I switched to a Samsung s10e - first impressions


New member
Nov 20, 2016
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I figured I'd start a thread about specifically going to this phone from a 950, and I'll just write down some initial impressions real quick in case anyone is looking for alternatives to the 950. Obviously feel free to ask me questions and I'll answer them if I can.

Note; I'm in New York City and I'm on T-Mobile. I got the s10e during Samsung's recent $200 off promotion, so $550+tax.

I'll go from the outside in ending with software;

--- The s10e is slightly narrower and a hair shorter, but almost feels taller. I guess that's a combination of the slimmer size and narrower bezels.

--- I was always a fan of the plastic back on the 950, which I know some people hated. My feeling was always that people cover their phones up in ugly cases anyway, so what's the big deal with a plastic back in reality? I'd take a nice plastic back over a bulky ugly case any day. Even after having lived with it for a while. So I like the somewhat utilitarian look of the 950. Always will. And let's not forget all the millions of people with cracked glass... sigh...

The s10e by comparison looks a lot more premium and a lot more expensive. It really does look like a flagship. The thinner bezels look more contemporary and so does the glass back and generally more smooth edges. I picked the "Flamingo Pink" color because the others to me reminded me of fancy car lacquer, and by "fancy" I mean the stuff you see in a movie like "The Fast and The Furious", if that makes any sense. The 'pink' was the least like that. It's not really pink btw, it leans a bit towards peach/orange, and it changes a bit depending on lighting. All in all a good looking phone, which I honestly never did and still don't care that much about.

--- Holding the phones; the 950 felt more secure in my hand. With the rounded edges and smooth glass the s10e feels more slippery. The s10e's buttons are a bit high. If you have small hands it might be annoying. For me it's ok.

---Security; face unlock as well as a fingerprint sensor in the power button on the s10e. I skipped the face unlock and chose to only use fingerprint sensing, and it's actually very fast. I set it up to use left index/right thumb for when I'm holding the phone, and right index for when the phone is lying on a table. Also nice is the 'smart lock' feature which looks at location data and then does not lock the phone in a secure location. So when I'm home I can double tap to wake the phone up and swipe down to unlock, meaning no need for pin or fingerprint. As soon as I leave that 'zone', even going just a block or two, the phone automatically locks. It's actually convenient.

I still maintain that for absolute security the iris scan is better, but alas in 2019 nobody does that. I will simply remember to disable fingerprint sensing when traveling for example ('cause, reasons).

--- Screen/Camera; This is an HD screen with HDR10+. That's a tradeoff from the 4k display on the 950. I suppose this is a place where we can all argue back and forth whether we'd take resolution over HDR, and quite frankly I don't know what I prefer yet. Similarly there's a tradeoff on the back. A lower resolution camera on the s10e but with arguably better software and different characteristics. There's a good comparison online between the 950 and the s10 series and in my opinion it boils down to a) the 950 leaning towards yellow/warm, b) the 950 taking more natural shots with 'smoother' details, c) the s10(e) creating or bringing out more detail after processing, d) that processing being visible if we're being critical.

So the camera definitely seems like it'll be a tradeoff. On the one hand from what I could see in the comparison I preferred 950 shots for their natural quality. But on the other hand there's the usability of that. Let's be real for a second: How many people take shots and then marvel at their quality? Instead I think a lot of people just take pictures to show to themselves or others that they had some sort of experience. For that we don't need the best quality (though we welcome it) but instead we need something that works. And of course modern phone cameras work very well. They have smart software that helps us "get to the point" quicker and more easily. So in a sense they make.. uh.. sense.

In addition a better front camera + a wide-angle rear lens.

--- Connectivity; USB-C charging and data transfer, headphone jack, SINGLE sim... that one threw me off. When looking at this phone I saw it had a tray with sim + sim/microSD, but I learned that the US version has sim + microSD only. In the US you'd have to get an international version to get double sim, but then verify the warranty situation of course.

Also NFC, Bluetooth etc. I will note that so far I seem to have better connectivity to my T-mobile network. I just tested my speeds and I got about 75Mb down and 21Mb up, compared to about 40/5 respectively on my 950. Much better of course.

--- CPU and 'feel'; well, a lot snappier, of course it is. I feel this is an area though where we should remember that people are different, have different priorities and get used to different things. There were times where the response time of the 950 was a bit slow and it annoyed me, but let's be real; it's a first-world problem to have. I could have kept going with the 950 just fine as far as response goes. Going back however would likely be close to "painful". First-world problems though.

--- I felt that installation of apps was very smooth and fast but that configuration was possibly a bit more cumbersome. There's just something about the 950 and WinMo that made it all feel... more coherent. With Android and Samsung with its custom 'skin' etc more is customizable at the expense of coherence and ease of use, in my opinion. Changing the launcher to the Microsoft launcher meant spending a fair amount of time setting that up, and every single time I launch a component of the launcher it initially asks for permission to access my data etc. Now, don't get me wrong, I like being asked about it, but I just felt I remembered that on WinMo it was just one permission question per app. Here it felt 'endless'. And I'm still not done.

--- Apps; I still maintain that most users stick to about 4-7 apps per day, add another maybe 5 per week, and everything else is rarely used or even installed and either never used or deleted. So I found the "But WinMo has no apps" argument to be a bit ridiculous in the beginning. I really had everything I needed when I got my 950, and it was only this year I finally hit the wall with Bank Of America ending support for the mobile app and my Garmin Connect app not working properly. I blame sheep for not supporting WinMo properly. And WinMo apps can look really slick.

Actually, I'll take this time to point out that in terms of GUI I really feel the two are more different rather than one being superior. I mean, little things like "Oh great news, with the latest update we can now dismiss all notifications in the notifications bar" by Android users is like... really? That is a new feature for you? I just feel the 950 had so much to offer like three years ago already, which is why switching has been so painful.

I guess that leads to a sort of semi-conclusion to what ended up being a not so quick post... but that's what I get for drinking coffee while posting;

I feel we had it really good with the 950. The specs were actually really good (with the exception of the CPU getting left behind eventually) and we therefore could do all the things most Android users could do, like opening ATM doors and not having to use our cards to take out money, iris scan, wireless charge, and more.... actually, many Android/iPhone users couldn't do those things yet in the mind of the public our phones/os were somehow inferior. I just don't get that.

So finding an alternative was painful. I bought the 950 on sale with the dock for about $350. I think that was a great deal. And now I spent $550 for a phone that in terms of features is no better, just different, with the exception of the CPU/GPU. I'm trading iris for fingerprint, arguably better quality photos for double-lens/better photo software, a 4k display (!) for an HD HDR+ display, and so on.

In the end though this was probably worth it. At the price it seems it was the absolutely best deal I could get. A better phone would have been (to me) ridiculously expensive (or I'd have to wait a year or two), and a cheaper phone would have led to compromises I didn't want to make....


...if you have questions I'll do my best to answer them...


New member
Nov 20, 2016
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One more thing;

Battery - I think if you were a "power user" and used your phone a lot you probably already moved on from the 950 for different reasons. If you use the phone for the basics, photos, email, occasional web browsing etc, and you get through a day just fine possibly with a newer replacement battery that's bigger, then with similar usage on the s10e you'll be fine.

Some have reported that the battery life on the s10e is disappointing, and I'm guessing they're running the screen with relatively high brightness all of the time, keep multiple (read; many) apps open throughout the day, watch a bunch of videos or play a bunch of games, constantly tweet/Instagram whatever... and in that case yeah, I can see how you'd run out within a day.

So far I'm happy though.


New member
Nov 10, 2016
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went from a Lumia 950 XL to a Samsung Galaxy S10. with Microsoft Launcher and your phone as well as all the Microsoft office apps it is actually pretty decent. Now we just need that outlook app to have a dark theme.

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