This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.
The next phone in the Samsung flagship S-range, the successor to the S20 – which could be called the S21, the S30, or something else entirely – will have the S-Pen stylus normally seen in the Galaxy Note range, says a report from Korean site The Elec.
The Galaxy Note line, it says, may then end – to be replaced by the Z Fold series.
As Techradar points out, The Elec has broken some big Samsung stories that turned out to be true – but that doesn’t mean this is necessarily accurate or that it won’t change if there’s outcry.
That said, it does make some sense. The Galaxy Note has always been Samsung’s massive phablet phone for people who like a giant screen, and now the company would probably like those people to buy a foldable instead.
It seems an odd move, though, to put the S-Pen on the top phone in the S21 (or whatever) line, rather than into the Z Fold to use with the massive internal screen. Presumably there just wasn’t space – the same report claims we’ll see a stylus in the Z Fold 3 instead. (Just to add to the fun speculation, we reckon the Z Fold 3 will be a triple-folder like this TCL handset).
If the report is correct, this will be the first time an S-series phone has had a stylus.
There still could be a Galaxy Note 21: the company is apparently “yet to decide” whether it’ll make one, or whether it would rather simplify its product lines. Presumably sales of the just-released Note 20 will go some way to making that decision.
The S21’s internal codename is apparently ‘Unbound’, which doesn’t tell us anything at all. Nor do the names for the three phones planned for the series, currently known as M1, N2 and O3. For comparison, the S20 codename was Hubble and the S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra were called X1, Y2 and Z3 respectively.
That naming protocol means the O3 will be the highest-end phone of the three, and that’s what The Elec also says, claiming this will be the model that gets the S-Pen. As the site points out, there’s really not much difference between the top-end S20 and the Note 20 at this point, they even have the same size screen. So it does make some sense for the highest evolution of the S21 to be, essentially, a Note.
The S21 design has apparently been finalised and will go into production in the fourth quarter of this year, making it “highly unlikely there will be any specification changes from now on.” The site previously reported that the range will no longer include a time-of-flight (ToF) camera sensor.
What do you think of the alleged changes? Would you be sad to see the Note line go, or does it make sense for it to become the top-tier phone in the S series? Let us know in the comments. [The Elec via Techradar]