Samsung has been on a launch spree in India over the past couple of weeks. The South Korean brand has released three phones – the Galaxy A51, the Galaxy S10 Lite, and the Note 10 Lite. Each of these devices comes after a best-selling predecessor, and each has immense potential to do well. But of the three, it is the Note 10 Lite that could be special. As special as the iPhone XR and 11 were for Apple.
The reason for the comparison is simple: before the iPhone XR, Apple had a phase when all its new iPhones were inevitably priced on the higher side. Even the iPhone XR’s price was initially on the high side, but a few price cuts made it a bestseller, so much so that it was one of the highest selling phones in the world. This was followed by the iPhone 11 which actually started at a lower price than the iPhone XR’s launch price and is now following its bestselling footsteps. The important thing about both devices, however, was that they both provided significantly lower-priced options to the existing generation of iPhones. And this was because even though they were both lower specced than the iPhones released alongside them, they still offered a very good and more importantly a premium experience. The sort you would associate with an iPhone.
That is exactly what the Galaxy Note 10 Lite could be for the Note series.
The similarities are uncanny. The Galaxy Note series has for the most part been seen as a premium device. Samsung had come out with a more affordable Neo version of the device in 2014, but that had been a one-off. By and large, the Note has been a premium device – the Note 10 starts at around Rs 69,999. The Note 10 Lite, with its starting price of Rs 39,999, is a much more affordable option.
Some will say, well, why the Note 10 Lite and not the S10 Lite, which carries a similarly (relatively) affordable price tag? Well, the next Note is almost half a year away, so the Note 10 Lite will still be seen as part of the latest Note series, while the S10 Lite is likely to be associated more with the S10, which will soon be considered an old flagship, thanks to the impending launch of the Galaxy S20. But the real strength of the Note 10 Lite is that a person using a Note 10 Lite is closer to the essence of the Note series. Yes, it does have its hardware and design compromises, just like the iPhone XR and 11 did, but it retains the essence of the Note experience – the large display, big battery, and the S-Pen. And that’s exactly what the iPhone XR and 11 had done – given users an experience that was close to that of a new iPhone, and not being at all like a “cheap” version of an expensive product.
Of course, right now all this is just speculation. The device will have to deliver on its potential and promise (stay tuned for our first impressions and review), and there is the little matter of marketing the device itself. For, the Note 10 Lite will be overshadowed by the hype around the S20 which is expected to be revealed later this month by Samsung.
But if it turns in the performance – and our initial experience seems to indicate it might – and is supported by Samsung’s formidable marketing, we feel the Note 10 Lite could be to the Korean brand what the iPhone XR and 11 were to its worthy rival in Cupertino.