Is Samsung making a Galaxy Note 21? Here are the latest leaks, along with what we expect to see
At the time of writing, it looks increasingly unlikely that we will see the Samsung Galaxy Note 21. The South Korean company has said that the Note series will not be the focus of the company this year, which is corporate—it’s probably not going to be.
That’s not to say that Samsung has abandoned the Note line, just that it may have skipped a generation, which isn’t so bad as the last few generations of Note phones are still very powerful and callable today. The S Pen compatible Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra may have made the Galaxy Note 21 a bit controversial, given that a lot of the same capabilities can be expected from a Note phone in the past.
- samsung galaxy note 20 ultra review
- Best Android Phones You Can Buy Today
- Plus: Here’s how Samsung could revive the Galaxy Note lineup
Nevertheless, the Galaxy Note 21 is yet to be officially canceled. And there are still rumors swirling around that point that there is some form of Note handset in the works.
Rumors of the Galaxy Note 21 point to a phone that will be a suitably upgraded launch, as it could be Samsung’s first phone with an under-display camera. Also, there is a high chance that it will inherit from the newly released Samsung Galaxy S21 such as the quad rear camera array of the S21 Ultra, its new contour cut camera design and Snapdragon 888 chipset.
Read on for an in-depth look at all the leaks, rumors and expectations we’ve had so far, plus a look at the rumors that last year’s Galaxy Note 20 could be the end of the line for this phablet.
Latest Samsung Galaxy Note 21 news (updated July 21)
- Samsung has announced plans for the Galaxy Unpacked event on August 11. Going by the language of the invite, it looks like foldable phones will be the focus.
Samsung Galaxy Note 21: Will It Actually Ship?
Late last year, rumors began to circulate that Samsung was planning to phase out the 2021 Galaxy Note update. Those rumors gathered momentum when it became clear that the Galaxy S21 Ultra would be the first non-Galaxy Note phone to feature an S Pen stylus. Samsung Electronics President TM Roh also spoke about his company’s plans to release more foldable phones, leaving the Note 21 out in the cold.
But rumors of the death of the Galaxy Note may be premature. Samsung mobile chief Koh Dong-jin has confirmed that there are plans to release another Galaxy Note device. However the ongoing global chip shortage means the phone may have to be delayed until 2022.
The only question is whether this is a true Galaxy Note 21, or something else. There are rumors that 2021 will be the “last storm” for the Galaxy Note range as Samsung shifts its focus to foldable devices. But those rumors have been inconsistent.
An unnamed Samsung employee claims there will be a Note 21, but tweets from the leaker ice universe‘ suggest that the Galaxy Note 21 may not hit the market.
Another possibility: Samsung releases the Galaxy Note 20 FE similar to the Galaxy S20 FE that surfaced last year. This would mean that the current version of the flagship will be sold at a lower price after Samsung removes some premium features. Assuming that the lack of a chip doesn’t get in the way of things.
samsung galaxy note 21 release date and price
Samsung is holding a product event on August 11th. Normally, when we’d expect to see a new Galaxy Note—the most recent Note launch happened in the August time frame—you’d think the Note 21 would show up on schedule.
But take one look at that invite and the words “get ready to open.” It’s not a huge leap of faith to suggest it means the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 – both rumored to be in the works – will be the center of attention on August 11th. The sizes on the invitation are similar to those two phones. seems to hold.
Should the Note 21 appear, what will it cost? The Note 20 currently starts at $999/£849, while the base price for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is $1,299/£1,179. There’s a clear estimate of how much the Note 21 will cost to see these prices, but it may not be the best approach given Samsung’s recent efforts with the Galaxy S21.
Samsung cut the price of the S21 range by $200 across the board, though by scaling back on some of the specs for a cheaper model. It’s still likely that the Note 21 will cost closer to $1,000, but if we’re lucky it will be a little less. Again, if we’re lucky, the Galaxy Note 21 will indeed exist.
samsung galaxy note 21 design
The way Samsung usually differentiates its two flagship phone lines is to give the Galaxy S-series a rounder silhouette compared to the Galaxy Note. Take a look at the corners of the Galaxy S20 vs. Galaxy Note 20 for proof of this.
This trend may continue, with the Note 21 getting its own version of the S21’s new “contour cut” with a camera bump design. Renders from LetsGoDigital and Giuseppe “Snoreyn” Spinelli give us a general idea of what the next generation Note will look like.
As for materials, the standard Note 20 uses a plastic back while the Note 20 Ultra has a glass back, a habit Samsung has shown it will continue with the plastic back on the entry-level Galaxy S21. The Note 20 and S21 both feel different to hold, but it will still at least look good.
Rumors have long suggested that Samsung is working on adding an under-display front camera to its phones, a feature that has already appeared on the ZTE Axon 20 5G. Should the Note 21 eventually adopt this feature, it could mean a completely notchless display on the front of the phone.
Previous Galaxy Note models have used curved displays, so we’d imagine that will remain the same here, as it helps to make the larger device, as we imagine the Note will use, better fit in users’ hands. Will happen.
samsung galaxy note 21 display
As mentioned above, the biggest change we can see in the Galaxy Note 21 is an under-display camera. This is based on an image from Samsung’s CES presentation on Galaxy Upcycling that showed a phone similar to the Note 20, but without the usual camera punch-hole.
We’ve seen elsewhere that Samsung is working on under-display cameras, so we’re hoping this is a sneak-peek for the Note 21. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is also rumored to get the feature.
If there is no under-display camera on the Note 21, it will probably use the same central punch-hole for the selfie camera seen on Samsung phones from the past few years. While it’s not quite as impressive as the hidden camera, it’s still an effective way to balance display space and selfie camera access.
The two current Galaxy Note 20 models came in different sizes. The Note 20 measured 6.7 inches, while the Note 20 Ultra measured 6.9 inches. Expect both of these sizes again, but the 6.9-inch model is likely to shrink to 6.8 inches, which Samsung implemented when converting the Galaxy S20 Ultra to the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
It looks like Samsung is sticking with a maximum 120Hz display refresh rates on its flagships, so we can expect it to appear again. However the question remains how dynamic this refresh rate will be. The S21 can go as low as 48Hz if it doesn’t need to display a lot of moving images, but the S21 Ultra can go all the way down to 10Hz, as can whatever new Note model Samsung has in the works.
The last point worth mentioning is resolution. The Note 20 Ultra used a QHD panel, while the original Note 20 used a less elaborate FHD panel. Similarly, the S21 and S21 Plus default to FHD while the S21 Ultra uses QHD. Whether Samsung goes for more or less pixels will depend on whether the entire phone is positioned as a premium flagship device or something more affordable.
samsung galaxy note 21 cameras
Should the Note 21 come with multiple devices, expect the camera set-up to differ. Basically the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus will use the same or similar triple-camera set-up, consisting of 12MP main, 12MP ultrawide and 64MP telephoto sensors along with a 10MP selfie camera on the front.
One wants significantly more convenience in terms of the Ultra variant cameras. Samsung has used its 108MP main sensor on the S20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra in recent days, and we’d expect it to make a comeback. A 12MP ultrawide camera, just like the S21, will probably be there too.
The S21 Ultra also has dual telephoto cameras, with one capable of 3x optical zoom and the other capable of 10x optical zoom. These could also find their way onto the Note 21 Ultra, although last year the Note 20 Ultra didn’t use the 48MP 4x optical zoom telephoto camera from the S20 Ultra, but had its own 12MP 5x optical zoom camera.
Lastly, look for an auxiliary sensor of some sort, possibly the laser autofocus that debuted on the Note 20 Ultra. Time-of-flight sensors have also been used in previous Samsung flagship phones that serve the same function, although one hasn’t been offered since the Galaxy S20 Plus.
On the front, Samsung will likely use one of the two cameras. Either the 10MP sensor it adds to most of its flagship phones, or the 40MP model previously used in the S20 Ultra, S21 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy Note 21 performance
Each year’s Galaxy Note is usually equipped with the best Snapdragon chipset at the time of launch. For the Galaxy Note 20, this meant the Snapdragon 865 Plus system-on-chip, and it would likely be the Snapdragon 888 for the Galaxy Note 21, unless Qualcomm releases a Plus version of this chip as well.
The Galaxy S21 benchmarks show the best performance we’ve seen from an Android device, even though the A14 Bionic-powered iPhone 12 still outperforms the Snapdragon 888-based Samsung phone.
Things will probably be different outside the UK, where Samsung has a long-standing arrangement with Qualcomm, we get Samsung’s own Exynos chipset – the Exynos 21 in the case of the Galaxy S2100. We would again expect this to be the chip found in the Note 21.
For other key performance metrics,…