Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite first impressions: So far so good
The reason for launching a ‘Lite’ variant of one of their famed Galaxy Note series devices is obvious – to reach out to a wider audience and offer flagship features at a more affordable price. But does it hold its own?
Samsung, earlier this month, launched the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite alongside the Galaxy S10 Lite in India. Priced at ₹38,999 for the base variant (6GB RAM and 128GB storage), the Galaxy Note 10 Lite is the 'Lite' variant of the flagship Galaxy Note 10 that was launched last year for a starting price of ₹69,999.
The reason for launching a 'Lite' variant of one of their famed Galaxy Note series devices is obvious - to reach out to a wider audience and offer flagship features at a more affordable price.
But the question that everyone has been asking is - why not launch the lite versions with the main device at the time of launch? Why wait this long? (In case you have forgotten, Samsung also launched the Lite version of the Samsung Galaxy S10, priced at ₹39,999, alongside the Note 10 Lite). Also, does it make sense to launch the lite versions of older flagship devices when the launch of the Galaxy S20 is just around the corner?
While we have been looking for answers to these queries, we got our hands on the Note 10 Lite and here's what our first impressions were -
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite comes with a 6.7-inch full HD+ super AMOLED display with a centre-mounted Infinity-O cutout, which houses the 32-megapixel selfie camera. This screen size is slightly bigger than Galaxy Note 10's 6.3-inch display and slightly smaller than Galaxy Note 10+'s 6.8-inch screen.
It has a steel chassis and a shiny plastic back. This is one of the areas where Samsung has cut some corners to bring down the price. Despite the lack of a glass design, at least on the back, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite looks quite premium and it's virtually impossible for anyone to make out the difference between this and the Note 10 from a distance.
On moving closer to the Note you'll notice that back has a nice dual tone effect that reflects rainbow-esque hues at certain angles. The Galaxy Note 10 Lite is available in Aura Glow, Aura Black and Aura Red colour variants. Our device was the Aura Glow variant of the phone and admittedly it looks beautiful.
That said the back panel is a fingerprint magnet. You can easily see the smudges of your finger and even fabric (if one is touching it) on the back, which makes you want to clean it incessantly. Samsung ships a transparent silicone cover in the box and that should help keep the smartphone shiny and clean over the regular usage.
The Galaxy Note 10 Lite comes with a triple rear camera setup consisting of a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor, a 12-megapixel wide-angle sensor and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. This camera system is housed inside a rectangular cutout on the top left corner. What we like about this camera setup is that unlike other smartphones wherein the camera setup protrudes out from the surface adding to the overall width of the phone, the camera setup in the Galaxy Note 10 Lite smoothly blends in leaving almost no bumpy trace.
As far as the camera quality goes, the rear camera snaps good images in the indoor light conditions. The images are clear and the sensors do a nice job at preserving the depth and replicating the colours. The front camera too does a decent job. However, we will have to play with the camera more and will be talking about this further in our indepth review.
One of the best features of the Galaxy Note series is the S-Pen. And thankfully Samsung has made sure you get it in the Lite version. The Note 10 Lite comes with the S-Pen and you can do a whole bunch of really cool things with it - like click selfies at weird angles without tapping on the screen, take notes on the screen without opening any app. You can even create artwork in your free time with the S-Pen, which, in the time we have spent with it, found to be quite therapeutic. You get to doodle without pen and paper; it doesn't get better than this.
Under the hood, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite is powered by Samsung's Exynos 9810 chipset. It is the same processor that powers the company's Galaxy Note 9 and the Galaxy S9 series smartphones. This is another area where Samsung has cut costs. To know how well this works you will have to wait for our review.
The phone comes with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage space. You can also expand the storage space using a microSD card and can top it up to 1TB of storage space.
Despite running on a two-year-old processor, we did not spot a lag on the device yet. We'll see how it holds up over the next few days. Stay tuned for our detailed review.