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Samsung might launch the Galaxy S10 Lite, Note 10 Lite at CES 2020. But does it make sense?

Samsung is expected to launch Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite at CES 2020 next month. But, does it make sense to launch a Lite version of its last year’s flagship smartphones ahead of the Galaxy S20?

Samsung is expected to launch Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite at CES 2020 next month. But, does it make sense to launch a Lite version of its last year’s flagship smartphones ahead of the Galaxy S20?
Samsung is expected to launch Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite at CES 2020 next month. But, does it make sense to launch a Lite version of its last year’s flagship smartphones ahead of the Galaxy S20? (REUTERS)

Samsung is expected to launch a bunch of new smartphones in the year 2020. We already know that the company will launch its next generation flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S11 (or should we say Galaxy S20), in February next year. But even before that, it is expected to launch two new smartphones - Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite.

While Galaxy S10 Lite will be a trickled-down version of the Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 10 Lite would be the 'Lite' version of the Galaxy Note 10 that was launched back in August this year. Both the smartphones are expected to make a debut alongside devices from Samsung's C-Lab Inside Program at CES 2020 in Las Vegas.

Galaxy S10 Lite rumoured specs

Let's talk about Galaxy S10 Lite first. Reports in the past couple of months have detailed what we should be expecting from this one. To give you a brief, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite is expected to come with a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a punch-hole camera design in the front and a triple camera setup at the back. It is expected to be powered by Qualcomm's old Snapdragon 855 processor that is coupled with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage space.

In terms of camera, the smartphone is likely to feature a 32MP selfie camera in the front and a 48MP + 12MP + 5MP camera setup at the back. It is expected to run on Android 10 and be backed by a 4,370mAh battery that supports 45W fast charging.

Galaxy Note 10 Lite rumoured specs

Now, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite.

The phone was expected to be launched in December this year. But now it is expected to launch in Las Vegas next month. The Galaxy Note 10 Lite might feature support for S-Pen (no shocker there!) and come with a 6.7-inch full HD+ AMOLED display on the front along with a punch-hole display. It is likely to have Samsung's Exynos 9810 chipset, which is coupled with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage space. For your reference, Exynos 9810 also powered Samsung's Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 smartphones.

As far as the camera is concerned, just like Galaxy S10 Lite, Note 10 Lite is likely to come with a 32MP selfie camera and a 12MP + 12MP + 12MP triple rear camera set. It is expected to run on Android 10 and be backed by a 4,500mAh battery that supports 25W fast charging.

Does it make sense?

Now that we have cleared the air about what rumours have to say for the two smartphones, it's time that we focus on the most important question - does it even make sense for Samsung to launch these smartphones in 2020?

Well, the answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no.

First of all, it is important to understand what the 'Lite' version of a smartphone is intended for. Lite version of a smartphone, which in this case are two smartphones - Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10, are aimed to give users an experience that is somewhat similar to the flagship device at a much lower price.

In simpler words, these smartphones are aimed to give a premium experience at the price of a mid-budget smartphone. It is somewhat similar to what Google did with Pixel 3a.

With Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite Samsung is trying to do something similar.

However, it makes little sense for Samsung to launch these mid-range smartphones in January 2020, close to the launch of its Galaxy S11 (or Galaxy S20) series smartphones. The reason for our argument is - a dated hardware coupled with the confusing launch timeline.

Galaxy S10 is available in two processor variants -- one with Exynos 9820 and the other with Snapdragon 855. Similar to S10, Note 10 is powered by Exynos 9825 and Snapdragon 855 processors. Galaxy S11 (or S20) is likely to be powered by Snapdragon 855 processor. If rumoured specs are correct, launching a smartphone with dated processors, especially when a newer Snapdragon 855+ processor is available, would confuse potential buyers. And launching the Galaxy S11 the following month won't exactly aid the situation.

People looking to buy a mid-budget smartphone would be flooded with options. Should they buy S10e? Or should they opt for S10 Lite? Or should they buy the Galaxy S20 instead?

While having a bounty of options is usually a good thing, in this case it is unlikely to help the company (or the buyers). The case with Note 10 Lite is going to be the same.

If Samsung wants to offer users a premium experience at a lower price, it should try doing what Apple did with the iPhone XR, that is, reducing the price of its last year's smartphone while launching its new flagship series. If not, perhaps it could try pacing its smartphone launches better.