Samsung is about to make a big mistake with the Galaxy S11e

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.

Whether Samsung will ultimately decide to make the logical decision of releasing its "next big thing" under the Galaxy S11 banner or jump to a Galaxy S20 label that could easily backfire as the rumored upgrades in the pipeline are certainly not drastic enough to justify the leap, the number of early 2020 high-end models is pretty much etched in stone at five.

We're looking at a single jumbo-sized variant with 5G support joined by both 5G-capable and 4G LTE-limited editions of a "regular"-sized S11 (or S20) and a more compact S11e (or S20e). At first glance, you'd be inclined to believe Samsung will cover all the bases and little high-end smartphone market segments with its upcoming flagship lineup, catering to every type of Android power user under the sun.


But somehow, it feels like this year's Galaxy S10 family may have done a superior job of providing actual choice for actual consumers with meaningful differences between the entry-level 5.8-inch model and a 6.1/6.4-inch duo that couldn't altogether escape the overlap danger. The problem is there might be significant overlap between the features and designs of the S11, S11+, and S11e this time around, as Samsung is reportedly preparing to nix the two things that made the Galaxy S10e special in the first place.

Apple gets it


I know I'm basing a lot of this piece on unconfirmed speculation, but given their track records, I really don't expect Steve Hemmerstoffer (aka @OnLeaks) and Ming-Chi Kuo (aka the most well-connected Apple analyst and rumormonger in the world) to be completely wrong when predicting the Galaxy S11e will come with a dual-curved 6.3-inch display and the iPhone 9 (aka SE2) will sport a 4.7-inch screen.


These two devices are therefore unlikely to fit in the same category and go after a similar target audience, which begs an obvious question (at least in my book). Why, Samsung?! Why not follow up the S10e with a 5.8 or even 5.5-inch handset with a flat screen, razor-thin bezels, the latest ultra-high-end processor, and a competitive price point to absolutely crush the iPhone 9? It's not like you didn't know Apple was cooking up this thing

Is it because of the non-Pro iPhone 11? If that's the case, why not further extend the Galaxy S11 family or merge the all too similar S11 and S11+ (just look at the table below), make this S11e the "regular" S11, and add a "true" S11e model at the bottom of the lineup? It simply does not make sense to release three different S11 flavors with curvy screens and super-premium designs and leave the iPhone 9 unchallenged in the "budget" segment.



And yes, I'm fully aware Samsung unveiled a couple of awesome Galaxy A-series mid-rangers just a few weeks ago, but the A51 is taller than the Galaxy S10+ (!!!). It feels bizarre to even think this, let alone type it, but Apple is starting to beat the world's largest Android smartphone vendors at their own diversity game. iPhones nowadays come in many different sizes and many a couple of different designs, opening the brand up to a wider and wider audience.

Meanwhile, if all the rumors are correct, the Galaxy S11 will come in big, bigger, and bigass sizes, with what I can only assume will be fitting prices, forcing those in the market for something easier to handle to either adapt or try a different brand. If you're going to argue that's the will of the people, you should know the Galaxy S10e was by no means a flop. Sure, it wasn't as popular as its bigger brothers, but according to independent data gathered between March and May, it had its own important contribution to the family's improvement over the S9 series sales of last year, with a 22 percent share of the numbers, behind the "regular" S10's 32 percent.

The Galaxy S11e will try to fix what ain't broken


Our in-depth Galaxy S10e review proves this is far from a perfect phone, with a whole lot of raw speed that doesn't always translate into a smooth real-world user experience, a largely unimpressive battery life, a fingerprint scanner placement experiment that didn't quite land, and a price tag that could have been at least 50 bucks lower. But from the look of things, the S11e has a very good chance of ending up in a much worse category than "imperfect" or "flawed."



This bad boy has "forgettable" written all over it, with a seemingly generic design (by what we expect to be the early 2020 standard for high-end handsets), a no doubt beautiful but in no way original display, and what may well be welcomed upgrades in the battery capacity and camera versatility departments. But I know I speak for plenty of neglected fans of truly compact phones out there when I say a Galaxy S11e with a significantly smaller screen than 6.3 inches, a 3,500mAh or so battery, and a similar dual camera system as the S10e would have been perfectly fine.

Granted, the iPhone 9 would have still most likely undercut that thing, at a rumored starting price of around $400, but if a 128GB variant of Apple's next device is indeed set to cost $500, Samsung could have killed two birds with a Galaxy S11e for $700 or so in a 256 gig storage configuration. As things stand, I fear the excessively large and curvy S11e could be too pricey to take on either the iPhone 9 or non-Pro iPhone 11. 

For the sake of healthy competition pushing innovation forward (and not forgetting about people who don't believe a bigger phone is automatically better), let's hope I will be proven wrong by either a reasonably priced S11e or perhaps a compact Samsung flagship we haven't heard about just yet.

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22 Comments

1. Cyberchum

Posts: 1130; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

They need to read this article, that's if it's not too late already.

22. Papa_Ji

Posts: 909; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

They already knows what the apple kids will do.... They are main suppliers of display to internals.... So, I think dad knows how to handle the kids

26. Vokilam

Posts: 1437; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Stupid comment!

2. OneLove123

Posts: 1291; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

But, the se2 is just an iPhone 6 design with a newer processor. Apple is sure doing it right by bringing back a 100 yr old design.

3. User123456789

Posts: 1343; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

With the cam bulge, s11+ will be 10,1 mm.

4. ph00ny

Posts: 2074; Member since: May 26, 2011

Im pretty sure folks said the samething over and over again about the first note

5. Cat97

Posts: 2020; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

I have an S10e and I will not upgrade if the S11e is larger. Battery is more than fine (1.5 days per charge) but I mainly got it for its size. On the other hand, the fact that Snapdragon 865 needs a separate modem (in a desperate move by Qualcomm to catch Apple on CPU and GPU speed) is probably the cause for the lack of a compact S11e. But it's just stupid to give up the compact phone market. I would be more than fine with a non-flagship but battery-efficient chipset like Snapdragon 765 (which has an integrated modem) , for the sake of compactness, as long as the camera has OIS. Hopefully Samsung will not disappoint !

9. User123456789

Posts: 1343; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Adreno of 8xx snapdragon are the most powerful gpu. Qualcomm wants companies to have choice to sell 4G devices where there is no 5G yet.

12. Cat97

Posts: 2020; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

The 5G modems are 4G-compatible and also no one in his right mind would buy a 4G-only flagship in 2020, so no company will actually make such a flagship.

6. Locked-n-Loaded

Posts: 113; Member since: Sep 13, 2019

"rumored upgrades in the pipeline are certainly not drastic enough to justify the leap" - this pretty much sums up Samsung's yearly approach tease a bunch of stuff but only really give out a little bit of stuff act like the better stuff is coming hold out on that stufd and then repeat the cycle next release blah blah same same nothing new. While the Asian makers CRUSH in actual tech advancements Samsung will try to get people to believe whatever they release is some amazing jump forward

7. kevv2288

Posts: 316; Member since: Jul 30, 2015

I have S10e and really hope the leaks are wrong about bigger and curved screen. The only two things they need to change is move the hole punch camera to the center and shrink it, which the leaks say they are. And of course a bigger battery would be nice. I like the smaller size and the flat screen.

8. Guseinguliev

Posts: 145; Member since: Mar 04, 2019

if Samsung will not release a smartphone that will be the size of an iPhone xs or pro , things will not be easy with them. Not everyone loves the shoulder blade.

11. TS020

Posts: 71; Member since: Feb 16, 2019

The new RAZR and Fold 2 will probably take away the spotlight from iPhone and Galaxy S anyway

13. User123456789

Posts: 1343; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

- Put small bezel instead of hole. Like Meizu 16s. - Get rid of curved screen - Make all three equal, just different sizes like 5.7", 6.2" and 6.7" ...

15. Mrmark

Posts: 426; Member since: Jan 26, 2013

PA mad because Apple not doing it first

16. CDexterWard

Posts: 129; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

I was seconds away from grabbing the S10e when the guy at Best Buy showed me his personal S10+ and told me how awesome the battery life was. That change of heart unfortunately stays in the drawer most days as my preferred method of transportation (front pocket) doesn’t work so well with a 6.2 in tall phone. Samsung has the diversity in it’s portfolio that it can afford to take a risk and continue with a compact flagship lineup, especially if it keeps going toe-to-toe with Apple.

17. pratrakr

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 28, 2019

it's a nice phone

20. LEEDAQ

Posts: 212; Member since: Aug 07, 2018

no need the curved s**t

23. inFla

Posts: 216; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

People are buying the oversized, overweight phones coming out of China for the low cost not the quality.

24. Wapc1

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 19, 2019

I need to upgrade and the s10e is a good size, just over-priced. feature phone is looking like a better proposition.

25. johnh3

Posts: 149; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

I think its a market for slightly smaller phones. Seems like Sony Xperia 5 is a fairly popular device in the countries that sell it compared to the huge Xperia 1. And I suppose Apple know it to otherwise they would not launch iPhone 9. Strange decision by Samsung to make all Galaxy 11 so big.

28. Marcwand3l

Posts: 464; Member since: May 08, 2017

"Apple gets it" Yeah they are going to launch a 2020 smartphone with a 2015 design. Very exciting. LoL

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