Samsung Galaxy Note 11: what we want to see

The Samsung Galaxy Note 11 release date is still months away, but it's likely the next – and only – new smartphone with a stylus you consider in 2020. Samsung's S Pen has really cornered the best stylus phone market year after year.

The Note 11, like the Galaxy Note 10 this past August, will be a powerful phone. But we'd like to see it do more than act as a squared-off, slightly bigger version of the forthcoming Galaxy S11 with a stylus. The next Note phone could be much more. 

How? Since the stylus is so central to the phone’s identity, we want to see the S Pen become a true extension of the Samsung Galaxy Note 11: more physical controls, more reason to pull it out of the phone.

We’d also like to see the usual improvements, like better camera, sharper screen, and so on. Those improvements are probably coming no matter what. (We also hope to see a stronger glass back in case we run into more, uh, accidents.)

We haven't seen many concrete Samsung Galaxy Note 11 leaks in the news yet – that usually occurs shortly right after the flagship Galaxy S phone makes its debut. But we're running with our expectations and have our finger on the update button once the rumor mill kicks into full gear.

Samsung Galaxy Note

Cut to the chase

  • What is the Samsung Galaxy Note 11? The next stylus-packing flagship phone from Samsung.
  • When is the Samsung Galaxy Note 11 launch date? Probably August 2020.
  • How much will the Samsung Galaxy Note 11 cost? The price may be around $949 / £869 / AU$1,499

Samsung Galaxy Note 11 release date and price

Given previous phones in the line came out in August or September of their year, we’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy Note 11 to be released in August 2020.

As for cost, the Note 10 was released at a starting price of $949 / £869 / AU$1,499, so we’d expect a starting pricetag around there or even higher. The larger Note 10 Plus cost $100 / £130 / AU$200 more, so we expect a similar price jump for the inevitable Note 11 Plus. This price scheme has become pretty standard for top-tier flagship phones.

It’s likely that Samsung’s flagship phones will come with 5G capability across the whole range – the Snapdragon 865 chipset is expected to be at the heart of the almost all flagship Android phones, and Qualcomm's new chipset is coupled with a 5G modem.

That brings up an issue for all 5G phones in 2020. The Note 10 Plus 5G was sold by Verizon in the US for $1,299 (around £974 / AU$1,888), so we’d expect a higher-than-normal pricetag for any 5G-capable version of the Note 11.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Note 11 leaks and news

The Samsung Galaxy Note 11 is still the better part of a year away from being released, but there’s been a few potentially revealing leaks. 

First up is a rumor that there might not even be a Note 11 – not in name, anyway. Samsung might combine both of its flagship lines into a single phone called the Galaxy One that would essentially be ‘an S-series with an S Pen’ according to reputable leaker Evan Blass.

Patents suggest that either the Samsung Galaxy S11 or the Note 11 might pack a spectrometer – a component that analyzes objects to discover its chemical composition. While it wouldn’t be the first phone to pack the device after the Changhong H2, as pointed out by LetsGoDigital, the Note 11 would be a phone with a much wider release.

The Note 11 could pack an in-screen front-facing camera, which would sit under the full display instead of within a notch or pin-hole, industry sources told South Korean tech site The Elec – and backed up by a tweet from notable leaker @UniverseIce.

Of course, some or all of these things could come in the Galaxy S11 first, since the S-series has often debuted new tech which that year’s Note entry inherits. Make sure to check out the Samsung Galaxy S11 page for all the rumors we’ve heard about features coming to that phone, like this one about a 5,000mAh battery and 108MP camera.

Samsung Galaxy Note 11: what we want to see

Since we haven't heard many rumors about the Note 11, we'll speculate as to what we want to see – improvements on last year's model and innovations we think would set the upcoming phone apart.

1. More capabilities in the S Pen

The S Pen has been the real selling point for the Note series – a stylus tucked neatly in the phone for those who hold a torch for Palm Pilot-style productivity. But aside from a couple of new capabilities introduced over the last couple years – a button that operates as a camera shutter, a few half-baked gestures – the S Pen remains primarily a writing implement.

Samsung Galaxy Note

Instead, we’d love to see the S Pen evolve into more of a proxy for the phone. If they can introduce one button, why not a couple more? It would be very handy to keep the phone in your pocket or perched for video and use the stylus to fiddle with volume and media navigation. Better yet, it would be great if the S Pen was used as a more universal remote across Samsung’s device family – maybe substituting a four-way joystick for the click-top so users can navigate. All we really know is the S Pen is not living up to its potential.

2. ‘Budget flagship’ version

We’re big fans of the Samsung Galaxy S10e and the standard iPhone 11 for their value as budget flagships of their respective lines, and we’d love to see a more affordable version of the Note family. This isn’t a crazy idea – there already seems to be a Note 10 Lite in production, if this leak to is to be believed.

But if a Lite version of the last Note isn’t in the cards, getting one in for the next version would be a great opportunity not just to get the S Pen in more hands, but to play around with the Note design in general. Previous phones in the line are sleek yet wide phablets, but why not take a page out of the Google Pixel 4’s book and give the Lite/budget flagship version a funky look?

3. Better cameras, specs, etc

Like every year, we’re hoping the Note 11 gets improvements on its predecessor – most importantly in the cameras. And since they usually get similar if not identical lens suites as in that year’s Samsung Galaxy S-series, we can hope that the developments coming in the Galaxy S11 get ported to the Note 11.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

So the rumor of a 108MP camera headed to the S11 Plus would be great to look forward to in the Note 11 – and in the same report, a 5,000mAh battery. Both are good improvements, and we’d love to see battery life extend to breach two full days, especially with the screen-intensive S Pen functionality. 

One thing we pretty much know for sure: the Note 11 will get the same Snapdragon 865 chipset headed to all top-tier Android phones in 2020, which we recently got our hands on – and found it outperformed Apple’s A13 chipset that’s in the iPhone 11 line.

4. Seamless display

While the punch-hole is certainly a less obstructive upgrade from the notch, there are still compromises: we’d love to see a screen without any break whatsoever. That probably means an under-display window for the front-facing lens, which is something a leak actually suggests might happen. 

The Note 11 might not end up being the first phone with this development, but given its status as the sleeker design-oriented flagship in Samsung’s lineup, we would like to see that big phablet display go seamless.

5. Cheaper 5G

The Galaxy Note 10 5G cost far more than its 4G counterparts with only minor spec and camera upgrades, putting connectivity to the next-gen networks out of the hands of most folks. It would be great to see this cost shrink, full stop. 

2020 probably won’t be the year that every flagship phone comes 5G-capable as a standard, but it’s going to be a lot harder to access if every 5G phone costs half again as much as its standard version. Given the Note line traditionally comes out toward the end of the year, though, Samsung could get ahead of the curve by trimming the price for a 5G Note 11 – and further differentiate it from the upcoming Galaxy S11.

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