Last summer, Samsung announced that – for the first time in a decade – it would not release a new Note. The future of the beloved phablet was a big open question, as the hardware giant recognized a shift in focus to foldables, a form factor it felt was finally ready for a truly mainstream push.
Muddying the waters even more is the Galaxy S line – Samsung’s flagship flagship, which has been steadily blurring the line separating the Note. “Instead of revealing a new Galaxy Note this time,” the company’s president wrote at the time, “we’re going to extend the Note’s beloved features even further to more Samsung Galaxy devices.”
This has meant a fairly steady increase in S-series screen sizes over the years, culminating in the addition of S-Pen functionality to the S21 Ultra this past January. In August, the company also brought its proprietary stylus to the Galaxy Fold line, leaving some wondering if the Note was being quietly phased out.
Coming out of CES and looking towards MWC, we find ourselves entering Unpacked territory – the time of year when the company announces the latest additions to the S series. Roh is back with another somewhat loosely worded post that celebrates the life of the Note, pointing out how its 5.3-inch screen caused a bit of a stir in 2011. It seems quaint now, though it’s worth pointing out to those who weren’t at the IFA launch, that big screens meant much bigger and thicker devices than they do now. .
the post strongly suggests a proper merging of the two flagships to make more room for their foldables.
“With each new evolution of Samsung Galaxy devices, we introduce features that redefine the entire mobile category,” writes the executive. “And we are about to rewrite the industry rules once again. At Unpacked February 2022, we’ll introduce you to the most remarkable Series [emphasis added by TC] device we have already created. The next generation of Galaxy S is here, bringing together the best experiences from our Samsung Galaxy into one ultimate device.”
“Remarkable” can mean many things in this context. The most obvious seems to be an S22 Ultra becoming the S22 Note. Does this mean a proper pen slot? Could we be seeing more S Pen integration across all lines? I would say probably not to this one, if only because the carefully worded post uses the singular “device worthy of note”. There are still some big questions leading up to the event – which may or may not be answered upfront given the frequency of leaks surrounding these devices. The range also brings enhanced night/low light photography and a more sustainable design, which has become a priority for the company in recent years.
Samsung is once again betting that consumer excitement and brand loyalty will be enough to lure users in, unseen, as it prepares to open reservations for the new smartphone and an unnamed Galaxy tablet tomorrow.