Now that we have two Galaxy Notes, can we get one with a flat display?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Now that we have two Galaxy Notes, can we get one with a flat display?
The Galaxy Note family has doubled in size and now consists of two models: the regular Note and a Note+. And unlike the Galaxy S phones that are almost identical aside from the size, the differences between the two Notes are quite significant. You can read more about them in our comparison between the Note 10 and Note 10+. While for some that might be a bad thing, it’s also an opportunity for Samsung.

Looking at the two devices it’s clear that the Note 10+ is the true successor to the Note line. As such, it has to meet certain expectations and follow the heritage of the series. That leaves the regular Note somewhat out of the spotlight, which in terms gives Samsung the freedom to experiment with it. This year, Samsung didn’t really take the opportunity to do so, besides cutting a couple of features from the bigger Note and scaling it down in size, but hopefully, things will be different next year.

Now, I’ll leave most of the decisions to Samsung’s engineers (how gracious of me), as I’m sure they know what they’re doing (even if sometimes they’re forced to, RIP headphone jack). However, if there was one change that I could make for next year’s “compact” Note 11, it would be to put a flat display on it. A lot of you are probably already sold on the idea without any further explanation, but for the rest, let’s take a deeper look into the “why”.

Offering a meaningful choice


As I already mentioned, the differences between the Note 10 and Note 10+ are not insignificant by any means. Still, for the majority of people, they're not a dealbreaker so essentially they have two very similar devices to choose from. Why not, instead, differentiate in a way that would make happy both sides of a polarizing feature. And make no mistake, the curved-edge displays are a polarizing feature. Maybe not for the average user, but people that consider themselves tech enthusiasts (as most Note users do) take into account the shape of their device’s display.

Currently, if they prefer a flat screen on their phone, they have to either make a compromise by getting a Note or they have to look for another model altogether. Why not then have the two phones each with a different type of display? You give both camps a phone they’re happy with and at the same time you can cut some of the cost of the smaller one, two birds with one stone! Keep the fanciness for the expensive model and give the cheaper one the more utilitarian display.
 
OnePlus did something similar with the 7 and 7 Pro – the Pro version got the prettier, curved-edge display. Even Samsung itself went for variety with the Galaxy S10e, which was appealing not only because of its smaller size, but the flat display as well. Plus, there are practical reasons to have one on a Note device...

It makes more sense for S Pen use


The Galaxy Note is all about productivity, being able to take notes, draw and edit things with the S Pen. And for that, you need all the screen real estate you can get. The smaller Note is already losing in that regard compared to the Note+, but with the curved edges, you’re forfeiting even more. Yes, the edge curvature radius of the latest Notes and Galaxy S phones is smaller, so they’re not taking away as much, but it’s still there. And although it’s rare that you have to use the full width of the display for your doodles, when using the S Pen the curved edge is even more annoying than usual. A flat surface is more akin to a canvas, which is Samsung’s main goal for the Note series after all. But there are some practical reasons as well!

No accidental touches


When holding any phone with a curved-edge display, inevitably there will be some accidental inputs happening. How often you’d get those depends largely on the way you hold your phone, if you have a case or not and so on, but in any case, occasionally your phone will do something unexpected because it registered an input you didn’t mean to make. Тhat’s just annoying.

Improved durability


Let’s face it, those curved edges are begging to meet every sharp object that gets into their vicinity and get a nice battle scar, whether you like it or not. And cases generally have a hard time providing meaningful protection to such displays without being too ugly. Sure, you can always use one of those that have a flap that covers the front of the device, but those are a bit of a hassle to use. Those of you that have a more active lifestyle or just hands that are prone to dropping things will appreciate a Note that’s easier to keep intact.



Do I need to say more? Samsung, if you’re reading this, please consider making a Note 11 with a flat display. The tech community will be very grateful. Or not. That’s always a possibility. Still, though, give it a shot and we’ll see how it goes.

Related phones

Galaxy Note 10+
  • Display 6.8" 1440 x 3040 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 10 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4300 mAh

FEATURED VIDEO

34 Comments

1. surethom

Posts: 1689; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Having had a few Samsung phones with curved display, i can say flat displays are much better, no side reflections.

10. Brewski

Posts: 690; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

Agree. A while ago I decided to try the S7 curve and couldn't stand the bent screen. Between that, and the ugly UI I don't really have any desire to try another Samsung device.

35. PartTimePhoner

Posts: 9; Member since: Jun 03, 2019

You mean the S7 Edge's UI or OneUI?

38. LordDavon

Posts: 156; Member since: Sep 19, 2011

I've had the S7 Edge, S8+ and now the Note 9. Not a huge Samsung UI fan, so I'd always sideload the Google Now Launcher, or something else. The new OneUI is actually really good. But, I really just hate the curved screen. As well, we've had almost every series replaced for some stupid defect at least once. The issue is that there are almost no other really great choices out there. So we are keeping the Note 9s until something better and flat comes along.

45. audibot

Posts: 632; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

yes yes yes please stop with the stupid curved screen crap that just allows you to crake the screen easier

2. stulla

Posts: 91; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

The people who write articles like these use iPhones and Samsung keeps following their ridiculous demands

7. mixedfish

Posts: 1555; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Nope, been an Android user for 10 years and I refuse to buy a side curved phone. The only thing worse is a notch.

11. Brewski

Posts: 690; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

You know there are other manufactures besides Apple and Samsung, right?

26. Fellwalker

Posts: 538; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

A strange observation. I'm a died in the wool Android user. I would refuse a gift of an iphone. I have the note 9 because my note 4 died. My Huawei mate 9 wouldn't work properly. I whole heartedly agree with having a flat screen for the note. The curved screen edges are an irritation several times a day.

29. technut

Posts: 205; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

I've owned every Note model since the start and I prefer the flat screens. I agree with the article, flat is more practical and there is no shading on the edges. Same goes with tv's. I had a curved Samsung tv before buying a LG oled (oled smokes led imo, but that's another story. No brand loyalty here). The curved tv's reflections were absolutely horrible. Sitting off to the side of it was also annoying. I think once foldable phones become more mainstream, the curved gimmick will phase out. It has no practicability. Flat or fold!

3. redmd

Posts: 1935; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Can we have a bigger Note like the Mate 20 X?

4. VasiliS7

Posts: 202; Member since: Jan 10, 2017

no but you can have a Foldable bigger than Mate 20 X Note, with half the size....in 2 years.

30. technut

Posts: 205; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

Perfect response!

5. LawnBoy

Posts: 188; Member since: Feb 23, 2019

Flat screens FTW. Sammy would do itself justice by making the Note Series exclusively flat screen. That way, they have another differentiation with the S line (other than just the S-Pen)

6. deleon629

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

This article is the very reason why I'd never even looked at the Note 10+ display before choosing the S10 5G: I was annoyed by the Note 8's curvatures everytime I tried to use it and not only because the pen slides off the screen while writing, but because Samsung loves to tote the product as though it should be taken seriously as a productivity device a'la tablet/PC replacement. The curved sides only draw a power user's attention to all the other flaws which discourage them from believing it's a practical alternative (desktop scaling, file loading/viewing/word processing, OneNote is a pain in the *%$ to edit, etc.).

8. dmdzordilla

Posts: 59; Member since: Jul 31, 2018

When I owned a note (Note 4-5-7) i’ve only had few accidental touches on the curved Note7. I think Samsung should just make the Note+ as the fold, and the regular Note a slab

9. Rocket

Posts: 652; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Nice article with good points of view.

12. oldskool50

Posts: 1491; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

A flat screen Note has zero tags over a curved one. Accidental touches? If you haven't learned how to hold a curved phone screen, without this being an issue; then you're holding it wrong and it's your own fault. I've never had this issue. The way I hold the phone is in my left hand. 3 fingers are on the back, my pinky is on the bottom and I type with both of my thumbs. Since the side of the screen is exposed, it simply means you need to bot hold the phone by them. It's that simple. The way I hold it the phone is steady, its resting on 3 fingers so it's not going anywhere. Curved glass more vulnerable to breaks? Yes more exposed glass, so yes dropping it is a no-no. But I've dropped my Note 9 several times and it hasn't cracked. And I now stopping using screen protectors and cases. You don't have to be careful, you simply can't be stupid with it. However all glass breaks and I've had flat phones break quicker. If you so worried about breaking it, get a case and a 9H screen protector. I never want to see a flat Note again. The note 5 was ugly. The Note 3 was awesome and the 4 I thought was ugly too. The Note 7 signature look which was better than the S7 edge was perfect. The 8 and 9 simply feel like a thinner taller Note 7. If you dont like curved screen phones, then Samsung makes phones that are flat. To constantly complain about such trivia BS is pointless. Soon all 4 sides are going to be curved. What you gonna do then? Whine like you're doing now? If you have such an issue with the phone, dont frikkin buy it. I have a problem with the Note 10. I won't be buying it. That's how easy it is. But I'm bot complaining about any compromises they made. I'm simply skipping it

22. TBomb

Posts: 1460; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I usually only agree with about 50% of what you say, but I agree. I have no qualms with the curved screen, especially accidental touches and I don't hold my phone the same way as you :P

36. PartTimePhoner

Posts: 9; Member since: Jun 03, 2019

Flat screen phones samsung have are A series phones it is normal to demand flat screen for flagships because we need it. Also curved screen is just straight-up ugly

43. laxtaxi

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 24, 2019

I agree. I like the curved screen better. It is an affirmative selling feature for me. Loved my S7E and looking forward to my Note 10's arrival. I tried it and the + at Best Buy and opted for the 10 but on both the curved screen felt and looked just right.

47. sissy246

Posts: 7109; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Agree with a lot you said. I have held all my curved screen phones exactly like you said and have never had a issue. I love the curved screen but, I also understand it's not for everyone. I also think Samsung would benefit to make one of each.

13. notfair

Posts: 740; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

I hate curved displays plus like it's mentioned in the article, you can't use the PEN properly on a curved screen. this is so stupid. anyway f**k you samsung, you removed beloved features on the note 10 and you raised the price. i hope those million preorders are all the sales that you will get globally.

14. User123456789

Posts: 906; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

How about one with complete screen and flat ? No edges, no notch, no hole

16. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1057; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

So, something like the Galaxy A80?

15. tokuzumi

Posts: 1895; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Agreed. I like my S9, and the curved screen looks great, but the accidental touches are annoying. I much prefer the flat screens

21. jellmoo

Posts: 2577; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I really would like a Note version of the S10e. Flat screen, compact size, physical fps. Add an S-Pen to the s10e and it's pretty much what I'm looking for.,

23. TBomb

Posts: 1460; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I think the s10e is too small for the addition of an s-pen. they could probably make a case that holds an s-pen for you though. That'd be pretty nifty.

25. jellmoo

Posts: 2577; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

The size difference between the s10e and the Note 10 isn't all that pronounced to be honest. I think that splitting the difference between the two size wise would give a nice middle ground. But you're right, other options like a case or a magnetic solution could be explored as well.

44. DaveElliott

Posts: 148; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

Bring (or for Samsung's bottom line "buy") bring your owns SPen on a few accepetable models. That may have prevented the neutered Note 10.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.