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Samsung Galaxy Note 21 could be dead — but there's good news

Galaxy Note 20
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

With the Samsung Galaxy S21 announced and shipping at the end of this month, attention would normally turn to the next Galaxy Note, as Samsung’s phablet typically arrives in the second half of the year. But a number of rumors have suggested that Samsung may ditch plans for a Galaxy Note 21 rather than release an update for 2021.

However, Samsung could be working on a lower cost Galaxy Note 20 FE for those who want an S Pen phone at a lower cost. 

Ice Universe is the leaker throwing cold water on the Galaxy Notes future. The anonymous leaker took to Twitter to post a rather on-the-nose tweet with an old-timey "The End" title card in curly font captioned simply "Galaxy Note." It isn’t hard to decipher that meaning, of course, as it’s a hint that Samsung may be killing off the Note brand for good this time. 

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The Galaxy Note has looked to be on shaky ground for a while now, as rumors began circulating last year that Samsung had yet to start production on the Galaxy Note 21. Throw in the fact that Samsung has already said that some of the Note’s features would find their way to other phones — the Galaxy S21 Ultra, for example, has added S Pen support and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is rumored to be doing the same — and the outlook doesn’t look bright for the Note 21.

Some sources have pushed back on the Note Is Dead rumor. A Samsung official reportedly claimed a new Note would come out in 2021, and a phone looking a lot like a future Note phablet appeared in a teaser video at CES this month.

Still, Ice Universe’s tweet will revive talk that the Note is a goner, especially with industry analyst Ross Young tweeting like the Note’s demise this year is a done deal.

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Samsung Galaxy Note FE on the way?

There's still a bit of a silver lining here. Young's tweet states that a Galaxy Note 20 FE might be happening, just like Samsung released a Galaxy S20 FE last year. Young also suggests that not having a Note 21 could help boost sales of the Galaxy S21, which could end up outselling 2019’s Galaxy S10, according to Young’s calculations.

Samsung has yet to release an official comment on the matter, though it seems saying goodbye to the Note is almost a formality at this point. With a strong focus on folding phones going forward as well as the S series, Samsung already has a lot on its plate. For all you faithful Note users over the years, it might be all over. 

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.