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(Pocket-lint) - With two new Lite versions joining the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note family, it's obvious that Samsung wants to appeal to a wider range of buyers with devices that are more affordable than the original models.

But, apart from the S Pen on the Note 10 Lite, what's the difference between these two new Samsung Galaxy handsets?


What's the same?

  • Same size display and resolution
  • Storage options
  • Battery and charging
  • Front camera and rear ultra-wide camera
  • Samsung One IU and Android 10

Before we get to the differences, let's just run through those things that aren't different.

Both push the cameras into a black unit the corner and the overall measurements are close - although the Note 10 Lite is a little heavier.

Both come with a 6.7-inch Infinity-O display at 2400 x 1080 pixels (394ppi) with the same selfie camera at 32-megapixels and some of the core specs like storage and the 4500mAh battery and charging are the same. Likewise, they will both off the same Samsung One UI sitting on Android 10. 

What's different?

Physical design 

  • Galaxy S10 Lite: 162.5 x 75.6 x 8.1mm, 186g
  • Galaxy Note 10 Lite: 163.7 x 76.1 x 8.7mm, 198g 

The Galaxy Note 10 Lite isn't that light at 198g; it's bigger than the S10 Lite in all dimensions and some of that's going to come down to having to accommodate the S Pen. As both these devices have the same size display, it's the S10 Lite that packages things in a little tighter, with smaller bezels.

When it comes to colours, the S10 Lite will come in Prism White, Prism Black and Prism Blue, while the Note 10 Lite will be Aura Glow, Aura Black and Aura Red, so the Note offers the more exciting colours. 

The display

  • Galaxy S10 Lite: 6.7in Super AMOLED Plus
  • Galaxy Note 10 Lite: 6.7in Super AMOLED 

While the resolutions are the same, these displays appear different in Samsung's details. What's the difference between AMOLED and AMOLED Plus? Samsung says that Super AMOLED Plus creates a more ergonomic design by using a flexible OLED, although it appears that both these display are flatter then the Galaxy S10 or Galaxy Note 10 models, with less curve around the edges. 

The Galaxy Note 10 Lite supports the S Pen - and that means that the display is able to detect and react to Samsung's stylus, making it a lot more versatile.

But one detail that we've spotted is that the Super AMOLED Plus of the Galaxy S10 Lite supports HDR10+, but there's no mention of that for the Note 10 Lite. That means the S10 Lite could have a better performing display.

Core hardware

  • Galaxy S10 Lite: 7nm octa core (2.8GHz + 2.4GHz + 1.7GHz)
  • Galaxy Note 10 Lite: 10nm octa core (2.7GHz + 1.7GHz) 

Samsung has confirmed that the Note 10 Lite will be powered by the Exynos 9810, and that the S10 Lite will run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 platform like the Galaxy A90 5G (although the S10 Lite isn't a 5G handset).

Indeed, Samsung may offer different hardware in different regions, something it has long done on its devices. There may also be differences in RAM to support this, with the UK getting the 8GB version, while the Note 10 Lite is listed as 6GB.

What does this all mean? It looks like the Note 10 Lite is using slightly older hardware than the Galaxy S10 Lite and it might mean that the Galaxy S10 Lite is the slightly better performer, or the device that looks more favourable to customers.

Different cameras

  • Galaxy S10 Lite: 48MP, 12MP, 5MP (main, ultra-wide, macro)
  • Galaxy Note 10 Lite: 12MP, 12MP, 12MP (main, ultra-wide, telephoto) 

The arrangement of cameras on the two devices is rather baffling because they head off in completely different directions. The only camera that's the same on both devices is the 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide. Otherwise the Note 10 Lite camera arrangement is similar with the original Note devices, with a 12-megapixel main and 12-megapixel zoom camera.

The Galaxy S10 Lite has a camera arrangement that's similar to the Galaxy A90 again, with a 48-megapixel main camera. This is supported by Super Steady OIS to remove shake. It then offers a 5-megapixel macro lens - something that the Note 10 Lite doesn't have at all. 

The lack of a dedicated zoom on the S10 Lite is probably rolled into the higher-resolution sensor, with Samsung wanting you to use digital zoom and that OIS to keep things sharp. Still, it's a very different set of cameras on these phones and it might be that the S10 Lite looks like the more advanced setup. 

The S Pen 

Of course, we can't talk about these two devices without mentioning the S Pen. The S Pen defines the Note series from Samsung, and in this case you get the Bluetooth Low Energy-equipped S Pen, giving you some remote control over your device. 

Naturally, it's a great experience for those wanting to input text, but with wider Air Command support, you'll be able to do a whole lot more, like innovative screen capture and interactions. Naturally, the Galaxy S10 Lite doesn't have any of these features. 



Looking at the specs, these phones are actually completely different. Different core hardware, different camera arrangement and a different experience. About the only thing that's the same is the word Lite in the name. 

At first glance the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite looks like the better device. We suspect the display will be better and that it will have more power on offer. The cameras might also give this phone the edge, but we'll have to test those to get a better idea of what's on offer. We'd also say that the Galaxy S10 Lite looks favourable against the Galaxy S10e - and priced at £579 it's cheaper than the S10e was at launch.

The Galaxy Note 10 Lite appeal is very much going to come down to price - and that's just £529. The Note 10 is expensive and this is basically giving you those S Pen functions at a more attractive price. If you're looking at these two handsets and you're not an S Pen fan already, then we suspect the Galaxy S10 Lite will be the better option.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 3 January 2020.