Opinion

I don’t think Samsung should launch multiple Galaxy Note 10 variants

Numerous leaks and rumors suggest that the Galaxy Note 10 will consist of at least two versions of the same device. We’re not talking about different storage options, but key hardware differences between these versions, known so far as the standard and “Pro” models. One such key difference might be that expandable storage could become a Pro feature.

This will make the Note 10 the first device in the history of the series to go against what I call the “no compromise” philosophy. I think this might be a mistake, or at least that it might be too early for Samsung to change this particular philosophy which, in my opinion, has become a part of the series’ identity.

The Galaxy Note series has always been about offering the best possible hardware and software experience, without compromise. And more to the point at hand, there always has been a “no thought” process behind the purchase of a Galaxy Note phone. Truth be told, Samsung fans – our readers included – might not have an issue with cross-checking the features of two or three versions of the same flagship. But I’ve met at least a couple of Note owners in the past who have purchased the device because they didn’t have to do any research beforehand. They simply wanted the best of the best, and the Note delivered.

I think this used to be one of the major attractions of Apple’s iPhones too, i.e., the idea that there’s one unified experience delivered by a single device. The iPhone represented an easy purchase decision for customers who didn’t want to dig deep into the technical aspects, and I feel that the lack of variants worked in its favor to an extent.

Sometimes, less is more

Now, there’s nothing wrong with giving customers more options, of course! But in my opinion, Samsung already offers plenty of options through its other smartphones. Even the Galaxy S series made the switch to multiple variants a few years ago. But the Galaxy Note always had this aura of pureness and simplicity surrounding it. It feels bespoke. It has an intrinsic value because of it, and if the rumors are true then I feel like the series will never be the same come August. Some sort of impalpable quality will be lost.

Besides, launching more Note versions has nothing to do with bringing the stylus to more affordable segments.

One could argue that if a buyer wants the best of the best, then all he or she needs to do is to buy the more expensive variant of the same device. But in my opinion, introducing more choices in this manner will negate that intrinsic value of the Note series. It’s the subtlety of the thing that makes me wonder, not the obvious fact that Samsung may have crunched the numbers and determined that more Note variants will probably mean higher earnings. I’m not a marketing expert and I’m not implying that a multi-version Note series won’t be successful. But when “choice” is suddenly introduced into the “no thought” process, it changes the paradigm, and it might change the series’ identity.

I think Samsung might also recognize this intrinsic value I mentioned, and perhaps it wants the Galaxy Fold to replace the Galaxy Note in this particular regard. To make the Fold the “what you see is what you get” or bespoke kind of smartphone while pushing the Galaxy Note a bit more into the ordinary. And that’s… fine? Or it would have been if the Galaxy Fold would have already proven itself in the market, and if it would have been more easily obtainable. But the foldable device didn’t reach that point just yet, and in my opinion, perhaps Samsung should not change the Note’s philosophy until that happens. Or, preferably, at all.

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