While Apple goes small, Samsung is going big with the Galaxy S11 series

While Apple goes small, Samsung is going big with the Galaxy S11 series
For the first time in the Galaxy S line history, all of the S11 series phones may have displays larger than 6 inches, and batteries of at least 4000mAh capacity. 

That's right, the latest report out of Korea reiterates that the Galaxy S11e will come with a 6.2" display, the S11 will raise it up to 6.5 inches, while the S11+ will have display the 6.8" size of the current Note 10+ darling, and maybe even larger. We shudder to think what the Note 11+ display and battery would look like on paper, but we'll get there when we get there.

Contrast this to Apple's alleged 5.4" iPhone 12 approach that banks on nostalgia and a proven demand for smaller, more compact iPhones. Apple is also expected to issue an even smaller, 4.7" iPhone 9 in the spring, too, although it will resemble more the iPhone 8 in design, so it might not be that much smaller than the notch-y 5.4-incher.

Granted, Apple is also expected to grow the 6.5" display of the Pro Max to 6.7 inches for its successor, but that would still be smaller on paper than its equivalent on Samsung's side, the S11+, or whatever it gets named.


Samsung, however, can afford these huge diagonal leaps thanks to its bezel-busting Infinity design that allows it to shave off the top an bottom bezels almost completely, so in terms of workable display area, the S11 series would have the upper hand.

Today's Galaxy S11 series report also mentions once again that the S11+ will be coming with a brand new 108MP camera sensor from Samsung, and 5x optical zoom. Just like the purported iPhone 12 Pro Max, the S11+ is said to come as a 5G model only, and sport ToF camera on the back, in addition to all the other photographic accouterments. 

Thus, it seems that Samsung is gearing up for a direct fight with all the numerous iPhone 12 models that Apple is expected to unveil, just going big instead of going small. Thanks, enhanced Premium Hole Infinity design, for making it possible and allowing for much larger batteries to boot. 

If Samsung manages to leapfrog in the camera and battery life departments indeed, the competition with Apple in 2020 will prove to be the most interesting one in a while. When we add 5G connectivity to the mix, a volatile cycle of upgrades may be upon us, both in Apple and in Samsung land.

Related phones

Galaxy S20 (S11e)
  • Display 6.2" 1440 x 3200 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 10 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh

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22 Comments

2. inFla

Posts: 216; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

The iPhones are on the right track, Samsung and others are not.

6. torr310

Posts: 1723; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

iPhones are eaiser to read since the screen ratio is wider.

7. Cat97

Posts: 2020; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

I agree on this one. Samsung will lose a lot of customers while Apple will gain a lot with the smaller phones.

15. RoryBreaker

Posts: 295; Member since: Oct 11, 2015

"The iPhones are on the right track, Samsung and others are not." That is a matter of personal opinion. Less bezel, more screen, same size device = good idea

20. disatrousrainbow

Posts: 71; Member since: Oct 24, 2015

The S10e is smaller than the iPhone 11 Pro and chances are the dimensions of the S11e will remain the same with reduced bezel size, hence the increase in overall display size. If anything, Samsung's just giving their clientele more of what they want (bigger screens).

21. mackan84

Posts: 682; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

It will need some bezels on a 5.4” iPhone to reach the size of a 6.2”. But it’s still two different approaches, Apple will release two “cheaper” options and two “premium” options. Samsung has a huge library of options and really doesn’t need to shell out 4 options on their Galaxy S-release.

23. Orion78

Posts: 230; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

Based on what? Your biased opinion? Lol

3. JamesW

Posts: 33; Member since: Jun 13, 2013

For the first time the regular S series will have a display above 6 inches? The regular S10 is 6.1 inches. Whoever wrote this article clearly didn't do their research.

14. forever_student

Posts: 5; Member since: Apr 05, 2016

No, you misread the statement: "For the first time in the Galaxy S line history, all of the S11 series phones ..." ALL OF THE S11 SERIES The S10e was thankfully less than 6".

19. disatrousrainbow

Posts: 71; Member since: Oct 24, 2015

Reading comprehension also helps. They said for the first time *all* models of the S line will have displays six inches or bigger. My guess is they'll do this by reducing the chin/side bezels even further...or at least that's how I hope they do it. The S10e was one of the most comfortable phones I've ever used so I hope they don't make it too big.

4. Guaire

Posts: 897; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

I would get a Xperia Z Ultra size flagship with current slim bezels and taller aspect ratio trend. At the time market was not ready I guess, but now mainstream phone size is revolving around 160x80mm more or less. Compact phones are eliminated due natural selection. Phones are not really phones anymore. They are multimedia computers in most compact form. For better experience people have demanded more screen real estate.

8. Cat97

Posts: 2020; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Actually you are completely wrong. Smaller companies make only big phones because they can't miniaturize without high costs or patent breaches. Also, the newer powerful chips emit a lot of heat and require large batteries because of this. And then those companies naturally try to emphasize the benefits of big screens, but they lose sales, look at OnePlus, it secretly struggles with low sales and they don't know why (actually they are preparing to launch a smaller phone soon!)

13. Guaire

Posts: 897; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

Actually you have no idea what are you talking about. Vast majority of the smartphone market divided between less than 10 companies. All of these companies each are selling tens of millions of phones every year. There is almost no market for smaller companies. Samsung is #1 smartphone vendor and they have no compact phone at the similar size of old Xperia Compacts or iPhone 5. Apple and Huawei is #2 and # vendors. Huawei has no small phone at all. Brand new Apple phones are not that compact either. Both S10e and iPhone 11 Pro both are larger than LG G2. Which was no compact phone at the time. Other big vendors are Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and guess what? They don't have small phones at all. There is no such thing as a miniaturizing cost. Please don't repeat this nonsense, ever. Big or small all phones are equipped with same components. SoC, RAM, NAND, sensors, batteries, displays, all of them came with from same tech background, same factories, same manufacturers and same cost. Smaller the phone, lower the building cost. Not the opposite. If OnePlus struggles it must be related to the recent price hike. Seriously what are you smokin? Size difference between first gen to last gen OnePlus flagships are negligible, gen by gen. That's a fact. Considering rumors seems like they are preparing to launch a cheaper phone. Did I say, all other things being equal smaller is cheaper. Do you know why? Most expensive component of a phone is the display. Smaller display cost less. That's simple. Chip power is not an excuse too. Did you ever check power consumption tables Anandtech published? Any vendor can save a lot of power with just a minor underclocking. People want to play games, watching videos, reads long articles or books on the "phones". And those are more enjoyable on bigger screens. Not to mention you can put larger batteries inside of them. Did you ever wonder why last strongholds of compact phones Apple and Sony doesn't make them anymore? Apple's last true compact phone was a considerably cheaper one. Just think about that, before repeating miniaturizing cost and patent breaches nonsense.

16. forever_student

Posts: 5; Member since: Apr 05, 2016

Ummm...There are a few kind of "half-truths" in your response. I'm not saying you're definitively wrong, I'm just saying that you're not 100% right either. There is a thermal penalty to cramming the same amount of power into a smaller package. You have less surface area over which to dissipate heat. A larger phone has a larger area to dissipate the same amount of heat and can run cooler. Is this significant? Probably not, but just because it's not significantly different doesn't mean it's not true. Also, there may be a cost penalty to making smaller screens IF WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE SAME RESOLUTION. It's significantly more difficult to make 1440 x 2560, or whatever resolution you're talking about, fit into a 5" screen than a 6.4" screen. ppi is the cost difference there. But USUALLY those smaller screens have similar ppi and lower resolutions so again, this isn't a major issue. Lastly, and this could have changed in the last few years, but a few years ago the most expensive part of a good smartphone was the fantastic camera. That tiny little camera, that's only 20-30mm thick might have between 7 and 15 lenses in it. Each has to be precision crafted to within Angstroms of precision, with no optical aberrations. A few years ago the cost was so high because only about 10% of the cameras produced actually met the quality standards required. The rest were trashed. The precision requirements are so high that entire manufacturing plants would be paused to allow for air traffic miles away before resuming production. This may have gotten better over the last few years, and you may be right that the screen is the most expensive thing, but that would be a relatively new development. You're clearly right about natural selection though. If enough people wanted it, they'd probably build it. Just because I want a 5" S11e doesn't mean it would be a big seller. I still see a lot of older iPhones floating around that fit into the 4 or C form factor. I'd go that avenue if I could keep using Android.

18. Guaire

Posts: 897; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

Let's check our facts straight. I don't know you exact definition of few years, but I can give you some numbers. At the 2015 for iPhone 6s Plus displays cost 52 USD, while both front and back camera cost 22.5 USD in total. Let's go back to 2013 to iPhone 5s.. It's display cost 41 USD, while its camera pair cost 14.8 USD. Numbers was 37.6 USD to 13.7 USD for iPhone 4 back in the 2010 with same result. Let's take a look into more recent phones, cost of the display and cameras of Samsung S9+ was 79 USD and 44.95 USD (including 3 camera modules + iris scanner) Smartphone cameras usually came with dirt cheap plastic lenses no more than 6 elements. Very few of them equipped with glass lenses and 7 element lenses a new thing, let alone 15 element ones. Also not to mention camera thickness of the smartphone hardly more than 10mm. And those are new 1/1.3" 108MP sensors, not small sensors like iPhone and Samsung flagships are coming with. Even Nokia 808 Pureview at bulge was not 20-30mm thick. And it has 5 element lenses, not 15. Regarding the display, no company makes compact phones with QHD resolution. Below certain sizes they go for lower resolutions naturally. SO WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE SAME RESOLUTION. No one has to run the SoC at max frequency. If thermal budget is lower, they can clock the CPU and GPU slightly, meanwhile lower the temperature significantly. For example Kirin 950 consumes 30% less power at 10% slower peak frequency. Less power means less heat. Thermal budget is not why they don't do compact phones. Also mid-range SoC's consumes a lot less power.

5. torr310

Posts: 1723; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Big as narrower and longer?

9. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 745; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

"THE S11 SERIES MAY PASS THE 6" DISPLAY MARK"? Is the S11 gonna be released at 7"?

10. Alcyone

Posts: 608; Member since: May 10, 2018

Thanks to T Mobile desire to clear out the iPhone 8 64gb, I got one for $50 bucks no trade required. I'd prefer a what my 5s size was, but i can't complain. My corp discount played very nice with the 24 cyber Monday deal. May be older, but it'll be supported for a few more yrs. Pricing is getting outta control.

11. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1859; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

I'm ready for the Note 11+! Gonna rock this McLaren 5G until then...

12. Guseinguliev

Posts: 145; Member since: Mar 04, 2019

Apple does everything right. whoever likes a compact smartphone buys a small one, and whoever a big one chooses the max version. and Samsung what he thinks than he thinks is not clear.

17. Rocket

Posts: 729; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Nobody needs a phone with a display bigger than 3.5" that was the saying 5+ years ago right? ;)

22. OneLove123

Posts: 1291; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Yep, Apple fans said that was the perfect size. Also, their retina lcd display was the best according to them and that oled was crap. Look at them now praising oled screen like there's no tomorrow.lol

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