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Samsung Galaxy Note fans need to see this crazy Galaxy S22 Ultra leak

Published Sep 27th, 2021 3:33PM EDT
Galaxy S22 Ultra
Image: Samsung

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An avalanche of Galaxy S22 “Note” rumors hit last week, as well-known leakers started posting a few exciting claims. It all started with reports that Samsung might turn the Galaxy S22 Ultra into a Galaxy Note successor. The Galaxy S22 Ultra may feature a built-in stylus, just like Galaxy Note phones have in the past. That meant the new S22 Ultra flagship will deliver a new design, featuring an overall appearance more like a Note.

Then the first renders based on CAD schematics leaked, showing that the Galaxy S22 Ultra may indeed be thicker than before to accommodate the stylus. The renders also indicated the phone will have rounded sides and an unusual camera module on the back. Galaxy S22 renders followed, showing the regular S22 should look different than the Ultra. Fast-forward to Monday, and we have the craziest Galaxy S22 leak yet.

Galaxy S22 Ultra ‘Note’ rumors

Samsung canceled the Galaxy Note 21 earlier this year, blaming the decision on the chip shortage. The more likely reason to dump the phone was Samsung’s decision to pivot to foldable phone launches in the second half of the year. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 turned out to be more exciting handsets than their predecessors. They feature better build quality and they’re less expensive than their predecessors. The handsets have been selling very well, according to initial estimates.

This seemed to cement the Galaxy Note’s demise. but Samsung isn’t yet ready to let go of phones that ship with built-in styluses. The Galaxy S22 Ultra might be precisely the phone that diehard Note phones want: a device that ships early in the year with similar Galaxy S specs. But also a device that comes with a built-in stylus.

Up until Monday, it made sense to assume Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S22 series in mid-January next year. That’s when the Galaxy S21 launched earlier this year, after all. Samsung pushed up the new Galaxy S event to make up for last year’s Galaxy S20 sales. Also, the iPhone 12 was selling tremendously well in late 2020 and early 2021.

But could the Galaxy S22 Ultra actually launch this year?

Galaxy S22 Ultra 'Note' design
Render shows the purported Galaxy S22 Ultra ‘Note’ design. Image source: @OnLeaks and Digit

Samsung reportedly cancels S21 FE event

Two separate rumors hail from Asia early on Monday. The first report comes from Korean-language site DDaily, claiming that Samsung has canceled the Galaxy S21 FE launch event in mid-October. The Galaxy S21 FE should be a new cheaper version of the Galaxy S21.

Earlier rumors said that Samsung might discontinue the phone, but the Korean giant seemed to deny them at the time. The S21 FE should have been a part of the mid-August Unpacked press event where the foldable phones debuted. The S21 FE could have been a Galaxy Note 21 replacement, a new smartphone with a traditional form-factor that some buyers might have preferred over the foldable handsets.

DDaily says that the Flip 3 is selling so well that Samsung is still struggling to meet demand. Also, the processor shortage is “serious,” the report notes. Both the Flip 3 and the Galaxy S21 FE need the same Snapdragon 888 flagship chip. Therefore, Samsung might cancel the Galaxy S21 FE release entirely.

Galaxy Z Flip 3
Galaxy Z Flip 3 was announced on August 11th, 2021. Image source: Samsung

Early Galaxy S22 Ultra release date rumor

Separately, insider Ice Universe suggested on Twitter that Samsung might move its Galaxy S22 launch to December 2021 instead of January 2022. In such a case, it’s “reasonable” to cancel the Galaxy S21 FE.

Ice is a leaker from China who regularly shares information about unreleased handsets on social media. He focuses on Samsung phones, and he was among the first to indicate the Galaxy S22 Ultra will become the Galaxy Note successor.

That said, it’s unclear whether he has actual information about the Galaxy S22 release or whether he’s just speculating. Seeing Samsung launch two Galaxy S versions in the same calendar year doesn’t make sense. On top of that, December is an odd time to launch new flagship smartphones. Shoppers are traditionally in search of deep discounts on smartphones during the holiday shopping season.

On the other hand, 2021 was an unusual year for Samsung’s schedule. The S21 series launched early, and the mid-August event lacked a Note or FE device. Also, the iPhone 13 has sold out online, suggesting Apple will sell massive numbers of iPhones again.

With all that in mind, Samsung might want to bring its Galaxy S22 series closer to the iPhone 13 release, especially the new Ultra model that might replace the Note series.

As always with rumors, we’ll have to wait for official news from Samsung before we can confirm anything. Galaxy S22 aside, we’ll soon find out whether or not the Galaxy S21 FE has a future.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.