There, I said it. We don’t need the Samsung Galaxy Note anymore.
Do you remember the magical time right after Android became truly mainstream? HTC and Samsung were in a titanic battle for dominance in a new market, set to become the biggest smartphone battlefield in the world. HTC had the early lead after launching the first Droid smartphones that came to market in full force. But then Samsung came to in arms with the Galaxy S and a year later, the Galaxy Note.
The Galaxy Note was a landmark device when it was launched in 2011 and has shaped the smartphone market ever since. Before that (even after the iPhone was launched 4 years earlier) the trend was to make a smartphone as small and sleek as possible. Samsung was the first manufacturer to gamble on making it as big and bold as possible, and is it because of the Galaxy Note that the term ‘phablet’ was coined (somewhere between a phone and a tablet). Of course, they are just called phones now because everything is as large (and way larger).
Samsung used the Galaxy Note range in the early years to show us what the future would look like. They used it to be bold and take risks, test technologies that would come to the wider market and frankly, just show off. This day and age has passed, and now the Galaxy Note range doesn’t offer enough. It’s a sad thing to admit, but we don’t need the Samsung Galaxy Note anymore.
Look back at the first Galaxy Note from 2011. It was revolutionary. No one thought such a big screen on a mobile device was feasible compared to the latest iPhone, but it was a huge success.
The new Galaxy Note 10 is another ‘bold’ step for the Korean company, taking the features of the S-Pen even further. Unfortunately, that is all that is left of the Note range – the S-Pen. Years prior the Note range brought us the latest and great battery technology, the best mobile chipsets in any phone, the upper echelons of camera technology and best media device available.
The Galaxy Note 10 is now a shell of its former self. Objectively still a great phone, but the niche it filled doesn’t exist anymore. In fact, Samsung have no decided to make a smaller Note, which means is directly competes with the Galaxy S10+. That should tell you all you need it to. The Note is not the flagship of Samsung anymore. It is simply now an oddity that few people need because of the stylus. Again, we don’t need the Samsung Galaxy Note anymore.
To this day, my first three Android phones are still my favourites of all time, because of how different they were at that point in time. The HTC Nexus One, Samsung Galaxy Note and then the Galaxy Nexus. The Nexus One was the first of a brave new world, the Galaxy Nexus showed me what Android was supposed to be, but the Samsung Galaxy Note showed me what Android smartphones COULD be.
Is this the end of the Galaxy Note line? Of course not. Does this mean it will always be a boring, safe upgrade from the S flagship? Who knows. What is clear is that Samsung’s strategy has changed to new form factors, where the most exciting device to launch is not the Note (remember the Note 4 Edge?) but the foldable devices we’ve started to see now.
I’m going to call it. R.I.P Galaxy Note. We’ll see you in the next life.