Cheaper Versions of Expensive Phones

There is no doubt if you want the best phone, you will have to shell out a tone of money on these ‘flagships’. They have the best hardware, the best camera, the two basics of a flagship. Not to forget the various perks like dedicated IP rating meaning dust and water resistance.

Samsung galaxy S10 Lite
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

Among these flagships, companies have now started a sort of trend, which I think will be seen in 2019 more, is the concept of the Lite version. Lite means some cheaper version or downgraded version of the main handset. The price is cheaper but keeps the same DNA of a flagship with a difference of one or two strands.

Now what I have seen there are two concepts of lite versions floating around. One I see is like keep the basics same and other is like keep the features same. Let me explain both one by one.


The first thing, to keep the basics same, is like what Apple has done with the iPhone XR. The XR can be seen as a liter version of the XS. So what they have done, they kept the same processor, the same camera and gave it the IP rating. That means keeping the basics in check.

iPhone XR
iPhone XR

What made it ‘lite’? They downgraded the quality of the screen from OLED in the XS to LCD in XR. Reduced construction material cost by using aluminum instead of stainless steel. It does not have the secondary camera so another less feature there. The IP rating is slightly lower to IP 67 from IP 68 on the XS.

So you see how they got the basics of performance and camera on the XR right. Same thing I expect from Samsung. The upcoming S10 Lite will have the same processor and the same primary camera. The difference being in the display size and the battery, and maybe the front camera.

If we compare both the above examples they have a slightly different approach but falls under the same category – got the basic right.


The second one I said was to keep the features same. Take the example of Google Pixel 3 Lite. It is not out yet but the rumors for the specifications are already there, It is like keeping all of it but reducing some of it.

Alleged Pixel 3 Lite
Alleged Pixel 3 Lite

Pixel 3 has same display size but it is LCD instead of OLED. Lower processor to SD 710 from SD 845. 710 has similar performance but not equal to 845. They need to keep the camera the same because it is the USP of Pixel phones.

Same is the case of the Vivo Nex 2. A new rumor says a Vivo Nex 2 Lite is on the way with the SD 710. Similar case. here they need to keep the same dual screens as it is the USP of Vivo Nex 2.

One thing is that one pillar of a flagship is performance. These versions have similar performance to flagships but not equal. So ‘lite’ there is.

However, any other concrete information is not there, that I can share with you to explain. But I think you got my point what I want to explain to you.

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