After a successful decade on the market, the Galaxy Note series took a backseat this year when Samsung decided not to release the Galaxy Note 22 lineup at Unpacked. There will be no Galaxy Note 22, and at this point, the future of the series is in jeopardy. It may have been retired for good, seeing how the company broke the S Pen’s exclusivity by pairing it with more smartphone models that have never had S Pen support before. And with the Galaxy Note series officially shelved, I believe it’s time for the next Galaxy S Ultra model to fully commit to the S Pen and become the spiritual successor to the Note family.
Samsung might never release a Galaxy Note ever again, and although this is heartbreaking for thousands of fans of the series, the good news is that the Galaxy Note’s retirement doesn’t have to bring the end of the S Pen. On the contrary. Much like I suspected a little over a year ago, the demise of the Galaxy Note series could lead to the proliferation of the S Pen, among other benefits. And indeed, Samsung has already brought the S Pen to more devices than ever before. The Galaxy S21 Ultra was the first in its series to support the S Pen, and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the company’s first foldable device to work with the iconic input device.
Nevertheless, slapping a digitizer on a screen and adding an optional S Pen case to an existing smartphone model might not be enough to preserve the spirit of the Galaxy Note family in the long run. And because of this, I’m starting to believe more and more that the Galaxy S22 Ultra should fill this gap and become a spiritual Note successor. Without a proper Galaxy Note in sight, the Galaxy S22 Ultra should fully embrace the S Pen and have a dedicated holster for this accessory.
Wouldn’t this compromise the Galaxy S22 Ultra?
Purely on paper, maybe so. But realistically, I don’t believe it would. The only hardware sacrifice the Galaxy S22 Ultra would make in favor of a dedicated S Pen slot is a slightly smaller battery. And while it might sound outrageous at first for the Galaxy S22 Ultra to have a smaller battery, in reality, it simply wouldn’t make that much of a difference regardless if you like the S Pen or not.
I just find it difficult to believe that a Galaxy S fan with good intentions at heart would ever deny a brand-new outstanding model just because it has a battery that’s ~100mAh smaller than it was a year before. Especially in an era where advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes ensure better energy efficiency almost every year.
And I’m not trying to imply that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will make for a better Note than the Galaxy Note 22 itself would have. We just don’t know this because neither phone is official. However, what I am suggesting is that if the Galaxy Note series is gone for good and won’t come back in H2 2022, then the next best step to ensure the longevity of the S Pen would be for the Galaxy S22 Ultra to embrace the role of a spiritual Note successor and adopt a dedicated S Pen slot.
And yes, I’m aware that Galaxy S22 Ultra “ultra fans” would probably complain because of this change — in my opinion, for no good reason other than a measly ~100mAh loss in battery capacity. But on the other hand, a Galaxy S22 Ultra with a dedicated S Pen holster would likely become the device of choice for almost every Galaxy Note fan who might be feeling left out after the August 2021 Galaxy Unpacked event.
What do you think, assuming that Samsung has retired the Note series for good? Would you prefer the S Pen to continue existing as an optional accessory and an afterthought for a few phones? Or should the Galaxy S22 Ultra fill the shoes of a proper Note successor and come with a dedicated S Pen slot and an S Pen in the box?