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    Samsung hung fans out to dry to please Note lovers with Galaxy S22 Ultra

    Opinion
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    Last updated: March 10th, 2022 at 17:20 UTC+01:00

    Samsung has only recently shaken up its smartphone lineup. For many years, it followed a predictable pattern. You'd get two new Galaxy S flagships in the first half of the year. They would be followed by a single Galaxy Note device in the second half. The company was able to maintain this balance very well.

    The Galaxy S series has always had a separate fan base. These loyal Samsung customers appreciate everything that the Galaxy S lineup stands for. They were devoted to the series and wouldn't give up their new device in favor of the latest Galaxy Note later in the year.

    On the other hand, the Galaxy Note fans are perhaps the most passionate Samsung customers. Tens of millions of people across the globe waited for a new phablet every year. They mostly wouldn't buy whatever new Galaxy S phone had been released that year, opting to wait for their stylus-equipped device.

    This worked out nicely for everyone. No fanbase had to make a compromise. The Galaxy S loyalists would get their device and the phablet lovers would get theirs. All was right with the world up until the past couple of years when the lines started to get blurred.

    The Galaxy S series was expanded from two to three models. Multiple models were also introduced for the Note handsets. Then came the Galaxy Z Fold lineup which was squeezed in the second half of this year, putting it in direct conflict with the Note series. Something had to give and fans feared that the Galaxy Note lineup would be discontinued.

    It didn't help when the Galaxy S21 Ultra gained S Pen support in 2021. While it wasn't a proper “Note” since the S Pen couldn't be stored inside the device, it was a sign of things to come. It was rumored pretty early on last year that there won't be a new Note device. That ended up being true, Samsung didn't launch new Galaxy Note handsets in 2021. The second half of the year brought us the Galaxy Z Fold 3 instead which also had S Pen support.

    Then the rumors began about the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Word on the street was that the device would be redesigned to look like a Note complete with a slot for the S Pen. As we know now, the rumors were true. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the Galaxy Note reincarnated with its boxy design and rectangular shape.

    Even though it carries the branding, it has no Galaxy S DNA. This is a bona fide Galaxy Note. If you've been using Galaxy Note phones for long, it will instantly feel familiar in the hand. Perhaps that's why it's selling so well. Galaxy Note fans who were starved for a new flagship finally have a shiny new model to buy.

    Where does that leave fans of the Galaxy S series? As it stands, they don't have a top-of-the-line model available for them. Sure, it's business as usual for the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+, but they are not as spec'd out as the Ultra.

    The Ultra has become one of the most sought after Galaxy S models. That's due to Samsung throwing everything and the kitchen sink at it. Of all models, the Ultra would have the most memory and storage, the biggest battery, a larger display and an absolutely bonkers camera setup. All of this mattered to people spending top dollar on a phone.

    Unfortunately, all of those fans that don't particularly like the Galaxy Note design have now been hung out to dry. They either compromise and use a phone with a design they don't appreciate or don't buy it at all. There is no other option. Someone who wants the 108MP camera has no use for the Galaxy S22+.

    This is the new normal. This is how it's going to be. The Galaxy S23 Ultra will very likely have the same design language. Going forward, the Ultra model has the task of keeping the Note alive, at the cost of those who liked buying the most expensive Galaxy S model.

    There's nothing else in Samsung's lineup that can take the place of a Galaxy Sx Ultra, nothing else that has a rounded and curvy shape while being packed to the gills with new tech. The foldables are an entirely different form factor and won't fill the gap here. It's sad, but it is what it is.

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    Opinion