For the first time in many years, August will come and go without Samsung’s new Galaxy Note smartphone. Instead, thanks to their lower prices and better durability, the company offers the latest foldable – Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 – a strong push into the mainstream telephone market. When the Z Flip is sold for less than $ 1,000 a penny, it will definitely stand out from the iPhone and Samsung’s own Galaxy S21 devices, which cost the same (or more).
But for past and present buyers of the notes, it feels like something is missing. We are talking about a brand that confirmed Samsung as a leading manufacturer of huge phones. However, the company has completely skipped making a new banknote this year and has tried to explain it with a simple “not this time”. So far, the line-up has not disappeared; last year’s Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra will go on sale in 2021. The latter is still a legally excellent phone today, so even if Samsung takes a year off, at least in that.
Samsung’s position on Note’s future is vague enough to leave room for a possible return if folding doesn’t become the next big thing. However, I would argue that at least one traditional Galaxy phone with a stylus should stick to the company’s plans regardless. It’s too early to move on to everything Samsung did so right, and using S Pen support for its other flagship phones isn’t entirely in line with Note’s legacy. And there are several reasons why a company gives it a new chance.
People seem to like pen phones
Note is undoubtedly an actual pen smartphone, but other companies have also been successful. Motorola has said,. Moto G pen quickly became the most popular device after the release of the G-Series, and that was enough for the company produces a 5G-compatible extension This year. And before LG completely exits the smartphone market, its Stylo phones were some of its most popular mobile devices.
You can’t exaggerate the importance of the built-in silo in keeping the pen away when not in use. Note that the S Pen is available to you whenever you need it – for drawing, signing a PDF file, or anything else – and then it’s gone and completely unnoticed when you don’t. No accessories or special phone cases are required. The latter solutions only increase friction, which can eliminate the entire complaint. Using a phone case is absolutely great, and most people do, but attaching a pen to it is far from ideal if you have normal-sized hands.
The Note deserves a better Swan Song than Note 20
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was in line with the line’s usual recipe for stellar build quality, cutting-edge data, and gigantic display. But the standard Note 20 was a poorly executed ignition error. Samsung’s strategy to aim for a slightly lower price level made sense, but with last year’s Regular Note, there were enough trade-offs that were hard to recommend.
Most amazingly, it had a 60 Hz display, although even cheaper Samsung phones like the Galaxy S20 FE had evolved into more even refresh rates. The cameras were inferior, had a plastic back, and all of these compromises were made to achieve a still expensive price of $ 999.99. In the eyes of many Note fans, it was a frustrating mismatch, and they rejected Note 20 because of it. Marques Brownlee went so far call it “no 20.”
This was especially disappointing after Samsung I understood it the previous year with Note 10, which did not hurt the same number of disappointments. The device felt like it was meant to be a mini version of the larger, flagship Note 10 Plus. Note 20, however, became an example of what happens when an attempt to cut too many corners.
The case is an incomplete solution
Samsung called for more support for the S Pen when it unveiled the Galaxy Ultra S21 earlier this year. And experience using the pen appears to be at the note level. But then you have to put it’s somewhere, and there’s no compensation for the actual note. Without a card slot in the phone, Samsung’s solution was to make a case that could hold the S21 Ultra and S Pen together.
However, it became a drawback: poorer ergonomics. As Dieter wrote S21 Ultra Review, the phone may feel more manageable in your hands than the iPhone 12 Pro Max because it is taller and narrower. This easier-to-keep advantage is somewhat weakened by the Samsung pen for the S-pen. Because there is a permanent attachment to the pen on the left side of the case, the device is much larger.
For the Z Fold 3, Samsung developed a case model that places the case on the hinge. I think this works better because the layout is narrower than most smartphones (including the S21 Ultra) when closed – so it doesn’t feel awkward even with the added space.
But if third-party case manufacturers don’t come up with their own options, you can limit yourself to one particular Samsung case if you want to carry your S Pen with minimal risk of losing it.
Selling the S pen separately will make it feel afterwards
While there were difficulties in creating the “Fold Edition” S pen with a retractable spring tip, Samsung doesn’t bundle it into its latest foldable flagship. Rather, you will need to purchase it (or the more expensive S Pen Pro) separately. The Fold Edition comes with a specially designed case priced at $ 79, while the S Pen Pro is sold independently at $ 99.
The S Pen still comes with many of Samsung’s latest tablets and laptops. But if you make an extra trade on top of the $ 1,800 Z Fold 3, probably some people will care about it altogether. If Fold is set to start a new era of smartphone productivity, why not throw the Fold Edition pen and case in the box? Maybe it would at least make it easier not to get a phone charger.
Another Samsung pen phone can be great if done correctly
I hope last year’s models aren’t the end of the Galaxy Note series. Samsung has still not come up with an alternative that would match the phone’s consistency and ease of use from the start. But where should the company go from here?
I could see that Samsung chose the “special version” route (think Apple iPhone SE, but high-end) and releases a new high-end note every few years for tough fans who pay an extra dollar for their giant glass plate and S Pen.
But an even better development would be if the pen drained at least one of Samsung’s popular A-series phones and brought more people to the experience — much less money. That would be a clear sign that Samsung is committed to the S Pen, even if the Galaxy Note is still on hiatus. The benefits of the pen should not be reserved for $ 1,000 or higher. You want a high refresh display because it really improves the responsiveness of drawing and notes. The Galaxy A52 has already selected this box, so we know it’s possible even if a company wants to keep costs low.
Part of the problem with the Note 20 was Samsung’s communications: it was trying to move mid-range hardware to something premium. The return and so-so reviews shouldn’t have come as a surprise. But Samsung wouldn’t need too much to sell a Galaxy A-series phone with a pen: it could be a hit on its own.