Opinion

Galaxy S11 camera layout brings the end of a signature Samsung design

The very first CAD renders of the Galaxy S11 were leaked online today. They have given us a good idea of what Samsung’s flagship smartphone might look like. One of the biggest design changes has been made at the back. It appears that the Galaxy S11 will feature a new L-shaped camera setup at the back.

What many of you might have noticed is that the camera is no longer positioned in the center. The new camera setup is right-aligned and positioned vertically. With it, we and many of Samsung’s fans feel, the company has done away with one of its signature design elements.

The cameras always used to be at the back of a Samsung flagship, the very first Galaxy S handset being an exception. In all of those years, Samsung didn’t shift the position even though every other manufacturer would go on to toy with the idea and later adopt it. That didn’t deter Samsung and any changes in the appearance or size of the camera module notwithstanding, the center-alignment remained the same.

There was a time when one could say that Apple drove hardware and design trends in the smartphone market. There’s not much truth to that anymore. Chinese manufacturers have a lot of influence in the market and the sheer numbers that they’re shipping are pushing others to either adapt or get left behind. On the other hand, Samsung has been on a roll for the past few years. it has pushed the boundaries with innovative display technologies and has been able to shun the negative perception of being an Apple copycat. It’s even leading the way on foldable smartphones.

You may never have given it a thought that this design element would eventually come to be subconsciously associated with a Samsung flagship. In a sea of Chinese handsets that looked or less the same when viewed from behind, you could simply look at the camera alignment and tell the Samsung apart. The eagle-eyed among us could even pick out the exact model.

Samsung did make this change for some of its more affordable devices and many did feel that it was merely getting with the times. The Chinese were highly competitive in that segment of the market so it had to do whatever it could to beat them at their own game. That drive has even led Samsung to outsource production of over 60 million handsets to third-parties just to beat or even just match the Chinese on price.

It was the Galaxy Note 10 which revealed to us where Samsung would be headed in terms of design going forward. This year’s flagship phablet does have a right-aligned vertically positioned camera at the back. Some fans voiced their displeasure at it but seeing as how well the Galaxy Note 10 has performed in the market, it’s evident that its other strengths convinced them to get over their dislike for the camera placement.

Much of the negative feedback on these renders has been about the camera layout and placement. Many of our readers feel that this is unnecessary and that it would seem as if Samsung’s merely following a trend set by others. It’s possible that there may have been some engineering challenges that forced Samsung to make this decision.

The Galaxy S11’s camera is shaping out to be unlike anything seen before on a Samsung smartphone. However, given that this had already been done with the Galaxy Note 10 which didn’t break new ground in the camera department, it was basically futile to expect Samsung to retain one of the last vestiges of its signature design.

This won’t inherently make the Galaxy S11 “bad.” It all just comes down to personal preference. The vast majority of people who aren’t that invested in the entire journey of a device from concept to production would probably not even notice it. Only the fans will feel a bit bummed out and that’s really not a major inconvenience for Samsung in the larger scheme of things.

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IMGurmeet Singh
IMGurmeet Singh

Samsung changes a lot since it introduce the s8 without home button.People critisize samsung for it.But Its become beautifull device that time.Then put the puch hole in s10.remove headphone jack from note 10.And put the camera module on side.Now rectantugar camera module on S11.is Samsung following trend.is it like a innovation?

jake1271
jake1271

I agree with the sentiment here. The S and Note series should continue with their signature design. Let the A series do all the trend following and price to feature battles.

Let the flagship series stand for No Compromises, bring back the headphone jack add a small chin and forehead for much better speakers and no hole punch and make sure to include an SD slot in all the flagship models (I’m looking at you Note 10).

Otherwise, we’re seeing another giant fade away into obscurity.

kokolia1070
kokolia1070

I remember the day when Nokia began to fall. Now I think that Samsung is really close to this side of the table.

stoleriko
stoleriko

The latest phones from apple, huawei, googel show that the most important thing is the A.I processing. Samsung is still behind.

Ian Grech
Ian Grech

Absolutely terrible. They mocked apple for headphone Jack, they followed, they mocked apple for the notch, they followed with the hole, now they are following with the camera and probably the bump too. Well done Samsung for this crap

You forgot to copy the best thing of Apple though, MAJOR UPDATES. They better focus on this than this crappy camera thing. People who are truly photographers or like photos, buy a dedicated camera not a phone.

cmdacos
cmdacos

If you’re happy with a basic feature phone like an iPhone get one. Clearly Samsung has a winning formula across its devices and they get regular updates unless it’s the disposable lower tiers. Choose what you want.

Bobbingalong
Bobbingalong

The worst rumor is that the dimensions that has been posted on the net of it being 161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8mm with a body that’s 8.9mm thick. I can get over the design look if the functionality is amazing which it should but the size will be a “big” issue as it’s way too big to be pocket friendly. It’s much bigger than the s10 and that is already too big

TheSparda
TheSparda

Samsung did well moving away from being an iphone copy cat, but they seem to miss that title that was placed on them many years ago.

SAMgalaxyXXX
SAMgalaxyXXX

Best overall design Samsung has ever come out so far is S9s/Note 9. After that all it had to do is to eliminate the chin and leave a thinner top bezel for all the proper sensors like iris/ intelligent scanner or 3D facial recognition for extra security and even dual front facing camera lenses though I would have personally preferred thin top and bottom bezels with front facing firing stereo speakers and not this nonsense of hole punch on the screen. Still not happy about the removal of the headphone jack and heart rate monitor either. The camera would look… Read more »

aroutis
aroutis

For me , best overall design has been the Note 10+ by far. It’s incredible to hold, the screen is amazing, noone cares about the punch hole cause it is in the middle of the screen and yes, noone cares about the removal of the headphone jack!
Now, about the topic at hand, I ‘d prefer not to see this kind of bump in the back of the next S or Note phone; then again, I am totally fine with my Note 10+ so I am hoping for this to be re-mediated by Note 12.

Landon A
Landon A

Eh, I’ll get over it.

ironbat
ironbat

Looks like the ugliest Samsung flagship ever. I love my s9.

stoleriko
stoleriko

The S7 edge was the best. Iris scaner, the front fast fingerprint sensor.

kokolia1070
kokolia1070

You mean the Note 7, because S7 doesn’t have an Iris Scanner

fhmontoya2
fhmontoya2

That’s horrible, the Galaxy s10 is the last Samsung flagship that I buy.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Anyone yet see cameras look like pixel 4 and iphone 11 promax.?

That’s intentional.

colliderz
colliderz

Samsung has completely lost it. Over and out Samsung.

djcbs
djcbs

This looks just awful. Like the deformed child of a Huawei and an iPhone. I would question what on earth was Samsung thinking but when you look at the rest of the phone and how awful every single other decision is, you realise that they’ve just completely lost it. I think I can safely say that the S10e is the last Samsung phone I’m buying in the foreseeable future. I’m not paying 1000€ for an oversized phone lacking basic features like a headphone jack, with such a horrid design, intrusive decisions (like the hole in the middle, demanding the immediate… Read more »

brendonx
brendonx

I guess you’ll never buy a phone again then because no phone will have an headphone jack. I don’t use my headphone jack in my S10 as I have the Galaxy Buds. The design isn’t horrid people just don’t like change. People need to get with the times.

Anonymous
Anonymous

gotta love the pixel/apple camera look alike camera on back.
smart move samsung to get attention.

djcbs
djcbs

1 – Well, that’s a perfectly viable option. Another is to never buy 1000€ phones again. I’m not paying that money for less features. 2 – Wireless earbuds are sh*t. They lag, the sound quality is always inferior and they have to be recharged constantly. No, people don’t “need to get with the time”. You don’t use the headphone jack? Good for you. I use it daily. Companies need to “start delivering on what people demand”. 3 – No, the design is objectively horrible. You might like it, but then again, someone also thought the back to the iPixel looked… Read more »

Bobbingalong
Bobbingalong

Full agree with the wireless headbuds, tried using my galaxy buds with call of duty mobile and was a terrible experience. Huge delays and lags

Ian Grech
Ian Grech

Well said absolutely agree . They better copy apple on the amount of major updates they give not 2 and bye bye.

Messibarca92
Messibarca92

Now if my headset doesn’t work anymore…. I can buy a new one for €20… but new galaxy buds 140+

keithsanantonio
keithsanantonio

Before, i was saying that headphone jack is necessary to a phone but after I buy the Samsung Note10+, it’s ok and not inconvenient since i use bluetooth headphones and then fast charging of the phone makes it able to use on the go without worry on getting low battery.

djcbs
djcbs

I use it daily and I will never think it’s OK to not be there. Bluetooth headphones are crap and I’m one of those that do notice these things. Even my XM3’s sound better when connected. Then there’s the use for phone calls. Obviously I’m not using a pair of XM3’s for that, specially because I normally use that functionality when I’m driving and it’s forbidden by law to use those kinds of headphones on the wheel. So earbuds are the alternative. Those I can simply plug it in and use one earbud. No need to be worried with yet… Read more »

Ian Grech
Ian Grech

I’m with you on this. The buds are the one thing I regret that I bought. Not even close to the quality of wired headphones.

Dagher A
Dagher A

Actually, I want to buy the buds. They have excellent reviews in YT with small complain about the microphone. Are they really don’t deserve spending money on?