Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ vs. Note 10 Lite: Which should you buy?
Galaxy Note 10+(opens in new tab)
If you want a true flagship, the Galaxy Note 10+ is the way to go. The phone has a gorgeous design backed by powerful internal hardware, a stunning AMOLED display, all-day battery life with 45W wired charging and 15W wireless charging, and the S Pen stylus. There's also water resistance, stereo sound, four cameras at the back, and biometric authentication that works reliably.
Galaxy Note 10+
Galaxy Note 10 Lite(opens in new tab)
The Galaxy Note 10 Lite is a particularly interesting device because it aims to bring the best features from the Note 10 series at a much more affordable price point. You get the S Pen and a large battery, along with a high-res 32-megapixel front camera, robust internal hardware, and there's even a 3.5mm jack. If you're looking to save some cash, the Note 10 Lite may just be the device for you.
Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Just the basics
Samsung rolled out two variants of the Note 10 at launch — a standard Note 10 and a Note 10+ — and the manufacturer is now adding to the series with the Note 10 Lite. As the name suggests, the Note 10 Lite is targeted at the mid-range segment, designed to deliver key features from the Note 10 and Note 10+ to a wider audience. Let's see what the phone has to offer and if it makes sense to get your hands on one.
Need Samsung's latest? Get the Galaxy S20
This article was originally published in January 2020. Samsung launched the Galaxy S20 series a month after that, so if you're looking for the latest that Samsung has to offer, go through our extensive Galaxy S20 coverage.
The Galaxy Note 10+ is still a great phone in 2020, but if you're in the market for the latest and greatest, you'll want to consider the Galaxy S20 or S20+ (opens in new tab).
The Note 10 Lite delivers the best features from the Note 10+ for less
Above all else, what you need to know about the Note 10 Lite is that you're not missing out on the core experience of a Note device. You get a large 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display; there's the S Pen; the phone is powered by the same chipset that was in the Galaxy S9, and you get generous memory, internal storage, and a large battery. Heck, there's even a 3.5mm jack here, and you won't find that on the Note 10+.
What you are missing out on is the extras. As the Note 10 Lite is aimed at the mid-range segment, Samsung went with a plastic chassis, and there's no IP68 dust and water resistance, 15W wireless charging, or a Wi-Fi ax modem. Samsung has done a fantastic job retaining the essence of the Note 10+, but by offering a more mainstream design without the added features, it can sell the Note 10 Lite for less than half the price of the Note 10+.
That's a huge deal because it opens up the userbase for the Note series. The Note 10+ is now selling for $900, and that's just over double the cost of the Note 10 Lite. That's one of the reasons why companies like OnePlus have gained so much momentum over the last three years. For instance, the OnePlus 8 has incredible hardware for under $700, and while it may not have wireless charging or water resistance, the value on offer makes it one of the best deals today.
Samsung is looking to tap into that segment with the Note 10 Lite. The phone won't be launching in the U.S. at all; instead, Samsung is focusing its attention on the likes of India, China, and other global markets. However, you can pick up the global variant of the Note 10 Lite on Amazon for $445 (opens in new tab).
|Category||Samsung Galaxy Note 10+||Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite|
|Operating system||Android 10|
One UI 2.0
One UI 2.0
|Display||6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 3040x1440 (19.5:9)|
|6.7-inch Super AMOLED|
1 x 2.84GHz Kryo 485
3 x 2.41GHz Kryo 485
4 x 1.78GHz Kryo 485
4 x 2.70GHz Mongoose M3
4 x 1.70GHz Cortex A55
|GPU||Adreno 640||Mali-G72 MP18|
|RAM||12GB LPDDR4X||6GB/8GB LPDDR4X|
|MicroSD slot||Yes (Up to 1TB)||Yes (Up to 1TB)|
|Rear camera 1||12MP f/1.5-2.4, OIS|
|Rear camera 2||12MP, f/2.1, OIS|
telephoto 45° FoV
52mm telephoto, OIS
|Rear camera 3||16MP, f/2.2|
Wide-angle 123° FoV
|Rear camera 4||VGA f/1.4, 72° FoV||No|
|Front camera||10MP, f/2.2, 80° FoV|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi ax MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 LE|
NFC, AptX HD, A-GPS
|Wi-Fi ac MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS|
Fast charge (45W)
|Security||In-display fingerprint sensor||In-display fingerprint sensor|
|Colors||Aura Glow, Aura White, Aura Black, Aura Blue||Aura Black, Aura Glow, Aura Red|
|Dimensions||162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm|
|163.7 x 76.1 x 8.7mm|
You still get 8GB of RAM as standard and 128GB of storage, and the Note 10 Lite has a microSD slot that can hold a 1TB card. Of course, the Note 10+ pulls ahead when you look at features like 45W wired charging and 15W wireless charging, but when it comes to differentiating hardware features, the Note 10 Lite can keep up.
Overall, Samsung has done a decent job when it comes to the hardware side of things, particularly when you consider that the Note 10 Lite could end up being a battery monster thanks to the 4,500mAh battery and a Full HD panel.
On the software side of things, the Note 10 Lite runs Android 10 with One UI 2.0 out of the box. That's a big deal because Samsung hasn't been as proactive when it comes to updating its mid-range handsets as frequently as its flagships. It's great to see the Note 10 Lite feature the latest version of Android out of the box, as that makes it a well-rounded package.
The Note 10 Lite is a real bargain, and the Note 10+ has all the extras
The $1,000 price tag for "true" flagships like the Note 10+ is what led to an increase in value-driven models that deliver similar features at half the price. It took Samsung a while to understand that particular point, but the manufacturer is now on the right track with the Note 10 Lite.
Make no mistake here: it's great that Samsung can sell the Note 10 Lite for under $600 because it makes features like the S Pen much more accessible to a mainstream audience. That said, if you want a fully-featured device that you can take to the pool and charge wirelessly, you'll have to pick up the Note 10+.
What Samsung is doing here is offer a choice; you can save a lot of cash and get the Note 10 Lite if you just want the S Pen. But if you need the extras, there's always the Note 10+. Whatever device you end up choosing, it's a win-win for Samsung.
All the features you care about
The Note 10+ has everything that you could ask for in a flagship, including a stunning QHD+ AMOLED screen, powerful internals, all-day battery life with 45W charging, and a gorgeous design that's sure to turn heads. If you want the absolute best, then the Note 10+ is the obvious choice here.
Just the basics
A great alternative at half the price
The Note 10 Lite is an interesting device because it makes the Note line that much more accessible to a wider audience. You're still getting the best features from the Note 10+ but at just half the cost. At the end of the day, that makes the Note 10 Lite a stellar offering in the mid-range segment.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.