Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite: a good smartphone causes confusion

After the success of the Galaxy S10 series, Samsung has also released the Galaxy S10 Lite. That’s quite strange, because this Lite smartphone is more expensive than the normal S10 and comes just before the introduction of the Galaxy S20 series. In this Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite review we put the confusing smartphone on the rack.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

Recommended retail price € 649
Colors Black, white, blue
OS Android 10 (One UI)
Screen 6.7 inch oled (2400 x 1080)
Processor 2.8 Ghz octacore (Snapdragon 855)
Storage 128GB (expandable)
Battery 4,500 mAh
Camera 48, 12 and 5 megapixels (rear), 32 megapixels (front)
Connectivity 4G (LTE), Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi, GPS, NFC
Format 16.3 x 7.6 x 0.8 cm
Weight 186 grams
Other Fingerprint scanner behind screen
Website 7 Score 70 Score: 70

  • Pros
  • Long battery life
  • Relatively light and handy design
  • Powerful hardware
  • Nice, big screen
  • Negatives
  • No wireless charging
  • No headphone connection
  • Confusing smartphone (strategy)
  • Not waterproof and dustproof
  • Plastic is cheap and scratches

Although the name suggests otherwise, the Galaxy S10 Lite looks little like the older S10 models. The design is more reminiscent of a mixture of the Galaxy Note 10 series and Samsung’s midrange devices. That produces a strange smartphone.


The Galaxy S10 Lite looks luxurious at first sight. The screen fills almost the entire front, with a small hole in the middle for the selfie camera. The back looks colorful or – in my case – unobtrusive black, with a large module with three cameras at the top left, a flash and the text Super Steady OIS. The camera module protrudes somewhat and already contains scratches after a week of use.

The rest of the back is made of plastic and that creates mixed feelings. The material scratches (too!) Quickly, feels cheap and attracts – just like glass – fingerprints and dust. On the other hand, the plastic housing makes the 6.7-inch Galaxy S10 Lite relatively light – 186 grams. Certainly if you know that there is a large 4500 mAh battery in the device. For comparison: the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max with 6.5-inch screen and 3500 mAh battery is made of glass and weighs 226 grams. The S10 Lite holds better and feels less present in your pocket. A nice case solves the disadvantages, but again influences the weight and user comfort.

Another disadvantage of a plastic smartphone is that it is not water and dust resistant. This also applies to the Galaxy S10 Lite, and considering its selling price I find that a bad flaw. Almost all competing smartphones are resistant to sand and a fall in the toilet bowl or swimming pool.

No wireless charging and headphone port

The Galaxy S10 Lite cannot charge wirelessly. Although not everyone will miss this feature, it is a striking cut. Almost all smartphones in this price range can be charged wirelessly, and the 349-euro Xiaomi Mi 9 can do it, for example. Also strange is the lack of a 3.5 mm headphone connection. Something with a lack of space, says Samsung. I personally do not believe that. The Galaxy S10 series and also the new Galaxy Note 10 Lite, for example, do have a headphone port.

Screen: large and beautiful

As mentioned earlier, the screen of the S10 Lite is 6.7-inch in size. That is considerable. You cannot operate the screen with one hand. At least not as standard. A one-handed mode is hidden in the software, which once activated can reduce the screen to a handy (sorry) format. A very handy (again sorry) feature that comes in handy regularly.

The screen quality is – as we are used to from Samsung – very good. The OLED panel from our own factory offers beautiful colors, a large contrast and shows a sharp full HD resolution. I personally like the fact that the display has “flat” sides. The S10 and Note 10 series use screens with curved sides, but I’m not a fan of that.

A more objective improvement is the fingerprint scanner. It is behind the screen, just like in the S10 and Note 10. Those devices use an ultrasonic scanner, while the S10 Lite has an optical scanner. After having used all three smartphones, I can say that the scanner of the S10 Lite works more reliable and faster in all situations. The scanner is also considerably better than the optical scanner in the Galaxy A50, a device from last year. Please note that when you attach a screen protector to the display, the scanner probably no longer works (properly).


Samsung may have skimped on the appearance of the S10 Lite, you hardly notice it under the hood. The smartphone runs on a Snapdragon 855 processor, one of the fastest chipsets of 2019. Independent benchmarks indicate that the performance of the S10 Lite is identical on all fronts to the Exynos processor included in the S10. Fine but at the same time logical, because the devices are almost equally expensive.

Just like the S10, the Lite version has a generous 8 GB memory and 128 GB storage space. About 106 GB of the internal storage memory is available. If this is not enough for you, you can insert a micro SD card of 1 TB maximum in the smartphone.

Battery and charging

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite stands out for its large battery of 4500 mAh. That is considerably larger than the Galaxy S10 (3400 mAh) and S10 Plus (4100 mAh), which makes sense because these devices have a smaller display. But the 6.7-inch S10 Lite also beats the 6.8-inch Note 10 Plus (4300 mAh), with the full-HD screen also consuming less power than the qhd display of the other phones. I was therefore very curious about the battery life of the smartphone. Fortunately, the S10 Lite does not disappoint. With – for me – normal use the battery lasts for a day and a half without any problems. If you look at your phone less, you don’t have to take a charger until the second night.

As mentioned before, wireless charging is not possible. The included USB-C plug eases that pain a bit because the charging goes nice and fast. With a capacity of 25W, the large battery charges in half an hour from 0 to around 50 percent. Full charging takes about eighty minutes. The plug is more powerful than that of the S10 (15W). However, the S10 can charge wirelessly.

How useful is a macro camera?

The 32 megapixel selfiecamera in the screen delivers good pictures, if you keep the phone still. When moving, your selfies are quickly blurred or the exposure goes wrong.

There are three cameras on the back of the Galaxy S10 Lite. In addition to a primary camera, these are a wide-angle lens and a macro camera. The latter stands out because the S10 and Note 10 series have a zoom camera. The usefulness of the zoom camera is limited, so I was curious if the macro camera will come in handy more often.

After walking around with the S10 Lite for a week, I don’t think so. The macro camera is a nice addition if you like to photograph objects up close, but I wonder how many people do that. Moreover, the macro lens has its limitations. So he only does it with enough (day) light and the correct distance, and yet the images are sometimes just not completely sharp. The lower resolution of 5 megapixels means that your macro photos on your monitor or TV look less sharp than a regular photo. Your close-ups are not suitable for canvas prints.

The regular camera is not identical to that of the S10 and Note 10, if you think so. The resolution is considerably higher: 48 versus 12 megapixels. Because the S10 Lite uses a quad-bayer technique as standard and fuses four pixels into one, you still have a 12 megapixel photo in practice. The quality is generally good, as you would expect from an expensive smartphone. In the dark, the S10 Lite makes up – just like the S10 and Note 10 – against Google’s Pixel phones, new iPhones and especially the Huawei P30 Pro.

The wide-angle lens works properly and is perfectly usable due to the 12-megapixel resolution. The photos are more colorful than with the normal camera, which makes them look a little less realistic but often looks nicer. Preferably use the camera in a wide landscape to prevent a fishbowl effect.

An important feature of the Galaxy S10 Lite is its Super Steady OIS movie mode. This software trick keeps the image straight and sharp, even if you run, cycle or other antics that normally make your video jerky. And yes, it really works. During the past week I ran some laps with my dog ​​and with the Super Steady OIS mode on, the videos are considerably more stable than in normal film mode. Disadvantages: you have to activate the Super Steady OIS mode yourself every time before you start filming and the color reproduction is less accurate than with the normal video mode. Nevertheless, a handy feature that I would like to see on more smartphones.


Samsung provides the Galaxy S10 Lite with Android 10, the most recent version at the time of publication. Samsung’s new One UI 2.0 shell lies over the Google software. This software shell visually differs from the standard Android experience but is well-arranged and pleasant to use. Samsung has built several functions in One UI that are not included in the standard Android software. Consider clicking twice on the start button to reduce the screen considerably, so that you can operate the smartphone with one hand.

Striking is the lack of DeX support, a feature that we know of similarly priced Galaxy smartphones. With DeX software on the Galaxy phone and a monitor, keyboard and mouse you can, as it were, use the computer. I don’t miss DeX, but you may think otherwise.

Update policy

As you would expect from an expensive Android smartphone, the Galaxy S10 Lite receives regular and long-term updates. Samsung promises security updates for at least two years and usually releases them monthly – in line with Google’s schedule. The device receives Android updates until at least January 2022, so you can count on two Android version updates in practice.

The one-handed mode

Conclusion: Want to buy Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite?

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite is a confusing smartphone. Not only because it comes much later than the S10 series and just before the S20 series, but mainly because of its price. 649 euros for a Lite phone is a lot of money, especially when you consider what features Samsung has omitted. Wireless charging, water and dust tightness, a 3.5 mm headphone port, DeX support and a luxury design: the S0 Lite does not have it, the comparably priced S10 does. And that device also has a nicer screen and practically the same hardware and software.

I therefore see two reasons for choosing the S10 Lite over the S10: the larger screen and the better battery life. However, by far the majority of doubters are better off with another S10 or Note 10 model, at least until the S10 Lite has dropped considerably in price. With the fierce competition and the S20 line coming up, that will probably not take long. The OnePlus 7 (T) Pro, Huawei P30 Pro and iPhone 11 are also interesting alternatives to the S10 Lite.


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