What you need to know
- A new report shares some information on the upcoming Galaxy S21.
- The flagship is said to ship in three variants, like with this year's S20.
- Samsung is also said to be adding an S Pen to one of those variants this year.
Samsung has just released the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra this weekend, but the rumor mill has already bubbled up some information on the next flagship. The rumor also states that the phone may be called the Galaxy S21, though we believe it will be called the S30 in line with Samsung's recent +10 naming conventions.
The new rumor places the S30 as coming in three variants just like this year. However, one of those variants will steal a trick from the Note's playbook and come with an S Pen on board.
The Galaxy Note line is currently Samsung's only pen-toting handset, but the addition of a pen to the S-line would narrow the distinction between both lines. With size and camera capability largely equalized, the pen had quickly become the only difference. That said, it's not unheard of for OEMs to ship two similar flagships in one calendar year. Huawei did it with the Mate and P-Series, while LG does it with its V and (now defunct) G-series.
One approach Samsung could be taking here could revolve around keeping the Note brand but dropping the S30 Ultra as a brand. That way, two of these rumored phones would ship as the S30 and S30+ while the last would be marketed as the Note 30. Samsung would then launch these phones earlier in the year while reserving the end of the year for the Fold and Flip lines. It's not far-fetched, the similarity between the Note and S-lines means that the Note has essentially devolved into the "S-line but with a pen". Meanwhile, foldables are the next interesting thing in mobile tech, and Samsung has two of them that deserve to be the stars of their own show.
On the other hand, a 2019 report from Evan Blass noted that Samsung was debating the merger of the two lines. This came after a 2018 report from Korean publication, The Bell, stating the same. If this is what we're seeing now, it'll be curious if Samsung ends up keeping both lines or ultimately replaces the Note line with the Galaxy Z Fold.
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