RIP Galaxy Note? Here’s how Samsung can save it
What future for the Samsung Galaxy Note range if the Galaxy Note 21 does not arrive this year? Originally a wild version of the smartphone, modern phones seem to have embraced just about all of the unique features of phones.
Even the S Pen is no longer exclusive to the Galaxy Note. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is compatible with Samsung’s stylus, and the company just confirmed At MWC, future flagships will also benefit from S Pen support. With all of this, what is the Galaxy Note really for?
Here’s how Samsung could reinvent the original phablet for a new era of mobile computing.
What the Galaxy Note was
The Samsung Galaxy Note launched in 2011, at a time when the majority of smartphones were quite small devices. For comparison, the original Note had a 5.3-inch display, while the Galaxy S2, released earlier that year, measured 4.7 inches. The screen of the iPhone 4S was only 3.5 inches.
It was the Galaxy Note range that helped popularize the idea of the phablet and led to the enlargement of phone screens over the years. Now, the vast majority of flagship phones have screens larger than 6 inches. The Note series also saw the launch of Curved Edge; screens, something Samsung still uses to this day. But not as often as just a few years ago.
The Note was also one of the few smartphones to continue to use a stylus, long after Apple popularized the idea of a touchscreen-only interface. As such, many of the Galaxy Note’s features and software have been built around the S Pen. Features Includes the ability to hand write digital notes and draw in a more natural way than with your finger.
As the Galaxy Note lineup matured, the S Pen also came with new features like aerial gestures, Bluetooth shutter control, and more.
However, over the years, the rest of the Galaxy S line has caught up with the Galaxy Note in terms of size and performance. The S Pen has always been the only thing the Galaxy Note had going for it. Now, that will not be the case in the future.
The Galaxy Note as it is should die
Without the S Pen, there is no need for a Galaxy Note range as is. On the contrary, Samsung has made its own Note devices obsolete by allowing the Galaxy S line to catch up with the Note, with the Galaxy S Ultra models essentially taking the Note’s place in the company’s portfolio.
Think of it this way. The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 6.8 inch display, which is slightly larger than the 6.7 inch Galaxy Note 20 and slightly smaller than the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. From a screen size perspective, there is little difference between them, although the Notes have a much more blocky rectangular design than the softer curves of the Galaxy S.
The S21 Ultra even supports the S Pen, and while it doesn’t have the same dedicated stylus slot as a Galaxy Note, it can do almost all of the same stylus-based functions. It can be used for writing, drawing, and annotating, just like any good stylus should be, but that’s it.
More advanced features like aerial gestures and Bluetooth shutter control are still exclusive to the Galaxy Note range for now. Although Samsung has suggested it may change in the near future.
But despite these few differences, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is still a Galaxy Note in everything but its name.
Obviously, these are not new points. The demise of the Galaxy Note range has been the subject of rumors for months. Long before Samsung confirmed that the S21 Ultra would indeed support the S Pen. And the fact that it looks like the foldable Galaxy Fold 3 will support the S Pen, and rumors of a larger 7.7-inch interior display, means the Note line might as well be dead in it. water.
Rumor has it that there is a final Galaxy Note phone that will be released later this year (or early next year) as something of a “last-ditch” for the lineup. But there is a different way, one that doesn’t involve Samsung releasing a generic last phone and saying “that’s it, goodbye.” In fact, this is the opportunity for Samsung to totally reinvent the Galaxy Note, and to ensure that it still has a place in the future.
A new Galaxy Note for a new era
There is no reason to keep the Galaxy Note as it is now. Instead, Samsung should focus on reinventing the line into something it doesn’t already have. Samsung has slowly positioned the phone as a “business device” over the past few years, and now is the time to do it all.
The Samsung Galaxy Note should be the phone of choice for business users. Back then, that role fell to BlackBerry, but these days it seems the iPhone has become the de facto “work phone”.
There’s no reason Samsung can’t try to claim some of this territory for itself. After all, it has tried to do this with previous Galaxy devices before, even going so far as to develop software (DeX) that allows people to use their phones as desktops when they are at their desks.
The Galaxy Note already has nearly a decade of notoriety to lean on, and it has naturally fallen down in Samsung’s wallet. It would make the perfect opportunity to do something like this.
Samsung could take the note and stop worrying about having to create something new every year – that’s what the Galaxy S and Fold lines will be for after all. Instead, he can focus on developing a phone designed primarily for business rather than pleasure.
You wouldn’t necessarily need the latest and greatest chipsets, as long as the hardware it had was good enough. Likewise, the focus could be a lot more on security, much like in the heyday of Blackberry. Samsung could take data security to the next level in terms of protecting sensitive corporate data.
As for the S Pen? It can continue to do what it was always designed to do: functions and features that require fine input that you can’t really emulate with a finger or mouse. Note taking, annotations, etc.
The alternative is to simply kill the mark and let it go dark. Which is frankly a huge waste.