Galaxy Note 20 changes is a mixed bag of disappointment and hope

It is often the case that newer phones build upon previous generations, more often adding new features or improving existing ones. There are times, however, when companies have to take a step back and assess the situation which sometimes leads them to drop features instead of adding more. The latest word in the rumor mill is that the Galaxy Note 20 maybe something like that but it could also give some hope for fans of the S Pen-toting phablet.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra is perhaps both known and notorious for being overloaded with cameras. They sound great on paper but many have found them to be excessive, performing just as well or even slightly worse than phones who have less and also cost less. Samsung may now be looking at reducing the number of its imaging sensors but the one that will get the boot could prove to be a bit contentious.

A report from South Korean media implies that Samsung is ditching its 3D time-of-flight or ToF sensor, not just for the Galaxy Note 20 but for future phones as well. It has assessed that the sensor, which is necessary to allow the phone to properly see the world in 3D, isn't completely utilized and that portrait or bokeh effects are possible without it. This change, however, ironically comes at a time when Apple will be putting such a sensor in the next iPhone as part of its investment in AR technology.

There are also whispers that Europe will be getting a different selection of Galaxy Note 20 configurations. Despite carriers' and manufacturers' rallying behind 5G, the region might instead get LTE-only variants later this year. Whether or not they will also get 5G models is still unknown but the decision may be based on the slow and disappointing rollout of 5G networks across Europe.

It might be disappointing news for those who expect the Galaxy Note 20 to have everything the Galaxy S20 has but there is also some benefit to these changes. At least, in theory, an LTE-only Galaxy Note 20 with one less image sensor could cost considerably less than one that has everything including the kitchen sink. Given the rather controversial pricing of the Galaxy S20 Ultra, that news might be more welcome as well.