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Review

Galaxy Note 10 Lite First Impressions: Samsung takes on OnePlus 7T, iPhone XR

The Galaxy Note 10 Lite is Samsung's attempt to make a comeback in the premium segment. Here is a look at how it aims to compete with OnePlus 7T and iPhone XR.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite 2

Photo: Dharmik Patel


Last night at the Galaxy Unpacked event in San Francisco, Samsung launched three new flagship smartphones. The Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra are the ultimate flagships in the Android domain right now. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is a new device altogether, while Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ succeed Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+. The missing piece at the event was the successor to Samsung Galaxy S10e. Last year, the Korean company launched Galaxy S10e as a compact and affordable flagship smartphone. At CES 2020, the company introduced two new models – Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite. These two models can be seen as building on the product segment started by the Galaxy S10e.


For Samsung, the Galaxy Note series has always demonstrated its ability to push engineering and productive user experience. With the Galaxy Note 10 Lite, the company is trying to bring that experience down to a more affordable price point. This is important because Samsung is losing share in the Indian smartphone. At the end of fourth quarter, the Korean company dropped to the fourth place in the country. The Korean company is also losing market share in the premium smartphone segment. With the Lite models, the company is making a comeback in the segment. We have already taken a good look at the Galaxy S10 Lite, and now we have the Galaxy Note 10 Lite as well.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite: Design and Display

The Galaxy Note 10 Lite is an amalgamation of two design languages. The back of the device has a glasstic finish (which is a mixture of glass and plastic). The front is reminiscent of the regular Galaxy Note 10 lineup. It means you get a hole punch cutout that is at the center of the display. The punch hole on the Note 10 Lite looks smaller than the one seen on the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+. The chassis is metal with a Bixby/power button and volume rocker on the right side. The left side is home to the SIM card tray while the top only has a microphone. At the bottom, you will find the headphone jack, USB Type-C port for charging, speaker grille and holding slot for S Pen.

At the front, there is a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution of 2400×1080 pixels. It supports HDR and Always On mode, but lacks the visual delight of the Quad HD+ display seen on the Galaxy Note 10 series. The display has always been contentious in the smartphone market. In our full review, we will take a closer look at whether you lose out with a display that has lower resolution. In our initial time with the device, we found the display to be true to its Samsung heritage. It is crisp, vibrant and outputs colors with natural depth. It can also get very bright under direct sunlight. Since it is AMOLED, you also get deeper blacks.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite: Hardware

The Galaxy Note 10 Lite, as the name implies, is a lighter version of the flagship device. So, you see some compromises in the hardware department. For instance, the 7nm Exynos 9825 is replaced by the 10nm Exynos 9810. This is a generation old flagship processor. There is 128GB standard storage and customers can choose between 6GB or 8GB of RAM. Our review unit comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage. It also supports expandable storage but uses a secondary SIM slot. Samsung has made a choice here and I think it might be working in its favor.

The Galaxy Note 10 Lite cannot beat the OnePlus 7T in performance, but it has got a camera to win this fight. There is 12-megapixel main camera, which I am assuming will have a great performance in the imaging department. It is paired with a second 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera and another 12-megapixel telephoto camera. This already seems to be a promising camera setup and we will take an in-depth look at its performance in our upcoming full review. We are interested in looking at whether camera performance alone can win this battle for best premium smartphone in India.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite: Initial Impressions

Samsung may look like its losing its mojo in the smartphone market. Its decline from being smartphone market leader to number three in India does not come as a surprise. However, if one company can fight back then it is Samsung. With Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Samsung is definitely fighting back in this competitive market. Priced starting at Rs 38,999, Samsung seems to have priced the Galaxy Note 10 Lite really well. The big question is whether it is enough to compete with the OnePlus 7T and Apple iPhone XR. Stay tuned to our review to find the answer to this question.

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  • Published Date: February 12, 2020 5:12 PM IST


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