The Samsung Galaxy Note 21 was expected to be released in the summer of 2021, but Samsung didn't go through with that anticipated release. Instead, Samsung released the Galaxy Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 at the time the Note lineup usually gets a new release - in Augutst 2021.
However, despite that the Note 21 didn't materialize, we've heard that the Galaxy S22 Ultra could end up being a spiritual successor to the Note lineup. We've also heard that it could literally carry the Galaxy Note 22 name.
Here's everything we expected and thought we knew about the Galaxy Note 21 at the time.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 21: Is it happening?
According to some sources, Samsung has been seriously entertaining the idea of scrapping the Galaxy Note lineup
in 2021. Initially, some sources claimed that the Note 21 would be out of Samsung's 2021 portfolio due to a trivial but extremely logical reason: lack of differentiation from the upcoming S21 Ultra and Z Fold 3, which are widely rumored to support the S Pen
Still, a larger amount of contradicting rumors also state that while Samsung might indeed nix the Note eventually, this wouldn't happen in 2021
. There's one last hurrah scheduled for the Note series, and that will be the Note 21 indeed.
More recently, Samsung Mobile chief Dj Koh said that
"It may be difficult to launch the Galaxy Note in the second half of the year." and added that "Their launch timing may be different, but we will make sure that we don't let Galaxy Note consumers down". It looks like Samsung may not be launching the Note 21 in August, as is tradition. The ominous wording suggests a different launch window, maybe even pushing it as far as early next year
, meaning 2022.
It seems that nothing is set in stone just yet, though, the fact that the co-CEO of Mobile is freely expressing concerns tells us that Samsung is ready to pass on the Note series for 2021.
We do have to say that the lack of any leaks about a Galaxy Note 21 over the past few months is concerning. Perhaps it truly has been scrapped... for this year, at least. But hey, we do hear more leaks that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will support an S Pen
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra could be the last Note we see for a while
Samsung Galaxy Note 21: Expected price and release date
If the above is wrong and Samsung sticks to its traditional schedules, we should expect the Galaxy Note 21 sometime in August 2021. It will probably take place alongside a Galaxy Fold 3 or a Z Flip 3/Z Flip Lite
If it happens so that the Note launch is pushed further, letting the Fold Z3 take the August limelight, then the next Note might land in January of 2022, alongside the Galaxy S22 series.
As far as the price tag is concerned, we are likely looking at another possible $1,000+ starting price for the Note 21, which could make it a tough sell considering that foldables are only going to get more affordable with time.
Samsung Galaxy Note 21: Display and design
One thing to have in mind about the Note 21 is that no specific specs have leaked just yet. If it materializes, the Note 21 will most likely come with a display larger than 6.8 inches. Hopes are high that we might see an under-screen selfie camera, so no cutout or notch whatsoever.
Some rumors state that the only Samsung-made phone with a discreet selfie camera in 2021 will be the Galaxy Z Fold 3
. Then again, there was this official Samsung video
with a mystery Note-looking phone that appeared for a couple of seconds. You guessed it, said phone had no punch hole. So, will the Galaxy Note 21 have an under-screen selfie camera? Jury is still out...
Frame taken from Samsung's Upcycling video
Samsung has been reportedly working on bringing under-display cameras for a while, but concerns about the image quality have held back on the innovation. Remember, having a camera under a display means that less light is able to hit the selfie sensor directly, which is undesirable and could lead to inferior image results.
Speaking of the design, no surprises are expected. The design language of the Note series has peaked a long time ago and Samsung is generally keeping true to that mantra. A mostly glass exterior is expected, and we assume Samsung will stick to the frosted glass finish it introduced with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
, along with some metal design elements.
Samsung Galaxy Note 21: Specs and features
Being a flagship device, the Note 21 will most certainly arrive with a flagship pair of processors: a Snapdragon for the US and an Exynos for the rest of the world. Namely, those would be the recently-announced 5 nm Snapdragon 888 and the Exynos 2100. We'd certainly see a decent amount of RAM and storage on board.
The S Pen will certainly be a part of the package, seeing how it's an integral part of the Galaxy Note line. Even if other Samsung devices score support for the venerable S Pen, it will always be clear cut for the Note series. Aside from the pure hardware support for the S Pen, the Note series also has a slew of software features to accommodate for the added functionalities which make the two a much better pair.
Samsung has really been taking software updates seriously these past few years. The company now sells its midrange-and-above devices with a guarantee for 3 years' worth of software support (this includes 2 major Android updates post-launch date). Sammy keeps true to its promise, as can be evidenced by recent security patches, pushed to the almost-3-year-old Galaxy Note 9
The Note 20 Ultra's S Pen
Samsung Galaxy Note 21: Camera
Just like most Galaxy flagships from the past few years, the Note 21 will most certainly come along with a triple camera setup, consisting of an ultra wide-angle, main wide-angle, and a telephoto camera.
Judging from the latest S21 leaks, the Note 21 could theoretically score the same triple-camera system that's rumored to make it into the S21 Ultra. That means a 108 MP sensor yet again, and 100x hybrid zoom. What's really bonkers is that we expect two zoom cameras — a 3x telephoto camera for portraits and a 10x telescope camera for lossless zooming.
Galaxy S21 Ultra and its quad camera module
There will, of course, also be an ultra-wide camera. So yes, you counted that right — 4 cameras on the back. Main high-res camera, a 3x telephoto, a 10x zoom, and an ultra-wide one. When does it end?
Samsung Galaxy Note 21 5G
Of course, we fully expect the Note 21 will be 5G-ready out of the box. The new connectivity is well on its way to becoming a new norm, instead of an exotic commodity, so flagships coming out in 2021 and onward pretty much have no excuse but to support it. Just like the Galaxy S21, we expect the Note 21 to be ready for both mmWave and Sub-6Ghz standards.