Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review

GSMArena team, 10 Feb 2020.

User interface

The Galaxy Note10 Lite runs Android 10 out of the box and that's one key area where it might make more sense than getting a Note9 today - while both have this latest OS version now, you could probably expect major OS updates on the 10 Lite, which the 9 wouldn't get. Solid maybe.

Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review

On top of Android 10, there's Samsung's updated One UI 2, which brings minor touch-ups on the already universally liked (not disliked?) One UI introduced on the Galaxy S10. Few of the changes are actually One UI's own, but there are ones brought by Android 10. Perhaps most notably, apps will now have three levels of accessing your location - in the background, only when actively using them, or not at all.

Next up is the system-wide dark mode. While it was available in the original One UI, it was limited to the in-house apps, and you had to manually enable it in the third-party apps that had a dark theme. Now on Android 10 and One UI 2, you switch it in settings and it automagically works in apps that support it (not Maps though, not yet).

Gesture navigation is the other area where there are new bits. You get to pick between the One UI 2 set of actions or go back to the One UI 1 way of doing things. The new way is similar to the current native Android 10 approach with a swipe-in from the sides for 'Back' and swipe-up from the bottom for Home or task switcher. The old way is by swiping up from three separate areas on the bottom that do what the on-screen buttons before them used to do. If you can't be bothered with gestures, the conventional onscreen nav bar remains an option too. It's also the only option if you insist on having the ability to quickly switch between the two last used apps.

System-wide dark mode - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Gesture navigation - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Gesture navigation - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Gesture navigation - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Gesture navigation - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Gesture navigation - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review
System-wide dark mode • Gesture navigation

When it comes to biometrics, the Note10 Lite gives you two options - the fingerprint reader and face recognition. Recognizing your mug is only camera-based, so it's not overly secure, hence fingerprints will likely be used more. The sensor is an optical solution unlike the ultrasonic ones in the company's higher-end models, but it delivers a similar experience to those. As in, it's nowhere near a good, nearly-instant optical sensor found in, say, a OnePlus 7T. The less than ideal animations don't help with perceived speed, either. It's a usable reader, it's just not one we can praise.

Biometrics - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Biometrics - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Biometrics - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Biometrics - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review
Biometrics

Ah, it's a Note - there's an S Pen. It offers much the same features as on the Note9, but is missing some of the goodies introduced on the Note10, namely the gestures in the camera. Oh, well.

Other staples of S Pen functionality remain, however. Screen-off memo is available, letting you just pull out the stylus when the phone is in standby and go right ahead and write a note, which you can then pin to the always-on display or save for later reference.

When you pull out the S Pen with the phone unlocked, the Air command menu appears (though that's a setting that can be turned off, or set to create a note straight away). There are pre-set shortcuts here, which you can customize, and those can be either S-Pen features or shortcuts to apps.

S Pen settings - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Air actions - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Behavior upon removal - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review S Pen Remote - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Air command - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Screen off memo - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review
S Pen settings • Air actions • Behavior upon removal • S Pen Remote • Air command • Screen off memo

Advanced screenshot capture is another of the S Pen's unique claims to fame. Smart select allows you to take differently shaped screenshots, extract text from them, or pin them on the screen. Alternatively, you can create short GIF animations. Then there's Screen write that takes a fullscreen snap that you can write on with the full set of different pens and brushes (and then crop, if you will).

There are numerous other smaller use cases for the S-Pen as part of the Air view set of actions. For, example, you can hover over an image in the gallery for an enlarged preview, or over a calendar entry for more details. You can also scroll up and down by hovering the S-Pen over the edge of the screen.

Air view - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Air view - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Air view - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Air view - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review
Air view

The basics of the UI are the same as on any other Samsung rocking One UI 2 and very similar to One UI One ones. The shift of actionable UI elements towards the bottom for easier reach has been widely praised, and the iconography is quite likeable too.

Lockscreen - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Homescreen - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Folder view - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review App drawer - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Notification shade - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Task switcher - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review
Lockscreen • Homescreen • Folder view • App drawer • Notification shade • Task switcher

Edge panels is a well-known, long-standing feature that gives you quick access to apps, actions, tools, etc. with a single swipe from the side. You can choose which side the handle is located on, as well as adjust its position along the edge of the phone. In the Edge screen sub-menu, you will also find Edge lighting - it's a feature that can light up different types of peripheral glow for notifications, and as you've probably guessed, there are tons of options and styles to choose from.

Edge screen - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Edge screen - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Edge screen - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Edge screen - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Edge screen - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review Edge screen - Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review
Edge screen

Synthetic benchmarks

One of the Galaxy Note10 Lite's most notable 'lite' touches is the chipset - not because it's bad or underpowered all in itself, but because it's old - the Exynos 9810 was introduced with the Galaxy S9 in the Spring of 2018, and it's the Spring of 2020 now more or less. It was the flagship chipset at the time, but today it needs to face stiff competition from current midrange silicon, as well as rival smartphones in the price range with 2019 high-end SoCs.

Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite review

Anyway, the Exynos is manufactured on a 10nm process and has an octa-core CPU (4x2.7GHz Mongoose M3 & 4x1.7GHz Cortex-A55). The GPU is a Mali-G72 MP18. We have the 6GB RAM version for review, while an 8GB version is also in existence.

Samsung's pursuit of top single-core performance to rival Apple's chipset designs means the Mongoose of 2018 is still relatively competitive today. Single-core results in GeekBench 5.1 are within 10% of Snapdragon 855 devices like the LG G8X ThinQ, Samsung's own S10 Lite and the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro. It's not quite so under multi-core loads, where the Note10 Lite is now lagging behind.

GeekBench 5.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Honor V30 Pro
    3204
  • LG G8X ThinQ
    2870
  • OnePlus 7T Pro
    2803
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
    2732
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    2732
  • Oppo Reno Ace
    2627
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
    2267
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    2190
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+
    2154
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    2092
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite
    2027

GeekBench 5.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    827
  • Honor V30 Pro
    778
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+
    776
  • OnePlus 7T Pro
    773
  • LG G8X ThinQ
    746
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    744
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
    738
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    689
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite
    688
  • Oppo Reno Ace
    619
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
    591

For what it's worth, the Galaxy Note10 Lite pulls ahead of the similarly equipped Note9 in Antutu 8, though the different OS versions might have some say in that. Later models, however, are significantly in front of the Note10 Lite in this all-round benchmark.

AnTuTu 8

Higher is better

  • Honor V30 Pro
    500571
  • OnePlus 7T Pro
    493901
  • Realme X2 Pro
    467653
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
    459497
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+
    438622
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    437823
  • Oppo Reno Ace
    434063
  • LG G8X ThinQ
    411980
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
    403267
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    399901
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite
    341212
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    315447
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10
    256717

Graphics performance isn't up to date either, or up to the price bracket's level, at least. The closest potential is the Huawei P30 Pro, itself using silicon due for immediate replacement.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 7T Pro
    80
  • Realme X2 Pro
    78
  • Honor V30 Pro
    76
  • Oppo Reno Ace
    72
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    71
  • LG G8X ThinQ
    70
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    70
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    69
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
    69
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
    69
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+
    68
  • Huawei P30 Pro
    54
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite
    47
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    45
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10
    30

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • LG G8X ThinQ
    58
  • Honor V30 Pro
    57
  • Realme X2 Pro
    57
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    57
  • Oppo Reno Ace
    56
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
    56
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    56
  • Huawei P30 Pro
    50
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite
    41
  • OnePlus 7T Pro
    40
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+
    38
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    37
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
    34
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10
    27
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    25

GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 7T Pro
    48
  • Realme X2 Pro
    47
  • Oppo Reno Ace
    44
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+
    43
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
    43
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    42
  • Honor V30 Pro
    42
  • LG G8X ThinQ
    42
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    42
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    42
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
    41
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite
    29
  • Huawei P30 Pro
    29
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    28
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10
    17

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • LG G8X ThinQ
    38
  • Realme X2 Pro
    37
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    36
  • Honor V30 Pro
    35
  • Oppo Reno Ace
    35
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    35
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
    34
  • Huawei P30 Pro
    27
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite
    25
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+
    24
  • OnePlus 7T Pro
    24
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    23
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
    21
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    15
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10
    15

3DMark SSE OpenGL ES 3.1 1440p

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 7T Pro
    6238
  • Honor V30 Pro
    6088
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    5733
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
    5641
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
    5538
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    5450
  • Oppo Reno Ace
    5392
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+
    4984
  • Realme X2 Pro
    4726
  • Huawei Mate 30 Pro
    4432
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    4420
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite
    4015
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    3342

3DMark SSE Vulkan 1440p

Higher is better

  • Honor V30 Pro
    5627
  • OnePlus 7T Pro
    5514
  • Realme X2 Pro
    5337
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    5000
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
    4955
  • Oppo Reno Ace
    4905
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
    4892
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+
    4763
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
    4295
  • Huawei Mate 30 Pro
    4233
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    4068
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite
    3706
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    3316

To sum up the Galaxy Note10 Lite's performance, we need to put it into context. If you're looking for a capable and speedy smartphone with a stylus, but you'd rather not pay top dollar for the current proper Notes, then the Note10 Lite is precisely that. If you don't care for the stylus, other phones on the market will deliver more power. But if you don't care for the stylus, maybe Notes aren't for you in the first place.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 23 Jun 2022
  • s3K

How can I get my samsung Galaxy note 10 lite screen

  • Nobody
  • 20 Jun 2022
  • Lf0

You better buy samsung galaxy note 10 plus its better than lite

  • Nobody
  • 18 Jun 2022
  • Lf0

You better buy samsung galaxy note 10 plus its better than lite