With the launch of the Galaxy S22 Series today, it’s pretty obvious that the NOTE line up from Samsung is gone. If last year’s skipping of the lineup didn’t make sense, the unveiling today ties any loose ends. The NOTE is gone. The Ultra is here.
When Samsung unveiled their first NOTE, it was taken as a crazy undertaking. People asked themselves questions. Who needs a huge phone? What are the benefits of something bulky? Can it even fit in my pocket? What’s the pen for?
Every phone is now big and powerful
Over the last few years, a lot has changed in the smartphone industry. Everyone has copied Samsung’s move to bigger displays. Right now, almost every newly launched phone is bigger than the 5.3 inch Galaxy NOTE and the 5.5 inch Galaxy NOTE II.
The allure of getting a NOTE just because of the screen is no longer there. And that has been the case for a while, even with Samsung’s own devices.
Another allure that came with the NOTE series was that a bigger phone allowed for a lot more. For example, a bigger battery. Or a more demanding processor. These are things that now come with many other phones.
The S-series have the same huge, bright AMOLED displays. They use the same chipset, have the same OS, and have the same cameras. And so do many other offerings from companies like OPPO and Xiaomi.
It’s therefore not easy to justify Samsung’s device. More-so their asking price.
Samsung has been reducing their series of phones:
From around 2019, we saw a big shift with Samsung’s lineup of devices. They moved from having a myriad of series of devices to a simple lineup. As I’ve mentioned before, this new arrangement has really helped them.
Samsung is now fastest with software updates including monthly patches and huge system upgrades. They can set a roadmap and follow it because they have a flow to how they launch their devices.
It therefore makes sense for them to merge the NOTE series with the S-series. Especially since for a few years now, they’ve been basically re-makes of each other with design tweaks.
Samsung believes Foldables are the future:
Last year, the company made a huge statement by not launching a NOTE device. Instead, they launched two foldables. Two devices that have performed really well in the different markets where the company introduced them.
Samsung is betting that this new frontier will steer them to the top of smartphone sales in the coming years. They’re of course also a display maker, so whether or not people buy their foldables, they will still be making money from selling bending displays.
With the recent entrance by OPPO to the Foldables segment, we can expect a lot more in the foldables segment. Because as CES showed us, we’ve not seen nothing yet!
But what about the S-Pen?
I know, you’re wondering what of the S-Pen? Isn’t that an allure to keep the NOTE lineup alive?
First of all, ULTRA just sounds badass. It means extreme. Offering everything you may need, including a stylus for good measure.
Also, not everyone can afford a $1300 phone. But those who really want it will get it. It doesn’t matter if they’re getting it for the specs, or for the stylus.
And there’s nothing stopping Samsung from launching cheaper editions with styluses. Haven’t we seen the FE series of cheaper flagships? Haven’t we seen the LITE series too?
I am certain we can expect FE or LITE versions, should there be significant demand. However, given the NOTE series was marketed as being for businesses, and given the NOTE 10 Lite didn’t really appeal to many, Samsung can sit confident with the new S22 Ultra.
Also, the S-Pen works really well with Foldables. And with Samsung betting on them, we can be sure there’s a lot of implementations that are yet to see the light of day.
What are your thoughts on the new S22 Series?