One of the most memorable scenes in the books of author Sir Terry Pratchett features an old witch, Granny Weatherwax. She has the gift of sending her mind into the bodies of other animals. And when she does so, her own body remains lying still in her room. To make sure that no one mistakes her for being dead and buries or cremates her, whenever she goes into the mind of another being, Granny Weatherwax leaves a sign on top of her seemingly inanimate body:

“I aten’t dead” (yes, she was better at casting spells than spelling words).

samsung galaxy note 20 ultra
IMAGE: Samsung

That sign would not be out of place on the Samsung Galaxy Note. For, after yesterday’s Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event, there has been a sentiment about the Galaxy Note that has stopped just short of writing obituaries for the device that spurred the big-screen phone (“phablets,” remember).

The reason for this death-belief is obvious—2021 might not see a Galaxy Note being released at all, and Samsung is moving the S Pen stylus, the most distinct feature of the device, to a number of other devices, most notably the Galaxy S series and in the Galaxy Fold 3. The brand has launched the Tab S7 FE this year with the S Pen, but the Note brand has been relatively silent, and Samsung co-CEO DJ Koh’s statement that there would be no Note released in 2021, has fuelled speculation that the Note might have come to the end of its road, or should we say, Notebook.

We would beg to differ, though.

Yes, there seems to be no new Note in Samsung’s release plans for the coming days. And the S Pen is now available on more devices than ever before. But it is also true that none of the phones that have been released with S Pen support, whether the S21 series or the Z Fold 3, come bundled with the S Pen. In fact, none of these devices even have slots for the S Pen, understandable as the S Pen is an optional add-on for them and not an integral part of their being. These are all devices that CAN support an S Pen but have not been designed FOR it.

Which is why we think that we have not heard the last of the Galaxy Note yet. It might not lead the Samsung flagship charge as it once did, but given the number of users the series has and the sheer potential of the S Pen (we still think it is perhaps the most versatile stylus in tech), we have a feeling that it will pop up on the scene at some stage.

Of course, it would be awesome if it were to reinvent itself as a more affordable phone that doubles up as a scribble and sketch pad but gauging from what we have heard from our sources, that is unlikely to happen. The Note might get a slight makeover in design terms and there is even some talk of a Note Fold coming along sometime later, but from what we know, the Galaxy Note does have a future.

galaxy note 20 ultra

Of course, its absence is surprising especially when you consider that it has been a contender for being the best phone in the world for the better part of a decade now. But until we hear officially from Samsung, we are not giving up on the Note and will assume it is on a sabbatical rather than booked into a retirement home. It has far too large an audience, existing as well as potential, and its productive edge would only be in greater demand in the work from home era (imagine the ease of being able to sit anywhere in the house and sketch or scribble).

So yes, it might be missing in action in 2021, but the Galaxy Note aten’t dead, to quote Granny Weatherwax.

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