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iPhone 12 vs. Galaxy S11: New Samsung flagship rumored to be boring as iPhone gets a major redesign

Published Nov 18th, 2019 8:17AM EST
Galaxy S11 Leaks
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Apple’s iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max are impressive smartphones and every indication is that they’re selling quite well after a dicey year for Apple’s iPhone business last year. They’re the most powerful phones on the market right now — especially since iOS 13.3 fixed the RAM management bug that was holding them back — and the Pro models in particular have what is arguably the best smartphone camera system the world has ever seen. That’s right, after falling behind Huawei and Google for several phone generations, Apple’s latest iPhones have reclaimed the camera crown. They capture photos and videos in stunning clarity, and Apple’s new Night mode takes the idea behind Google’s “Night Sight” nighttime photography feature and turbocharges it. They’re incredible flagship phones for sure, but there’s one area where some users think Apple has fallen short in 2019: Design.

Starting with the iPhone 6, Apple shifted to a new design cycle that sees the company update its flagship iPhone design every three years instead of every two. Considering most people these days hold onto their smartphones for three years or even longer, it’s certainly not the end of the world for Apple. Hardcore gadget fans who upgrade to the latest and greatest phone each year are certainly annoyed though, and they’ll finally get the big iPhone design overhaul they’ve been waiting for next year. Unfortunately for Samsung, however, it looks like Apple’s major iPhone 12 redesign is coming in a year when Samsung’s own Galaxy S series is set to be pretty boring.

Apple’s new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro phones are still nearly a year away from being released, but leaks are already painting a picture of a major upgrade. TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is the most accurate Apple leaker in the world, and he says the iPhone 12 series will get a big design update that features flat metal edges like the ones we all miss from Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 phones. The new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models will also reportedly get 5G, camera upgrades, and more.

With a big iPhone update expected for 2020, people have been wondering how Samsung might respond. Unfortunately, 2020 might be a year that sees Samsung’s flagship phones get relatively minor updates, especially in terms of their designs.

We’re heard that Samsung is working on some pretty huge camera upgrades for the upcoming Galaxy S11 that’s likely set to be announced just three months from now. There are undoubtedly some other nifty new features in the works as well, but reports suggest that the Galaxy S11’s design will be largely unchanged compared to this year’s Galaxy S10 series phones. The latest news along these comes from top Samsung insider Ice Universe, who says that Samsung was considering a bold new Galaxy S11 design with a display that curves all the way around the edges of the phone. Unfortunately, it looks like the company decided to instead stick with a design that’s almost the same as the current-generation models, but with narrower bezels.

The last time Samsung reused nearly identical smartphone designs from one year to the next was when it released the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 in 2018. It’s no coincidence that those releases came in the same year that Samsung’s smartphone sales and profit fell off a cliff, and the company’s mobile business still hasn’t really recovered. While Apple has the luxury of reusing its iPhone designs for two or even three years since there are no other companies that sell iOS-powered smartphones, Samsung has stiff competition in the Android phone market. Another boring year for the Galaxy S11 could send flagship phone shoppers looking elsewhere for their next purchase, or it could even send them over to Apple’s camp if the iPhone 12 is appealing enough to turn heads.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.