The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 may not technically exist yet, but you can still buy accessories for your non-existent handset. And a couple of cases have appeared on Chinese marketplace Alibaba which might just have given us a big clue to an aesthetic difference between the plain old Note 20 and its chunkier sibling, the Note 20 Plus.
The difference is subtle, but there if you know what you’re looking for. First, take a look at the Note 20 Plus case (opens in new tab), paying special attention to the sideways shot. See how there’s a lip at the top and bottom for clipping the case to the phone?
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Now take a look at the regular Note 20 accessory (opens in new tab):
There is no lip – the case goes all the way around the edge. That strongly suggests that while the Note 20 Plus will have curved edges to the screen, the regular Note 20 will be flat. Assuming the cases haven’t just been designed to a giant misunderstanding, that is.
Given that every Samsung Galaxy Note handset has had a curved screen since the ill-fated Note 7, this might seem to be an unlikely downgrade for a line of phones that generally prefers to push the boundaries.
But it wouldn’t be the first time Samsung has downgraded the cheaper version of a handset: last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 10 dropped the screen resolution to 1080p – the first time a Samsung flagship didn’t adopt 2K since 2014’s Galaxy S5 – and killed expandable storage, too. The Note 10 Plus, meanwhile, retained both features from past generations making it the more appealing buy.
We don’t know for sure what compromises will be inside the cheaper Note 20 yet but, as cuts go, this one is certainly easy to swallow. While aesthetically taking away the curved screen may be a downer, it does mean that the Note 20 will be that bit less vulnerable to drops than the Note 20 Plus. And maybe that’s more important for butterfingered buyers in the long run.