Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Note 10 today at 4 pm ET. But you don’t need to wait until then to learn all about the new smartphone: All of Samsung’s marketing materials for the new device have leaked. And the leaks perhaps help to explain why Microsoft will take part in the launch.
“With Galaxy Note 10, we haven’t just made a new smartphone,” the materials note. “We’ve designed a computer that’s a gaming console, that’s a film studio, and an intelligent pen, all in one device.”
Samsung will initially market two versions of the Note 10, a 6.3-inch version with a 3400 mAh battery that will start at $950 and a 6.8-inch Note 10+ with a 4300 mAh battery that will start at $1100. A 5G version will be announced as well.
Each will offer Samsung’s “infinity displays,” with nearly-invisible bezels and centered, in-display front-facing cameras, plus a new Superfast Charge capability. Each will likewise offer an S Pen that supports air gestures, a feature Samsung calls a “magic wand for your smartphone.” (I thought it was a computer, Samsung.) According to Droid Life, the S Pen will also offer remote photo-taking, handwriting-to-text, and song track and presentation slides switching capabilities.
The materials claim that the Note 10’s camera lenses are “pro-grade,” and that the phones offer three audio zoom microphones for “precision sound recording.”
So, what’s the Microsoft angle?
I think the S Pen will be the big draw: Microsoft has been pushing digital ink capabilities in Windows since 2002, and it has moved some of that functionality to Office for iPad in recent years. Support for Note 10 and the S Pen makes sense too.
The computer bit is a strong possibility: Microsoft, like Samsung, has also championed using a smartphone as a computer while docked. And while Microsoft’s Continuum failed alongside Windows Phone, Samsung’s Dex persists. Perhaps Microsoft will tailor its mobile Office apps to provide a better big-screen experience when the Note 10 is docked.
Then there’s the dark horse: Gaming. It’s not inconceivable that Microsoft will announce an xCloud partnership with Samsung in which Note 10 users will receive an amplified gaming experience because of the device’s leading-edge hardware.
We’ll know soon enough.