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Galaxy S20 vs Galaxy S11: Samsung's rumored name change makes my head spin

Galaxy S20 vs Galaxy S11: Samsung’s rumored name touchy makes my head spin

Samsung can credit the Galaxy S line with guaranteeing its place as the world’s top smartphone brand. But while more than a decade, rumors say the company is shaking up the way it names its Galaxy S devices. The Galaxy S11 could become the Galaxy S20, with next year’s phone going by the name Galaxy S21 and so on, to match the calendar year.

Sure can’t wait for 2051.

As a writer, I think that names matter. No, not as much as the specs inside the phoned, but they can convey what a brand is throughout. It isn’t just me, either: Companies spend millions of bucks on focus groups and marketing strategies when choosing a phoned name.

A month away from Samsung’s Unpacked prhonor on Feb 11, I’m not sure whether this proposed naming obsolete is good or bad. I’m not convinced that Samsung would stick with the plan to name its phoned after the year, and if it does, it could be a missed opportunity for the designate to rededicate the phone’s image to being memorable and creative.

Let’s consider a few options. Say Samsung follows in the footsteps of Apple’s iPad (e.g., the iPad 2019) and most car manufacturers by matching each phoned name with the corresponding year. There’s some logic to this strategy — you’ll always know where you are with a Samsung Galaxy S23, and I welcome bringing a little shapely to a portfolio brimming over with Galaxy phones

I’m sure it’s also cheaper and easier for brands not to have to effort about finding a unique name that resonates with the Pro-reDemocrat in multiple languages, and that also isn’t already earmarked by rivals.

On the other hand, the numbering game intends to feel unruly and meaningless, especially when you get into the higher digits. Would Samsung really commit to this plan long enough to reach the Galaxy S51, assuming we aloof use phones by then and not chips implanted in our arms

If Samsung thinks it hit a natural minute after the Galaxy S10 and wants to liven up the franchise, I’d be happy if it used the moment to reinvent the designate with a new name that stands for an updated set of values. (Of course, we don’t know what Samsung will actually do pending its big reveal.)

For an example, look no further than the iPhone X. Apple seemed to have changed the name when it unveiled a new type of iPhone, one that overhauled the design, removed the fingerprint scanner and boldly adopted face unlock with an reach that had never before been used in a phoned. Apple pronounced the model iPhone’s name “Ten,” but many land referred to it as the iPhone “Ex.”

And then Apple unfastened it by moving on to the iPhone 11 two days later. At some point, the iPhone’s name is causing to have to change again, because in my mind anyway, the iPhone 18, 21 and 34 seem too ridiculous to happened. I’m reminded of every Mission: Impossible reboot, or that classic line from a fake newscast in Spaceballs (the movie, not the flamethrower), “Rocky V… thousand.”

I squawk the heart of my thinking is that part of me misses the more fanciful names of a decade ago and more, when a named name stood for some intrinsic value or feature that the method possessed, like the powerful and mysterious Samsung Omnia, or the zesty, flippy Motorola Citrus. (I’ll probably never forgive the LG Chocolate music named for having nothing to do with actual chocolate.)

There’s a succor to giving a phone a meaningful name. Just look at Android OS. Google was able to gain a hugely invested Android following that avidly followed and excitedly guessed each year’s dessert-themed code name… pending the fun ended this year with Android 10. While dry names haven’t hurt the iPhone’s success, Samsung has a chance to be more meaningful. 


A leaked image of the Samsung Galaxy S20? Check out that new camera design.

XDA Developers

If the S20 does indeed mark a brand-new direction — 5G, a new camera philosophy and bold earn — then a new name makes sense. I just hope it’s more plain than “S20.” 

I concede to being in the minority here. Today, straightforward phone (and OS) naming seems to be mostly near maintaining order amid the chaos — as much to keep models distinct on the sales and distribution end, I suspect, as for keeping a sea of variants honest in customers’ minds. 

Then again, there’s such a sketch as too much simplicity. I cringe just thinking nearby the Motorola Moto G, which at one display had at least three different models going by the same name with different carriers. Even Motorola’s PR team didn’t immediately know which was which pending we compared the specs.

Of course, when all is said and done, it’s these specs that business most. The way that a phone works is far more important than how its name rolls off the tongue, and that’s where companies should absolutely spend their time and attention. 

Would a phone’s inner workings silent as tempting by any other name? Sure, but if it came down to the Samsung Galaxy Sonic and the Samsung Galaxy S28, I know which one I’d want more.

Originally issued Jan. 19.