That is the smartphone foolish season, by which rumors about subsequent yr’s large releases combat to fill the void left now that the large fall flagships have already made their debut. And one rumor about Samsung’s plans appears to be drowning out all others — particularly, that the cellphone maker is able to pull the plug on its Galaxy Observe collection, leaving subsequent yr’s Samsung Galaxy S21 because the one true Samsung flagship.
My response to studies that Samsung needs to skinny out the highest finish of its smartphone lineup slightly bit? Good riddance.
That most likely sounds extra harsh than I imply it to. In any case, I actually just like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra — it is simply the best Samsung phone you should purchase and it offers the iPhone 12 Pro Max and different Apple fashions a run for his or her cash. However the reality of the matter is, plenty of telephones declare to be Samsung flagship fashions, and it is getting more durable to inform every of the gamers with out a scorecard.
Contemplate that the arrival of the Galaxy S20 FE this fall now signifies that there are 4 Galaxy S20 fashions to maintain straight. Throw within the Galaxy Observe 20 Extremely and the marginally cheaper Galaxy Note 20, and that is half-a-dozen top-of-the-line Samsung telephones customers have to check and distinction. That is nice information for folks like me who keep employed evaluating smartphone specs, however I think about it makes your buying choices extra difficult than they should be.
The tip of the Galaxy Observe
Rumors making the rounds proper now recommend Samsung may be inclined to convey order unto the chaos. Earlier this month, leaker Max Weinbach tweeted the flagship fashions Samsung plans to launch in 2021 — the Galaxy S21, S21 FE, S21 Plus and S21 Extremely, alongside a trio of foldable telephones that substitute the present Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip fashions.
Samsung flagships to count on this yr:S21 FES21S21+S21 UltraZ Fold 3Z Flip 3Z Fold FENovember 15, 2020
Discover something lacking in that listing? Sure, there is not any point out of the Galaxy Observe 21, with subsequent studies claiming Samsung will end that product line so as to focus its growth efforts on foldable units.
Different studies are including gasoline to this specific rumored hearth, with tipster Ice Universe suggesting that there is not any data on growth of subsequent yr’s Galaxy Observe 21. One other rumor means that some Galaxy S21 fashions — more than likely the Galaxy S21 Extremely — would gain support for the S Pen that is been unique to the Observe up to now. (The S Pen would not ship with the Galaxy S21, thoughts you; in keeping with this rumor, Samsung would merely add assist and promote separate instances that embody a slot for the stylus.)
Galaxy Observe vs. Galaxy S: Is there any distinction any extra?
If S Pen assist does come to the Galaxy S21 when that new cellphone arrives within the spring, it could be the surest signal but that the Galaxy Observe collection has little future. Lately, the S Pen and its productiveness boosting options is among the few methods to distinguish the Observe from Samsung’s Galaxy S telephones.
Definitely, display measurement is not a option to separate the 2 cellphone households. As soon as upon a time, the Galaxy Observe was the place you turned once you needed a phablet, a big-screen cellphone that supplied loads of show property for getting issues executed on the go. However now the 6.9-inch Galaxy S20 Ultra has the very same display measurement because the Observe 20 Extremely; the 6.7-inch Galaxy S20 Plus and common Observe 20 are the identical measurement, too.
It is simply as exhausting to inform the cameras aside, particularly for the reason that S20 Extremely and Observe 20 Extremely share a 108-megapixel essential lens. Actually, it is exhausting to shake the sense at each latest Galaxy Observe launch that Samsung is merely importing the digital camera options it launched to the Galaxy S lineup earlier that yr, additional cementing the Observe’s function as an after-thought in Samsung’s lineup.
Why the Galaxy Observe might stick round
It is value acknowledging that not everybody shares my view. Ramon Llamas, analysis director for cellular units at IDC, informed me he has a tough time seeing Samsung merging its two flagship lineups into one. “Galaxy S targets a broad viewers, and is hottest amongst its flagship units, and works largely as content material consumption,” he stated. “Galaxy Observe appeals to a extra productivity-focused consumer. Assume content material manufacturing.”
Avi Greengart, president and lead analyst at Techsponential, sees an identical breakdown between prospects of Samsung’s flagships. “There has all the time been overlap, however there are advantages to sustaining distinct manufacturers – and utilization information reveals that customers do make a distinction between them,” he stated.
Nonetheless, it was one thing that Greengart added that struck me as indicators of a possible shift for Samsung. “The place it will get tough is with Samsung’s Z line of foldables – with its extra actual property and skill to multitask or present extra data, the Z Fold 2 has severe productiveness chops,” Greengart stated.
Samsung’s future is foldable
And that is why I feel there is a risk that Samsung merging one of the best options of the Observe lineup into future Galaxy S telephones is not a case of extra smoke than hearth. In case you consider the Galaxy Observe as a productiveness software thanks partly to its massive display, find out how to categorize a cellphone with a good greater show that folds into one thing extra compact once you’re executed working?
Telephones just like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Flip could draw a distinct segment viewers for now, nevertheless it looks like Samsung sees their bigger screens and multitasking options as a productiveness lover’s dream. As well as, each telephones assist Flex mode, which takes benefit of the foldable cellphone kind issue to divvy up the show into viewing and management sections. It is a fairly ingenious option to get work executed that merely is not obtainable on a conventionally designed cellphone just like the Observe 20, S Pen or no.
Come this time subsequent yr, we’ll most likely have each a Galaxy S21 and a Galaxy Observe 21, plus plenty of completely different foldable fashions. “A wealthy, overlapping lineup makes issues more durable for Samsung’s model managers, nevertheless it’s an ideal downside to have,” Greengart stated.
However the rise of foldable telephones offers Samsung a brand new choice to serve each consumer- and productivity-oriented cellphone consumers. I hope the corporate’s sensible sufficient to take it.