Say what you will about Samsung's stylus-equipped phones, but the Note line has always been at the forefront of mobile hardware, be it for the simple fact that it ships in the second half of the year when better components are available.
This time around, however, Samsung is seemingly preparing to go all-in on the Note 10, introducing changes in design, and coming up with not one, but two Note 10 models for the first time in the S-Pen history. That last tip comes from Korean media's supply chain sources although Samsung has declined to comment on this particular rumor, as can be expected.
In short, the success of the smallish Galaxy S10e may have prompted Samsung to reconsider its plans to offer a Note 10 with only the most gigantic AMOLED display it currently makes for phones. That would be the 6.7" Quad HD panel of the upcoming Galaxy S10 5G whose release date was just confirmed by Samsung to be April 5th.
Galaxy Note 10e or Note 10+?
A lot of users, it turns out, are in the market for smaller phones. This is what Samsung's marketing team research and the runaway success of the S10e in various markets like Europe, have demonstrated.
The way that Samsung is planning to address that demand, is by adding a second Note 10 model to the 6.7-incher it has been planning to release, tip "members of the component industry." The size of the display on the smaller Note remains a mystery, though, and attempts to ask Samsung on this detail have clashed with the "no comment" treatment. The Galaxy Note 9 has a 6.4" screen, which, coincidentally, happens to be the size of the Galaxy S10+display as well. This is why, if we had to guess the second Note 10 size, it would be around the S10+'s panel, trimmed bezels and all.
While the difference between a 6.4" Note 10 and a 6.7" Note 10+ (or whatever the flagship Note gets called), may not seem huge, the S10+ size is already pushing the acceptable limits, so a 6.7-incher may not be everyone's cup of tea. Just looking at the 6.40 x 3.04 x 0.31 inches (162.6 x 77.1 x 7.94 mm) dimensions of the S10 5G could show you that there isn't much more room for growth before we hit the uncomfortable point, bezel-less design or not.
The Note 10 is also rumored to pioneer a new button-less design for Samsung, meaning that the side keys would all be replaced by other means to power/unlock, change volume, or launch the Bixby virtual assistant. Now, it's hard to fathom that Samsung would swap every button with some other solution, especially the power key. That would be too drastic of a move for an established line like the Note. If we had to imagine what the button-less report means, it would be something in the vein of the combined finger scanner/ power key on the Galaxy S10e, or a button that is more or less flush with the frame.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 release date and markets
This is the third time that a report is confirming that the Note 10 will be arriving in August, not that we had any doubts about it. The IFA expo starts September 6, as usual, and last year the Note 9 was announced two weeks before that, so there is every chance the Note 10 and 10+ will see the light of the day the last week of the summer.
If the mini Note follows in the S10 line footsteps, it could potentially be cheaper than the larger sibling. In Europe, however, which will be the main target market for the smaller Note 10, according to the report, the prices are often about 20-30% higher than the US in dollar terms anyway, so don't expect a Note 10 priced in the "affordable" ballpark, shorter display diagonal or not.