Samsung’s announcement of the Galaxy Note 10 Lite was actually huge. Here’s why


Angela Lang/CNET

This story is part of CES 2020, our complete coverage of the showroom floor and the hottest new tech gadgets around.

In a tightly packed, dimly lit lodge room at CES, Samsung did one thing so strange it is extraordinary. The world’s largest phone model confirmed off a downmarket model of its premiere phone for energy customers, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite. Creating a less expensive variant of a $1,00zero machine is not uncommon. Phone-makers do it on a regular basis to draw patrons with extra humble budgets. What’s distinctive is that it occurred to this phone particularly.

Ever since launching in 2011, the Galaxy Note has represented Samsung’s pinnacle in specs and efficiency, whereas the Galaxy S line is extra mainstream (and sure, there is a new Galaxy S10 Lite, too). The original Note stood out for its 5.3-inch display screen and its stylus, the S Pen, which you should utilize to navigate, draw and write on the show. Considered laughably giant for its time, the primary Galaxy Note single-handedly kicked off the trend of large-screen phones, or “phablets.”

Since then, Samsung has fastidiously cultivated the Note household of telephones, utilizing the machine to experiment with the curved screens that at the moment are typical of its high-end handsets. In truth, Samsung routinely saves its strongest specs — the most important display screen, most superior digital camera specs and largest battery and storage capacities — for the annual Galaxy Note reveal, which usually takes place in August.


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That’s why Samsung’s impulse to create a “Lite” Note utterly reverses the whole lot the Note has come to face for because the model’s better of one of the best. In making a less expensive, extra primary Note, Samsung can be democratizing the Note’s most distinct and enduring characteristic: the digital stylus.

Unlike the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus, the Note 10 Lite has such a distinct look and have set, it might virtually be a totally new phone. It retains a big display screen (6.7 inches), however has a a lot much less sensible decision. It has straight sides as an alternative of curved, a headphone jack that the Note 10 lacked, and a distinct trio of digital camera sensors in a brand new sq. mount. The one factor it does have in widespread with its cousin is the stylus, which appeared simply as responsive and succesful because the one on the Note 10 Plus.

Samsung hasn’t introduced the worth or launch date but, however it’s a good guess this mild model will price lower than half of the Note 10’s $950 retail charge. 

Whatever the ultimate value, an inexpensive Note creates a possibility for Samsung to deliver the S Pen stylus to a totally totally different tier of patrons, one which’s price-conscious and within the flexibility of writing on the display screen. Introducing the Note to a brand new viewers has two principal advantages. 

The first is that it might assist solidify Samsung’s lead because the world’s top smartphone model by flooding the market with telephones at each value. For instance, there at the moment are three Galaxy Notes and 5 Galaxy S10s (5G, Plus, commonplace S10, S10E, S10 Lite).

The second benefit of a finances Note 10 is extra strategic. Samsung has usually mentioned that Note customers are essentially the most loyal, and extra doubtless to purchase future generations of Note telephones than every other mannequin from any model. If Samsung is ready to seize a brand new viewers of Note patrons, it may well assist safe future gross sales, and maybe upsell Note 10 Lite homeowners to pricier variations of future Note telephones.

With the Note 10 Lite, Samsung could have created a gateway phone to long-lasting Note possession. Only time — and future gross sales — will inform.

Originally revealed Jan. 9.

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