#Flashback #Samsung #Galaxy #Note10 #Lite #offered #Pen #experience #cheap
Samsung has the best implementation of a stylus for smartphones – not that there is much competition – but it comes at a price. Previously, it was only available on Galaxy Note phones, which at the time were Samsung’s most expensive handsets. These days it is available with the Galaxy S Ultra and Z Fold models, along with the premium Galaxy Tab S models, none of which are cheap (some Galaxy Book laptops support it too).
There was one exception in early 2020 – the Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite. It was unveiled on the same day as the S10 Lite which we covered last time and it shared some similarities (beyond the price), though it had some crucial differences too.
We’ll start with the display. It was a 6.7” panel with 1,080 x 2,400px resolution, the same basic dimensions as the S10 Lite display. However, this panel featured the extra digitizer layer that allowed the S Pen stylus to do its thing.
Samsung even used the fancy new Bluetooth-enabled S Pen, unlike the purely passive styluses of older Notes. This made it possible to use the S Pen as a remote, e.g. to snap a photo at a distance or control the music player. It wasn’t quite as advanced as the one used in the Note10+ and Note10 as it was missing certain gestures. Still, it was miles ahead of the typical capacitive stylus that you might get with certain other phones.
The S Pen features fast tracking of the stylus (faster than finger detection) and could sense how hard you are pressing down (4,096 levels) so that it could alter the style of the virtual pen or brush you were using.
True to its name, the phone was always ready for you to jot down a note – just take out the S Pen and start writing on the lockscreen. Handwriting recognition could automatically turn your notes into digital text that you can copy and share easily.
Compared to the premium Note10 duo from six months earlier, the Galaxy Note10 Lite was larger than the vanilla model (6.7” display vs. 6.3”) and slightly smaller than the Plus model (which had a 6.8” display). Unlike both of them, the display was flat so could you draw from edge to edge.
A Galaxy Note10 Lite vs. Note9 might be a more apt comparison. The older flagship had fallen in price by the time the Lite hit the scene and the two cost around the same. And both featured the same Exynos 9810 chipset, though in some regions the old Note9 was available with the Snapdragon 855 instead. The Note10 Lite was an Exynos-only model.
As you may remember from last time, the Galaxy S10 Lite was the opposite, it was a Snapdragon-only phone, which was an interesting change for regions used to getting Exynos.
The S10 Lite also offers an interesting point of comparison. Both it and the Note10 Lite had the same screen dimensions – 6.7”, 1,080 x 2,400px – and the same battery capacity of 4,500mAh. However, in our tests the S-phone scored an endurance rating of 110h compared to 92h for the Note. Okay, the display panels aren’t exactly the same, which may have contributed, but the 10nm Exynos chip was certainly showing its age against the 7nm Snapdragon 855.
The Note also missed out on the faster 45W charging that was available on the S10 Lite as well as the Note10+. It did have a larger battery than the other Notes, though, e.g. the larger Plus had 4,300mAh in its tank. Still, with a newer Exynos 9825 it lasted 107h in our endurance test (the 9825 was a 7nm part, shrunk from the 8nm 9820 that was used in some Galaxy S10 models).
The Galaxy Note10 Lite featured a triple 12MP camera on its back, including a 52mm 2x telephoto lens, which was missing on the S10 Lite. It even used the same size 1/2.55” sensor (1.4µm pixels) as the premium Note10 models, complete with Dual Pixel AF and OIS, though sans the dual aperture feature. The older chipset wasn’t quite as capable in terms of video capture, though.
A few other things worth mentioning are the microSD slot and the 3.5mm headphone jack – the Note10 Lite had them, even though the premium Note10 duo became the first in the family to lose them.
There were a few things that made the Note10 Lite, well, a Lite model. This includes a plastic back panel (the front was Gorilla Glass 3 and the chassis was metal, though), no IP rating for dust or water resistance, no USB 3 port and no stereo speakers.
The S Pen outlived the Galaxy Note series, although the S Ultra model is so different from the vanilla and plus phones that it might as well be called a Note. The stylus is also featured on Samsung’s premium tablets (and some of its laptops too) and has been adapted to work on foldable displays as well.
The one segment it is not featured in – at least not since the Galaxy Note10 Lite – is more affordable phones. More affordable than flagships, anyway, the Note10 Lite was not all that cheap. It depends, actually, in Europe it was only €50 less than the small Note10, in India it was half the price of the Note10.
Are there any stylus fans around here? Would you like to see, say, a Galaxy A phone with an S Pen?