The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 could surprise us by having a flat screen

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite with a flat display
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite with a flat display (Image credit: Future | Amit Mishra for TechRadar India)

A while back we reported that the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 could have the most curved screen on a Samsung phone to date, but a new rumor suggests the upcoming phone might not actually have a tapered display at all.

Well-known insider @UniverseIce has said Samsung might ditch the edge-to-edge curved screen in favor of a flat display on the Galaxy Note 20. This would be a big change for Samsung smartphones, which have used curved displays in nearly all top-end devices since 2016, although the Galaxy Note 10 Lite from early 2020 had a flat screen, so it's possible we'll see a Note 10 Lite with a similar display.

This rumor isn't 100% confirmed, and while UniverseIce is typically a supremely accurate leaker, we're hesitant to believe Samsung would make this big a change. However, the Galaxy S20 phones from early 2020 had displays that were very slightly curved, less so than previous Galaxy phones, and in retrospect this could be indicative of the company's move away from curved edges.

A wafer-thin display

That said, we could also read between the lines and infer that while the main Note 20 might not have a curved display, another phone in the Note 20 range might; Samsung released the Galaxy Note 10 Plus alongside the Note 10, and there are rumours that we'll see a Note 20 Plus or Ultra, and if so, this higher-end variant could very well sport the waterfall display.

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A few rumors also claim the Note 20 could have a 6.42-inch display with a resolution of 2345 x 1084 pixels, while the Plus variant will sport a 6.87-inch 3096 x 1444 screen with 497 pixels per inch.

Prior to this, renders of the supposedly Note 20 showed devices which reminded us more of the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Those CAD renders did show a curved display, and all prior rumors pointed to the phones having such.

Samsung kicked off the curved display era with the Galaxy Round back in 2013, which had an unconventionally inward curved screen. Since then, the company has been perfecting its curved display technology, and after the Galaxy Note 5 it opted to make the displays mainstream on its flagship devices. 

Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see Samsung opt to go back in time to bring back the flatter display for the Note series of devices, although we'd need to see more rumors or leaks to lend credence to this latest claim.

At the moment, reports point to August 5 for the launch of the Note 20 as well as the new Galaxy Fold 2, so watch this space.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.