Samsung is testing a new turf. The South Korean company has come up with trimmed-down versions of its two flagship phones — the S10+ and the Note10+ — to ward off competition from the Chinese.
While the S10 Lite (Rs 39,999) is simply a powerful mid-range phone, like the OnePlus 7T (Rs 34,999) and the Realme X2 Pro (Rs 31,999), the Note10 Lite (Rs 38,999) has the creative edge with the S-Pen stylus. Here’s how it competes and differs.
The Note10 Lite has a slightly smaller 6.7-inch screen compared to the 6.8-inch screen on the Note 10+, but both phones have a full-screen display with a punch-hole camera and look almost the same. However, Samsung has replaced the Note10’s glass back with a “glasstic” — glass, but mostly plastic — back on the Note10 Lite. Irrespective of the cost cutting, the Note10 Lite is audaciously flashy in its “Aura Glow” colour variant. The silver back reflects light to create an RGB effect, which is unique, ostentatious, yet classy.
The screen packs Samsung’s proprietary Super AMOLED display with a medium-sharp resolution of 1080 x 2400 — the same as the One Plus 7T. But Samsung has cleverly retained the 3.5mm headphones jack and thrown in a pair of wired headphones — which is a score on the OnePlus 7T.
The Note10 Lite’s Exynos 9810 processor is not future-proof and certainly not as stellar as OnePlus 7T’s Snapdragon 855 in terms of peak performance. Despite this, the Note10 Lite with 6GB RAM and 128 GB storage is smooth in day-to-day performance. It can also handle heavy mobile games such as PUBG on best graphics settings.
But the Note10 Lite’s low screen refresh rate of 60Hz is a noticeable bummer while gaming — an area where the OnePlus 7T outperforms with its 90Hz refresh rate.
In terms of battery power, however, the Note Lite outdoes the OnePlus 7T despite having a bigger screen, its 4,500mAh battery easily lasting 24 hours.
The S-Pen is where the Note10 Lite tips the balance in its favour. This Bluetooth-enabled stylus acts as a camera trigger (in its most primitive use) and as a tool to write, sketch, doodle and create delightful GIFs and multimedia messages. In the Android market where phones tend to clone each other far too often, the S-Pen is a key differentiator.
After the design and the S-Pen, the Note10 Lite’s rear camera is its next strong suit. It’s a trio of 12MP lenses, one each for wide, ultra-wide and telephoto photography. The primary wide lens of f/1.7 aperture ensures accurate colour reproduction and good saturation levels. And the quality is exceptional in night mode. The shots are well-lit and sharp, and match the results of the formidable Google Pixel 3a.
The ultra-wide lens of f/2.4 aperture is handy but far from perfect. It does a comparable job in natural light but not so much after the sun goes down. The telephoto lens with a 2x optical zoom brings faraway subjects close, while retaining most of the details. As a package, the Note10 Lite’s rear camera is perhaps the best in the price range.
The 32MP selfie camera is barely average. It does a decent job outdoors but indoor shots are over-exposed even after you disable the default “beauty” filter.
The OnePlus 7T and the Realme X2 Pro are better multi-tasking and gaming devices. The Note10 Lite’s strength lies in its creativity. Buy the phone for its beautiful design, quirky S-Pen functions, a good rear camera, a smooth Samsung One UI 2 interface and excellent battery.