Opinion

This Galaxy Note competitor in 2017 is one company’s high tech comeback

The Galaxy Note 7 arrival and quick recall has had some doubting Samsung’s Galaxy Note brand and Samsung in general. Critics have said that the Galaxy Note brand was “so damaged beyond repair” that there’s no way Samsung could ever resurrect and revive it. And yet, the results show that the Note faithful are as faithful as ever to Samsung (particularly in the United States) and can’t wait for the Galaxy Note 8. I do value what analysts say, but sometimes, I think their predictions tell more about their own views than those of faithful customers.

Well, it may be hard to believe, but the Galaxy Note brand is anything but dead. One company in particular is expecting a high tech comeback in 2017 with a Galaxy Note competitor of its own. The company in question? The company known formally as “High Tech Computer,” or HTC.

HTC has been teasing us with a concept phone called the “HTC Ocean” that shows a new Sense Touch UI with touch controls on the side edge of the smartphone, which should ring a bell for diehard Galaxy S7 edge and Galaxy Note 7 fans (yes, Note 7 fever is still alive). Samsung started its edge controls with the Galaxy Note Edge, then the Galaxy S6 edge, and this year, the Galaxy S7 edge and the now-deceased Galaxy Note 7. Samsung’s take on edge controls consists of edge panels that can be downloaded from the Galaxy Apps Store that allow you to do everything from access your selfie camera, compose an email to a specific contact, record a voice memo, access your calendar dates, and even access your SamMobile news feed.

There are three phones that will bear the HTC Ocean codename (if this remains a codename or becomes the device moniker remains to be seen): the Ocean Smart, Ocean Master, and Ocean Note. These codenames have been leaked by HTC 10 leakster LlabTooFeR (he also confirmed that the HTC 10 codename was “Perfume”).

The Ocean Smart is said to be a mid-range device, while the Ocean Master is aptly named because it will be the high-end of those two devices. Yes, I know – you’ve seen the name of the third device, the Ocean Note – and Galaxy Note fans are wondering about this. If the rumors are right, the Ocean Note will be HTC’s third device to be announced next year and will have an integrated stylus along with other specs such as a 5.5-inch, Quad HD display (2,560 x 1,440p), Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Adreno 540 GPU, 8GB of RAM (this isn’t a typo), 256GB of internal storage, 8MP front camera, 12MP back camera, 3,700mAh battery, Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0, and Android Nougat. To the disappointment of many, it won’t come with a 3.5mm headphone jack, so that trend is here to stay.

The HTC Ocean Note (or the stylus-enabled HTC 11, as some presume it to be), is said to look identical to the HTC 10 with the exception of an added stylus. A recent leak shows that a protective case and back cover for the device have an added slot that mimics the same design as a Galaxy Note smartphone. And the words “HTC Ocean Note” are on the page cleanly, with little question as to the codename.

There are a lot of rumors about this Galaxy Note competitor that are up in the air at this point. The new Sense Touch controls are up in the air (it’s been said that the video was just a concept video, nothing real), and this device, as has been the case with other devices, could possibly never make it to market.

What we do know is that, should HTC choose to release this device, it will reaffirm what Galaxy Note users already know: that is, Samsung’s Galaxy Note is the finest smartphone on the market, and the stylus-enabled smartphone is the gold standard for all others to emulate. Samsung’s Galaxy Note, though, is not just a smartphone with a stylus. Samsung has integrated the S Pen by bringing certain features to the Note that make the S Pen more than just a writing utensil.

The now-deceased Galaxy Note 7 added features such as Glance, Magnify, and Translate that let you use the S Pen for more than just writing, as well as resolution scaling in its newly-revamped Medium Power Saving Mode along with other subtle improvements.

The Galaxy Note 4 integrated Samsung’s Smart Select (initially called S Pen As Mouse) that lets you copy words and images together to share with those you know or gather together for your own personal research. The Galaxy Note 5 brought Screen Off Memo that lets you write when the screen is off (the name is as popular as the feature itself now).

The Note 7, in addition to the above features, also made it easy to compose and share GIFs. This doesn’t even take into account the water-resistant nature of the Note 7 and its S Pen. HTC will be expected to bring more than just a stylus to its smartphone lineup if it wants the Ocean Note to end up in the same sentence as Samsung’s Galaxy Note in tech discussions.

Whether HTC can follow in Samsung’s footsteps respectably is a waiting game. Either way, we may know something as early as CES 2017, January 12th or by the end of Q1.

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