With the Galaxy S series, Samsung has typically played in a more ultra-premium space, competing with Apple’s top-end products. But in 2020, the company is adopting a new strategy, it is introducing ‘Lite’ variants for flagships in the S and Note series. With the Galaxy S10 Lite, there’s another refreshing change. This one comes with the Snapdragon 855 processor in India, instead of an Exynos chipset that we typically see on the high-end Galaxy phones.
In India, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite is priced at Rs 39,999, which makes it a direct competitor for mid-premium phones like the popular OnePlus 7, 7T and Oppo Reno series. When I first heard the price, I was intrigued, given this makes a very appealing proposition, especially if one were to consider all the specifications and features that Samsung was offering. But does that work cohesively to deliver a good package? Here’s what I thought after reviewing the phone.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite specifications: 6.7-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor | 8GB RAM+128GB storage (expandable to 512GB) | 48MP+12MP ultra-wide and 5MP macro camera | 32MP selfie camera | 4500 mAh battery | Android 10 with One UI
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite price in India: Rs 39,999
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite: The design is different
There’s one noticeable change and that would be the ‘Glasstic’ body of the Galaxy S10 Lite. This is a mix of glass and plastic, so it is not as premium as the S10 series, which has a glass body, but then it also makes the phone lighter and more durable, which I appreciate, given the 6.7-inch display is a little big for my comfort zone.
The Prism Blue version doesn’t look cheap at all though it gets covered in smudges easily. The rectangular camera module does just out, but the device still manages to sit flat on a surface. Samsung has removed the headphone jack on the Galaxy S10 Lite, but the Note 10 Lite continues with it.
For the display, Samsung has gone for a flat panel, rather than the dual-curved screens we typically see on the high-end S series. This is a full HD+ resolution AMOLED screen, and not QHD+ resolution, which is another downgrade. But this does not hamper the visual experience. The S10 Lite continues with the punch-hole display and the front camera is bang in the centre.
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The screen is excellent on this phone, and this really comes as no surprise. It is vibrant with sharp colours. But I did find myself ramping up the brightness, when I watched an entire season of Sabrina, because at times the auto-brightness level was not to my satisfaction. For daily use, you can keep brightness to a minimum. The Galaxy S10 Lite also sports an in-display fingerprint sensor, which is fairly accurate and unlocks the device quickly.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite: Camera Talk
Samsung has emphasizsed the camera a lot on this phone. It claims the main 48MP camera has Super Steady OIS thanks to the hardware design, where the camera sensor is placed inside a gimbal-like structure, which will ensure steady videos and excellent photos, no matter the lighting conditions.
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First, there’s no doubt that the video camera is excellent and does deliver steady videos even when the subject is moving around too much or your hand is shaking. The Super Steady OIS is on by default given this is a hardware driven feature.
The regular shots with the camera are also detailed with reasonable colour accuracy and there is minimal noise. But there is a tendency to overexpose the edges, especially when clicking photos of bright coloured flowers, etc. Even the night mode is not bad, and adds brightness to photos and ensures that the object remains sharp and in focus. Still there is noise in some of the photos at the edges, especially when taking selfies in the night mode and this could do with some improvement.
The ultra-wide mode also works well, and there’s no drastic drop in quality. The angle does appear a bit odd. You can also record videos in the ultra-wide mode as well. The Macro mode delivered crisp results as well, and managed to keep details intact when you get close to the subject. The selfie camera is good. The Live Focus, however, could be better when it comes to edge detection given this is a premium phone.
My only problem with the camera would be the user interface, which needs some cleaning up. Figuring out some of the modes is not easy, and Samsung should perhaps not keep the Night Mode hidden away. Also there were a few instances when the camera just did not respond, and kept telling me that it could not zoom in that particular mode — I was not even trying to zoom into an object.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite: Performance, Battery
The Galaxy S10 Lite has a Snapdragon 855 processor, packed with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The phone runs Android 10 based on Samsung OneUI. Day-to-day performance is not an issue on the device, be it for gaming or just browsing through social media and it was not expected either given the specifications it packs.
Yes, this might not be the newer 855+ chipset, but the 855 is just as capable. In objective benchmark tests like Antutu, it scores above 460,000 which puts it just below the OnePlus 7 series. But the biggest plus point here is the 4500 mAh battery, which will easily last two days even with heavy duty usage.
The phone comes with a 25W fast charger and it can support up to 45 fast-charging. You can get the phone to 100 per cent just over an hour, even half a day’s battery life is good enough to get through the day.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite: Verdict
When the Galaxy S10 Lite launched, it did look like a promising phone. I was not sure the camera would be up to the claims. And yes, it will compete with the existing OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7T and others given the price. But after having used it, I can say the camera is quite impressive. It does need some software tweaks to make it better. The overall performance is what one expects in a premium phone and the battery life is excellent. Given all of this, the price is just right for the S10 Lite.
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