It's a rumor we hear almost every year, that Samsung is going to merge the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note brand into a single brand.
This year, it's a bit different, as we are hearing that at least one of the Galaxy S21 smartphones is going to come with an S Pen. Which would really blur the lines between the Galaxy S21 and Note 21 next year. But, just because Samsung is bringing the S Pen to more devices doesn't mean the Galaxy Note as a brand, is dead.
The Galaxy Note brand itself, is huge. Samsung can't just kill it off one year, and continue with the Galaxy S brand. They are both pretty familiar, and the Galaxy Note brand might even be bigger than the Galaxy S. But what might happen, is the Galaxy Note brand may evolve in 2021.
The Galaxy Note needs to evolve
When it comes to Samsung smartphones, we used to look for the "Note" if we wanted the bleeding edge tech, with the best specs possible. That is no longer the case, now we need to look for "Ultra". As in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. And that's why Samsung needs to evolve the Note.
On top of that, we now have three Galaxy S smartphones, and two Galaxy Note smartphones. That's five "high-end, premium" devices from Samsung in one calendar year. That's way to many.
And the line between the Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra is very small. For instance, the Galaxy S20+ is basically the Galaxy Note 20, minus the S Pen. And the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a more refined version of the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Which makes it tough to decide which smartphone to buy.
Five "premium" smartphones is just to many
Five premium smartphones is to many, in a single calendar year. Let alone in a pandemic year. Where millions are out of jobs and aren't looking to spend $1,000 on a new smartphone.
As we've said many times, the differences between the Galaxy S20 models are very minor, mostly just being the screen size, battery and one camera. Add in the Galaxy Note 20 lineup, and the changes are even more minor.
For example, with the Galaxy Note 20, it seems that Samsung was just making changes to make changes and lower the price. On paper, the Galaxy Note 20 should be the cheapest of the five premium smartphones Samsung released this year. Since it has a 60Hz FHD+ display, and a polycarbonate back. Whereas the entire Galaxy S20 lineup is all 120Hz QHD+ displays with glass backs. Sure the S Pen does cost a pretty penny to make and to make the silo that it slides into. But it should not be the same price as the Galaxy S20.
In fact, this year, the Galaxy Note 20 even looks like an S20. Since it has curved corners instead of a boxy look like every other Galaxy Note smartphone has ever had.
Samsung needs to cut it down to three premium devices at the most. Now if Samsung wants to go back and make another "e" smartphone, like the Galaxy S10e, that would be awesome. The Galaxy S10e was a favorite of many people, including a number of people here at Android Headlines. Because it offered a flat display, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and it was only $750. While still boasting high-end specs like a Snapdragon 855, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage like the regular Galaxy S10 and S10+.
Having two "Ultra" smartphones every year is a bit much. Cut it down to one, and make the Galaxy Note the "Ultra" smartphone, as that is what it was designed to be.
Here's what Samsung should do next year
What Samsung should do in the spring of 2021 is launch the Galaxy S21, S21+ and a Note 21 Ultra. Instead of releasing the Note 21 Ultra in the fall, as a pretty minor upgrade to a Galaxy S21 Ultra smartphone.
And then in the fall, Samsung could go all in with foldables, tablets and wearables. Things that typically do launch in the fall, with back to school and the holiday season on the horizon.
This is the perfect way to do things moving forward, as foldables are now the "power user" devices, which is what the Galaxy Note used to be.
Power users are now buying things like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 or the Galaxy Z Flip 5G. That's because they still sport the latest specs, and also brand new technologies. That's what power users want. To be on the bleeding edge of tech.
Samsung could keep both the Fold and Flip lines and launch them together, since they are very different products. One is a phone that folds out to a tablet, while the other is a flip phone. Different products for different customers.
Samsung is not new to over-saturating the market, but at this point, it's just getting a little insane. Samsung is essentially competing with itself here, and ruining the Galaxy Note brand in the process.