Samsung Galaxy Note 10 may introduce a controversial design change

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 may introduce a controversial design change
As smartphone design becomes increasingly uniform on the front—with hair-thin bezels and large displays differentiated only by a small notch or a hole-punch—the back still offers plenty of room for creative freedom and experimentation. Unfortunately, as the number of cameras and sensors (and their size) grows, finding visually appealing ways to position them on the back of a phone, in correlation with the hardware inside, especially the ever-increasing battery sizes, becomes ever more difficult.

As current rumors have it, the iPhone 11 may have a very unusual-looking triple-camera setup with bigger lenses, housed in a square bump, offset to the upper right corner of the phone. Opinions on this rumored design change are polarized, raging from surprised to jarred. However, since the leaks point to considerably larger openings for the three main cameras of the iPhone 11, this may suggest that Apple is doing juggling act between improving the hardware of the phone, while maintaining an appealing design. Something that may not be as easy as it sounds when the increased battery capacity and larger camera lenses are factored in.

But Apple is not alone in this boat. According to recent rumors, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is also in for some radical design changes to its back. We recently envisioned what the Galaxy Note 10 may look like, based on information from reliable sources. The biggest change we expect is in the phone's main camera setup – both in the number of cameras and in the module's placement and orientation.

Stuffing more and better cameras in phones introduces a number of design challenges


The Note 10 is said to have four cameras on its back, similar to the Galaxy S10+ 5G. However, while the S10+ 5G's camera is horizontal, the Note 10 is said to be getting a vertical camera bump. This means that the camera is likely not going to be centered, as it would take up too much precious space inside the device, needed for the the rumored 4,300 mAh battery.  Instead, the camera of the Galaxy Note 10 may be offset to either side, similar to what we've seen from the Galaxy A9.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 concept design, based on available information

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 concept design, based on available information


Many of our readers weren't excited at the prospect of this change, when we shared our concept renders of the Note 10, but the real design may be even more surprising (and not necessarily in a good way).

According to two reputable sources of tech leaks, the design of the Galaxy Note 10 will be outright "bad" and "ugly." In a recent tweet about the Note 10, Steve Hemmerstoffer (better known as @OnLeaks), said that, in his opinion, the Note 10 "looks bad compared to #GalaxyNote9 rear camera design."

In a separate tweet, XDA insider Max Weinbach went further and said, "I think the Note 10 Pro is going to look MUCH worse than people think with current concept designs. Like much much worse."  Yikes.

Form follows function


Samsung Galaxy Note 10 may introduce a controversial design change

Although we'd postpone any judgement until we see the final design, this could mean a number of things. First off, since the various cameras used in smartphones these days have different focal lengths, the size of their lenses varies as well. If you take a look at the camera on the Galaxy S10+ 5G, you'll notice how some of the openings for the different lenses and sensors vary in size and distance from one another. These small details can oftentimes result in an uneven look, which is what the leakers may be referring to, considering that the Note 10 may borrow heavily from the S10+ 5G in the camera department.

The other possibility is that the size of the camera module will increase, which would also make the bump bigger as a whole. This, combined with the differently sized sensors, could result in a less aesthetically pleasing overall design.

What's your opinion on vertical camera setups? Some have managed to pull it off, like the Huawei P30 Pro, but cramming the needed lenses and sensors in a nice-looking package remains somewhat difficult still. Tell us what you think in the comments below!

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20 Comments

1. afrohoxha

Posts: 231; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Sorry but I don't think note 10 will top iPhone 11 in terms of ugliness regarding the back of the phone, no matter how you try to justify it.

7. Orion78

Posts: 177; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

Haha exactly! That's what I took from this article as well. Nice try PhoneArena. Lol

16. sgodsell

Posts: 7004; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Not to mention the iPhone notch by far takes up the most space, with only a tiny piece of screen real estate on either side. Therefore the screen space that is left is totally useless.

19. adecvat

Posts: 629; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

> 2017 Sorry but I don't think someone will top iPhone X in terms of ugliness regarding the back of the phone, no matter how you try to justify it. > 2019 Note 10. Ohhh sh***

2. CEDEOTB

Posts: 375; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Looks like their budget A series phones or like any other Chinese phone. I agree it is hard to put 4 camera's together and have it look good.

3. Wazupmrg

Posts: 145; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

If it makes for a bigger battery, better sensors, I'm ok with a different placement. Samsung never really has bad back camera looks, and are definitely more refined and low profile than Apple. Just keep giving me solid camera performance

18. adecvat

Posts: 629; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

It will be same sensors from S10.

4. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Now that Huawei is banned, Samsung can make huawei-inspired phone to gain back customer

5. charliebigpot

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 29, 2019

So the Note10 will be "controversial-looking" but the iPhone11 will be "unusual-looking". You guys really pick your words carefully..

6. Guseinguliev

Posts: 98; Member since: Mar 04, 2019

For me, the most beautiful back of the note series is note 8, not counting the location of the scanner prints.

8. briankeithmays

Posts: 27; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

This is just iPhone arena trying to cause problems with their writing. No controversy here.

9. sissy246

Posts: 7027; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

I do like horizontal better but, this still looks wayyyyyyyyy better then the back of the i11.

10. XyAzario

Posts: 35; Member since: Mar 15, 2019

"Many of our readers weren't excited at the prospect of this change" mhhh, so they do listen to us. :-D

11. ReticentHamster

Posts: 153; Member since: Jan 19, 2015

Lol at the people trying to use this as a "PhoneArena is biased! Grab torches and pitchforks!" kind of thing. Did y'all even read the statements from the leakers? Two reputable sources saying it will look bad is a significant reason to worry. I agree with the point in the article that the different lens sizes/cutouts can look very odd. I was never a fan of how it looked on the Note9, especially because the middle lens was a half millimeter off-center, a baffling decision to me. Hopefully the "badness" of this design is only an opinion thing, but I'm a little conerned now :/

12. shawman

Posts: 39; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

how does it matter where in the phone the camera is. I think bigger battery is more important. I hope ultimately we see 5000mah battery on big phones.

13. Vogue1985

Posts: 407; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

Looks nice but it's just to rectangular. They could give the Note a unique camera layout. Like a circle not another rectangle like every other phone. Besides paying 1000 plus,it ought to be different

14. thefantasticspastic

Posts: 18; Member since: May 27, 2019

So this array is "controversial" while Apple's is "unusual"? Looks very sleek to me, but whatever makes Apple look good, right PhoneArena?

15. Joulukas

Posts: 113; Member since: Jun 05, 2013

If they had made vertical camera for S10 series - would have bought one. I know, that is doesn't change the fact, that it's nice phone - I just really dont like the horizontal setup!

17. cheetah2k

Posts: 2198; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Looks like a nice phone, which ever way the cameras go. But at least they're not in a square housing like the new iphone or the Huawei garbage

20. gigicoaste

Posts: 440; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

critic hurts crappyArena! :)) jokers!

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