The Samsung Galaxy S series and Galaxy Note series smartphones have always been prime examples of what high-end Android smartphones are capable of. These devices are in high demand and have always commanded a premium over what other brands have to offer. Now, to better compete with brands like OnePlus, and to lower the entry point of Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series, Samsung has launched Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite. The price of these new smartphones is around Rs. 40,000 which is significantly less than their respective non-lite versions.
We have already tested the Galaxy S10 Lite (Review), and now we have the Galaxy Note 10 Lite. At a starting price of Rs. 38,999 This is definitely more affordable than the Galaxy Note 10 or Galaxy Note 10+ (Review). Samsung, however, has dropped a bunch of premium features. Like an IP rating for dust and water resistance, and wireless charging, to round out this low price. However, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite still has the S Pen stylus that differentiates the Note series, and still packs in a bigger battery. Did Samsung go overboard with cost-cutting, or is the Galaxy Note 10 Lite enough to justify its price? We tested the Galaxy Note 10 Lite to find out.
samsung galaxy note 10 lite design
Samsung thankfully hasn’t sacrificed a crisp AMOLED display in the exercise of cutting costs. You still get a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display with full-HD+ (1080×2400 pixels) resolution and HDR support. However, this phone does not sport an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner like the Galaxy Note 10+, instead it has a standard CMOS fingerprint scanner.
The Galaxy Note 10 Lite has a hole-punch cutout in the center towards the top of the display, similar to what we saw on the Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy A51 (Review). There are thin bezels all around the Galaxy Note 10 Lite which helps in giving it a premium look. We found the display to be quite bright with good viewing angles when used outdoors.
The frame of the Galaxy Note 10 Lite feels like metal and gets cold to touch in an air-conditioned room. The power and volume buttons are on the right, and are quite accessible when holding the device in hand. On the left side, you’ll find the Galaxy Note 10 Lite’s SIM tray. It has a USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, loudspeaker grille and the S Pen silo at the bottom. The inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone socket is surprising since the Galaxy S10 Lite doesn’t have one. There is only a secondary microphone on the top.
We found the back of this phone to be plasticy to the touch, not as premium as the glass panel on the Galaxy Note 10+. The rear also catches smudges easily and you have to keep wiping it. Alternatively, you can use the case that Samsung includes in the box. At the rear, there is a rectangular camera module similar to what we recently saw on the Galaxy A-series smartphones. This camera module sits almost flush with the back panel. The phone is quite thick at 8.7mm and weighs 199g.
The Galaxy Note 10 Lite packs in a 4,500mAh battery and you get a 25W charger in the box. This charger has a USB Type-C output, so there’s also a USB Type-C to Type-C cable in the box. You also get headphones, but these are not the premium AKG units found with the flagship series.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite Specifications and Software
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite is powered by the Exynos 9810 SoC and not the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC like the Galaxy S10 Lite. The Exynos 9810 SoC is the exact same processor that Samsung used for the Galaxy S9 (Review), so it’s two years old, and not something we were expecting on a smartphone at this price today.
Connectivity options on the Galaxy Note 10 Lite include Bluetooth 5, dual-band Wi-Fi ac, NFC and four navigation systems. All the usual sensors are present and the Note 10 Lite also packs in a 4,500mAh battery. The smartphone is available in two variants: The base variant has 6GB RAM and 128GB storage and is priced at Rs. 38,999. The higher variant gets 8GB RAM and the same 128GB storage for Rs. 40,999.
In terms of software, you get One UI 2.0 running on top of Android 10, and our review device was running the January 2020 security patch. We got used to the One UI pretty quickly and had no problem navigating through the menus. You also have the option to enable swipe-based navigation.
Most of the S Pen stylus features from the high-end Galaxy Note series are still available in this smartphone. When the phone is in standby, you can take it out to quickly take notes on the device. The S Pen can be used as a remote shutter for taking photos and to switch between the primary and selfie cameras. You don’t get some of the Air actions performed by the Galaxy Note 10+’s S Pen, like zooming in or out and switching between different camera modes.
Some apps come preinstalled on the phone, such as Facebook, Netflix, the full suite of Google apps and some Microsoft apps too. The smartphone also comes with a ‘Link to Windows’ feature that we saw on the Galaxy Note 10+. Galaxy Store is an alternative to Google Play Store. Dolby Atmos is also available but only works with the earphones and not the loudspeaker of the device.
samsung galaxy note 10 lite performance
Samsung used an older processor on the Galaxy Note 10 Lite, but you probably won’t notice it until you run benchmarks looking at the numbers. The smartphone delivered a smooth user experience without any lag or stutter. We can multitask on the device even without closing the apps running in the background.
We found the in-display fingerprint scanner to be slower than the Galaxy Note 10+’s ultrasonic scanner. There is also face recognition, which uses the selfie camera located in the hole-punch to quickly scan the face and unlock the smartphone.
The display of the Galaxy Note 10 Lite has decent viewing angles and the speaker gets loud enough to enjoy the content on the smartphone. To see how the older Exynos 9810 stacks up against more recent processors, we ran our benchmarks on the device. In Antutu, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite gave a score of 3,04,593 which is lower than the 4,63,856 posted by the Galaxy S10 Lite. In Geekbench 5’s single-core and multi-core tests, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite scored 710 and 2,041 points respectively. For graphics benchmarks, the device scored 40fps and 25fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 and Car Chase, respectively.
We played PUBG Mobile on Galaxy Note 10 Lite and it defaulted to High settings. We played some arcade matches without any interruption. However, we noticed that the device gets hot to touch very quickly. It only recorded a 4 percent battery drop after 10 minutes of gameplay.
The smartphone lasted 17 hours and 35 minutes in our HD video loop test, which is a respectable time. With our usage, which included playing a few games, browsing the Internet, and using Google Maps for navigation, the battery easily lasted about a day and a half. The supplied 25W charger managed to get this phone up to 60 percent in half an hour and it took a little over an hour to do a full charge.
samsung galaxy note 10 lite cameras
The camera module of the Galaxy Note 10 Lite includes three 12-megapixel cameras. The primary has an f/1.7 aperture as well as OIS, the wide-angle camera has an f/2.2 aperture and the telephoto camera has an f/2.4 aperture. On the front is a 32-megapixel shooter with f/2.2 aperture. There’s no dual-pixel autofocus like we’ve seen on Samsung’s flagship smartphones, and focusing is a bit slow in comparison. The camera app will be familiar to Samsung users, and has multiple shooting modes including Food, Night, Super Slo-mo and Pro modes. The app also has AR emoji that were available on last year’s devices.
The camera app is well crafted, and switching between the three cameras is easy. The Galaxy Note 10 Light Meter lights up correctly when shooting during the day. Images taken during the day had decent detail and text was easily read at a distance. The wide-angle camera offers the same color tone as the primary camera, which is a good thing. However, you will notice distortion at the edges of wide-angle photos. These shots were also short on details.
For close-ups, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite managed to take sharp shots, however, some of them showed enhanced colors. Portrait mode gives you the option to shoot with both the primary as well as the telephoto camera. It also lets you set the level of blur before taking a shot. Edge detection was good in portraits.
The Scene Optimizer on the Galaxy Note 10 Lite is quick to detect low light and set up the phone accordingly. We found the output to be fairly average in low light, with fine grain visible when zooming in on an image. Switching to Night Mode made a noticeable difference to the output. Shots were brighter and had finer details with less noise.
The selfie camera gives you a zoomed-in view by default but you have the option to switch to a wider frame using the toggle in the viewfinder. Selfies with this wide field of view were captured as 10-megapixel oversample shots. Beautification is enabled by default and you also have the option to tweak it before taking a selfie.
Video recording maxes out at 4K 60fps for the primary camera and 4K 30fps for the selfie shooter. Output is stable when shooting at 4K as well as 1080p, and you have the option of switching between the three rear cameras while shooting. The Galaxy Note 10 Lite does a good job of stabilizing videos. It also has a Super Steady mode that uses the wide-angle camera to record videos and crops the frame to stabilize it better. Video quality degrades in low light and we noticed a flickering effect in our sample clips.
Samsung has a strong hold on the flagship segment with its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note models. However, in the market the gap between Rs. 35,000 and 50,000 price points. We had some doubts about Samsung targeting its Galaxy S and Note brands at lower price points and while the Galaxy Note 10 Lite offers the same software experience as its flagship-grade siblings, we think the hardware is better. could have been done.
For the asking price of Rs. 38,999, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite faces some stiff competition from the OnePlus 7T (Review) and Oppo Reno 10X Zoom Edition (Review). The competition packs better hardware, and in the case of the Reno 10X Zoom Edition, better cameras too. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 still commands a premium at Rs. 67,900 which helps the Galaxy Note 10 Lite to look attractive.
Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite, the Note 10 Lite sports a headphone jack and has an S Pen stylus that helps it stand out. However, using a processor that is two years old is not a good move in our books. The Galaxy Note 10 Lite will appeal to anyone who wants the Note experience without paying full price for it.
Can Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite, Note 10 Lite beat OnePlus 7T? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts either RSSDownload the episode, or just hit the play button below.