Samsung patent reveals a case that may transform the Galaxy S7 into a modern Galaxy Note Edge


Samsung's top-end smartphones are usually represented by two separate lines — the “mainstream” Galaxy S flagship series, offering high-end hardware and design in a manageable phone size, and the “poweruser” Galaxy Note series, which offers a phablet-class screen size, bigger battery, the most powerful hardware that Sammy is able to stick in the current generation of smartphones, and the signature S Pen stylus.

However, in 2015, the borders between the two series started to blur a bit – the Galaxy S series got its own representative in the phablet segment in the form of the Galaxy S6 edge+, which carried all the hardware the Note 5 did, sans the S Pen. Furthermore, Sammy chose not to sell the Note 5 in Europe, at least not yet, causing many to question whether the company still believes in it's powerhorse phablet line. As if to add fuel to this fire of doubt, we are now hearing rumors of another phablet joining the Galaxy S ranks — to put things plainly, various reports claim that, in 2016, Samsung will launch a Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S7 Plus, and Galaxy S7 edge Plus. That's two “regular-sized” smartphones and two phablets in the very same series, which truly begs the question “Is Samsung really planning to have 5 high-end smartphones in 2016, or could it possibly be planning to scrape the Galaxy Note series?”. While we wouldn't be quick to jump to the conclusion that Samsung is willing to get rid of one of its most recognized and marketable names, it looks like some kind of shift is happening. Hey, they can't just be throwing a bunch of different models at the wall, and checking what sticks, right? Right?...

On to the latest development – this latest report is yet another clue that Sammy is planning to bring the two lines closer and closer together. What we have here is a patent for a smartphone case that will essentially turn a Galaxy S smartphone in a Galaxy Note Edge-type of a device, with a stylus of its own. The source material is, unfortunately, in Korean, so we are forced to try and figure out the gadget is about by pictures alone, but some clues are pretty obvious.

What we have on the image is a front panel, which appears to be designed with the idea to be freely attachable / detachable from a smartphone at the user's whim. The panel has its own glass on the front, which is curiously curved on the right side, making it look a lot like the face of a Galaxy Note Edge. It also appears to have cutouts for a home button, earpiece, selfie camera, a charging USB port, and a microphone – the contoured lines most probably show “this is where these parts will fit when a smartphone is attached to the device”. And, the best part – the right side of the panel is home to a stylus. Now, one could possibly argue that it may be a regular capacitive stylus, but this panel looks a bit too sophisticated to simply be a capacitive stylus holder.

So, what's with all that fancy glass – why not just release an S Pen for the Galaxy S7 and get it done with, you ask? Well, Samsung's S Pen owes its precision to a Wacom digitizer, which is present underneath the glass of its Note smartphones. When combined with the regular touchscreen digitizer, which is also present, it allows the phone to differentiate between touch input and stylus input, which helps with palm-rejection. Galaxy S smartphones are smaller and lighter and only house a standard digitizer, probably due to concerns about cost, weight, and size increase. As a result – the phone is unable to detect input from Samsung's signature stylus, despite the fact that it can run the S Note app and all of its features with no issues. Our best assumption is that the removable glass panel shown in this patent actually houses the digitizer needed to make a non-Note phone work with the S Pen.

It is unclear whether this add-on is supposed to fit a larger Plus model, or if it is designed to work with the "regular-sized" Galaxy S smartphones. We can't say we are fans of how it seemingly makes the device wider, and we also have no clue why its screen is curved to the side – could this also signal a return of the Edge Panels? The patent data dates back to March of last year, according to the official filing, so it's possible that Samsung may have had enough time to come up with a finished product, if it has, in fact, been developing the project further. So, there's a slight chance we might see it unveiled at this year's MWC, right next to the Galaxy S7 and its siblings. Let's hold our breath and see! 


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19 Comments

1. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Argh...I hope not! The Note 4 and 5 were imo Samsung's greatest phones... specifically how the Note 4 was closely the ideal "perfect smartphone" at the time.

2. Bm888

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

Samsung's "head" always seems to ring *apple... It's slowly killing what made it standout.. The moment *they get rid of stylus.. That's gonna be end of the last nail to downfall, hope LG, is keenly watching and Microsoft, *surface phone, because power users won't give a sh*t of Sammy.. Should they screw up...

3. Bm888

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

Samsung's "head" always seems to ring *apple... It's slowly killing what made it standout.. The moment *they get rid of stylus.. That's gonna be end of the last nail to downfall, hope LG, is keenly watching and Microsoft, *surface phone, because power users won't give a sh*t of Sammy.. Should they screw up...

4. Bm888

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

Samsung's "head" always seems to ring *apple... It's slowly killing what made it standout.. The moment *they get rid of stylus.. That's gonna be end of the last nail to downfall, hope LG, is keenly watching and Microsoft, *surface phone, because power users won't give a sh*t of Sammy.. Should they screw up...

7. tedkord

Posts: 17198; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

So ridiculous, it had to be said three times?

17. AndroidBoy21

Posts: 72; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

I Prefer S series but what i am saying is that i agree with you I Dont' Know For You But For Me The Note Series is the heart and soul of the Phablet industry

5. jesus_sheep

Posts: 279; Member since: Apr 18, 2015

Samsung phones with front facing stereo speakers..... that will be the day.

6. MrAnonymous

Posts: 94; Member since: May 25, 2014

A perfect device for me would be a phone with Sony Design, speakers, camera and multimedia apps: and lg's phone to screen ratio: and sammy's amoled and s-pen: price of Xiaomi/OnePlus :D

8. tedkord

Posts: 17198; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Since were dreaming, let's have it spit out hundred dollar bills, too.

9. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Bad idea

10. joevsyou

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

They could just combine the two and sell the plus series with the pens as they will be bigger and able to house the pens unlike the smaller models. It would generate more hype during the releases and they could combine the sell numbers. Also at the same time they could be confusing note fans however giving galaxy fans more options to get bigger screens instead of looking at other devices for a bigger screen or making Samsung fans wait for the note series to be release to get a bigger screen. i am all for giving the galaxy series bigger screen options during release and maybe even the pen options for the plus. However i would also keep the note series and it's quite popular

11. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

I still love the note 4.

12. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1806; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

Sounds promising.. Some days I use my s6 edge plus and others I use my note 5 when I need to handle a lot of work stuff on the fly.... If I could get both with just putting a cover on it I'm in!!

13. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Did you guys read the article? The case would turn the phone into a Note. If done right, that could be pretty cool actually and they could eliminate the Note while having the option to do it anyway.

14. Loubielou

Posts: 603; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Note 4 was the best smartphone from Samsung,that offered there best selling options,then because Samsung and there project-zero just had the thought of gaining Apple users to S6 or Note 5 really let loads of Galaxy phones down,hope we do get the Note 6 or Samsung will have no phone to challenge the Apple iPhone 7

15. ameran

Posts: 344; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

I don't think Samsung would cancel Note series.

16. Coconut00

Posts: 485; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

Me neither. But it would be cool for Samsung to sell the S Pen apart for its other smartphones, or make compact Note (something like 4.7-5.2 inches).

18. Solun

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 18, 2013

First I thought you are just recycling the Note Edge but then I saw the other pics and it´s really detachable.

19. yogihoy

Posts: 17; Member since: Feb 17, 2015

Finally...i am a note 4 user..because i love hhe spen... but tis is a better option..all they phones should have spen tech screens..

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