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Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite Review: Is It Better Than OnePlus 7T And Realme X2 Pro?
The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite and the Note 10 Lite has spiced up the competition in the sub-40K price segment. Earlier consumers were mostly forced to invest in OnePlus and Realme ecosystem in the value flagship category as there was no worthy contender from the trusted Korean brand. The gap has now filled with the affordable Galaxy S10 and Note 10 handsets, which create some serious troubles for the Chinese smartphone manufacturers.
- Samsung’s Brand Value
- Vibrant Super AMOLED Panel
- Swift Performer, Thanks To SD855+8GB RAM
- Most Ergonomic 6.7” Smartphone
- Long-Lasting Battery Life
- Super-Steady OIS Mode Is Effective
- OneUI 2.0 Is Fluid And Feature-Rich
- Rival Devices Offer Better Features
- No Official IP-Rating
- Camera Struggles In Low-Light
- Zoom-in Feature Not Possible With Super-Steady OIS Mode
- Underwhelming Audio Speaker
- No 3.5mm Headphone Jack
The Galaxy S10 Lite has already impressed us with its display, battery and hardware performance, minus the fact that Samsung couldn't provide a 90Hz refresh rate panel even when it supplies them to OnePlus and Realme. Ouch. Nevertheless, the Galaxy S10 Lite is nowhere lagging behind the OnePlus 7T, Realme X2 Pro, and the Asus ROG Phone II in terms of real-life performance and the benchmark tests.
In this following article, we are going to focus on design, camera, and software performance. For a better understanding of the Galaxy S10 Lite's 6.67-inch FHD screen, battery life, gameplay and general performance, you can refer to this link.
Design: Lacks That Premium Touch But Feels Assuring
The Lite variants usually resemble their flagship counterparts; however, the Galaxy S10 Lite's design is inspired by the company's affordable handset- Galaxy M30 and the recently launched Galaxy A51 smartphone. If that's not enough to disappoint you, the smartphone also lacks the premium touch offered by the competition, i.e. the Realme X2 Master Edition, OnePlus 7T and the Asus ROG Phone II.
Instead of a metal-glass body, the Galaxy S10 Lite is made out of ‘Glastic' which is essentially a combination of glass and plastic. Samsung says that the combination makes the S10 Lite less prone to scratches and dents than handsets with metal-glass construction.
While we haven't put the handset to extreme durability tests, the Galaxy S10 Lite does feel assuring in hands. It is well-made and the design feels long-lasting.
No 3.5mm Headphone Jack And Water-Dust Protection
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite lacks the 3.5mm headphone jack. Moreover, Samsung hasn't offered an official IP rating for water-dust resistivity. OnePlus is often criticized for not offering the ingress protection on its devices and now Samsung joins the league.
Like the OnePlus, Samsung has also cited the same reason for skipping the IP ratings. As per the brand, the IP ratings would have increased the price significantly thus killing the whole concept of launching an affordable version of its premium product-lineup. Do you agree? Let us know in comments.
The Galaxy S10 Lite is the most ergonomic big-screen smartphone in its category. It's more comfortable to hold in hands than the OnePlus 7T, Realme X2 Pro and the super heavy Asus ROG Phone II. Despite packing a big 4,500mAh battery cell, the smartphone is unbelievably sleek. Also, the 6.67-inch display doesn't make the S10 Lite unfit for one-hand usage. This is by far the most ergonomic 6.67-inch smartphone in the market, period. The Galaxy S10 Lite is available in Prism White, Prism Black and Prism Blue colour variants.
Display: 6.67-inch Super AMOLED FHD+ Display
The Galaxy S10 Lite flaunts a 6.67-inch inch Super AMOLED screen with a Full-HD+ (1080x2400) resolution. The 1080p screen is vivid and brings alive the multimedia content with HDR10+ support. The tall aspect ratio of 20:9 ensures immersive viewing experience while streaming videos or playing games.
Despite a good AMOLED panel, the Galaxy S10 Lite's screen has two shortcomings. Its refresh rate is standard 60Hz, which now feels inferior and honestly dated when compared to the completion. Even a phone priced as low as Rs. 15,000, the Poco X2, offers a 120Hz refresh rate panel. You can read about the Galaxy S10 Lite's display performance in detail here.
Camera Performance: 48MP Primary Lens, 12MP Wide-Angle And 5MP Macro
The Galaxy S10 Lite is a good overall camera device in the sub-40K price category. The smartphone sports a triple-lens camera setup featuring a 48MP primary lens which is optically stabilized and works on F/2.0 aperture. It is accompanied by a 12MP wide-angle camera with an f/2.2 aperture and a 5MP macro sensor that works on a rather dark aperture of f/2.4. For selfies, the Galaxy S10 Lite flaunts a 32MP front-facing camera which also works on a darker f/2.2 aperture.
Super Steady OIS Mode Is Indeed The Highlight Feature
Samsung was not joking when the company mentioned that the ‘Super-Steady OIS' is the highlight feature of the S10 Lite's camera setup. When enabled, the camera's lens moves like a gimbal to stabilize the videos being recorded. In real-life, the stabilization is effective and delivers stable output. You can record stabilized handheld footage even while walking or running with the Galaxy S10 Lite.
The lenses' left-right movement cancellation seemed slightly more effective than the upwards-downwards movement cancellation. I compared the super-steady OIS with the Realme X2 Pro's software-driven stabilization. The Galaxy S10 Lite's footage is far more stabilized than the Realme X2 Pro's video footage.
The Galaxy S10 Lite also features the recently introduced ‘Zoom-in Mic' feature that lets you enhance the audio output by simply zooming in on the source while recording. Sadly, you cannot zoom-in while recording a video with super-steady OIS mode.
How’s The Image Quality?
And while the super-steady OIS mode is very effective, the Galaxy S10 Lite's camera performance, in general, is nothing extraordinary. The 48MP primary sensor works on the tried and tested Sony IMX586 sensor that delivers crisp and vibrant pixel-binned shots in daylight. The images show accurate colors and good dynamic range. Some level of posterized effect can be seen when you zoom-in the shots; however, it's no surprise with JPEGS.
The dedicated 48MP camera mode is hidden in the aspect ratio settings which is confusing. You need to enable the 3:4H to activate the 48MP camera mode. Sadly, you cannot capture full-screen 48MP shots on the S10 Lite. As expected, the 3:4 aspect ratio 48MP shots have better overall detailing and contrast levels than the 12MP pixel-binned shots. The camera's viewfinder shows some additional sharpness while composing a shot; however, the sharpness levels in the final results remain in check across the different image resolutions in daylight.
Low-Light Camera Performance
Samsung cameras start struggling in low-light and the Galaxy S10 Lite is no exception. The images shot with ‘Nightmode' show unnecessary sharpness, additional saturation and noise levels. The images shot in nightmode also have different color balance than the shots captured in standard mode.
The camera sensors struggle to counter light from unnatural sources. Some exposure control will help you compose decent shots on the Galaxy S10 Lite; however, it is still not the best bet in sub-40k price-segment for low-light photography. There's one positive side though. Due to an optically stabilized lens, the Galaxy S10 Lite captures less blurry shots in challenging lighting.
Wide-Angle Lens And macro Photography
The 12MP wide-angle lens with 123-degree FOV captures decent landscape shots. There's noticeable lens distortion but it can be countered to some extent by simply enabling ‘Ultra-wide lens correction' feature within the camera settings. As far as the macro photography is concerned, the 5MP sensor allows you to get as close as 4cm to the subject to help you capture some stunning macro shots. Sadly, you cannot shoot videos with the 5MP macro lens, which is a slight letdown. Vivo smartphones allow you to capture videos with the macro lens.
The Galaxy S10 Lite is an amazing day-to-day performer. It can run the most demanding jobs without breaking up a sweat. Even though the smartphone does not come equipped with the faster UFS 3.0 flash storage, it did not show any signs of a performance slowdown. Thanks to the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset and 8GB RAM, it smoothly ran multiple applications simultaneously and even played the heaviest game titles with ease.
As far as thermals are concerned, the Galaxy S10 Lite is quite good at keeping the temperature in check. The phone's back panel gets warm but only after 20-30 minutes of continues gameplay, which is normal. For audio, the phone offers a mono bottom-firing speaker unit which doesn't get very loud.
You have to use the headphones for an immersive audio experience and thankfully the Galaxy S10 Lite comes bundled with one in the package. These are not the best quality in-ear headphones but sound decent and serve the job well.
Overall, the Galaxy S10 Lite will not disappoint you with all your smartphone-related needs; however, the market offers faster and fluid handsets at lower prices, for instance, the OnePlus 7T, the Realme X2 Pro and the Asus ROG Phone II. We also ran some benchmarks to compare the Galaxy S10 Lite's performance with the competition. You can read more about the results here and below is a brief of the scores achieved by the Galaxy S10 Lite.
The Galaxy S10 Lite scored 461305 in Antutu, 5758 in 3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme OpenGL test and touched 9968 in PC Mark Work 2.0 Performance test. In the Geekbench Multi-Core test, the Galaxy S10 Lite scored 2769 beating rivals hands-down. The OnePlus 7T touched 2613 and the Realme X2 Pro scored 2591 in the same test. The Asus ROG Phone II lost the game by scoring 1975 in the test.
Software Performance: OneUI 2.0 Based On Android 10
The Galaxy S10 Lite runs on OneUI 2.0 based on Android 10 out-of-the-box. The new OneUI skin by Samsung is much refined and intuitive. It is mostly fluid and lag-free and is full of useful tweaks and features such as a built-in screen recorder, one-handed mode, secure folder, always-on display, etc.
There are plenty of customization functions in the OneUI 2.0 to help you change the look and feel of your device. Samsung also lets you customize the power key. You can customize the physical key, in Advanced Features > Side Key, to perform different operations.
The OneUI 2.0 seamlessly integrates most of the Android 10 features. These include the app's location permissions, notification management, system-wide dark mode, focus mode, digital well-being, etc. The ‘gestures' is one area where the OneUI 2.0 is still not as good as the stock Android and iOS devices; especially while performing the back operation. Thankfully, the Galaxy S10 Lite has a flat-screen which made things manageable.
Battery Life: 4,500mAh Battery Can Last A Day With Moderate Usage
Coming onto the battery life, the Galaxy S10 Lite can easily last for more than 24 hours on one full charge. With heavy usage involving continues the gameplay and video playback, the 4,500 mAh battery cell will still last you 12 to 13 hours. The phone ships with a 25W fast-charger in the box, which can fully charge the battery (from 0%) in about 80 minutes. It is fast as per Samsung's charging standards and considering the battery size; however, it still does not come close to Realme and OnePlus' fast charging solutions. The Galaxy S10 Lite does not offer support for wireless charging.
The Galaxy S10 Lite is for consumers who were desperately waiting for a non-Chinese value flagship smartphone. The price is slightly on the higher side but the extra 5K-10K you are paying is for the overall brand value and trust. As a smartphone, the Galaxy S10 Lite is a powerhouse. It is a swift performer and offers a long-lasting battery life. The super-steady OIS mode is indeed effective and will come handy for videographers.
However, the smartphone lags behind the competition in several departments. For instance, the conventional 60Hz refresh rate screen is a deal breaker in the year 2020 when a smartphone like the Poco X2 priced as low as Rs. 15,000 offers a 120Hz refresh rate panel.
The Galaxy S10 Lite also cannot match the premium in-hand feel of the OnePlus 7T, Realme X2 Pro Master Edition and the Asus ROG Phone II. For gamers, the ROG Phone II is a steal at Rs. 37,999. The Master Edition Realme X2 Pro offers 256GB internal memory, 12GB RAM, premium design and a 90Hz refresh rate panel at Rs. 34,999 making it a better overall deal.
Having said that, the Galaxy S10 Lite is only for those consumers who are still skeptic about OnePlus and Realme devices. For someone who cares more about the latest features and performance than the brand value, the Realme X2 Pro, OnePlus 7T, and the Asus ROG Phone II (gamers-centric) are better overall deals.