So many sources now suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will support the S Pen that at this point it’s looking very likely – but the latest source saying as much also claims that we’ll still get a Samsung Galaxy Note 21.
Industry sources speaking to ETNews (a South Korean tech news site) claim that Samsung has ordered digitizers for the screen on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra – that’s a component that’s necessary in order for the S Pen to function.
Although the source doesn't mention the S21 Ultra by name, they say that only the top model of the Samsung Galaxy S21 range is set to get this, which would be the Galaxy S21 Ultra – or whatever that phone ends up being called.
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Two become one
That’s in line with previous rumors, but one new bit of information is that there will apparently be just one Samsung Galaxy Note 21 model, down from two Samsung Galaxy Note 20 models (the Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra).
This is apparently to “reduce the weight of the Note series” and push towards Samsung’s foldable phones as being the other main flagship range alongside the Galaxy S series. The report adds that to help with this, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will also support the S Pen.
We’ve heard before that Samsung might be looking to discontinue the Galaxy Note series, with the range’s one standout feature (the S Pen) apparently being added to the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 3. But previous leaks had suggested there either wouldn’t be another Note, or that the range would continue as normal in 2021, and be discontinued later.
Based on this leak though it sounds like the Note range might be more gradually phased out, with just one model in 2021, and then perhaps none in 2022 – though this latest leak doesn’t mention Samsung's plans beyond 2021, so that’s just speculation.
The leak also echoes earlier ones in claiming the Galaxy S21 will be announced in mid-January, and then go on sale at the end of January, and of all the claims about the future of the Galaxy Note range, we’d say the idea of a gradual phase-out sounds the most likely.
If Samsung really is moving the S Pen to other devices – as rumors overwhelmingly suggest it is – then the Note’s days probably are numbered. But with the Galaxy S21 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 both likely to be seriously expensive devices, there’s still a gap in the market for a more affordable stylus-toting Samsung – and a basic Samsung Galaxy Note 21 could fill that role nicely.
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.