Samsung’s Next Galaxy S Phone Will Have Note-Like Features

A photo of the Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Galaxy S21 Ultra supported the S Pen, but there was no Note-like slot.
Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo

We’re still waiting for the full details of Samsung’s next Unpacked event, which will take place next month. But there’s good news for anyone who’s been missing the company’s Galaxy Note: Samsung just teased its return, though it will be a different device than what you might expect.

“At Unpacked in February 2022, we’ll introduce you to the most noteworthy S series device we’ve ever created,” Samsung President Dr. TM Roh, head of the company’s MX Business, wrote in a Thursday blog post. “The next generation of Galaxy S is here, bringing together the greatest experiences of our Samsung Galaxy into one ultimate device.”

Samsung launched the Galaxy Note in 2011 to great fanfare. The 5.3-inch display was one of the biggest screens you could get at the time. And even as flagship phones grew in screen size, the Note morphed into the most premium device of Samsung’s smartphone lineup, with the company reserving its most premium specs and features for the Note. (Let us not forget the exploding batteries, too.)

Now, Samsung is passing the baton to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, which Roh mentioned at the end of his Unpacked teaser: “Get ready for the ultimate Ultra experience.”

It’s been rumored that Samsung would replace the Ultra version of its Galaxy S lineup with a Note-like device—complete with a slot for the S Pen. You can buy the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra now and get that kind of S Pen functionality, but there’s no docking spot for the stylus without investing in a clunky case.

But the S Pen isn’t the only part of the Note that people liked. It often had the best cameras of any Samsung phone, plus a beefy processor and plenty of space for documents and photos. The Note was positioned as a phone for power users. It makes sense that the Galaxy S22 Ultra (which is what we expect it to be called) would take its place, where Samsung can consolidate its supply chain while also enticing you to pay a little bit extra for better hardware.

Samsung offered a few hints at some of the features to expect from the Ultra. There’s a mention of owning “the night” to take “the best and brightest photos,” which seems to suggest a larger image sensor for capturing light. There’s a promise you’ll “dominate the day with power,” which sounds like there’s a big battery stuffed inside. This will also be the “smartest” Galaxy experience, which makes me believe it has something to do with Matter—maybe something akin to Samsung’s recently announced Home Hub.

All of this syncs up with what’s leaked about the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Leaks indicate that the Ultra will sport an interesting camera array consisting of a 108MP wide-angle primary camera, a 12MP ultra-wide lens, a 10MP telephoto lens with 10x zoom, and a second 10MP telephoto lens with 3X zoom. Other unconfirmed specs include a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, up to 16GB of RAM, and at least 512GB of storage. And it’s likely to be powered by the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip.

Samsung is opening reservations on Jan. 21 for whatever the new Note-like Ultra will be before announcing any additional details. If you’re feeling brave, you can also reserve Samsung’s next tablet. Both will be available to reserve on Samsung’s website starting tomorrow.


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