[First Cut] Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite: Samsung’s Sally into OnePlus land

Sammy gets into proper budget flagship mode

by: - Last updated on: January 28th, 2020

It might have had its share of devices in the Rs 25,000-35,000 segment but Samsung has never really tried its hand at getting into the budget flagship segment inhabited most notably by OnePlus. Well, that has changed with the arrival of the Galaxy S10 Lite. The device is perhaps the first out and out flagship-level phone from Samsung that is squarely in OnePlus territory.

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Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite: Not quite LIKE the S10

Do not get fooled by the name though – it looks nothing like the S10, which looked far more premium with its glass back (the one on its lite avatar feels plasticky), and which had cameras on a straight strip rather in a rectangular enclosure on the back. It is a little on the large size but surprisingly slim (8.1 mm) and relatively light (186 grams) for a phone which packs a large 4500 mAh battery.

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Its most notable feature is its brilliant and rather large 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus full HD display, which dominates the front (a tiny punch hole notch apart) and compensates for a shiny, smudge picking back. Yes, it does sport a sort of gradient finish with light reflecting in patterns but it is more likely to be kept covered as it attracts dust and fingerprints very easily. We got the Crystal Blue unit (there are also Crystal Black and Crystal White options) and dust was accumulating around the rectangular camera enclosure which juts out from the back within seconds.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite: Camera magic promised

The cameras, incidentally are what Samsung is highlighting the most in this device. The Galaxy S10 Lite comes with a triple camera set up in the back – a 48-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and a 5-megapixel macro sensor. Given Samsung’s excellent cameras of late, we can expect some very good images and videos from them, but the brand itself has focused on what it calls its Super Steady OIS feature which it claims mimics the performance of a camera actually placed on a gimbal, and is superior to conventional OIS.

There’s also live focus (bokeh) mode in videos and three microphones with zoom in microphone capability to focus on certain sounds. There is also a 32-megapixel selfie camera on the device, showing that Samsung has finally come to the selfie party on its flagships in a big way. If all these deliver a decent performance, we can see the YouTubing and vlogging crowd just loving this phone.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite: Yes, it has a Qualcomm processor…and a killer price

The chances of its delivering a superb performance in other regards are very good indeed. This is the first phone we have in India to be powered by a high-end Qualcomm processor in a while (most Samsung flagships in India run on the Exynos chip) – the Galaxy S10 Lite runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and comes with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, which is expandable to 512 GB.

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That 4500 mAh battery we mentioned earlier comes with support for fast charging with a 45W charger, although even the 25W one in the box will charge it very briskly indeed. Round that off with Android 10 topped with Samsung’s much improved One UI interface, support for Samsung Pay and its super secure Knox system and you have one very well rounded device, although some might quibble about the absence of a 3.5 mm audio jack, and might point out that the Snapdragon 855 has since been superseded by the 855+ and indeed, the soon to arrive 865. 

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But what cannot be denied is that the S10 Lite, notwithstanding its somewhat distant relationship with the Galaxy S10 itself, is a formidable proposition at its price of Rs 39,999. And is capable of rattling the OnePlus cage. Just to what extent it does so will be revealed in our detailed review and comparison. Stay tuned.

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