry thinks about their specs.

Check prices on Amazon Check prices on Amazon
Click here or scroll down to check prices on eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

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Samsung Galaxy S10eSamsung Galaxy S21 Plus

CONTENTS

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Introduction

In January of 2021, Samsung started selling its Galaxy S21 Plus, while Samsung's Galaxy S10e hit the stores in March 2019.

We've run down the specs, design, price, and much more in this guide to help you choose between the Galaxy S10e and the Galaxy S21 Plus.

The weight of each section

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

to check who their rivals are.

Price*
vs.
Device Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus
Release Date 2019, March 2021, January 2y.
OS Updates 3 years 3 years 0y.
Security Updates 4 years 4 years 0y.

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

On the multicore portion of Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance, the Galaxy S21 Plus was, on average, 50% quicker while finishing its tests. You should also consider other features, but if you value every second you save, go for this one.

By the way, you can define the Galaxy S10e as an upper mid-range and the Galaxy S21 Plus as a high-end device.

PS: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (with the Adreno 640 GPU) and the Exynos 9820 (with the Mali-G76) are market-dependent. Click here for more info.

There's a performance increase of about 17% on the 855 for the Galaxy S10e.

Performance*
vs.
Features Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus
SoC Exynos 9820 Exynos 2100
Graphics Mali-G76 MP12 Mali-G78 MP14
Geekbench 5 Score 2077
3113
1036
OS Android 9 (Pie) and OneUI Android 11 and OneUI
Tek-Score
5.4
7.0
1.7

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 13.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Samsung Galaxy S10e front transparent png Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus front transparent png

They both share the same score, so any of them will do.

If you're trying to keep your phone's display small, there aren't many devices to consider besides the Galaxy S10e. At least it's short when compared to the average phone for its price range.

About the Galaxy S10e, you should know that 77% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display, and 93% have an AMOLED screen.

Regarding the Galaxy S21 Plus, 84% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display, and all have an AMOLED screen.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus
Size 5.8
6.7
0.9
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1080x2280
1080x2400
129600
Refresh Rate 60hz 120hz 60
Dots per Inch 434.98
392.81
-42.17
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Hole Hole
Peak Brightness 803 nits
883 nits
80
HDR HDR10+ HDR10+
Sub Tek-Score
8.6
9.0
0.3
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Tek-Score
6.6
9.6
3.0

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Samsung Galaxy S10e back transparent png Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus back transparent png

We can safely assume that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus has a better shooter.

You can find a dual aperture camera on the Galaxy S10e that allows you to choose between f/1.5 or f/2.4.

About the Galaxy S10e: DXOMARK hasn't evaluated this shooter yet, but considering its features, we came to about 113* points. By including its wide-angle lens, it'll get 119** points.

Last (but not least), keep in mind that all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens.

About the Galaxy S21 Plus: The guys over at the DXOMARK labs scored this camera with 123 points. By considering its wide-angle lens, that score goes up to 137. If you want to know more about every tidbit, check it here.

Last (but not least), just so you know, just like the other device, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 92% feature Optical Image Stabilization. Moreover, only 20% of them feature a macro lens.

We can classify the Galaxy S10e as an upper mid-range and the Galaxy S21 Plus more as a high-end.

If you take optical zoom seriously, none of these will help you. Just pick something like the Galaxy Note 10 Lite or the Galaxy A72 instead. Or just forget them because devices like the Galaxy S20 Ultra are a much better option.

The Galaxy S10e's lens does open wide to absorb more light and enable more exposure with its wider aperture.

*I do recommend DXOMARK's reviews. Unfortunately, they don't test every smartphone camera out there. That's why when I come across one of them, I take every hardware specs (like lenses, sensor size, OIS, aperture, and so on) and give a comparable score. Our lastest test on our formula showed a borderline margin of error of 2 points.

**Please take this with a grain of salt, at least for phones with no zoom and up to 35 to 40MP. They just changed their protocol, and there aren't enough reviewed phones to extrapolate a backward-compatible score.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus
Megapixels 12
12
0
Aperture 1.5
1.8
0.3
Lens 26mm
26mm
0
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 1 0
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 4320 2160
Score 119
137
18

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus vs.
Megapixels 16
64
48
Aperture 2.2
2.0
-0.2
Lens 12mm 29mm 17
Lens Type Ultra-wide-Angle Regular
Megapixels - 12
Aperture - 2.2
Lens - 13mm
Lens Type - Ultra-wide-Angle
Score 6 14 8
Selfie Camera Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus vs.
Megapixels 10
10
0
Aperture 1.9
2.2
0.3
Lens 26mm 26mm 0
Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus vs.
Tek-Score
7.0
8.1
1.1

Who has the best frame?

I'd go for the Galaxy S10e for its weight.

You should also know that the Galaxy S10e is indeed small. About 14% smaller when compared to most similarly priced devices.

The Galaxy S21 Plus is a little bit heavier: About 50 g. (1.97 oz). If you want a big screen in a lightweight phone, the "weight to display size" score of the Galaxy S10e is 7.8, and that's another way of saying it's one of the lightest phones for its screen size. The Galaxy S21 Plus, in its turn, has 4.6, so nothing to state here.

The Galaxy S10e truly is water-resistant. It can be submerged 1 to 3 meters deep, and the same goes for the Galaxy S21 Plus. That should be for up to 30 minutes, in standby mode, so no underwater photos.

Looks*
vs.
Body Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus
Size 142 x 69 x 7 mm
(5.01 x 2.43 x 0.25 in)
161 x 75 x 7 mm
(5.68 x 2.65 x 0.25 in)
15939
Weight 150 g. (5.29 oz)
200 g. (7.05 oz)
50
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Prism White, Prism Green, Prism Black, Flamingo Pink, Canary Yellow, and Prism Blue Phantom Black, Phantom Violet, Phantom Silver, Phantom Red, Phantom Gold, and Phantom Pink
Screen To Body Ratio 85.70%
89.75%
4.06
Disp.Size To Weight Score 7.8 4.6 -3.2
Looks 9.7/10
10.0/10
0.3
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Biometrics Side-mounted Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint
Tek-Score
9.2
7.2
-2.0

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

At 3100 mAh, the Galaxy S10e is the owner of the smallest battery, while the Galaxy S21 Plus features 4800 mAh. And GSMArena did test them out, and the latter does have better battery life.

Just be aware that the Galaxy S21 Plus can also easily defeat most devices. Let's see if it still has a place on our top 10 list.

Fast wireless charging on the Galaxy S21 Plus is likewise a nice plus. That isn't as frequent on its direct rivals.

The Snapdragon 855 chipset has another advantage: A battery life boost of about 15% (screen-on-time) if you compare it to the Exynos 9820.

Battery*
vs.
Features Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus
Capacity (mAh) 3100 4800 1700
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 79% left
84% left
5
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 61% left
70% left
9
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 65% left
74% left
9
Bat. To Phone Size Score 6.9 3.6 -3.4
Sub Tek-Score
6.8
7.6
0.8
Fast Charging 15w
25w
10
Wireless Charging 15w
15w
0
Reverse Charging 9w
4.5w
-4.5
Tek-Score
6.8
7.3
0.5

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A42.

Which has more storage?

They share the same amount of storage.

Storage*
vs.
Features Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus
RAM (GB) 6GB
8GB
2
Internal (GB) 128GB
128GB
0
Micro SD microSDXC (shared SIM slot) No
Tek-Score
7.5
6.0
-1.5

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

I'd go for the Galaxy S10e if you really value a headphone jack.

You can connect the Galaxy S21 Plus to (LTE and) 5G networks.

Connectivity
vs.
Features Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus
Network LTE 5G
Bluetooth 5.0
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack Yes No
Tek-Score
8.5
4.6
-3.8

Which is more affordable?

Here are the best deals on some major online stores:

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Reference: $428

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Reference: $999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus VS
Amazon - - -
eBay 1.30 1.15 -0.15
Best Buy - - -
Walmart - - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.


Related articles:


Best smartphone deals


The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets


Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

Want to know about that global score? Let me point out the average of its competitors. It's 6.2 for the Galaxy S10e and 6.9 for the Galaxy S21 Plus.

Verdict: What Makes the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Stand Out?

What can the Samsung Galaxy S10e give you that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus can't:

- More affordable

- Lighter (50 g./1.76 oz less)

- External storage

- A headphone jack

What can the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus give you that the Samsung Galaxy S10e can't:

- Better performance (+50%)

- Higher refresh rates

- Better glass protection

- Better display

- A larger display (+0.9")

- Better cameras

- Better battery life

- Faster charging speeds (25w vs. 15w)

- More OS updates (2 additional years)

- More RAM (8GB vs. 6GB)

Pros Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus
#1 AMOLED Performance
#2 Always-On-Display AMOLED
#3 Cameras Always-On-Display
#4 Fast Charging Cameras
#5 Wireless Charging Battery Life
#6 MicroSD Slot Fast Charging
#7 3.5mm Jack Wireless Charging
#8 Glass Protection
Cons Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus
#1 MicroSD Slot
#2 Weight
#3 3.5mm Jack
#4 Price
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score Galaxy S10e Galaxy S21 Plus
Gaming Score
6.4
7.6
1.1
Tek-Score
6.98
7.43
0.45
Your Score

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

For suggestions and bug reports, click here. Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

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About me

Hello!

My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.


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Samsung Galaxy S10e Related Comparisons


Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Related Comparisons

×

"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

Rivals

As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.


 Samsung Galaxy S10e 
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A71
    $400
  • ApplerivaliPhone 8
    $370
  • ApplerivaliPhone XR
    $392
  • OnePlusrival7
    $388
  • XiaomirivalMi 9T Pro
    $385
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 8
    $424
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10+
    $413
  • ApplerivaliPhone 8 Plus
    $390
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $497
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10
    $482
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS
    $410
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10
    $424
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e SD
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ EX
    $389
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 EX
    $429
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 SD
    $499
  • OnePlusrival7 Pro
    $429
  • HuaweirivalP30
    $400
  • GooglerivalPixel 4
    $398
  • GooglerivalPixel 4 XL
    $349
  • OnePlusrival6T
    $349
  • HuaweirivalMate 20 Pro
    $436
  • XiaomirivalMi 9
    $400
  • ApplerivaliPhone SE 2
    $360
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10 Lite
    $425
  • OnePlusrivalNord
    $410
  • GooglerivalPixel 4a
    $350
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy M51
    $396
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
    $480
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Lite
    $399
  • XiaomirivalMi 11 Lite
    $349
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A52
    $375
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A72
    $445
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A42
    $349
  • XiaomirivalMi 9t Pro
    $385
  • OnePlusrivalNord 2
    $440

 Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $709
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $564
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $584
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro Max
    $749
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ SD
    $534
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $560
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $680
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $749
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8
    $630
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • OpporivalFind X2 Neo
    $543
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $609
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $675
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
    $529
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
  • OnePlusrival9 Pro
    $749
  • OnePlusrival9
    $530
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554
  • ApplerivaliPhone 13 Mini
    $729
×

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

×

About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.



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