After all the leaks rumors that have been spilling out over the past few months, Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 10 lineup is finally official. Company executives took the stage in New York City earlier this week to take the wraps off of Samsung’s latest and greatest Android phablets, and they’re spectacular. The new Galaxy Note 10 series is easily the most impressive smartphone series Samsung has created to date, featuring a stunning all-screen design and cutting-edge specs. These new Note phones are powerful and sleek, and they improve upon everything that Samsung fans love about the Galaxy Note series.
Since just about everything there was to know about Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 10 series leaked long in advance, there wasn’t much left to surprise us with when Samsung finally took the stage at its Unpacked press conference in New York. There was something we uncovered after the show was over though, and while no one knew about this big change ahead of Samsung’s event, the new feature really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise at all. Why? Because Apple did it first.
That’s right, Samsung is back to its old tricks again and has found yet another great iPhone feature to copy.
Everyone knows that Samsung grew to dominate the smartphone market by shamelessly copying Apple’s iPhone. Heck, Samsung even wrote the book on ripping off the iPhone… literally. Early Samsung smartphones were an absolute mess, so the company decided to replicate Apple’s iPhone hardware and software as closely as it possibly could. That, combined with billions upon billions of dollars spent on marketing and advertising, completely changed the fortunes of Samsung’s smartphone business.
While there’s no denying that Samsung owes much, if not most of its success to Apple, there’s also no denying that things have changed a great deal over the past five years or so. Samsung finally moved away from copying the iPhone and began to use its own hardware and software designs. The results have been fantastic — the company developed its own design identity with curved edges, and Samsung devices are now easily among the most impressive handsets in the world. That design has been refined with each new smartphone generation, and the Galaxy Note 10 is Samsung’s most impressive smartphone series so far.
While it’s true that Samsung now carves its own path, for the most part, old habits die hard. The company still looks to Apple to lead the way from time to time, and that will always be the case. Earlier this year, for example, Samsung followed Apple’s lead and introduced a third model to its Galaxy S lineup. Flagship phones have gotten so expensive in recent years that Apple decided to launch the iPhone XR alongside the iPhone XS and XS Max in 2018, giving buyers a cheaper choice with slightly less impressive specs. And of course, that’s exactly what Samsung did the following year with the Galaxy S10e.
With the Note 10 series unveiled on Wednesday, Samsung followed Apple’s lead in a different area. Ever since the Galaxy S6 in 2015, when Samsung switched from cheap-feeling plastic to glass on its flagship phones, the company has used aluminum for its smartphone frames. In fact, every company used aluminum for the frames on mass-market smartphones until Apple introduced the iPhone X in 2017. That model, and the iPhone XS and XS Max from last year, replace aluminum with stainless steel for even sturdier construction and a higher-end feel. No other widely available smartphone has used stainless steel… until now. Check out the following Galaxy Note 10 promotional video at the 14-second mark:
Would Samsung ever have built a stainless steel flagship phone if Apple hadn’t done it first? Almost certainly not. But this is one area in particular where we’re happy Samsung decided to copy Apple. The Galaxy Note 10 starts at $950 and goes up to $1,300, so the least Samsung could do is give buyers a more premium build.
Updated to clarify that the iPhone X was the first mass-market smartphone with a stainless steel frame.