Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

Why is Samsung launching the Galaxy S10 Lite when the Galaxy S20 is coming?

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After a spate of online leaks, Samsung has officially announced a duo of “Lite” devices—the Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite. Just like “Lite” branded labels on seemingly lesser versions of our favourite food and beverages, this new duo certainly doesn’t fall short on the spec sheets. While I can understand the introduction of the Galaxy Note 10 Lite, I’m slightly baffled by the Galaxy S10 Lite, seeing that the Galaxy S10e exists to cater to shallower pockets and with the impending arrival of the next generation Galaxy S20 in February, the timing is unusual.

But first, let’s look at the specs. The Galaxy S10 Lite isn’t too different aesthetically from the Galaxy S10e aside from the conspicuous iPhone 11 Pro/Pixel 4-type, rectangular triple-camera array on the back.

The front is a large 6.7-inch Full HD+ (2400×1080 @ 394ppi) flat Super AMOLED Plus Infinity-O display with a punch-hole camera located in the centre.

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In terms of biometric authentication, the device will support on-screen fingerprint scanning and face recognition.

Under the hood, the device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, instead of Samsung’s own Exynos 9820. In the memory stakes, it features either 6GB or 8GB of RAM coupled with 128GB of storage, upgradable via microSD (up to 1TB).

The Galaxy S10 Lite boasts a huge 4,500mAh battery that fast-charges via USB-C. According to SoyaCincau, a 25W Super Fast Charging power brick is included in the box, which means it charges even faster than the flagship Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+.

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Where it goes one up on the Galaxy S10e is the camera system. It packs a new triple-camera setup with a 48MP f/2.0 main, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, and a 5MP f/2.4 macro shooter. You lose telephoto capabilities and the dual-aperture shooter on the Galaxy S10 but gain the new Super Steady OIS feature on the main camera. On the front, there’s a strong 32MP f/2.2 selfie-shooter.

The Galaxy S10 Lite runs Android 10 with One UI 2.0 out-of-the-box.

A couple of details that are missing: IP-rated dust- and water-resistance, 3.5mm headphone jack and connectivity (is it 5G?). Questions left unanswered until CES 2020.

Specs at a glance

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite Specs
Credit: Samsung

So, why the Galaxy S10 Lite, why now?

Perhaps I’m asking the wrong question. I think I can understand whys. It’s for someone who wants more for less. For things that matter at least. Like a bigger display. A bigger battery. More cameras. More megapixels. Same flagship-level performance. But for much cheaper.

Samsung: OK, DONE.

But the big question is: Why now? You see, the Galaxy S10 series is at the very tail end of its shelf-life, with the coming of the next generation Galaxy S20 unpacking on 11 February (yes, it’s confirmed). Hence, it’s a little late, even if it’s to squeeze the last bits of series from the end of the tube.

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Could this mean that the Galaxy S20 series would be delayed somehow? Or is Samsung simply clearing its component inventory? *shrug*

Regardless, it looks like a pretty strong product, if priced correctly.

Pricing and availability

The Galaxy S10 Lite is available in Prism White, Prism Black and Prism Blue. The device will be on display at CES 2020, which runs from 7-10 January 2020 at the Samsung booths (#15006) in the Las Vegas Convention Centre.

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