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Samsung Galaxy Note 21: Why it's not happening

an image of a Samsung Galaxy note 21 concept render
(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

We may be a a little sad that the Samsung Galaxy Note 21 seems completely dead. Samsung itself has come out and said there'll be no Galaxy Note phone this year and perhaps in the foreseeable future. 

But the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra could pick up the Note line's torch, by incorporating in some of the best features of the Note phones into the largest model of the rumored upcoming next-gen Samsung smartphone. 

In the meantime, what can Galaxy Note fans do to fill the void? Well there's the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which comes with S Pen support. Or the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, which also has S Pen support and an expansive folding display, as well as a bunch of other slick features. So the Samsung Galaxy Note 21 might be dead but its spirit lives on. 

Latest Samsung Galaxy Note 21 news (updated October 4)

Samsung Galaxy Note 21: Why it won't ship

Late last year, rumors began to circulate that Samsung was planning to scrap 2021's Galaxy Note update. 

Those rumors picked up momentum when it became clear that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra would be the first non-Galaxy Note phone to work with an S Pen stylus. Samsung Electronics president TM Roh also talked up his company's plans to release more foldable phones, seemingly leaving the Note 21 out in the cold.

Samsung Galaxy Note 21 replaced by Galaxy Z Fold 3

photo of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

(Image credit: Future)

As mentioned, Samsung is focusing on foldable phones this year, with the aim to integrate Note features into its next-gen folding phones. In our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review, we can see the South Korean company has done just that. 

With the Galaxy Z Fold 3 having its own custom S Pen, Samsung hasn't pulled any punches in bringing this feature to its flagship foldable. However, a lack of convenient S Pen storage does grate a bit, as does the fact that its a separate peripheral to buy on top of the already price foldable phone. 

an image of a Samsung Galaxy note 21 concept render

(Image credit: Samsung)

If Samsung does commit to having foldables for the foreseeable future then we aren't likely to see a new Note phone again. But we won't stay it's gone for good as there could always be an anniversary edition or Fan Edition some point down the line. 

Time will tell in this case, as there's still a chance Samsung could revisit the Note line next year or 2023. We'd not cross our fingers though, as for productivity folding phones seem like a better bet than larger single-screen devices. 

an image of a Samsung Galaxy note 21 concept render

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

Samsung Galaxy Note 21: What we'd like to see

If Samsung does ever go back to the Note line, or looks at putting the phones' best features into future Galaxy S-series phones, here's what we'd like to see. 

  • More unique S Pen features: A prospective Note-like phone needs a reason to entice users beyond just offering an S Pen, since you can now access this on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Samsung has historically had a problem of offering many overlapping phone models, and it could solve this by make the Note 21's inbuilt stylus more versatile, such as developing the air gesture controls we've seen on previous generations.
  • The best specs Samsung can offer: It's good that the basic Galaxy S21 is now able to match or even undercut rival phones on price, but to do this Samsung has dropped specs like RAM and display resolution. Since the S21 now has the entry-level flagship niche covered, it would be nice to see a Galaxy Note act as a premium device with as much memory and as many pixels that Samsung can fit onto the phone.
  • Under-display selfie camera: This might be a longshot, but there would be no better way to steal its rivals' thunder, and wave goodbye to the Note series if that's going to be the case, than giving the phone a high-tech under-display camera.