We've also heard tell of an eye-popping price tag and the Galaxy S20's Snapdragon 865 processor being recycled in the next iteration, rather than getting an upgrade to the Snapdragon 875, but the latest whispers are hinting at a big change for Samsung, suggesting that the Galaxy S21 will ship with an S-Pen to replace the Note series outright.
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A number of reliable Twitter leakers have been sharing snippets about the Galaxy S21 that paints a broader picture of the demise of the Note series, and the repackaging of the S series by shipping the handset with Samsung's S-Pen.
The Galaxy S21's codename – previously thought to be Project U – is apparently Unbound (opens in new tab) according to @hwangmh01, who added that the S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra are being referred to (opens in new tab) as M1, N2, and O3 (not necessarily in that order), and that O3 is the model that will ship with the S-Pen (opens in new tab).
Fellow leaker @Boby25846908/ Chun added (opens in new tab) that they also believe that the O3 will include the S-Pen, while Max Weinbach chimed in (opens in new tab) to say that Chun has speculated that the O3 could even be a foldable with an S-Pen.
Here's the fun part, @Boby25846908 said it could be a foldable with an SPen. I can only hope https://t.co/OVqfEe2hvyAugust 24, 2020
Whether or not this signals the end of the Note range is unclear, with both Chun (opens in new tab) and Ice Universe (opens in new tab) saying that even if the Galaxy S21 does ship with the S-Pen, it doesn't necessarily mean that the Note series will be gone for good.
This is what I really want to say when the leak appeared https://t.co/c7FbaPCv2BAugust 24, 2020
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Chun added (opens in new tab) that a foldable smartphone with the S-Pen is part of Samsung's 2021 strategy, although he can't confirm at this stage, adding that a "tri fold" Samsung device could make its way into the lineup next year.
Meanwhile, Ice Universe is of the opinion (opens in new tab) that even if the Galaxy S21 is compatible with the S-Pen, it won't dictate that the Note 21 will cease production. They add (opens in new tab):
"The output and price of Z Fold 3 are not enough to replace the Note as Samsung's main flagship in the second half of the year, and Note is still a guarantee of shipment."
The rumours seem to be a bit fractured in terms of what exactly Samsung is working on, but it looks like the S-Pen will be compatible with the upcoming Galaxy S21 and possibly a new foldable.
We'll keep you posted as the rumours and leaks continue.