Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs. Galaxy Note 10 Lite: Which should you buy?

Galaxy S10 Lite

More for less

$650 at Samsung

Pros

  • Snapdragon 855 chipset
  • Vibrant display
  • 48MP camera/32MP selfie camera
  • 4500mAh battery
  • Android 10 with One UI 2.0

Cons

  • Plastic design
  • No headphone jack
  • Costlier than the regular S10

The Galaxy S10 Lite eschews the metal-and-glass design for a plastic chassis, but it retains the high-end internals. The phone is powered by the same Snapdragon 855 chipset as the full-fledged S10 and S10+, and comes with a 48-megapixel camera, FHD+ AMOLED panel, as well as a 4,500mAh battery. The fundamentals are solid here, but a high price makes it a non-starter in the U.S.

Galaxy Note 10 Lite

Do everything

₹40,999 at Flipkart

Pros

  • Headphone jack
  • S Pen
  • Vibrant display
  • Same 4500mAh battery
  • Android 10 with One UI 2.0

Cons

  • Not launching in the U.S.
  • Older Exynos 9810 chipset

The Note 10 Lite is an interesting device — on the outset, there's plenty to like here. You get the same S Pen that's found in the Note 10/10+, and there's even a 3.5mm jack. There's also a 4,500mAh battery, Android 10 out of the box, and a vibrant AMOLED panel. But Samsung decided to throw in a two-year-old Exynos 9810 chipset, marring what is an otherwise a stellar option.

Samsung hasn't fared well in the mid-range segment, with recent launches in the Galaxy A series not measuring up to what Xiaomi and OnePlus have launched in this category. To that effect, Samsung went back to the drawing board and came up with the S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite, two phones that leverage flagship branding and marquee features from Samsung's premium lineup. Here's what you need to know about the Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite.

The Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite have a lot in common, with a few key differences

Even with a single glance, it's easy to make out that the Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite share a lot of similarities. Both phones feature plastic backs and large batteries, and offer Samsung's latest UI out of the box. However, there are a few differences that make them stand out.

There are minor differences when it comes to hardware, but you're getting great value regardless of whatever phone you pick up.

Although both devices sport 6.7-inch Super AMOLED panels with a centered front camera cutout, the display on the Note 10 Lite is Super AMOLED while the S10 Lite gets a Super AMOLED Plus panel. We'll have to use both devices next to each other to get a better sense of just how much the displays differ, but for now what you need to know is that you're getting a vibrant FHD+ panel on either device.

Coming to the internal hardware, the Galaxy S10 Lite is powered by the Snapdragon 855 — just like the Galaxy S10 and S10+ — whereas the Note 10 Lite features the two-year-old Exynos 9810. That particular chipset was notable for causing thermal management and battery life issues on the Galaxy S9 two years ago, so it's unclear why Samsung is opting to use it on its latest mid-ranger when there are better alternatives available, like the Exynos 9820.

It is possible Samsung was looking to save on manufacturing costs by choosing to go with an older chipset. After all, the Note 10 Lite is aimed at Asian markets and won't be available in the U.S., so it makes sense for Samsung to go with an in-house solution, much like what it does on global variants of the Galaxy S10 and S10+. And while the S10 Lite is now available in the U.S., the $650 asking price makes it a non-starter — particularly with the regular S10 now retailing for $600.

Elsewhere, both the S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite share the same 6GB/8GB memory configurations and 128GB of internal storage, and you'll find a microSD slot on either device. Both phones also feature 4,500mAh batteries with fast charging, and the FHD+ resolution combined with a large battery should deliver outstanding battery life.

It's all identical on the software front as well: both phones are running Android 10 with Samsung's latest One UI 2.0 out of the box. One UI 2.0 comes with a host of new features and refreshed visuals, and Samsung in general has come a long way in this area over the last 12 months.

Category Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Operating system Android 10
One UI 2.0
Android 10
One UI 2.0
Display 6.7-inch Super AMOLED
2400x1080 (20:9)
6.7-inch Super AMOLED
2400x1080 (20:9)
Chipset Snapdragon 855
1 x 2.84GHz Kryo 485
3 x 2.41GHz Kryo 485
4 x 1.78GHz Kryo 485
Exynos 9810
4 x 2.70GHz Mongoose M3
4 x 1.70GHz Cortex A55
GPU Adreno 640 Mali-G72 MP18
RAM 6GB/8GB LPDDR4X 6GB/8GB LPDDR4X
Storage 128GB 128GB
MicroSD slot Yes (Up to 1TB) Yes (Up to 1TB)
Rear camera 1 48MP f/2.0
26mm, OIS
12MP, f/1.7
27mm, OIS
Rear camera 2 12MP, f/2.2
12mm ultrawide
12MP, f/2.4
52mm telephoto, OIS
Rear camera 3 5MP, f/2.4
Macro
12MP, f/2.2
13mm ultrawide
Front camera 32MP, f/2.2
25mm, HDR
32MP, f/2.2
25mm, HDR
Connectivity Wi-Fi ac MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS Wi-Fi ac MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS
Audio USB-C
Single speaker
3.5mm jack
Single speaker
Battery 4500mAh
Non-removable
4500mAh
Non-removable
Charging USB-C
Fast charge
USB-C
Fast charge
Water resistance No No
Security In-display fingerprint sensor In-display fingerprint sensor
Colors Prism Black, Prism White, Prism Blue Aura Black, Aura Glow, Aura Red
Dimensions 162.5 x 75.6 x 8.1mm
186g
163.7 x 76.1 x 8.7mm
199g

Like the standard Note 10 series, the main differentiator for the Note 10 Lite is the S Pen. You get the same stylus with remote gestures and a shutter button that works over Bluetooth, and it's great to see Samsung offering the feature on the Lite model. What's even more interesting is that the Note 10 Lite also has a 3.5mm jack, a feature that's missing from the Note 10/10+. Even the S10 Lite doesn't have the analog port, which makes its inclusion on the Note 10 Lite all the more puzzling (but welcome).

The Note 10 Lite comes with the S Pen, and the S10 Lite has a higher-res shooter.

The standout with the S10 Lite, meanwhile, is a 48-megapixel primary camera that's joined by a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 5-megapixel macro shooter. Samsung is heavily promoting the camera prowess of the S10 Lite in marketing materials, and it will be interesting to see how the phone holds up in real-world usage.

The Note 10 Lite has just a 12-megapixel primary camera, but you get more versatile auxiliary sensors: there's a 12-megapixel wide-angle shooter and a 12-megapixel zoom lens that goes up to 2x optical zoom. The primary and zoom lenses feature optical stabilization as well. Both phones have 32-megapixel front cameras, further indication that Samsung is pitting the devices as an alternative to the BBK-owned OPPO and Vivo.

Choosing between the two is a matter of preference

Ultimately, choosing between the Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite comes down to what you're looking for from a mid-range phone. If you end up taking a lot of photos and videos, the Galaxy S10 Lite is a better option because of the gigantic sensor.

Get the S10 Lite if you take a lot of photos. If you want the S Pen and a 3.5mm jack, pick up the Note 10 Lite.

The Note 10 Lite is aimed more at productivity, so if you're interested in trying out the S Pen and need a 3.5mm jack, it is the default choice. It's great to see that there aren't any major differences between either device when it comes to the hardware side of things. Sure, the Exynos 9810 could turn out to be an issue, but any undue battery drain is negated by the large 4,500mAh battery.

At the end of the day, both phones offer a decent set of features, but they also have their set of issues. With the Note 10 Lite, it's the fact that it it using an old Exynos chipset. And while the S10 Lite has no hardware issues, the fact that it costs $650 makes it harder to recommend the phone.

Galaxy S10 Lite

More for less

$650 at Samsung

Great phone, unreasonable price.

The Galaxy S10 Lite has a 48-megapixel primary camera that should take stunning photos, two-day battery life thanks to the 4,500mAh battery, and Samsung's latest UI on Android 10. Wait for the device to be discounted before picking it up.

Galaxy Note 10 Lite

Do everything

₹40,999 at Flipkart

Mid-range productivity workhorse.

The Note 10 Lite is interesting because it brings the S Pen to a wider audience. There's also the fact that it has a 3.5mm jack, and while some hardware choices don't make much sense, the phone should hold up just fine in day-to-day usage. If you've wanted to try out the S Pen but didn't want to pay over $1,000 for the Note 10, the Note 10 Lite could just be the phone for you.



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