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Samsung Galaxy Note 21 officially not happening this year

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

It’s official: The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will take the Galaxy Note’s place as the mid-year flagship phone from the South Korean company. This means that it's game over for the Samsung Galaxy Note 21, at least for this year.

That’s the word from TM Roh, Samsung's president and head of mobile communications, who basically noted that the book is closed on the Galaxy Note. "Instead of unveiling a new Galaxy Note this time around, we will further broaden beloved Note features to more Samsung Galaxy devices,” Roh said in a blog post.  

Given the rumors that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will have S Pen and S Pen Pro support, it’s likely that custom stylus compatibility is the primary Note feature that’ll spread into other Samsung devices; the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra does have S Pen support after all. 

Interestingly, we’re expecting to see an S Pen specifically designed for foldable phones. What that will entail isn't clear, but we could expect input sensitivity calibrated for foldable displays that have softer surfaces than those of non-folding phones. 

Roh also explained how Samsung will work on making foldable phones into more mainstream devices than just expensive handsets. Though we’re not expecting the Galaxy Z Fold 3, or indeed the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, to dip below the $1,000 mark. 

“We are also working with Google to enrich our foldable ecosystems with popular apps and services. For our third generation of Galaxy Z phones, we have lined up even more partner apps that make the most of the versatile fold-out format,” Roh said. “From hands-free optimized video calling with Google Duo and watching videos in Flex mode on YouTube to multitasking in Microsoft Teams, our foldable ecosystem will offer a wealth of seamless and optimized experiences.” 

With Samsung looking at building out its folding device ecosystem, it’s curtains for the Galaxy Note line, at least for now. That’ll be sad for some Note fans who enjoyed having a big phone with all the latest and greatest Samsung mobile tech thrown at it. But then that role has basically fallen to the Galaxy S21 Ultra, especially given its expansive array of cameras, aforementioned S Pen support, powerful specs and large vibrant display. 

The slightly sad point here is the blockier rectangular design of the Galaxy Note phones might be consigned to Samsung's tech bone orchard. Here's hoping that design will get a resurgence with the Samsung Galaxy S22

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer is U.K. Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.