With the Samsung Galaxy S21 launch kicking off the year for the Korean tech giant, all eyes are on its remaining 2021 lineup, and the fate of the Galaxy Note series – and news of a cheaper model that breaches the gap between a fully fledged Galaxy Note 20 and a premium Galaxy Note 21 has just broken.
Samsung is set to roll out S-Pen support for its slew of 2021 devices, including the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, and very possibly the Galaxy Z Fold 3, making a follow up to the Galaxy Note 20 this year seem somewhat superfluous.
Rumors that Samsung is killing off the Note series have been swirling around for a while, but given the usual specs of the top tier device, a pared back version in the vein of the Galaxy S20 FE would be the perfect last hurrah for the handset.
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Industry analyst Ross Young took to Twitter to offer his thoughts on Samsung's 2021 outlook, and said:
"Although now there is no Note 21 coming, we may see a Note 20 FE... The lack of a Note 21 series means the S21 series will sell at higher volumes for longer and could outsell S10."
The Fan Edition handsets offer everything that Samsung deems fans want, rounding up the best features and culling the ones that people are happy to do without to facilitate a more appealing price.
The prediction is in line with what we've heard elsewhere, with word that just one Galaxy Note model will release in 2021, towards the latter half of the year. The smartphone usually launches with an Ultra version, as is par for the course with Samsung's flagships, but if it's just the FE, a single model makes sense.
Last year's Galaxy Note 20 got a lot of flack for cost-saving features like the glasstic chassis while it still carried the premium price tag. Giving fans the key features of the device at a lower price point would be the perfect way for Samsung to let the Note series leave on a high.
Samsung certainly seems to be streamlining its offerings, now that the foldable Z series is here to stay. This year, we're expecting to see the next iteration of the Galaxy Z Flip (which is skipping the '2' moniker and going straight to '3') as well as the Galaxy Z Fold 3.