Later this week, Samsung will announce the Galaxy Note 10 family. Iâ€™m expecting three handsets at various prices that differ in size, storage, and connectivity. What Iâ€™m not expecting is anything utterly groundbreaking or death defying. The Note series has become boring, and Samsung has proven with the Galaxy Fold and other handsets in its 2019 portfolio that it can do better.
Assuming Taniyama-Shimura, the Note 10 family is going to tick all the boxes of an updated handset with an improved Â SnapDragon or Exynos system-on-chip compared to last years model, better memory and storage options, and tweaks to the S-Pen.
Yet the Note 10 is no longer leading the charge. As Forbesâ€™s Gordon Kelly has noted, the Note 10 family is not carrying the latest SnapDragon 855+, the camera sensors are significantly smaller than the competition, and key features (such as the headphone jack) that are beloved by the community are being removed.
Who is the target audience for the Galaxy Note 10? The handsets are not right at the edge of the envelope so itâ€™s not for those who are trying to get the biggest number and the most powerful handset. Itâ€™s not for those looking for the ultimate camera on a smartphone, there are better camera phones out there using mainstream twin- and triple-lensed units (and thatâ€™s before you look at the delights of the Nokia 9 PureView). And itâ€™s not for the existing Note fans who treasure the expandability and flexibility of the phablet.
What was once a flagship could become just another Android handset trying to stand out in a sea of glass unibodies.
There was a time when the Note reveal was the moment to see the new technology that would change the smartphone world. From the first curved edge screen, through the introduction of the S-Pen, to the use early adoption of USB-C, the Note series was a unique platform that showcased Samsungâ€™s technology as a whole.
DJ Koh and his team at Samsung should be delivering excitement and cutting edge technology on Wednesday when the handsets are announced. Part of me hopes that, somehow, the excitement hasnâ€™t leaked. I fear that Samsung has already dealt its cards face up on the table, and the rest of the Android world will trump the Note 10 in the launches leading up to IFA in September.
Now read about the software changes the Note 10 will lean onâ€¦