Samsung Galaxy Note 11 release date, specs and rumors

Jan 24, 2020 – Update: Samsung fans are eagerly looking forward to next month’s Galaxy S20 Unpacked event. Numerous leaks have confirmed that the Korean company is going to change its long-held flagship-naming scheme in 2020. Samsung is going to name them on the 2020 theme. It means the next Note flagship might be called Galaxy Note 20 instead of Galaxy Note 11, just like the new S-series is said to be named Galaxy S20 instead of S11.

Samsung Galaxy Note 11

Image: PhoneArena

If Samsung sticks to the new scheme, the 2021 models could be called Galaxy S21 and Note 21. The change for 2020 Galaxy flagship phones makes sense. The ‘S20’ and ‘Note 20’ are more catchy and memorable than ‘S11’ and ‘Note 11.’

If Samsung confirms the Galaxy S20 name at the February Unpacked event, we would expect the Note line to be called Note 20. A few years ago, the Korean company had skipped the Note 6 to launch Note 7 to bring its name in line with the Galaxy S7. Both the S7 and Note 7 were launched in the same year.

Previously:

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 flagship has been around for only a few months. The Korean company is not expected to refresh the Note line until the second half of 2020, but the rumor mill and well-connected tipsters have already started revealing details about the Galaxy Note 11. Below, we have put together the Galaxy Note 11 rumors, specs details, release date, and expected price. The Korean electronics behemoth is expected to launch the Note 11 in two different sizes – a standard model and a Plus variant.

Release date and price

Over the last few years, Samsung has been consistent with the Galaxy Note release dates. The Korean company holds a Galaxy Unpacked event in August of every year to announce new Note phablets. The Note 8 was announced on August 23rd, the Note 9 was unveiled on August 9th, and the Note 10 debuted on August 7th. The phablets traditionally go on sale a couple of weeks after the official unveiling.

So, you can expect the Galaxy Note 11 unveiling to take place in August of 2020. That’s not a confirmed release timeline, though. Reliable Twitter tipster Evan Blass recently learned from a ‘trusted source’ that Samsung could shake up its flagship smartphone lines this year.

The line between the Galaxy S series and the Note series has blurred over the years. The only major difference between the two devices has been the S Pen support on the Note line. According to Blass, Samsung could ditch the Galaxy S and Note lines, and launch a new handset called ‘Galaxy One’ in the first half of the year. The second half of 2020 would see the unveiling of the next-gen Galaxy Fold.

If it happens, it will be a bold move from Samsung. Both the Galaxy S and Note lines are well-established brands with a loyal fan base around the world. Ditching them both in the same year won’t be an easy task for Samsung.

As for pricing, it’s no secret that the Note phablets are ridiculously expensive. Last year’s Galaxy Note 10 starts at $949 while the Note 10 Plus has a starting price of $1,099. Then there is the Note 10 Plus 5G with a starting price of $$1,299.

The Galaxy Note 11 and Note 11 Plus both are expected to offer 5G connectivity. The cost of 5G modems would come down this year, and wireless carriers would have rolled out 5G networks in most major cities across the US. We expect the 5G-capable Galaxy Note 11 to start at $1,000 or higher, with the Plus variant costing even more.

Galaxy Note 11 design and display

There have been contradictory reports about the Galaxy Note 11’s design. According to the rumor mill, Samsung would bring only minor design tweaks to the Note 11. But the Korean company is working on designs never seen before on Galaxy smartphones. Samsung is working on smartphones with a true all-screen design.

The current Note 10 features a tiny hole-punch in the top-center of the screen to house the selfie camera. On its mid-range phones, Samsung has experimented with rotating cameras and pop-up cameras to get rid of the hole-punch and the notch. But just like other companies, Samsung is working to figure out a way to integrate the selfie camera under the display to offer a fully bezel-less, all-screen design.

Dutch blog LetsGoDigital has spotted a Samsung patent published on November 7, 2019, which describes a new shape of the display. LetsGoDigital has also created renders based on drawing in the patent filing. It shows off a flat screen curved on all four sides, which covers almost the entire side of the device. The publication refers to it as ‘3D wraparound display.’

Galaxy Note 11

Image source: LetsGoDigital

There are no physical buttons on the phone, though you can see virtual buttons and navigation options along the edges of the screen. There is no hole-punch or notch for the selfie camera, implying that the front-camera has been integrated under the display.

Reliable Twitter tipster Ice Universe has also claimed that Samsung would launch phones with an under-display camera in 2020. And this phone won’t be the Galaxy S20 or Galaxy Fold 2. Samsung could introduce the feature with a mid-range phone before adding it to the Galaxy Note 11 in the second half of the year.

The thinner bezels could allow Samsung to further increase the screen size without increasing the form factor of the upcoming Note. The current Note 10 packs a 6.3-inch display while the Note 10 Plus gets a 6.8-inch screen.

According to a recent report, the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 11 would offer a blazing-fast 120Hz refresh rate. The current OnePlus 7T Pro comes with a 90Hz refresh rate while gaming phones such as Asus ROG Phone 2 and Razer Phone 2 boast 120Hz refresh rate. The faster refresh rate enhances the gaming and video watching experiences.

Authentication and security

This next rumor comes via a patent application, so there’s no way of knowing whether this technology will actually make it into the Samsung Galaxy Note 11 — or any other handset, for that matter. Forbes highlighted a patent entitled “Electronic device comprising fingerprint sensor and method of operating thereof, which was published in South Korea.

The technology described in the patent combines two different methods of authentication to unlock a device. The patent explains how the user’s fingerprint could be read and while they are entering a PIN code, which could be a sort of two-factor authentication. Reading a fingerprint while a passcode is being entered sounds easier said than done though, so it could be a while before this technology is ready for use in a smartphone.

There are a few different ways such technology could be implemented. For example, the device maker could simply use a bigger fingerprint sensor that can scan a fingerprint in multiple areas of the screen. Another option would be to include multiple sensors, although that seems a bit too complex. Another possibility is to shuffle numbers on top of the fingerprint sensor so that the numbers could be pressed only on top of the fingerprint reader.

Separately, other rumors suggest the company could exclude the fingerprint sensor and instead go with facial recognition tech to unlock the phone.

Galaxy Note 11 features and specs

The Galaxy Note devices pack the best of what Samsung has to offer. The 2020 Galaxy Note 11 would run the 2020 hardware. Devices sold in the US are expected to feature Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon 865 processor built using the 7nm process.

Samsung is reportedly planning to make the next-gen of flagship Exynos chips on the 3nm process technology. But the company would want the Snapdragon (sold in the US) and Exynos (international markets) to have similar levels of performance.

In any case, we can expect the Galaxy Note 11 as well as Note 11 Plus to offer 5G connectivity. Apple would offer 5G on all three models of its 2020 iPhones. Samsung wouldn’t want to be left behind. We expect the Note 11 series to pack 12GB RAM with at least 128GB of internal storage. Samsung will likely offer internal storage options of up to 1TB.

According to the rumor mill, the next-gen Snapdragon and Exynos chips will support LPDDR5X RAM, meaning you can expect even faster multitasking than before. For storage, Samsung is expected to use the ultra-fast UFS 3.0 technology, which is what the current Note 10 has.

The 3.5mm headphone jack is gone for good. Don’t expect it to make a comeback in 2020. A Samsung patent filed with the Intellectual Property India (IPI) for the Galaxy Note 11 shows no room for the audio jack. The patent was filed in November 2019 and published in January 2020.

Samsung has also removed the Bixby button from the Note 10 series, and is unlikely to bring it back this year. The S Pen stylus received a massive upgrade last year, bringing features like Air Actions, Live Message, Screen off Memo, and others. So, we don’t expect the S Pen to get any major new features in 2020.

Camera capabilities

Many reviewers have noted that the Note 10’s camera just isn’t good enough to stand up to that of the Huawei P30 Pro or iPhone 11, so Samsung will have to pull out all the stops this year for the Galaxy Note 11. One thing the camera will probably have going for it is the 108-megapixel sensor we’ve been hearing so much about. Samsung released the first 108-megapixel sensor last year, and it’s included in a Huawei model. However, the Galaxy Note 11 could have a newer version of the sensor.

Of course, updating the sensor for the camera won’t be enough. Samsung should also update its software. Google has shown in previous years — although not as much with the Pixel 4 — that it is possible to do amazing things with camera software, even with fewer sensors. If Samsung can combine incredible camera software with the 108-megapixel sensor for the Galaxy Note 11, it could finally win the camera race among flagship smartphones. We will just have to wait until later this year to find out what the Korean electronics giant has in store.

For selfies, both the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus feature a 10MP sensor with Live Focus. On the back, the Note 10 has a triple camera setup consisting of a 16MP ultra-wide angle lens, a 12MP wide-angle lens, and a 12MP telephoto lens. The Note 10 Plus gets an additional DepthVision camera.

One rumor we keep hearing repeated is the possibility of an under-display selfie camera, which would mean that the front of the device would be all screen. There’s no guarantee that such technology will be ready by the end of this year, but if it is, we think it would be more likely to make it into the Galaxy Note 11 rather than the S20, which is expected in February.

The Galaxy Note 11 series camera could see a major upgrade with bigger sensors, greater optical zoom, and more pixels. The company recently announced new 48 MP and 64 MP camera sensors, which could make their way to the Galaxy S20 and Note 11. However, Samsung is expected to go even beyond that and introduce a 108 MP camera. Samsung announced a 108 MP sensor last year.

XDA Developers found code suggesting such a sensor in the Samsung Camera app. There is also talk that the 2020 Samsung smartphones will have a lens with 5x or even 10x optical zoom.

Digging into the beta code of Samsung’s Camera app, folks at XDA Developers have found that the company has exciting camera features in the works. If these features make it to Galaxy S20, they will also appear in the Note 11 series.

The Note 11 is said to be capable of recording 8K videos at 30fps. The 108 MP camera should be able to handle 8K shooting with ease. There will be a Director’s View mode to let you use multiple cameras and switch between them while recording videos.

Another feature spotted by XDA Developers is a Night Hyperlapse mode. The phone has to be kept still in this mode. It will presumably take brighter photos with reduced noise compared to the standard Hyperlapse at night. There will also be a Single Take Photo option, which would let you pan your phone around a scene for 15 seconds. While you pan, the camera will automatically take a number of photos and videos and put them in one collection.

Samsung would also add a Vertical Panorama mode to help you take photos of tall objects such as skyscrapers. Finally, there is a Custom Filters mode that will likely allow you to save a photo from your gallery as a custom filter for future photos.

We will continue to update this article as more details emerge.

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