Samsung, read the room and see that we need a Note 20 Lite right now, not a Note 20 Ultra

Galaxy Note 20 Mystic Bronze
Galaxy Note 20 Mystic Bronze (Image credit: Samsung)

The Note 20 is coming and everyone is sure it's coming very soon. Another thing that seems pretty certain is that we'll be seeing at least two different versions, and one of them will carry the Note 20 Ultra name. There is one thing we're sure of, and that is anything Samsung labels with the "Ultra" tag is going to be expensive as hell.

It's fine for Samsung to sell ungodly expensive phones packed full of, um, something that justifies the price. There are people who don't care what a phone costs if it has a feature they want, like 100X Super Zoom. But there are a lot more people who might need a new phone right now and don't have money to burn.

The economy is in shambles. Unemployment is sky-high and only a small percentage of jobs lost in April have returned, 32% of homeowners missed their July mortgage payment, and things are not getting better. Pandemics are bad for everyone's finances.

I'm no economist. But I am strapped for cash like most every other American, and I study phones and sales figures for a living. My savings are gone, and if I had to buy a new phone today I would look long and hard at a good one that was $15 less per month because it wasn't priced stupidly high. I am not alone.

A Note 20 Lite is probably coming later in the year. That tells me you're trying to get people to pay more money right now by holding back an affordable option to collect sales from people who just couldn't swing the extra money. That's shameful, especially because you know how bad things are right now.

The Note 20 Ultra will be a better phone than a Note 20 Lite would, but you know which one would have better sales. TheNote 10 was priced at $949 when it launched. The Note 10 Lite was priced at $640 when it launched. It's easy to say that both prices are too high for a phone, but that difference amounted to things like a lower monthly payment or no down payment for people buying on credit as well as a $300 difference when buying outright.

Holding back a good but inexpensive phone feels when everyone is broke seems wrong.

Rumor says you plan to sell the regular entry-level Note 20 at a regular entry-level $999 price (which is still too much money for anything you can't drive to work) so you understand people are tightening their belts and not pissing money away on a whim. I hope that rumor is true, but I also hope most people just say no and keep their Note 10 for another year because it's still a fine phone.

I know these words will just be lost in the mix and me sitting here complaining is like that old man who yells at clouds. But I also know there are a lot of people looking for a new phone because they need one right now, and you're not there to offer anything except an older model that's one year closer to its end of life. Nobody wants you to lose money, Samsung. But you don't have to.

People might want a very expensive Galaxy Note 20 with some insane feature list, but wanting is not the same as buying. You learned this lesson with the Galaxy S20 Ultra and its horrible sales figures. A Galaxy Note 20 Lite is what we really need right now. It's too late for it to happen, but it's not too late for consumers to reject your obvious cash-grab and not buy one at all.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.