So long, Galaxy Note: The S22 Ultra is here – CNET

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The brand new Galaxy S22 Extremely is actually changing the Galaxy Observe in Samsung’s lineup. 


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Samsung hasn’t formally stated the Galaxy Observe is gone for good, nevertheless it would not should. Simply take one have a look at the Galaxy S22 Extremely, Samsung’s new premium cellphone, and you’ll see it is the spitting picture of the Observe. 

The Galaxy S Extremely line has been inching in direction of Galaxy Observe standing for years. It was notably clear in 2021 when it added S Pen compatibility. However the latest mannequin, which Samsung introduced at Unpacked on Wednesday, looks as if the ultimate push in that route. 

And it is about time.

Each telephones serve the identical function in Samsung’s lineup by catering to clients keen to pay high greenback for an even bigger display and extra digicam options. Merely put, there is not any room for the Galaxy Observe to face out now that the Extremely exists.

The Galaxy Observe helped popularize bigger telephones again when the trade was fixated on making devices as small as potential. However that is now not the case, and the S-Pen alone clearly is not sufficient to maintain the Galaxy Observe related.

There is no place for the Galaxy Observe anymore

S21 Ultra vs. Note 20 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy Observe 20 Extremely (left) alongside the S20 Extremely (proper)


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Do not get me flawed, I used to be a longtime Galaxy Observe fan. The gadget’s practically tablet-sized display and the old school feeling of jotting down notes by hand intrigued me. 

However the Galaxy Observe’s heyday got here at a time when telephones have been nonetheless rising — actually. Smartphone gross sales outsold characteristic telephones for the primary time in 2013, in response to Gartner, roughly two years after the unique Galaxy Observe’s 2011 debut. The smartphone market was comparatively younger again then, so options like a bigger display and a stylus have been thought-about novel on the time. 

Most telephones that have been standard within the Galaxy Observe line’s early days, just like the Samsung Galaxy S3, Apple iPhone 5 and Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, had screens that have been smaller than 5 inches. The 5.3-inch Galaxy Observe appeared gigantic by comparability, but additionally distinctive. 

But in 2022, the traits that after made the Observe really feel recent now not appear modern. Nearly each cellphone has a large display that is about 6 inches or bigger, together with gadgets from Apple, Google, Motorola or OnePlus. In different phrases, huge telephones are actually the norm reasonably than the exception. Even finances telephones, like Samsung’s $250 Galaxy A13, usually embody 6-inch screens or larger now.

Learn extra: Galaxy S22 vs. S21 FE: How Samsung’s telephones examine

The Galaxy Observe undoubtedly performed a giant function in that shift. However that is precisely the purpose; the shift already occurred, and the Galaxy Observe now not feels as particular because it as soon as did. Proof of this may be seen within the Galaxy Observe 20 Extremely, Samsung’s most up-to-date high-end Observe that debuted in 2020. 

Apart from the S-Pen, there was little that distinguished the Observe 20 Extremely from the Galaxy S20 Extremely, which launched in the identical 12 months. Each telephones had spacious 6.9-inch screens and multilens cameras. The variations have been nuanced and got here to sure {hardware} particulars.

The S20 Extremely, for instance, had a sharper 48-megapixel telephoto lens in comparison with the Observe 20 Extremely’s 12-megapixel telephoto lens. It additionally had extra reminiscence choices and an even bigger battery, however was $100 dearer than the Observe 20 Extremely at launch. 

Learn extra: The Galaxy S22 Extremely fails to excite this professional photographer. And that is an issue

Samsung’s try to take care of two completely different premium cellphone manufacturers created confusion for individuals who simply wished to purchase Samsung’s top-of-the-line cellphone. In 2019, it was the Observe 10 Plus. In 2020, it was both the S20 Extremely or the Observe 20 Extremely. Eliminating the Observe model from Samsung’s lineup simplifies that construction. It additionally means individuals who favor big telephones now not should determine between a stylus or a greater digicam, as they did in 2020. 

Samsung’s foldables are actually filling that function

Galaxy Z Fold 3

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has practically all of the refinements you could possibly ask for however nonetheless really feel prefer it’s lacking a function.


Patrick Holland/CNET

The Galaxy Observe began out as a distinct segment gadget for individuals who wished extra display area and energy than the typical cellphone allowed for. Its massive dimension and excessive worth meant it wasn’t for everybody. But it surely nonetheless served as an early indication of the place the trade was going.

Within the best-case state of affairs for Samsung, the identical may very well be stated for the corporate’s foldable telephones. Just like the Galaxy Observe, Samsung’s foldables are dearer than the usual cellphone. And the attraction of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is within the additional display area it provides, identical to the Galaxy Observe. Samsung appears to be hoping that the Z Fold 3 and flip phone-style Z Flip 3 will set the tempo for the place smartphones are headed, simply because the Observe as soon as did. 

Who is aware of whether or not immediately’s foldables will lay the muse for future telephones. However the Observe actually did, and its affect has formed Samsung’s most necessary launch of the 12 months. 

For extra, try every little thing else Samsung unveiled at its latest Unpacked occasion together with the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and Galaxy Tab S8. (This is how one can preorder the gadgets now.) You can even study extra about how the Galaxy S22 in comparison with the S21, and what’s nightography

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