It has been talked about for years, but now even Reuters claims that Samsung is killing the Galaxy Note. Samsung’s big phone with a large stylus has been struggling for years to differentiate itself from the Galaxy S line, and with the growth of folding elements, Samsung obviously no longer has room for redundant phone phones. Reuters says “the South Korean technology giant has no plans to develop a new version of the Galaxy Note for 2021
In the early days, the Note line brought the charge to an ever-increasing screen size, but for many years the Note has struggled to justify its existence compared to the main Galaxy S series, which comes out earlier in the year. Usually the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note have similar specifications, similar screen sizes and similar designs, leaving only the stylus as a defining feature of the Note. We usually skip the Note line review because there’s nothing to say compared to the S phone released earlier in the year, and every year you’ll see calls from different stores to kill the Note because it just has nothing new to offer.
Reuters claims that one of the defining features of the Galaxy Note, stylus support, will actually be transferred to other devices. The report says that the S21 “will have a stylus” and “the next version of Samsung’s foldable phone” (we assume that means Galaxy Z Fold 3) “will be compatible with the stylus.”
It is important to understand the difference between a we clean stylus and “stylus compatible”. The Galaxy Note line comes with a storage stylus, which means that a large part of the body is carved so that the pen can be stored in the phone. There are already renderings of the Galaxy S21 based on CAD files sent to the manufacturers of cases, and there is no hole in the phone for storage stylus. If we want to do the Reuters reporting and the renderings align, it sounds like Samsung will sell a compatible stylus along with the Galaxy S21, but you won’t have a place to store it.
The advantage of not having space to store the stylus is that digging out the phone costs a bit in the performance department, as any free space in the phone is usually charged with a battery. Consider this year’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Galaxy S20 Ultra to have 6.9-inch displays, but the S20 Ultra has a 500mAh battery advantage over the Note (5000mAh vs. 4500mAh), thanks to the fact that it doesn’t need to store the pen.
The launch of the Note at the end of the year only made sense from a marketing standpoint: the Galaxy S line comes out at the beginning of the year as soon as Qualcomm’s new SoCs are ready and as the holiday season turns with new iPhones and other competitors, Samsung doesn’t wants to send a nine-month phone in the fight. The production of a new phone model, even if it is almost identical to the model from nine months earlier, gives the technology giant a new round of news, promotions and other attention that it would not otherwise receive.
With the rise of foldable smartphones, Samsung’s “flagship” lineup has doubled in the past year. In addition to the usual Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 20, there was a hybrid between a phone / tablet, Galaxy Z Fold 2 and a folding flip phone, Galaxy Z Flip. These two new models offer a real differentiation from the Galaxy S line, and with the more crowded range it makes sense to kill the Note line in favor of raising the Galaxy Fold as the main holiday phone.