[Face Off] Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs OnePlus 7T

Unsettling the Never Settler?

by: - Last updated on: February 18th, 2020

How does it compare with the OnePlus 7T?

That was the question that flashed across the minds of most people when Samsung announced the price of the Galaxy S10 Lite. At Rs 39,999, the S10 Lite was Samsung’s first serious contender in the budget flagship segment and went right up against the current leader in the segment, the OnePlus 7T, which had been launched at Rs 37,999 (although it has been available at lower prices from time to time). Both phones come with some serious hardware muscle. And will tempt anyone who is looking for a flagship device under Rs 40,000. But which of the two is the one (or the OnePlus, pun intended) for you? Let us try to find out.

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Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs OnePlus 7T: Plus One to the Design and build

A year ago, if you had told us that a OnePlus device would put a Galaxy S device in the shade, we would have laughed at you. But that is exactly what has happened. The OnePlus 7T, with its frosted matte-finished glass back with a distinct spherical camera unit, completely overshadows the “glastic” back of the Galaxy S10 Lite. The S10 Lite is smart looking at best but actually seems to follow Samsung’s new design template that is being seen across a number of its devices. The OnePlus 7T, on the other hand, looks distinct and thanks to that amazing finish on the back, very premium indeed. The punch hole notch on the display of the S10 Lite does look better than the drop notch on the OnePlus 7T, but even that cannot overturn the massive design edge the OnePlus 7T has,

Winner: OnePlus 7T

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs OnePlus 7T: You do NOT beat a Samsung display

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Both phones sport full HD+ displays, with the 7T having a 6.55-inch AMOLED one and the S10 Lite having a Super AMOLED Plus 6.7-inch one. Yes, the OnePlus 7T comes with a 90 Hz refresh rate for smoother graphics and scrolling, but there’s no denying that in most cases, the Galaxy S10 Lite’s display looks much brighter and more colorful than the one on the 7T. The S10 Lite’s punch hole notch is also a lot less intrusive than the drop notch on the OnePlus 7T. Samsung continues to rule when it comes to displays.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs OnePlus 7T: A Plus processor wins hardware

Both phones come with flagship-level processors and RAM and storage aplenty. But when it comes to sheer on paper horsepower, the OnePlus 7T holds a clear edge. It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor which is considered superior to the Snapdragon 855 which powers the Galaxy 10 Lite. And while the Galaxy S10 Lite comes only with an 8 GB/ 128 GB RAM and storage variant, the 7T has 8 GB/ 128 GB and 8 GB / 256 GB variants. The S10 Lite has expandable memory (up to a massive 1 TB), though, which the OnePlus 7T does not, but all said and done, we think the 7T has a spec edge here.

Winner: OnePlus 7T

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs OnePlus 7T: All even on those gaming, multi-tasking odds

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With that sort of hardware, it is hardly surprising that both the S10 Lite and the 7T handle pretty much lord over the gaming zone. Yes, the 7T has a display with a higher refresh rate and a processor that is supposed to be slightly superior, but we could not spot any major difference in the performances of the two phones when it came to playing PUBG and Call of Duty or running multiple applications. The S10 Lite’s slightly bigger display and brighter color reproduction might sway some but we think the OnePlus 7T counters that with better sound from its dual speakers. Those who are into specs might prefer the OnePlus 7T but in terms of sheer performance, we could not spot a difference and are calling this a tie.

Winner: Tie

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs OnePlus 7T: When two triple cameras collide

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This is a very close battle. Both phones have 48-megapixel main sensors with OIS, but while the S10 Lite comes with a real small f/2.0 aperture, the 7T has a larger f/1.6 aperture. And both sensors are backed by two secondary cameras, although of different functionalities. The OnePlus 7T has a 12-megapixel telephoto lens and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens, while the Samsung S10 Lite has a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a 5-megapixel macro lens.

The specs might be with the OnePlus but in actual performance, the two cameras were running each other very close. We have a feeling some people might prefer the slightly more saturated results from the 7T, but the S10 Lite gave us more realistic colors (yes, we know that sounds very un-Samsung, but we are not complaining). In terms of pure variety, we think the OnePlus 7T scores as it combines both a decent telephoto as well as a good wide-angle sensor with its main one. The S10 Lite’s wide-angle sensor is an excellent one, but its macro sensor is a minor let down as it has no autofocus – interestingly, the OnePlus 7T delivers decent macros without a dedicated lens for it, which might incline some towards it.

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Potentially, we cannot deny that the OnePlus 7T has more to offer from its sensors as it brings telephoto, macro, high resolution and ultra zoom to the table, while the S10 Lite misses out on the telephoto. However, in terms of general performance, we just felt that the S10 Lite was more consistent in stills. The Samsung also scores in video, where it was a clear step ahead of the OnePlus 7T. The difference is not a massive one, though.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs OnePlus 7T: Sorting out those selfies

Which brings us to the selfie cameras. The Galaxy S10 Lite sports a 32-megapixel snapper in the punch hole in the display while the OnePlus 7T has a 16 megapixel one in the drop notch. On paper, that should make this a massacre, but in actual practice, we found both cameras taking decent selfies. The S10 Lite edges it on slightly more detail, though just as in the case of the rear cameras, we feel some people might like the slightly more “pleasant” (saturated hues) colors of the OnePlus 7T. It is another one for the S10 Lite, but again the difference between the two is not a killer.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs OnePlus 7T: One Android, or OnePlus Android?

A year ago, this would have been a cakewalk for OnePlus with its clean Oxygen UI as compared to the cluttered UI on Samsung devices. Samsung has, however, upped its software game significantly in recent months and the result is that S10 Lite actually offers a relatively uncluttered Android experience. Some might even prefer the additional features it brings to the table as compared to the almost stripped clean version of Android that OnePus features, especially when it comes to the cameras. All said and done, however, we are going with the OnePlus 7T here, not just because of the much cleaner Android UI but also the brand’s excellent update record.

Winner: OnePlus 7T

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs OnePlus 7T: Working out generally

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In terms of general functionality, both phones match each other. Not surprising when you consider the kind of hardware they pack in. We faced no problems in routine tasks like web browsing, social networking and messaging. Some might like the bigger display of the S10 Lite but we think the better sound quality on the OnePlus 7T swings the pendulum towards it. We also felt that call handling was slightly better on the OnePlus, which is a little surprising, given Samsung’s high standards in the past. The OnePlus 7T’s in-display fingerprint sensor and face unlock also work faster than the one on the Samsung phone

Winner: OnePlus 7T

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs OnePlus 7T: The Lite is a battery heavyweight

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The S10 Lite comes with a much bigger battery as compared to the OnePlus 7T – 4500 mAh as against 3800 mAh. And although the S10 Lite has a slightly bigger display, it still comfortably outlasts the OnePlus 7T in terms of battery life. The S10 Lite easily got through a day and a half of normal usage, while the OnePlus 7T struggled to get through a day. Both phones charge reasonably fast as well – the OnePlus 7T comes with a 30W charger with support for Warp Charge 30T while the Galaxy S10 Lite comes with a 25W charger, and can even support a 45W charger if need be. Both phones get charged in a little over an hour. But all things said and done, the S10 Lite wins this one easily.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs OnePlus 7T: Price Points

Which finally brings us to the final part of the battle – the price. The Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite comes for Rs 39,999, while the OnePlus 7T starts at Rs 37,999 (it is actually available at Rs 34,999 at the time of writing), both for the 8 GB/ 128 GB variants. The edge here clearly is with the OnePlus 7T – you can actually get the 8 GB/ 256 GB variant of the OnePlus 7T for Rs 39,999 (Rs 37,999 at the time of writing).

In sheer price terms, the OnePlus 7T would seem to enjoy a clear edge, but then the irony is that while the OnePlus 7T is being perceived by many as being expensive for a OnePlus, the Galaxy S10 Lite is seen as being reasonably priced for a Samsung Galaxy S series phone. In the end, it is really going to boil down to perception, and there will be those who would prefer the “big brand” assurance that comes with a Samsung (although OnePlus is an established brand now in its own right). We are going to give this one to the OnePlus 7T simply in sheer Rupee terms, but we know that there are many who would consider the pricing of the S10 Lite to be very good indeed.

Winner: OnePlus 7T

Which to buy: Never Settler or the Lite-r Ten?

So which of the two should you be going for? In ten rounds of comparisons, we found the OnePlus 7T winning five, the Galaxy S10 Lite winning four and one going level. But the S10 Lite’s wins are in areas that some might find very crucial – the cameras, the display, and the battery being among them. That said, the OnePlus 7T loses out the camera round narrowly and the spec crowd might get impressed by its newer processor and the 90 Hz refresh rate display, while stock Android fans would flock to its Oxygen UI. And the phones match each other in gaming and heavy multitasking, the main reason why many people go for flagships devices.

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In fact the more we look at it, the more the choice is going to boil down to brand preference. The Galaxy S series has been the darling of the Android flagship crowd for quite a while now, and many who flocked to the budget flagship segment did so because they could not afford a Galaxy S device. That, however, has changed with the Galaxy S10 Lite. So we can see Samsung flagship fans getting very tempted by the S10 Lite. However, if we were to go purely by hardware muscle and software update record, the OnePlus 7T remains a formidable proposition. The very fact that the two brands have got devices that are competing with each other at a similar price point shows you how far they have come.

If it is just specs and a snazzy design that you are chasing, the OnePlus 7T is a great device. But if you aspire to them Samsung flagship feels, complete with a stunning display and great battery life, the Galaxy S10 Lite wins. Go ahead and take your pick. We can guarantee you one thing: neither option is likely to disappoint you.

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