Samsung Galaxy S10e vs iPhone Xr – The real flagship battle

The price of flagship smartphones has been increasing rapidly, with Apple and Samsung among the greatest offenders.

Over the last four years, the price of a flagship Samsung smartphone has increased by 73%, while the price of a new iPhone has risen by 82%.

These steep price hikes mean that the Galaxy S10 and iPhone Xs have become unaffordable for many South Africans – and both manufacturers have catered for this with the launch of more reasonably-priced devices.

These smartphones – the iPhone Xr and Galaxy S10e – are flagship devices in their own right, each commanding cutting-edge features. However, they are not as well kitted out as their more pricey siblings

We compared the specifications, features, and South African pricing of the Samsung Galaxy S10e and Apple iPhone Xr to see how they stack up.


Specifications and pricing

Specifications Samsung Galaxy S10e iPhone Xr
OS Android 9.0 iOS 12
Display 5.8-inch 2,280 x 1,080 AMOLED 6.1-inch 1,792 x 828 IPS LCD
Processor Exynos 9820 Octa Apple A12 Bionic
RAM 6GB 3GB
Storage 128GB, MicroSD up to 512GB 64GB/128GB/256GB
Rear camera 12MP + 16MP 12MP
Front camera 10MP 7MP
Connectivity 802.11ax Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Lightning
Cellular LTE Cat.20 LTE Cat.16
Durability IP68 IP68
Battery 3,100mAh 2,942mAh
Price R15,999 R15,999

The Samsung Galaxy S10e has the iPhone Xr beaten in terms of raw specifications on paper, although it should be noted that the devices run different operating systems and this will not always translate into a performance difference.

Additionally, the iPhone Xr is powered by Apple’s A12 Bionic chipset, which is the most powerful smartphone chip in the world.

Certain specifications, such as screen resolution and panel type, do translate to direct differences however, and the Samsung Galaxy S10e definitely has the superior display in this comparison.

It is also cheaper than the iPhone Xr with 128GB of storage, despite also having 128GB of internal storage space and microSD support.

Below are the specifications and pricing of the iPhone Xr and Galaxy S10e:

  • Samsung Galaxy S10e 128GB – R15,999
  • Apple iPhone Xr 64GB – R15,999
  • Apple iPhone Xr 128GB – R17,499
  • Apple iPhone Xr 256GB – R19,499


Design and features

Both the Galaxy S10e and iPhone Xr come in more vibrant and varied colour options than their premium counterparts, and each device sacrifices certain features to maintain their more reasonable pricing.

Samsung opted for a capacitive fingerprint sensor on the side of the Galaxy S10e’s chassis instead of an in-screen ultrasonic sensor, and the manufacturer used a flat bezel-less display on the cheaper device instead of the curved edge-to-edge panel on the Galaxy S10 and S10+.

However, the Galaxy S10e still boasts similar specifications to its more expensive counterparts – along with an OLED panel and a dual-camera system.

This makes the Galaxy S10e a flagship smartphone in its own right.

Apple’s iPhone Xr is also considerably cheaper than the premium Xs range, but there are a number of sacrifices.

The iPhone Xr does not retain the AMOLED panel of the Xs, nor does its camera system survive the cut.

Apple’s iPhone Xr also only has 3GB of RAM, although iPhones have traditionally functioned with less RAM than their Android counterparts while still remaining competitive in terms of performance.

Both smartphones offer cutting-edge features and great value compared to the true flagships from their respective manufacturers, but Samsung’s Galaxy S10e seems to offer just a little bit more in terms of value compared to the iPhone Xr.


Now read: Most popular smartphones in South Africa revealed

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Samsung Galaxy S10e vs iPhone Xr – The real flagship battle