Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: Does stylus spell end of the Note?

Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S smart device works with its stylus for the very first time.

The S Pen is an optional add-on for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. But the relocation will fuel speculation the company will phase out its different Note handset variety.

Samsung informed the BBC it had yet to make a decision about this.

The business’s handset sales have actually decreased faster than the wider market. One expert stated a structured line-up might help resolve this.

” There’s increasing logic for Samsung to assemble the Galaxy S and Keep in mind platforms, because there’s so little differentiation in between the 2 sort of gadgets now,” said Ben Wood, from the CCS Insight consultancy.

” That would align them with Apple, which also has one huge phone launch event a year.

” My issue is that whenever Samsung has actually announced its Note items in the past, it has actually planted a seed in consumers’ minds that the Galaxy S items have actually become kind of the old ones.”

The benefit of having a stylus is that it is simpler to compose, draw or annotate notes than utilizing a finger. But to work it requires unique hardware under the glass of the phone’s display screen to pass power to the stylus and to track its suggestion.

‘ Expanded Note experience’

The Android-based Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 6.8 in (17.3 cm) display screen, which is only a little smaller than the top-end 6.9 in Note.

In years past, the Note phones were referred to as “phablets”, and their size was the other crucial distinguishing factor with the S range.

Product supervisor Mark Notton said “we haven’t decided”, when asked whether Samsung prepared to continue the Note household.

” It does not indicate that Samsung is not dedicated to the Note category, but is broadening the Note experience across gadget categories,” the company said in a follow-up declaration.

” We will actively listen to consumers’ feedback and show it in our ongoing product development.”

The S21 Ultra will begin at ₤ 1,149 when it goes on sale on 29 January. The S Pen costs an extra ₤ 35 on its own, or ₤ 85 when bundled with a case that saves it.

That puts it in the ballpark of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s ₤ 1,179 beginning price, which comes with a stylus that slots into its body.

Dumped charger

There are also 2 other lower-cost designs in the new variety, neither of which deals with the S-Pen stylus: the 6.2 in S21 and 6.7 in S21+.

All three designs include a redesigned electronic camera module on their back.

However while the two lower-end models have three lenses – ultra-wide, broad and 3x-zoom telephoto – the S21 Ultra includes an additional 10x-zoom telephoto lens, letting owners shoot action from even more away.

The handsets likewise gain from a brand-new Director’s View center. It lets users movie video while getting thumbnail previews superimposed on-screen of what it would look like if they changed to another lens.

All three phones can movie in 8K – double the maximum resolution of the contending iPhone 12 variety’s native video app.

Other advantages over Apple’s most current phones consist of:

Nevertheless, the handsets might be more significant for following Apple in 2 regards.

They have deserted a slot for a microSD memory card.

And they will be sold without either a charger – a decision over which Samsung had actually buffooned its rival. – or earphones.

“We found that increasingly more Galaxy users are recycling accessories they already have,” the company said.

Early launch

Samsung typically reveals its Galaxy range in late February, but has actually advanced this year’s launch to accompany the CES tech program.

“Samsung requires S21 to be a success given that S20 was released in the middle of Covid very first wave in Europe and didn’t get many fans,” commented Marta Pinto, from research study firm IDC.

She added the earlier launch date could help it complete in the “exceptional market” with Apple, whose iPhones were launched behind typical last year.

The South Korean firm must likewise benefit from collapsing sales of Huawei’s devices in the West, triggered by US sanctions that avoid them offering the Google Play store and a few of the search giant’s other services.

But Mr Wood stated Samsung was dealing with growing competition from other Chinese brand names consisting of Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo.

“Samsung’s differentiator is going to be its capability to market its strong brand, and the reality it has a very broad product portfolio,” he commented.

Smarter earbuds

Samsung likewise aims to widen its appeal with two additional devices.

It has a new pair of ₤ 219 wireless earbuds that monitor what the user is doing.

If they spot the user is talking, they immediately deny the volume of music and magnify the sounds of the nearby environment picked up by their microphones, allowing the owner to have a brief conversation without requiring to take them out or manually change their settings.

Samsung likewise is launching the ₤ 30 Galaxy SmartTag – a Bluetooth-enabled tracker that can be connected to valuables or family pets to enable an app to reveal their place.

It will take on similar products from the present market leader Tile.

Apple is widely rumoured to be working on similar devices of its own.

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