Hands on: Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite Review

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite is packed with some decent specs, plenty of megapixels and a design that looks a little like the leaks we've seen for the upcoming Galaxy S11.

First Impressions

Launching this S10 phone so soon before the S11 (or S20 or whatever Samsung ends up calling its next flagship) feels like an odd move. Would this not have worked better as the Galaxy S11 Lite? Still, it's got a big screen, a design Samsung fans will appreciate and hopefully a price that makes it a contender for best mid-range phone.

Key Specifications

  • 6.7-inch FHD OLED
  • Snapdragon 855
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 4500mAh battery
  • 48MP main camera
  • Super Steady OIS

Launching a new version of the Galaxy S10 a month before the Samsung Galaxy S11 likely arrives seems an odd move – but here we are. Say hello to the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite.

if you’ve been hankering for an S10 series device with a massive screen and a price-tag that I expect will be lower than the Samsung Galaxy S10e then the S10 Lite might be for you. It’s packed with some decent specs, plenty of megapixels and a design that looks a little like the leaks we’ve seen for the upcoming Galaxy S11.

Still, as good as this phone looks I can’t quite figure out why it wasn’t held back a bit and given a Galaxy S11 Lite moniker instead. Will this phone feel outdated in a month when the next Samsung phones hit?

Like the Galaxy Note 10 Lite, which this mirrors very closely in terms of design, the S10 Lite has a large 6.7-inch display and a build that feels somewhat plasticky. That big screen is important as it marks a clear distinction between this and Samsung’s other ‘cheaper’ S10 device – the S10e.

Interestingly, the S10 Lite doesn’t look at all like the other S10s. it far more resembles the leaks we’ve seen of the S11 with a square camera cluster on the back and a small cutout in the middle of the OLED panel. There’s also no curvature to the display on the Lite, which is a move I actually prefer as it makes holding it a little easier.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite – Camera

Whereas the Note 10 Lite makes it statement through the S Pen, the S10 Lite instead has a few different camera quirks to set it out from the crowd. There are three cameras on the back: a main 48MP f/2.0 main with Super Steady OIS, a 5MP macro (great for close up shots) and 12MP ultrawide. This is a different setup to previous S10 phones – could it signal the addition of a dedicated macro sensor on the S11? There’s also a 32MP camera on the front for selfies.

I wasn’t able to get a true representation of camera quality during my short time with the device so those thoughts will have to wait for the full review.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite – Performance

Where the S10 Lite should outperform that Like moniker if with the performance. If you’re usually expecting these kinds of phones to stick with mid-range internals then Samsung has played against type. There’s a Snapdragon 855 at the heart, with 6/8GB RAM and 128GB of storage with microSD expandability.

A beefy 4500mAh sits inside too, which should lead to strong stamina when paired with the FHD display. That battery is actually larger than the cell you’ll find in the largest S10 Plus model.

It’s also running Android 10 with One UI 2, packs an optical fingerprint sensor under the screen and works with Samsung DeX.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite – Early verdict

Launching this S10 phone so soon before the S11 (or S20 or whatever Samsung ends up calling its next flagship) feels like an odd move. Would this not have worked better as the Galaxy S11 Lite? Still, it’s got a big screen, a design Samsung fans will appreciate and hopefully a price that makes it a contender for best mid-range phone.

A ’hands on review’ is our first impression of a product only - it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it’s like to use. We call these ‘hands on reviews’ to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don’t give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.