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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review: Lite on pocket, but not on performance

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review: It might not be as powerful as the Galaxy Note 10+, but it’s an achievement to see a device like the Galaxy Note 10 Lite that tries to create a perfect balance between super-premium and affordability.

Written by Anuj Bhatia | New Delhi | Updated: February 14, 2020 1:51:06 pm
Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite price in India, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review, Galaxy Note 10 Lite launch in India, Galaxy Note 10 Lite specs Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review: It is very hard to overlook the Galaxy Note 10 Lite, considering it starts at Rs 38,999. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Like many, I was smitten by the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+. A huge screen, beautiful design, and the magical stylus. Who would not like to buy the Galaxy Note 10+? But there was one major problem with the Note 10+. The phone was out of reach to many with a price tag of Rs 80,000.

Samsung fans have been relentlessly asking for a premium mid-range Galaxy Note smartphone and now their wish has finally been granted. The South Korean major has just released the Galaxy Note 10 Lite. I have been using it for the past week and have to say the Galaxy Note 10 Lite appears to be a solid choice if you can’t afford the Galaxy Note 10 or Galaxy Note 10+.

The phone is sleek, modern and sophisticated. And yes, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite does come with the S Pen. In fact, it is very hard to overlook the Galaxy Note 10 Lite, considering it starts at Rs 38,999.

Here’s my review of the Galaxy Note 10 Lite.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review: Design and display

From a design perspective, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite is very much close to the Galaxy Note 10+ in size, but there are certain differences between the two devices. The big change here from the Galaxy Note 10+ is the obvious lack of premium glass design. The Galaxy Note 10 Lite has a plastic back, though the phone feels solid and well made. My review unit came with the Aura Glow finish, which reflects all the colours of the rainbow depending on how the light hits the glass back.

Another difference between this smartphone and the Galaxy Note 10+ is the presence of a 3.5mm headphone jack. Then, of course, there’s a new square-shaped camera module in the top right corner on the back. It comes as no surprise to see the Note10 Lite has the signature S Pen, which is neatly tucked in the body, to the opposite corner.

Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite price in India, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review, Galaxy Note 10 Lite launch in India, Galaxy Note 10 Lite specs The Galaxy Note 10 Lite has a massive 6.7-inch FHD+ display. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Make no mistake, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite looks and feels like a premium smartphone. This is definitely a two-handed device. And there are bezels. But don’t worry too much. The 6.7-inch Full HD+ AMOLED Plus Infinity-O display is big enough, featuring a centered front-facing 32MP camera. That means its 1080p display is a step below the Quad HD+ screen on the Galaxy Note 10+. The screen on the Galaxy Note 10 Lite isn’t curved either, but I prefer flat displays.

Anyway, I found the Galaxy Note 10 Lite’s screen just fine. Expect rich colours and wide viewing angles, something we expect from a premium Samsung Galaxy smartphone. When watching the trailer of No Time To Die, I could spot wrinkles on Daniel Craig’s face. The phone has a fingerprint sensor built right into the display. The sensor doesn’t feel smooth, but it works most of the time.

The Galaxy Note 10 Lite’s Infinity-O display is big enough, featuring a centered front-facing 32MP camera. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review: S Pen

As you might expect, the S Pen continues to be the heart and soul of the Galaxy Note smartphone. And I am not going to start a new debate on whether you need the S Pen or not. All I know is that those who are considering the Galaxy Note 10 Lite are the ones who already understand the usefulness of the S Pen.

Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite price in India, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review, Galaxy Note 10 Lite launch in India, Galaxy Note 10 Lite specs The S Pen turns the Galaxy Note 10 Lite into a notepad. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

So, the S Pen works just as you expect. It turns the 6.7-inch Galaxy Note 10 Lite into a notepad. I particularly liked the Screen-off Memo feature. Well, you don’t need to unlock your phone and open the Notes app to jot down a quick note on the device. Just remove the S Pen while the phone is asleep, and start jotting down the notes with Screen-off Memo. However, it misses some features that are exclusive to the Galaxy Note 10+. For instance, you can’t use the S Pen for zooming when taking pictures.

Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite price in India, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review, Galaxy Note 10 Lite launch in India, Galaxy Note 10 Lite specs Perhaps the highlight of the Galaxy Note 10 Lite is the S Pen. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review: Performance

The Galaxy Note 10 Lite runs Samsung’s One user interface on top of Android 10, which is the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system. The user interface is clean, though I didn’t get the logic behind the duplication of apps. Do I really need two App Stores, or two browsers?

Speaking of performance, I was kind of satisfied. The phone is powered by an Exynos 9810 chipset (it’s a 10nm 64-bit Octa-core processor), and I was able to run the most popular apps (Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Prime Video, and Spotify, among others) without any issues. This phone also handled a game like Call of Duty. All in all, be it running games, switching between apps or loading apps like Chrome or Facebook, the Note 10 Lite is a smooth performer.

The phone’s specs are decent enough. My review unit had 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. You can add more storage, too. A model with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage is also available.

Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite price in India, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review, Galaxy Note 10 Lite launch in India, Galaxy Note 10 Lite specs The Galaxy Note 10 Lite comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review: Camera

The Galaxy Note 10 Lite gets three cameras on the back — a 12MP ultra-wide, a 12MP wide-angle and a 12MP telephoto. The Galaxy Note 10 Lite takes reasonably good shots. The phone excelled in all kinds of lights, and while it’s low-light mode isn’t quite as good as the Pixel 3 XL or Huawei P20 Pro, it is still not bad at all.

Samsung has added a 2x optical zoom, which is not a big deal for some, but I do use optical zoom a lot. The 32MP front-facing held well. I got Instagram-worthy shots. Video capture on the Galaxy Note 10 Lite isn’t as bad as I was initially expecting. Samsung’s stock camera app is okay, though it isn’t as polished as Apple’s camera app on the iPhone.

Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite price in India, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review, Galaxy Note 10 Lite launch in India, Galaxy Note 10 Lite specs Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite camera sample. (Image resized for web)

 

Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite price in India, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review, Galaxy Note 10 Lite launch in India, Galaxy Note 10 Lite specs Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite camera sample. (Image resized for web Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite price in India, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review, Galaxy Note 10 Lite launch in India, Galaxy Note 10 Lite specs Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite camera sample. (Image resized for web Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite price in India, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review, Galaxy Note 10 Lite launch in India, Galaxy Note 10 Lite specs Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite camera sample. (Image resized for web Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite price in India, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review, Galaxy Note 10 Lite launch in India, Galaxy Note 10 Lite specs Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite camera sample. (Image resized for web Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite price in India, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review, Galaxy Note 10 Lite launch in India, Galaxy Note 10 Lite specs Here’s a selfie on the Galaxy Note 10 Lite. (Image resized for web)

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review: Battery

One thing I liked the most about the Galaxy Note 10 Lite is its battery life. With a 4500mAh capacity, the Note 10 Lite is one of the most long-lasting smartphones in the premium mid-range segment. I will be honest with you I didn’t have to charge the phone for two days on a single charge, which is insane. I can assure you that the phone will last a full workday. Fast charging is available (thanks to the included 25-watt charger), though wireless charging is missing as the phone does not have a glass back.

Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite price in India, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review, Galaxy Note 10 Lite launch in India, Galaxy Note 10 Lite specs The Galaxy Note 10 Lite has a plastic back, though the phone feels solid and well made. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review: Conclusion

Is the Galaxy Note 10 Lite a flagship smartphone or a premium mid-range smartphone? Well, that’s not an important question. What is important to me is that a phone like the Galaxy Note 10 Lite never existed before in this price range. It might not be as powerful as the Galaxy Note 10+, but it’s an achievement to see a device like the Galaxy Note 10 Lite that tries to create a perfect balance between super-premium and affordability.

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