Samsung will launch two variants of the Galaxy Note 10 later this year, one of which will have a smaller display, according to a report by Korean tech blog The Bell, passed along by PhoneArena. The source claims to cite an unnamed insider from the supply chain but offers no other possible hardware details pertaining to the upcoming phablet series.
Shrinking down the Note?
Samsung is expected to release a regularly-sized Galaxy Note 10 model this year, with early rumors dating back to October hinting that the 2019 model might carry a 6.66-inch panel. But if the latest reports are based in reality then Samsung will also borrow a page from the Galaxy S10 playbook.
The smaller model might simply be known as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10e, while the larger-screen variant could retain the Galaxy Note 10 moniker. But another possibility would be for the larger model to launch as the Galaxy Note 10+ and the standard Galaxy Note 10 to be "demoted" to being the smaller version of the same device.
In one way or another, the naming scheme will likely reflect that of the Galaxy S10 series to a degree, but the exact monikers would shed more light on Samsung's plans. The addition of a Galaxy Note 10e model would indicate that the OEM would have developed a smaller variant which could have other missing or downgraded components compared to the base model, or even the Galaxy Note 9. On the other hand, the use of the "Note 10+" moniker would indicate that the base model would still represent a considerable upgrade over last year's phablet, while the Note 10+ itself will have an even larger footprint and possibly other upgrades over the standard version.
As yet there's no clear indication as to whether Samsung will launch an upgraded or downgraded secondary Note 10 model, only that there will be two, and they will be sized differently.
Smaller model – only for select markets
The source claims that Samsung already reached out to its suppliers and ordered some components for the manufacturing of both Note 10 models which will enter mass production in May in anticipation of an August unveiling. This isn't all that surprising given the OEM's past launch schedules, but what is somewhat unexpected is that the smaller model will launch only in Europe, according to the Korean publication.
However the story will unfold, this would mark a new chapter in the Galaxy Note saga. Historically Samsung launched only one Note model every year since the original device made its debut in 2011, so there really is no frame of reference as to how the OEM might handle this dual-phone strategy beginning this year.
Assumingly, every Galaxy Note model will be equipped with an S-Pen; otherwise, it would go against what the series stands for, i.e., mobile productivity. But only time will tell if Samsung will differentiate between Galaxy Note models by size and/or cameras only, or by productivity features as well. Last year the stylus received a dedicated camera shutter button for remote photography and the OEM might be looking to improve the S-Pen further with the upcoming models.