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Galaxy Note 20 will have a huge design change no one expected, leaker says

Published Jun 10th, 2020 6:50AM EDT
Galaxy Note 20 Rumors
Image: Karlis Dambrans/Shutterstock

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  • A new Galaxy Note 20 rumor claims the phone will feature flat displays instead of the iconic curved edge screen Samsung introduced a few years ago with the help of a different Note family member.
  • Samsung has been quietly phasing out the curved displays, with the Galaxy S20 series featuring an almost flat screen.
  • The same type of display will probably be used in the Note 20 series, which should launch this summer.

Announced in 2014, the Galaxy Note Edge was Samsung’s first experiment when it comes to curved displays. The Galaxy S6 edge followed in early 2015, featuring curved edges on both sides of the display. The curved screens became an identifying feature of all the Galaxy S and Note models that followed, and Samsung ended up retiring both the “edge” particle from their names, while also “killing” flat screen options. The new design did not bring any must-have display features, even though Samsung invented several functions for the edge screen to give it a purpose. The curved edge design caught on, with more and more Android vendors having copied the Galaxy edge design in recent years. But just as that happened, Samsung kept reducing the curvature of the screen to the point where the Galaxy S20 hardly qualifies as featuring a curved display. That’s not necessarily bad news for Samsung fans who prefer flat screens to curved edges. And those fans will be happy to hear the Galaxy Note 20 will also feature a flat screen of its own.

The news comes from long-time Samsung leaker Ice Universe who took to Twitter to reveal that the “Galaxy Note 20 is flat.”

The leaker has a good track record at revealing Samsung secrets, and the news that the Note 20 will feature a flatter screen is hardly surprising at this point.

For starters, phones with curved displays are more likely to suffer damages from accidental drops, and the various drop tests performed since the Note Edge’s arrival all showed that curved screens aren’t more durable than flat ones.

Secondly, the same Ice criticized Samsung’s Note design in the past for the compromises made on battery life. Phones are increasingly more energy-efficient, but they also feature all-screen designs that consume more battery life. Add 5G connectivity to that and variable refresh rate support, and battery life can take a further hit. Flatter edges could help Samsung gain additional space that can be repurposed for increasing battery capacity, especially on a phone that houses a stylus.

Finally, 5G phones don’t require only a brand new modem. Phone makers have to also add new antenna arrays to their devices, and those antennas take up additional space. Again, flatter edges could help with that. Take the OnePlus 8 5G version that Verizon sells. It has a slightly different design because of the new 5G antennas, and that’s why the phone can’t fit the same cases that are available for OnePlus 8 phones sold on other carriers.

The leaker did not specify other details about the Note 20 series, but it’s not like Samsung can really surprise us with anything. The phone will look a lot like the Galaxy S20 series, featuring the same high-end specs. Word on the street is that there won’t be an Ultra version of the handset, however.

Samsung will launch the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20+ on August 5th alongside the new Galaxy Fold 2 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5G, according to recent reports. The handsets will supposedly hit stores on August 20th.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.