After months of leaks, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is here. There are three models to choose from, with prices ranging from £799 for the 4G S20 to £1399 for the top-end S20 Ultra. However, there’s no room in the range for a more affordable Galaxy S20e – and now we know why.
During a chat with Trusted Reviews, Dan Benjamin, Head of Product & Pricing at Samsung confirmed we won’t see a more affordable version of the Samsung Galaxy S20, as the price point has already been covered by the previously announced Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite.
“We’ve brought out the Lite versions to bridge the gap between our A series and our premium series and that is what we were trying to do with the S10e. The feedback at the time was that customers wanted high performance in a compact body, but now what we’re noticing is that there is a growing trend for larger screens.” Benjamin said.
Related: Samsung Galaxy S20 review: Hands on
Last year, Samsung released three versions (or four if you count the 5G-toting model) of its flagship S10 smartphone. The S10 and S10 Plus acted as the high-end models, while the S10e offered many of the same features but in a smaller body with a cheaper price.
We were initially expecting something similar again this year, however the early leaks made no mention of the S20e and it’s now confirmed that Samsung decided to go all-out with an even higher-end model in the form of the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
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The likely death of the ‘E’ branding
Benjamin confirmed Samsung doesn’t have any current plans to bring back the ‘E’ branding on other device lines. Along with the S10e, we also saw the Galaxy Tab S5e and the same moniker was used for a budget fitness band. It is expected that further ‘affordable’ entries in Samsung’s line-up will instead use the Lite branding, mirroring the S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite.
“For the short term, from what we can see, we’re going with the Lite versions for future devices that are the bridging between A series and flagship,” Benjamin said.
We were big fans of the Galaxy S10e last year and in a lot of ways it actually offered the most enticing product of the series. It packed the same main camera and chipset but came in far cheaper than the S10 or S10 Plus. It also offered some design elements we preferred, like a flat screen and a very fast fingerprint sensor on the side.
During our chat, Benjamin hinted that despite our positive impressions, the S10e did not perform as well as hoped.
“‘The S10e lost a few of the flagship features that were in the S10 and S10 Plus, whereas the S20 has the core of all the features.”
He added, “[the] S10e did ok, I think the problem is that the S10 was so strong and because everyone was moving up to the (larger) screen size.”
We can see where Samsung is coming from is with this move. With the S20 it has three phones that can be advertised as one ‘series’: they look very similar and all feel like proper flagships with nothing really sacrificed. The S10e always felt like the forgotten child and was often left out of marketing completely last year.
The biggest disappointment though is the lack of a properly small phone – the S20 is the dinkiest, and that has a 6.2-inch display – and even though Samsung wants us to think of the S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite as the true S10e alternatives for 2020 both those devices are comparably massive. With Apple rumoured to be announcing a smaller device with high-end internals sometime in 2020 there could be a missing device in Samsung’s growing line-up.
Samsung’s phone lineup has expanded greatly in recent months. We’ve seen many entrants in the A-series, some even boasting features like 5G and top-end chipsets we’d normally expect on flagships, plus multiple versions of the Note series for the first time.