Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite Review - Affordable Luxury
The Galaxy S10 Lite features a flagship-grade processor, a large and vibrant screen, one of the largest batteries ever shoehorned into a Galaxy S-series smartphone and an excellent rear camera with some cutting edge tech thrown in for good measure at a decent price tag. An excellent Galaxy S-series phone for non-power users looking to get in on what Samsung’s flagship phones have to offer.
Previously, we took a closer look at the build quality, design and specifications of the Galaxy S10 Lite in our preview feature. This time, we’re peeking under the hood to see how the Galaxy S10 Lite fares after putting it through its paces.
Galaxy S10 Lite Specifications and Performance
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite comes with a bevy of specifications that bely its Lite designation. Rather than going for half measures, Samsung has kitted out the S10 Lite with a flagship-grade Snapdragon 855 processor paired with an Adreno 640 GPU, 8GB RAM and 128GB of expandable storage.
Running under the hood is the latest Android 10 with their current One UI 2.0 user interface that has Bixby Home support as well as modest refinements that include a dark mode as well as Edge panel shortcuts.
Unfortunately, it lacks support for Samsung DeX, their in-house means of allowing you access to your phone via an instance of your smartphone display onscreen, presumably as a differentiation measure against its pricier siblings so hooking it up to a PC or monitor via a USB cable won’t fire up DeX mode.
Seeing as it’s a flagship-grade SoC, its performance is predictably pleasing. When subjected to benchmarks, the Galaxy S10 Lite did not disappoint. In Antutu 3D’s benchmark, it got an impressive score of 459,772 points while in GeekBench 5.0, it got a single-core score of 741 and a multi-core score of 2,575 points.
In PCMark’s Work 2.0 benchmark, it got a score of 10,113 points while in 3D Mark’s SlingShot Extreme OpenGL ES 3.1 test it got 5,720 points while in the Sling Shot Extreme – Vulkan benchmark it got 4,979 points.
In field tests under a normal usage scenario, the Galaxy S10 Lite did not disappoint with swift, speedy performance for movies and gaming alike. It handled Call of Duty Mobile at high settings without keeling over for two hours of non-stop gaming and managed over two dozen open windows in Chrome and several hours worth of work on Google Docs without any lag whatsoever. The provided under-display fingerprint reader worked as expected with pleasingly swift fingerprint recognition.
The provided Super AMOLED Infinity-O display did not disappoint either with lusciously rich colour rendition and beautifully deep blacks which makes watching gaming and especially Netflix on it a real treat and it’s primed to do so at Full HD with Widevine L1 support baked in.
Perhaps the only disappointment here is that the phone only has a mono speaker at the base rather than the stereo speaker setups of its full-fledged S10 siblings. Even so, it’s still a darned lot better than many other competing brand flagships in the sub RM2.5K range in terms of audio quality and it’s easily able to max out the volume without distortion or tearing.
As far as performance goes, it’s every bit the match of its pricier siblings at an even lower price point and the omission of stereo speakers and DeX mode aren’t dealbreakers, especially for mainstream users who don’t need to full breadth and power that the other pricier S10 series phones offer.
Galaxy S10 Lite Camera
The rear triple camera array is a step up from even the other Galaxy S10 series phones as it uses a new tech that seems to combine both EIS and an enhanced form of OIS called Super Steady OIS.
Unlike prior examples of camera optical image stabilisation that primarily stabilise the lens with the rest flopping around to keep up, the Super Steady OIS seen in the Galaxy S10 Lite places the entirety of the primary 48-MP camera – lens, sensor and all – into a gyroscopically stabilised housing that compensates for hand jitter and movement. Combined with the large 48-MP sensor, you’ll get more stable shots and video that is a grade better than that even on the existing S10 series phones. It’s a tall boast but one that the S10 Lite’s rear camera array achieves in part.
The rear triple camera array is built around a primary 48-MP F/2.0 camera with their Super Steady OIS tech, a secondary 12-MP F/2.2 camera with a 123-degree ultra wide angle lens and a tertiary 5-MP F/2.4 macro camera for close-up shots. Worth nothing here is that the Super Steady OIS feature is only present on the primary 48-MP camera, while its ultra wide and macro camera lack that feature.
Getting about the camera is via the usual One UI 2.0 camera interface with options for using the primary camera and wide angle mode along with a pro mode for stills though there is no such mode for videos. Like other Samsung phones of recent vintage, you also get a Life Focus mode for stills and a Live Focus Video for videos.
In keeping with other triple and quad camera array setups, the Galaxy S10 Lite’s three rear cameras each have a particular function with the primary 48-MP intended for otherwise general purpose work and the wide angle as well as the macro camera for specific scenarios. You’ll have to manually toggle each mode via the camera menus.
Videos can be captured in up to 4K though you need steady hands as capturing video this crisp needs a dedicated external gimbal or tripod and lacks image stabilisation. If you want to take advantage of image stabilisation, you’ll need to dial it down to 1080P for it to work.
The primary 48-MP camera with its Super Steady OIS is an impressive accomplishment indeed. Snaps taken with the primary camera offer great colours and good retention of detail under well lit conditions.
The camera is also capable excellent low light shots in most dimly lit and starlit settings that you’d encounter in urban locales with great colours though with some amount of softness in the details if you peer too close.
Captured videos with its Super Steady OIS mode on are exceptional indeed at 1080P with the phone able to render silky smooth footage akin to a gimbal when walking at a modestly brisk pace while retaining pretty good performance in dim light on account of the relatively large sensor and bright aperture.
Of note is the inclusion of its zoom in mic feature that takes advantage of a trio of built-in mikes to selectively focus the sound when you zoom in on a subject. On that part, the Galaxy S10 Lite does a fair job for the fact that it lacks any actual optical zoom and still renders up decent stills and snaps at 2X zoom with the capability to max it out to 8X though at that level of magnification all you get is grainy footage.
The macro camera works best under daylight conditions with decent snaps though it doesn’t work all too well under low light with grainy images along with finicky distance detection for it to activate.
The 12-MP wide angle camera is capable of delivering some great stills, especially for nightscapes straight off the cuff though the lack of Ultra Steady OIS and the middling aperture means that it doesn’t fare all too well capturing videos in dim light with dimmer results than what you’d get with the primary 48-MP camera.
The front fixed focus selfie camera has the usual bevy of beautification modes including Live Focus and Live Focus Video modes with generally pleasing results. In lieu of an actual LED flash, the phone temporarily turns the display white as an ersatz flash.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite Battery Life, Price and Conclusion
Samsung’s latest affordable Galaxy S series phone packs the largest battery out of the entire S10 series at 4,500mAh with 25W fast charging support via a USB Type-C port. While we lacked the provided official charger to go with it, we used a fast charger from a Galaxy S10 and managed to get a 50% charge in about an hour from dead zero which is par for the course.
With a modest use-case scenario, the Galaxy S10 Lite can last shy of two days which we managed with an hour or two of voice calls, a combination of either data or wifi on for most of the working day, a couple of hours worth of Netflix and gaming for both days as well as Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat on all day. With full on heavy use editing videos, maxing out screen brightness and generally snapping a ton of videos and snaps in succession, the S10 Lite comfortably lasts a full day. This is more than enough for even the most demanding users.
At RM2,699, the Galaxy S10 Lite is priced on the lower end of premium flagships and you’re getting plenty for what you pay for with a top of the line Snapdragon 855 processor, a large and vibrant Super AMOLED display, a large battery and above all the first implementation of Samsung’s spanking new Super Steady OIS technology.
However, this is tempered by the lack of DeX mode, an audio jack and the omission of a stereo speaker, all of which are negligible concerns for bargain hunters. The Galaxy S10e is also priced around this range though it has a smaller display, less endurance on account of a smaller battery and slightly older camera tech though its size may endear it to users with smaller paws.
If you have been teetering on the fence on getting in on the Samsung Galaxy experience, the Galaxy S10 Lite is a delightful and viable way to do so.
What we liked Large and vibrant display, excellent specifications, great rear camera with ability for steady video, excellent battery life
What we didn’t Only has a mono speaker, no DeX mode, no 3.5mm audio jack
We say The Galaxy S10 Lite features a flagship-grade processor, a large and vibrant screen, one of the largest batteries ever shoehorned into a Galaxy S-series smartphone and an excellent rear camera with some cutting edge tech thrown in for good measure at a decent price tag. An excellent Galaxy S-series phone for non-power users looking to get in on what Samsung’s flagship phones have to offer.
Display 6.7-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED Plus Infinity-O display
Processor Snapdragon 855
OS Android 10 w/ One UI 2.0
Memory 8GB RAM/ 128GB +microSD card
Camera 48-MP F/2.0 w/ Ultra Steady OIS + 12-MP ultra wide angle + 5-MP macro (rear) | 32-MP F/2.0 (front)
Battery 4,500mAh w/ 25W fast charging
Size/Weight 162.5 x 75.6 x 8.1mm / 186g
Review unit courtesy of Samsung Malaysia. To preorder your Galaxy S10 Lite swing by their official page here https://samsung.com/my/offer/mobile/pre-order-the-new-samsung-galaxy/