Why it's time to say a fond farewell to the the Samsung Galaxy Note series

Samsung's Galaxy Note series of phones has been brilliant, but here's why it's time for it to sail away into the sunset

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

So, the age of Note is over. Yes, following on from multiple reports by T3 that there would not be a Samsung Galaxy Note 21 phone this year, with the South Korean phone maker slated to phase out the line, Samsung's own leakster-in-chief, Iceuniverse, has confirmed it.

There will be no successor this year to the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra flagship and, when that is considered with the myriad of existing reports of the Note line now being dead, it looks like the writing is truly on the wall for the venerable phone series.

Writing on Twitter, Iceuniverse, who has years of bulletproof leaking of future Samsung hardware developments under his belt, confirmed that "Samsung's most regrettable thing in 2021 is not to release Galaxy Note21". The full tweet can be viewed directly below.

On first glance that looks like terrible news for lovers of the best Android phones, with the Galaxy Note series leaving a legacy of being a technical leader in the field and offering a genuinely unique proposition to phone buyers.

There will no doubt be plenty of people who, just like me, have been a huge admirer of the Note range since all the way back in the pre-Samsung Galaxy Note 4 days.

However, in my mind at least, I actually think that it is the right time to retire the Galaxy Note range. And here's why.

Firstly, consider what the Galaxy Note series has really been known for over the past decade? I would say the fact that it was designed to work the S Pen digital stylus is what many users would identify first. Ever since the original Samsung Galaxy Note was released back in 2011, users have loved the fact that the Note phones deliver a genuinely different experience to other devices.

And, secondly, I would then say users would point to the fact that the Note series has been Samsung's technical leader in terms of hardware, and the range where the firm introduced much of its cutting edge new technology. The best cameras, biggest screens, and fastest components were on offer with Note phones.

These two things combined made the Note phones an enthusiast's dream phone, which is why they've always stood out to me.

However, the truth is that these things that made the Note series unique are now no longer unique to it. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is not only more powerful than the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but also offers the same huge screen, a better camera system and, most crucially, the Note's party piece – S Pen digital stylus support, too.

Right now the Galaxy S range is Samsung's technical leader and can do everything the Note can do (aside from actually store the stylus in itself) and do it better, too.

The other huge thing to consider as well is the fact Samsung is at the forefront of the best foldable phones movement, too. Devices like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, while not perfect, have shown what sort of hybrid phone-tablet devices are now possible thanks to flexible displays, and what could be better than a Note sized device with digital stylus support? Only a flagship-grade tablet-sized device with S Pen support.

And, while the Galaxy Z Fold 2 doesn't offer stylus support right now, you only have to look at when Samsung is now slated to launch the Galaxy Z Fold 3 to see that the functionality is coming. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is now set for an unveiling and launch in August this year, which is exactly the time when traditionally Samsung has announced the new Note phone.

To me, then, it looks like Samsung is lining up Galaxy Z Fold series as another replacement for the Note series, which a long with the Galaxy S series will continue its dual-flagship offering each year – with one handset offering a single-screen phone experience with S Pen functionality, and the other a dual-screen phone-tablet hybrid experience with S Pen functionality.

In doing this Samsung is not only replacing the Note series, but making its key selling features available in more devices than ever. The spirit of the Note series looks set to live on in other devices.

The Samsung Galaxy Note series has served users fantastically over the past decade but I think for these reasons it's time to say a very fond farewell.

Robert Jones

Rob has been writing about computing, gaming, mobile, home entertainment technology, toys (specifically Lego and board games), smart home and more for over 15 years. As the editor of PC Gamer, and former Deputy Editor for T3.com, you can find Rob's work in magazines, bookazines and online, as well as on podcasts and videos, too. Outside of his work Rob is passionate about motorbikes, skiing/snowboarding and team sports, with football and cricket his two favourites.