Samsung R&D Exec On The History Of The S-Pen And Future Of The Note


Little would argue that the Samsung Galaxy Note Series are not excellent, stylish and highly functional phones. In the consumers eye, it seems to finely strike the balance between function and size and as such has now become a staple in the smartphone world. In fact, many credits the Note range for starting the now 'phablet phenomena'. That said, in a recent interview between CNET and Tae Moon Rah, Samsung's EVP for Product Strategy and innovation R&D. The conversation was meant to focus largely on the future of Samsung and next year's devices. However, there was some interesting revelations about the history of the Note series.

The most interesting part of the Note walk down memory lane, was the arguments that were apparently had between Samsung engineers in regards to the design of the S-Pen. For the original Samsung Galaxy Note, the jury was out on how big the S-Pen should be. According to Rah, at one point the S-Pen was as large as a normal sized pen. This led to the inevitable assumption that maybe the pen should not be holstered in the device at all, but produced alongside the device. It would be interesting to know how successful the Note range would have been if the S-Pen did have to be carried literally like a real pen. According to Rah, they also thought of additional ways to include the pen like making the pen a case-attached accessory or even magnetic. Even suggesting at one point it could have been toothpick sized. With the size of the pen prototype varying from a real pen to a toothpick it is probably less of a surprise to hear the size of the actual Galaxy Note was also up for debate. Again according to Rah, the original Note was much wider in size and more like a journal than a smartphone. Needless to say, both the Note and the S-Pen did eventually slim down to what we finally saw in the originally released product.


In terms of the future of the Note series (and Samsung devices in general), Rah was rather tight-lipped and not giving too much away. When pushed, Rah did state that you can take his word that it will "suit your needs". Rah did also acknowledge that two important factors presently in his mind (and therefore probably in Samsung's too) is that of the display and the camera. According to Rah, both should be clear, sharper and with a high resolution. Rah did also state that Samsung over the years has tried out many novel technologies. Although at the time, some were too early for the market and hinted that some might be better suited to today's smartphone world. That said, he also did point out that he is pretty sure they won't be bringing back antennas anytime soon. For those interested, you can read Rah's full interview by clicking here. So how do you like the Note Range? Would you have preferred a bigger (separate S-Pen)? What features would you like to see in the next Note device? Let us know

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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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