CES 2020: Samsung confuses with tease of Galaxy S10 Lite & Note 10 Lite

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Samsung is hyping its CES 2020 presence by launching the Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite, but what we know so far about the devices are a mish-mash of specification changes versus the parent devices

CES 2020 will be held in Las Vegas from Tuesday, but the promotional push by exhibitors has already started, with Samsung among the many trying to acquire column inches for its products. Part of its array of launches for 2020 are the Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite, which are revised versions of existing models.

The two models are marketed as a way to bring "key premium features," such as camera technology, display, and battery life, from the premium versions to "an accessible price point." In press releases that stop short of providing complete specification lists for the models, the South Korean giant is framing the new arrivals as being very similar to the originals they are based upon in many ways, but also with surprising differences.

Despite being Lite versions, the two will include the same three types of cameras, including a 123-degree ultra-wide camera, wide-angle, and macro lenses. In the case of the S10 Lite, the wide-angle uses a 48-megapixel "Super Steady" OIS sensor, with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and a 5-megapixel macro lens.

For the Note10 Lite, all three lens types use 12-megapixel sensors, with the wide-angle using a dual pixel system, and both wide-angle and telephoto using OIS.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite

On the original models that offered three cameras, the Galaxy S10 used a combination of 12-megapixel and 16-megapixel sensors, not 48-megapixel nor 5-megapixel. On the Note10 and Note 10, the cameras consisted of a 16-megapixel ultra-wide version and 12-megapixel wide and telephoto, as well as a VGA-resolution DepthVision camera in some models.

Samsung doesn't explain why it is labelling the 48-megapixel sensor as such, as incorporating a sensor that high would usually warrant a mention in the press release, but it is absent. It is plausible Samsung has included a lower-resolution sensor and is using computational photography to create a higher-resolution image, but it will remain unclear until a full launch of the device is performed.

Further confusing matters are the front-facing cameras which are apparently using 32-megapixel sensors. Typically the front cameras are at the same level or a lower quality than those used on the rear of a smartphone.

Another odd change is the battery life, with both Lite models claimed to have a 4,500mAh capacity. The original Note 10 and Note 10+ had capacities of either 3,500mAh or 4,300mAh depending on model, while the S10 varied between 3,100mAh in the S10e and 4,100mAh in the S10+.

The Lite displays are declared to be 6.7-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-O screens, with a resolution of 2,400 by 1,080 and a pixel density of 394ppi apiece. This is roughly similar to the S10e and Note 10's 2,280 by 1080 resolution, but far below the 3,040 by 1,440 resolution seen on the S10 and Note 10+ models.

The processors in the Lite models are roughly on a par with the main versions, consisting of 7nm and 10nm octa-core processors. While the original models offered memory capacities between 6 gigabytes and 12 gigabytes depending on model, and storage capacities of up to 1 terabyte, the Lite versions have either 6 or 8 gigabytes of RAM and 128GB of storage.

More information about the Galaxy S10 Lite and the Note 10 Lite, including the pricing for the supposedly budget-friendly models, is likely to be revealed during CES next week.