Galaxy Note not dead and Samsung "committed" to the phone

Phone giant whizzed over an email clearing up the Galaxy Note confusion. Sort of.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
(Image credit: Pigtou/Xleaks)

So is the Samsung Galaxy Note 21 dead or not? Following on from our story last week, bidding a fond farewell to the Galaxy Note range, the company got in touch, via email, with a statement clarifying its outlook, at least a little bit. The response didn’t reach us in time for that article, but it’s worth taking a look at it now to see what the company’s official line is on the devices. 

A spokesperson told us: “Whilst we have expanded our S Pen experience across our wider Galaxy range, this does not mean we are not committed to the Galaxy Note category. To provide the best mobile experience to all customers, we will actively listen to their feedback and reflect this in our product innovation”.

There’s a fair bit to unpack here, and we don’t want to put words in Samsung’s mouth, but statements like this are a little bit nebulous. Firstly, the statement that the company is not, not committed to the Galaxy Note is a bit mysterious. But if we take it at face value, it’s saying the Galaxy Note range isn’t dead yet. 

The logical conclusion to draw from this is that there’s a new Galaxy Note 21 coming. No company would want to tell everyone it’s over its own product just ahead of launching a new one. So perhaps this is a kind of admission there’s at least one more Note on the way. Perhaps a Galaxy Note FE, or perhaps the standard Galaxy Note 21 and Galaxy Note 21 Ultra for 2021 are incoming. 

For the record, we still consider the Samsung Galaxy Note series to be one of the best smartphones - so rest easy if you're considering one. 

 You might also draw the conclusion that while Samsung is committed to the Galaxy Note, that doesn't mean it will continue as it has been. As we pointed out in that goodbye piece, the Note as we know it isn’t quite the leader it used to be. Gone are the days when the summer release of the Galaxy Note heralded a new phone which was better equipped than the Galaxy S series which usually launched in February or March. Giving the range a new and distinctive feel would certainly give the Note a new lease of life. 

So, perhaps the future of the Galaxy Note is in the rollable and foldable categories. Could 2022 see a Galaxy Note Fold and a Galaxy Note Scroll (a name that's cropped up from time to time via rumours). 

Also, that last line, “we will actively listen to their feedback and reflect this in our product innovation” is interesting. Does this mean that if people complain loudly enough, the Note range will see some further development and differentiation? 

It does bear mentioning that the Galaxy Note range was a bit of an accidental hit for Samsung. At the time, phones were much smaller and the arrival of the massive Note generated sniggering from some people. While larger phones were popular in Korea, the success of the Note was far from assured in Europe and the US. But as Samsung built in better features, faster speeds and people used their phones more and more as replacements for computers, the larger screen became far more common. 

The Galaxy Note’s legacy lives on in nearly every phone on sale now, no matter what happens to the device itself, but let’s hope Samsung’s got something exciting planned for the range in the coming years. Whatever happens though there’s still plenty of time to snap up last year’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G. Or, if you want the best of the best, take a look at the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.

Ian has been involved in technology journalism since 2007, originally writing about AV hardware back when LCDs and plasma TVs were just gaining popularity. Nearly 15 years on, he remains as excited about how tech can make your life better.