For the last couple of years, OnePlus has established its major as a flagship killing brand for many people. Its rise as the premier Rs 30,000 smartphone brand in India is a testament to how well its gadgets have done in the Indian market. Samsung has been the most affected of the lot as it was the numero uno in the premium segment on the back of its highly coveted Galaxy Note and Galaxy S line of smartphones. It seems like OnePlus has woken up the sleeping South Koren giant which has unleashed two phones which can be categorised as strange by every measure. OnePlus crossing 2 million shipments could’ve had something to do with that but the new Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite are phones which strive to provide the core features of Samsung’s apex at a more pocket-friendly fight allowing the big Korean giant to play on a level playing field. The Galaxy S10 Lite, in particular, is the one that pops out as the rival that many have been waiting for. 

What’s warped 

  • It is not only the first Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 based smartphone Samsung has released in India, but it is also the first Snapdragon 800 series based phone in India in 5 years. And the performance is there for everyone to see. It is simply the fastest Samsung phone you can buy right now as its lower 1080p screen resolution also helps with performance across the board. It may not feel crazy fast as the OnePlus 7T, but it is close enough for most people. 
  • The cameras are amazing. Samsung’s new super steady camera system is stellar. Not only is a big 48-megapixel sensor, but a 12-megapixel wide-angle and a 5-megapixel macro sensor is also snapped on a stabilisation system together, which makes sure that be it daylight or night time, the photos are sharp, clear and vivid. The night mode works across the wide-angle camera too which doesn’t happen on the iPhone 11. The video is also stunningly steady. And last but not least is the fact since its Snapdragon-based phone, you can also install the Google camera app. For less than Rs 40,000, this is the best smartphone camera. Simple! 
  • The display may not be Galaxy S10 beautiful or OnePlus 7T snappy, but it is still a vivid Samsung OLED panel which also comes with a hole-punch notch similar to the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. It looks good, and well, it’s massive and adequately sharp. There aren’t many phones that have such a nice screen. 
  • Samsung’s software may not be the best around, but there are advantages like the Knox security suite which make this phone great for enterprise use — better than any OnePlus or Xiaomi phone for sure. It is also deeply integrated with Microsoft Office services which makes this one of the ultimate phones for getting work done. 
  • Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S10, it also uses an optical in-display fingerprint scanner which means it is rapid to unlock. This flows into other stuff like Samsung Pay which uses MST technology to scan your debit or credit card enabling you to make payments at the point of sales (POS) machines just using your phone without needing the card physically. This is a speciality of Samsung phones. 
  • As far the build quality goes, the phone feels very ergonomic and light in the hand considering its screen size. Since it is not made out of metal, this phone is also not prone to damage like the metal and glass Samsung phones which can shatter. The same holds true for phones by brands like OnePlus and Xiaomi.
  • The S10 Lite is the king of battery longevity. Its massive 4,500mAh battery ensures that this phone last 2 days on a single charge without fail. No matter what you’re doing this phone will not die on you. It also comes with a 15-watt fast charger, but it takes a while to load up this phone. 
  • Call quality on this phone has been nothing short of spectacular. Not only recipients are able to hear me clearly, but they also sound crystal clear. The phone holds a strong signal — I tested it on both Airtel and Vodafone in New Delhi. Even in weak signal areas, we used this phone as a terminal for a POS machine and we never had a failed transaction on mobile 4G while we did face some issues with the same SIM in an iPhone 11. Top things off, you get a microSD card slot alongside the dual SIM hybrid slot. 

What’s not

  • The OnePlus 7T has certainly raised the bar for what is expected in a sub 40,000 smartphone. The fact there is no 90Hz screen definitely reflects in the performance of fluidity of the user interface of the phone. Next time perhaps Samsung could add it. 
  • The fit-finish of the phone isn’t on the same level as one expects of Samsung. In fact, you could say that even the OnePlus 7T is a much better-built phone. 
  • The OnePlus 7T is still slightly faster with its Snapdragon 855+ but that’s a minute advantage which festers even more as Samsung’s software – One UI – is not as fluid as Oxygen OS on the OnePlus. 
  • Samsung’s software isn’t just slower than the one on the OnePlus but it is also uglier to look at and will almost certainly not updated to a new version of Android as soon as its rival. 

To buy or not to buy?

At the end of the day, the OnePlus 7T remains the phone to beat, but the Samsung is close to beating the OnePlus. In fact, considering the brand and sway it holds over users, you could say things are even-stevens. Especially, if your focus is the camera, the Galaxy S10 Lite is the best in the category. And even for corporate use, Samsung’s Knox makes this a much better bet than any other Android phone. This could be the best phone for many people if the budget maxes out at Rs 40,000.


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