Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs. Galaxy Note 10 Lite: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs. Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs. Galaxy Note 10 Lite (Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Galaxy S10 Lite

Galaxy S10 Lite

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The Galaxy S10 Lite eschews the metal-and-glass design for a plastic chassis, but it retains the high-end internals. The phone is powered by the same Snapdragon 855 chipset as the full-fledged S10 and S10+, and comes with a 48-megapixel camera, FHD+ AMOLED panel, as well as a 4,500mAh battery. The fundamentals are solid here, and with the phone now on sale, it is a fantastic value.

Galaxy S10 Lite

More for less

Snapdragon 855 chipset
Vibrant display
48MP camera/32MP selfie camera
4500mAh battery
Android 10 with One UI 2.0
Plastic design
No headphone jack

Galaxy Note 10 Lite

Galaxy Note 10 Lite

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The Note 10 Lite is an interesting device — on the outset, there's plenty to like here. You get the same S Pen that's found in the Note 10/10+, and there's even a 3.5mm jack. There's also a 4,500mAh battery, Android 10 out of the box, and a vibrant AMOLED panel. But Samsung decided to throw in a two-year-old Exynos 9810 chipset, marring what is an otherwise a stellar option.

Galaxy Note 10 Lite

Do everything

Headphone jack
S Pen
Vibrant display
Same 4500mAh battery
Android 10 with One UI 2.0
Not available officially in the U.S.
Older Exynos 9810 chipset

Earlier this year, Samsung went back to the drawing board and came up with the S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite, two phones that leverage flagship branding and marquee features from Samsung's premium lineup. Here's what you need to know about the Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite.

Before we get started ...

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

This article was originally published in February 2020. After that, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S20 series, so if you're looking for the latest that Samsung has to offer, take a look at our Galaxy S20 coverage.

If you don't want to pay flagship prices, the Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite are great options in the mid-range segment. But if you want the latest and greatest, you'll want to consider the Galaxy S20 or S20+ (opens in new tab).

The Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite have a lot in common, with a few key differences

Even with a single glance, it's easy to make out that the Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite share a lot of similarities. Both phones feature plastic backs and large batteries, and offer Samsung's latest UI out of the box. However, there are a few differences that make them stand out.

There are minor differences when it comes to hardware, but you're getting great value regardless of whatever phone you pick up.

Although both devices sport 6.7-inch Super AMOLED panels with a centered front camera cutout, the display on the Note 10 Lite is Super AMOLED while the S10 Lite gets a Super AMOLED Plus panel. We'll have to use both devices next to each other to get a better sense of just how much the displays differ, but for now what you need to know is that you're getting a vibrant FHD+ panel on either device.

Coming to the internal hardware, the Galaxy S10 Lite is powered by the Snapdragon 855 — just like last year's Galaxy S10 and S10+ — whereas the Note 10 Lite features the two-year-old Exynos 9810. That particular chipset was notable for causing thermal management and battery life issues on the Galaxy S9 two years ago, so it's unclear why Samsung is opting to use it on its latest mid-ranger when there are better alternatives available, like the Exynos 9820.

It is possible Samsung was looking to save on manufacturing costs by choosing to go with an older chipset. After all, the Note 10 Lite is aimed at Asian markets and isn't available officially in the U.S., so it makes sense for Samsung to go with an in-house solution, much like what it does on global variants of the Galaxy S20 series.

Elsewhere, both the S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite share the same 6GB/8GB memory configurations and 128GB of internal storage, and you'll find a microSD slot on either device. Both phones also feature 4,500mAh batteries with fast charging, and the FHD+ resolution combined with a large battery should deliver outstanding battery life.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite vs. Galaxy Note 10 Lite

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

It's all identical on the software front as well: both phones are running Android 10 with Samsung's latest One UI 2.0 out of the box. One UI 2.0 comes with a host of new features and refreshed visuals, and Samsung in general has come a long way in this area over the last 12 months.

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