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Galaxy S10e vs iPhone 7 (2021): Two Kinds Of Budget Choices

As the least expensive model of Samsung’s 2019 flagship lineup, the Galaxy S10e offers almost all of the phone maker’s latest innovations for a reasonable price. Nowadays Apple’s iPhone 7 presents a somewhat similar budget option in that its price has been drastically reduced since its launch almost three years ago. We compared these two to see what you can get for twice the price (or half the cost, depending on how you look at it).

Galaxy S10e vs iPhone 7 Comparison Chart

ModelGalaxy S10e 128GBiPhone 7 128GB

Display5.8″ AMOLED4.7″ IPS LCD
Resolution1080 x 2280 pixels750 x 1334 pixels
Pixel Density438 ppi326 ppi
Screen-to-Body Ratio83.3%65.6%
Height142.2 mm138.3 mm
Width69.9 mm67.09 mm
Thickness7.9 mm7.1 mm
Weight150 g138 g
System ChipSamsung Exynos 9820Apple A10 Fusion
ProcessorOcta-core 2.0 GHzQuad-core 2.3 GHz
Internal Storage128GB, 256GB32GB, 128GB, 256GB
Expandable MemoryMicroSD (Up to 512GB)None
Front Camera10MP, ƒ/1.97MP, ƒ/2.2
Rear CameraWide-angle 12MP, ƒ/1.5 or ƒ/2.4, Ultra-wide 16MP, ƒ/2.212MP, ƒ/1.8
BiometricsFace recognition, Fingerprint sensorFingerprint sensor
ColorsPrism Black, Prism Blue, Prism White, Flamingo PinkBlack, Jet Black, Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, Red
Water ResistanceIP68IP67
Battery Capacity3100 mAh1960 mAh
Battery LifeUp to 12 hoursUp to 14 hours
Fast ChargingYesNo
Wireless ChargingYes (with separate purchase)No
PortsUSB-C, 3.55 mm audioLightning
ReleasedMarch 2019September 2016


The Galaxy S10e is almost all-screen up front.

Galaxy S10e vs iPhone 7 Design
There’s plenty of design differences between the Galaxy S10e (left) and iPhone 7 (right).

As a three-year-old phone, the iPhone 7 looks practically dated these days. It’s the same design as the iPhone 6 and 6s before it, as well as the 8 and 8 Plus after it. And while it was eye-catching and exciting back when it was first unveiled, times have changed. Nearly every phone maker has pushed as far as they could in removing the bezels around the display, and perhaps none have been as successful as Samsung.

You’ll clearly notice how thin the bezels are on the Galaxy S10e, and how they’re almost nonexistent on the pricier S10 and S10+. Gone is the fingerprint-reading home button; instead, the S10e has a capacitive sensor located at the top-right edge. While it’s at a natural spot for most right-handed people, others might find it awkward, but at least it’s reliable compared to the in-screen ultrasonic sensor of the other Galaxy S10s. Meanwhile, the iPhone 7’s home button is no longer mechanical — it uses pressure sensitivity to provide feedback via vibration.

Peer at the bottom of the iPhone 7 and you’ll find only the speaker holes and Lightning port. It’s the first iPhone without a 3.55 mm headphone jack, and that’s either a big loss or good riddance depending on how wireless you like your gadgets to be. Meanwhile, Samsung is happy to keep that option with their Galaxy phones.

Both phones come in a variety of colors so you have a wider choice than with other generations. They can both survive the occasional splash in the shower or a quick dunk in the pool, thanks to their certified water-resistance. The iPhone 7 is lighter and a bit slimmer than the S10e, but considering how similar their build is, you’ll be more impressed with what Samsung managed to pack into theirs.


The Galaxy S10e has an edge-to-edge display.

Galaxy S10e vs iPhone 7 Display
See how the bezels almost vanish on the S10e.

It’s only to be expected that the newer smartphone’s display will outshine the older, no matter how amazing it was. As mentioned, the Galaxy S10e’s display stretches across the entire front of the device, resulting in an incredible 83.3% screen-to-body ratio. Such slim bezels allow for a massive 5.8″ screen with a 1080 x 2280 resolution with 438 individually lit pixels per inch. Its Dynamic AMOLED display also features crisper details and wider viewing angles, in addition to perfect blacks.

In comparison, the iPhone 7 still has the same 4.7″ IPS LCD of the previous generation. Putting it into perspective, you get 146% more pixels with the S10e than the 750 x 1334 resolution and 326 ppi of the iPhone 7. Still, its Retina HD display provides a wide color gamut to improve accuracy and it’s bright enough for most outdoor conditions.


The Galaxy S10e is a lot faster than the iPhone 7.

Galaxy S10e Performance
With the same CPU as Samsung’s flagship S10, the S10e can run resource-intensive games easily.

Yet another aspect where the iPhone 7 shows its age is in overall performance. While it was the fastest in its time, faster even than the same-generation iPad Pro, there have been several jumps in processor technology already so the newer Galaxy S10e is undoubtedly more powerful. This is confirmed through benchmark testing.

Geekbench 4 shows the Galaxy S10e received a single core score of 4227 and a multi-core score of 9746. Meanwhile, the iPhone 7 got 3410 and 5745, respectively. On Sling Shot Extreme and Ice Storm Unlimited, the S10 received 5488 and 58293 while the iPhone 7 received 1964 and 37076. Across all tests the Galaxy S10e came out on top, and came close to offering double the performance of the iPhone 7.

Nevertheless, the iPhone 7 is still great for most apps, and you’ll hardly notice a difference in casual use. Where all the speed of the S10e will be needed is in CPU-intensive tasks like video editing and running games with heavy graphics. If that sounds like your thing, you definitely won’t be disappointed with the new compact Galaxy.


The Galaxy S10e has more cameras with the latest features.

Galaxy S10e Cameras
With three cameras and plenty of shooting options, the S10e lets you take a wide variety of photos.

Two rear cameras with different lenses adorn the back of the Galaxy S10e. The wide-angle 12MP camera has variable aperture sizes of ƒ/1.5 or ƒ/2.4, letting you capture scenes as you see it, even under low-light conditions, thanks to a new Bright Night feature. A second ultra-wide angle 16MP camera with a 123-degree field of view enables sharper details on panoramic shots. The 10MP selfie camera has an improved Live Focus mode so you can get just the right amount and type of blur on backgrounds to make yourself stand out even better. Plus, you can record 4K UHD videos with a Samsung phone’s front-facing camera for the first time.

On the other hand, the iPhone 7’s 12MP rear camera can take low-light photos just as well with its ƒ/1.8 aperture size. Its front camera also received a minor upgrade from the iPhone 6, as it can now take 7 megapixel photos instead of 5. A nice new addition is optical image stabilization or OIS, which should be a godsend for those with shaky hands. As Apple is well-known for offering the best cameras on smartphones, you’ll get amazing image quality and spectacular shots even with this older iPhone.

Storage, Battery, and Other Features

The Galaxy S10e has expandable storage and wireless charging.

Galaxy S10e Battery
You can buy a fast wireless charging pad for the Samsung Galaxy S10e.

Internal storage options start at 128GB for the Galaxy S10e, while the iPhone 7 starts at 32GB, but both top out at 256GB. That’s a lot of space for photos, videos, and music, but you can get up to 512GB more when you socket in a MicroSD card on the S10e, while Apple once again leaves that option out of their devices.

Despite the lower battery capacity of the iPhone 7, it can run for a bit longer than the S10e without recharging. This is due to how Apple integrated low and high-power management into the iPhone’s processor. However, the Galaxy S10e has fast charging right out of the box so you can get a quick top off in the middle of the day. Furthermore, you can purchase a Wireless Charger Duo Pad or a Wireless Battery Pack on which you can simply place the S10e.

Another notable feature that wasn’t introduced yet in the iPhone 7 is face recognition, which, in addition to a capacitive fingerprint reader, lets you get better security on the Galaxy S10e. Finally, it bears repeating that the iPhone 7 no longer has an audio jack, so you’ll have to settle for the included Apple EarPods or attach the dongle to use your favorite wired earphones.


The Samsung Galaxy S10e is unsurprisingly better, but the iPhone 7 is still great if you really want to save.

Of the S10 models the Galaxy S10e simply offers the best value, as it has all of the core features that make the flagship line stand out, but without an over-the-top price tag. Beneath its bright edge-to-edge display is a powerhouse for gaming and resource-heavy apps, and you get to capture all the fun you have with it through its stellar cameras. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking to spend what you’ve saved up to get a relatively “budget” smartphone that will last you a pretty while.

On the other hand, if you just want a fast iPhone in the meantime while you save up for the next big release, you can do worse than the iPhone 7. At around half the cost of the S10e it’s certainly easier on your pockets, while its performance and cameras are nothing to scoff at.

Last update on 2022-06-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.