Is Samsung giving up on the S-Pen?

Samer Kurdi
Mar 15, 2016
Updated • May 10, 2016
Mobile Computing

Samsung’s line of Galaxy Note phablets and tablets have a single important feature that is unavailable in any other Android or iOS device: the built in S-Pen that fits inside the device.

For those unfamiliar with it, the S-Pen is not a regular stylus but one that has evolved since it’s introduction with the original Note 1 in 2011 and become a highly sensitive stylus that recognizes speed, tilt, rotation, and pressure, in order to provide an excellent user experience.

For many of us who LOVE the S-Pen (and I count myself among them), it is the one feature that keeps us not just faithful to the Note franchise, but practically glued to it. The only way that you could get many of us to switch to another phablet (or tablet) is to provide a device that combines high end features with an advanced built in pressure sensitive stylus, and some functionality built into the device that makes use of it (such as a nifty note-taking app, etc.)

Is Samsung giving up on the S-pen


Before going any further with this article I will disclose the following: for almost 3 years now I have been using the Note series of phablets and tablets to create art, using the stylus and a painting app called Infinite Painter.

In 2013 Samsung, in fact, have sponsored a show of my art and paid for the venue, the printing and framing, as well as interactive displays that showed the process of making art on the Note, including a video interview with yours truly. (You can see some of the art here).

However, this happy story of S-Pen created art seems to be very much an outlier. Samsung, in fact, apparently concluded that Europeans did not care too much for the S-Pen, and in 2015 it initially did not even bother to launch the Note 5 in most of Europe, opting to only launch the Galaxy S6 Edge+ there.

The Galaxy S6 Edge+, of course, is a phablet-sized version of the Galaxy S6 Edge that features the admittedly stylish curved glass edge, but without the S-Pen. Since then there have been ‘reports’ that the Note 5 (and S-Pen) will in fact be made available in Europe in early 2016. (Has it been launched where you live in Europe? Let us know in the comments). Disappointingly, there was no S-Pen equipped version of the S6 Edge+, such that Samsung was effectively saying that customers can choose between having the S-Pen on the one hand, or the stylishness of the ‘edge’ on the other, but not both.

What also didn’t happen in 2015 is that although Samsung did release two high end tablets (the Tab S2 in 10’ and 8’ versions), it did not release an S-pen equipped Note tablet. I took notice because I was ready and waiting for Samsung to please take my money and give me an upgraded version of my (by now somewhat aging) Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition, but no new Note tablet was forthcoming in 2015. The last Note tablet they released, in fact, was the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 in 2014, which featured a large 12.2’ screen but, disappointingly, the same screen resolution as my Note 10.1 (not bad at 2560x1600, but where’s the 4K resolution(s) we’ve all been waiting for?)

This article was borne out of a desire to make sense of reasons behind this neglect of the Note brand and the S-Pen. As far as I can make it out, their decision making process was probably something like this:

  • In 2014 Samsung’s Mobile division, although still profitable, saw a massive 57% annual decline in it’s profitability (source: here). This was probably due to competition from the likes of LG and HTC, who had been consistently hammering out competitive high end phones that were in many cases better in their form factor than what Samsung had to offer. They had also followed Samsung’s lead by introducing large-screen phablet versions of their phones (albeit without a built-in stylus).
  • Perhaps scarier at the time was Apple’s decision to release it’s first phablet, the iPhone 6 plus, in late 2014. Although this phone did not feature a built in stylus, Samsung seems to have decided that they need to have a really compelling phablet in order to keep up their standing in the phablet category. In the same month (Sep 2014) Samsung released the Galaxy Note 4 and a variant on it called the Galaxy Note Edge. This latter phablet did include a S-Pen, but was only released in limited markets as a ‘test-release’ to see if the edge concept would be well received. (It was).
  • I speculate on what happened next: some Samsung execs probably looked at data that showed that only a sub-set of customers actually (a) used the S-Pen, (b) cared about adding an SD card, and (c) cared about replaceable batteries. In response they decided to remove (b) and (c) from the next Note (the 2015 Galaxy Note 5) and to release a phablet sized ‘edge’ phone minus the S-pen. They also apparently decided that releasing a Note tablet was not necessary in 2015. What they failed to do, however, is recognize who those users were who did use the S-pen and did care for SD card support; namely: advanced users, brand loyalists, and Note fanatics. In other words, people like myself who form the backbone of the brand. By betting that it can ignore the hardcore fans and aim for the mainstream, Samsung in my opinion is risking losing both.

Although I expect that there will be a new "Galaxy Note 6" phablet released in 2016 that will feature the S-Pen and that will restore SD card support, I cannot help but wonder if Samsung is already considering the S-Pen (and even the Note line itself) to be a dying brand, something that it can once again afford not to launch in a major market like Western Europe.

As a Note loyalist, I would very much like to see a super high end Note 6, an ‘Edge’ version that is equipped with an S-Pen, and a high-end Note tablet released in 2016 as well (I am ready to upgrade from my Note 4 and Note 10.1 both). If they do not release a Note 6 that is sufficiently better than the Note 4 (esp. with higher screen resolution) then I will not buy it, and if they do not release a new Note tablet (again, with 4K resolution) then I will probably end up moving away from the Note line of tablets and purchase a Microsoft Surface instead. I have already spent many hours playing with it at the Microsoft store, and I like both the stylus and the screen resolution on it.

Still, I am willing to cross my fingers and to wait and see what happens.

Samer Kurdi
Article Name
Samer Kurdi
Samsung’s line of Galaxy Note phablets and tablets have a feature that is unavailable in any other Android or iOS device: the built in S-Pen. But is Samsung giving up on this innovative feature?
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  1. Elizabeth R. Apgar Triano said on April 12, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks Marius! I just found this site after someone at the local (about 1.5 hours north of Manhattan) Verizon store said that Samsung had discontinued the stylus. I don’t use mine a lot, but i sure love it when I use it! Without the stylus, the Note is just another big ol’ smartphone, and in my case the cell signal reception stinks! Does anyone else have that problem? I can be standing next to my son who has a Galaxy line phone, and he will have three bars and I will have just the little tip of a starter bar. It’s awful.

    Also the removable battery has been a must — I have two spare batteries, and if I’m out more than a couple of hours I will need at least one of them. One hopes though that the new batteries are better. It would be nice not to have to rely on them.

    Thoughts on the Note 8 ?

  2. Marius said on February 27, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Cool – looks like Samsung is not giving up the S-Pen finally!

  3. loogmaengaw said on January 28, 2017 at 10:11 pm


    Does anyone know any s-pen versions that are compatible with Tab A 10.1 w/s-pen (2016)? My s pen is broken and I can’t find a replacement in UK.



    1. Mary L Cottingham said on January 31, 2017 at 1:22 am

      Did you try eBay? That’s where I just found one for mine in the US.

  4. Marius said on January 18, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Fellow S-Pen enthusiasts,
    I can’t wait for the Samsung Chromebook Plus/PRO:
    Having an S-Pen on a device AND a Keyboard sounds just perfect – especially since Chrome OS runs Android Apps now. 12.3″ also sounds like a good replacement for my Note PRO.
    What do you think?

    Btw.: does anyone have some experiences in using Samsungs Galaxy Note Tab A 10.1 with S-Pen (2016 Edition?)
    Best regards,

    1. JustWannaUpdated2014 said on January 18, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      I have the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S-Pen (2016) and honestly, I’m underwhelmed. If you look at the threads I’m in above, you’ll see why – it’s underfperforms the 2014 Galaxy Note in pretty much all categories.

      It’s certainly a serviceable tablet, but I definitely get the differences between the Tab A and the Tab S (I just assume the Note line ended in 2014) lines. The Tab A is “oh, here’s a tablet.” The Tab S is “ooooohhhh shiny! And so thing! This is the future!”

      The funny thing is, after hemming and hawing about how I *needed* the pen, after it came out and I got it, it turns out I don’t use the S-Pen all that much. If I had to go back and do again, I’d probably have splurged for the fancier Galaxy Tab S2.

  5. Ivan said on December 17, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    I’m hoping for a new note pro 12.2 (big screen) replacement. It’s my main gadget and the note 4 I have is only for complementing the tablet, since I am using an iphone as a phone. I think S Note on Android is superb and way way better than the Windows version. I especially like the record function which I use regularly. If there is no replacement tablet, I have no reason to hold on to the samsung note line and I’ll probably switch to M$ and restart the learning curve. And very likely, I’ll not trust Samsung innovation again just like how I never bought another Sony product after the Sony Clie PDA which they refused to provide software support shortly after putting it on sale. No support = no future = not worth parting my money with.

    1. KC said on December 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      I think now that Samsung are making the Tab Pro tablet/computer, the Note series is definitely dead and buried. There is a stylus available for the Tab Pro at an additional $120, and apparently there are 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity. But…it’s a Windows tablet… :(

  6. Darrell Collins said on October 16, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    I’m a business owner and use the S-Pen to take signatures as well as S-Note to quickly draw (with images I take with my Note) instructions how to operate new machinery and quickly e-mail them to my clients. Taking a signature is where the Note series of phones and tablets really shine and the free Adobe PDF reader app will allow this easily and intuitively. I upgrade all my devices every year a new model is released.

    No way do I really matter but I must show some sort of representation for the business owners out there that need a stylus for paperless business therefore if Samsung drops the Note brand or S-Pen. I will have no reason to stay with Samsung products as I have from the beginning of their Galaxy lineup.

    Call me bitter but I could see forward thinking with Samsung regarding paperless and the development of the S-Pen. We need this designed and promoted as “paperless” for businesses.

    Backward thinking and greed are not acceptable.

    Darrell Collins
    Collins Combustion Services

  7. Kiran Gopal said on October 9, 2016 at 8:30 am

    I have always been impressed with the Samsung Galaxy Note series and was 100% certain that I was going to buy the next Note 10.1 but it was never launched!
    I was really impressed with the Note4 and when my old contract expired I knew for certain that I would be getting the Note5, which I did! I still feel that the Note4 is a better phablet and I hate that my Note5 runs out of storage space so fast!
    I absolutely love the new

  8. JD said on October 9, 2016 at 4:56 am

    Thank you for posting this article… The subject definately needed attention. Now I hope Samsubg hears our concerns and chooses to provide for us loyalists. If they dont, Its bye bye Samsung.

  9. KC said on September 26, 2016 at 1:50 am

    I agree as with you as well. I got my first Galaxy note 2 and Galaxy note 8 tablet at about the same time. The function of the stylus is what led me to buy the Note Pro 12.2 (which I am still using) and upgrade to the note 4 when it came available. I am a die hard user of the note products and wouldn’t let you have my Note pro for any reason. I am really disappointed that they seem to have abandoned the S pen in the large tablet lineup and hope that they come to their senses and realize that they are alienating users such as myself with their games. I will one day have to upgrade tablets, and if Samsung doesn’t have a new large note tablet with the built in stylus, I may have to look at other options in the market.

  10. Pens said on September 24, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    I agree with the author I’m using galaxy note 10.1 (the original and typing this on it) and I’m really dissappointed they don’t have a new version stil, I always use my note for drawing in sketchbook and medibang paint, also taking quick notes and writing on screenshots. I simply can’t find alternatives, Surface 3 would be good but they don’t sell it in my country and Pro is too expensive for me. Also I’m concerned about desktop programs won’t be as good with a stylus as these apps made for touch screens (like palm rejection, 2 finger zoom in-out) so it still wouldn’t be the same.
    I hope they make another 10.1 version, otherwise I’ll have to change to other products from other companies.

  11. Jonathan said on September 23, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Wow. It will take some time to read through all these comments. But I will read them all!!!!!

    I am like the author, who has the 2014 Note 10.1. It was amazing and still is. I was blown away with the Note 7 in the Samsung show room (not actually blown away, but I believe that I’m lucky the thing didn’t go into combustion in my hand…)

    I want a new Note tablet that is the same as a Surface Pro 4, but a Note Tablet running Android. Dual boot into Windows 10 would rock my socks as then native OneNote would be available.

    I like the newer tablets, but wouldn’t buy one without the S-Pen. I actually do work on my tablet. Not watch videos and play games all day.

    Listen up Samsung!!!

    Oh and the new
    Is not power enough. How is my 2014 tablet more powerful then the 2016???

  12. Mike said on September 9, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    I think the major problem with the Note line, is that most people (even those that own a Note phone or tablet) don’t have a clue how powerful and handy the S-Pen is for a tablet and the phone versions. I also think Samsung has done a poor job marketing these features. I bought my first Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet in 2013 without even knowing the power it had and found out about most of it on YouTube. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I looked at that pen thing and didn’t think I would really use it to draw doodles or take notes.” After I say, “Really, did you know it did this….and this… and this…etc.” their eyes light up and they immediately regret not getting the Note version. I’m not going to go into all the powerful features but the Air Command alone, when you pull out the S-Pen like screen write, action memo and smart select are things I use daily to stay organized, pull parts of a screen shot to paste to texts and emails and physically write a note on an article or webpage that you just can’t do with Apple products and non-Note Android devices in a quick and productive way. I have a fun back and forth with my kids about Samsung vs Apple and when I saw Apple introduce the IPad Pro version with the 12″ screen and integrated stylus, I told them that Apple is finally copying Samsung (not to mention the bigger screen versions of the IPhone that are similar to the Galaxy line of phones.) I was extremely excited when I saw the introduction of the Note 7 phone because I thought maybe Samsung realized they had something special on their hands and instead of dropping the Note line, they were going to run with it and run hard. Of course, exploding batteries are not exactly what that new introduction needed but I’m still waiting to hear about the introduction of the newest Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 version. I have a Note Pro 12.2 tablet and the Note 4 phone and love them both. I keep them protected like they are my babies because I’m afraid I won’t be able to replace them with the new versions and retain the features that I have come to love. (I love the removable battery and memory card slots and was really upset when those feature went away in the 2015 Galaxy phone models. I’m glad to see the memory card slot coming back at least.) I hope Samsung reconsiders introducing a new version of this tablet because I think the biggest problem was that many people didn’t realize all the amazing things that tablet can do. Like I said before, when I show hard core IPad folks what I can do with my tablet, I can see them starting to doubt their undying faith and loyalty to the Apple Cult. Anyway, I think if Samsung marketed the power of the Note tablet line better it may stand a chance in the future with increased sales. If the Note line goes away, I’m afraid I may be forced to look at some of the other options from other manufactures. I hope I don’t have to do that because I love Samsung products. BTW, I’m not an artist and think there are so many more things the S-Pen can do outside of drawing and illustrating and it is a fantastic tool for a sales rep like myself to take notes, look up prices and show product pages all on one device. I rarely use pen and paper anymore. Plus, all my notes are now on one device (or synced between my phone and tablet) and paper isn’t scattered all over my desk anymore!

    1. Darrell Collins said on October 16, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      +1… well said

  13. Sav said on August 29, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Btw, I didn’t see anyone else mention this, but the two complaints I have about the Note series are the super slow loading camera, which has features that are so hard to access (e.g. the flash – it should be a button on the main screen that you can push quickly, rather than having to go to 2 other screens to find it) and the Magazine feature, which is really annoying to me. It’d be fine if it was an option, but I don’t like being forced to have it on my phone. I’d like to see that gone.

  14. Sav said on August 29, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you for this great post – I completely agree with everything you’ve said and with many of the comments here. I’m also an artist and I love my Note 3 for its size and ease of use. I use it both as a place to sketch and to view photo reference. The S Pen is what kept me from purchasing an iPhone back in 2014 and this year (I’ve been waiting to see what the Note 6’s features are. I didn’t upgrade to the Note 4 or 5 because they didn’t have any significant advancements on the Note 3, as mentioned).

    But my complaint is about the Note Pro tablet. I literally just purchased one from 2014 tonight because I’ve given up waiting for them to release a 2016 version – it appears that they’ve abandoned this tablet (at least the larger 12.2 version, which is insane, given that Apple has just released theirs, which is a huge hit with artists). It seems that Samsung is just “throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks,” rather than really developing their relationship with their user base and innovating. Tablets are now competing in the art market with longtime giants like Wacom, which could be huge for Samsung, but they appear to be jumping ship just as the boom is starting – not smart.

    As for my future with Samsung – if they do in fact discontinue the S Pen, there won’t be any reason for me to stick with them and I’ll go back to Apple (My last 2 phones before my Note 3 were iPhones). And if they don’t come out with a large sized tablet with an S Pen by 2017, I’ll just heading over to Apple iPad. I figure the Note Pro I just purchased on eBay should be good for another year or two and then I’ll upgrade to whatever has come out.

  15. shouser said on August 24, 2016 at 1:15 am

    I used a note 8.0 tablet and fell in love with the s-pen. When it finally died I needed a tablet with the s-pen. I opted for a tab A 9.7 with s-pen. I would have happily paid more for an upgraded model – if it had the s-pen. Please Samsung, make a top of the line tablet with the s-pen. I am eager for it, as many here state as well.

  16. Jaedalena said on August 19, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Looks like the writer may get his wish to come true with a Note 7. It’s got the edge and they brought back SD card support! Yay the Note is not Dead! I only recently got onto the Note wagon with the Note 5 from last year. I had an S4 and needed and upgrade and at that point anything would have been better. But I was so happy with having a Note that I really wanted a larger version and so I purchased the Note Pro 12.2 on Ebay that was just about new. So far it’s worked great. Not as fast as my Note 5 and can’t do everything my Note 5 can but it does the job and I love being able to go back and forth between the two. I would looooove an update on the 12.2 as it’s the perfect size for me for notes, drawing and media. It’s much easier to use my larger 12.2 than my smaller ipad2 that’s 9.7 inches. I almost went with the newer iPad Pro but i was so mad that their updates killed my ipad that I just couldn’t do it and I figured for the steep price I should be an awesome graphic artist if i was gonna go that route. Maybe in 2017 they’re realize how awesome their little niche is and will bring out an updated 12.2 to compete with the iPad pro. If anyone is going to do a tablet with a pen the best it should be Samsung right?

    1. Sav said on August 29, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      I just bought a Note Pro on eBay also, so it’s good to hear others have had the same thought. I’m also an artist, so I’m excited to check out the drawing capabilities on the larger surface (I’m also going to use it to view reference images, among other things). My question is: How responsive is it with drawing apps? Have you noticed heavy lag? The Note 3 has almost no pencil lag to it, which is why I’m so hopeful that Samsung won’t give up on the Note Pro line – the S Pen is so much more responsive than any other stylus I’ve tried (including Wacom’s Bamboo line). Don’t let us down, Samsung!

  17. Jane Cassidy said on August 10, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    My NOTE 4 is the first phone I have loved – or even liked – since my Palm 755P died and Palm shot themselves in the foot. Fingertips are just not a good input method. I found this thread while searching for NOTE tablets refurbished or new, to replace the POS tablet Verizon “gave” me when I got my plan with them. I am glad to hear it suggested that the SD card and battery will return in NOTE 6 as those are the other two things most important to me. I really hope that Samsung / NOTE does not follow Palm into oblivion. Sometimes I wonder if these companies get infiltrated by moles for the competitors.

  18. Serge said on August 9, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I absolutely love my Note 10.1 2014 edition, and I would line up for a new version if it ever comes out.
    I am not looking for a full Win 10 laptop replacement like the Surface or the new Samsung Tab Pro. I want a great Android tablet with full S-Pen support and everything that comes with it.
    I carry my Note 10.1 everywhere at work, and take notes with it all the time.

    I hope a new model will come out and surprise us soon, but I am afraid Samsung is turning its back on it and focussing on Win10 tablets from now on.

    1. Marius said on August 11, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      @Serge: I do the same – I carry may Note 10.1 everywhere at work and use it next to a laptop. In fact it’s my replacement for paper. I use it to take notes during meetings and also for moderating them.
      In which cases do you use it?
      Why do you prefer not looking for a replacement for a full Win10 laptop?

      1. Serge said on August 12, 2016 at 6:55 am

        @Wombat, I use S Note. I have tried a few different ones, including One Note, but I keep coming back to S Note. I find it well integrated, with the post it quick notes. I set it up to sync with Evernote, so I have access to all my notes on other computers.
        I use the handwriting recognition a little, but not as much as I’d like. In meetings it end to use S Note only has a sketch notebook, and later re-type important notes if needed. The way I write in meetings, the handwriting recognition is not accurate enough. When I do other stuff and write slower, I find the handwriting recognition quite good.

      2. Serge said on August 12, 2016 at 6:50 am

        I take notes in all meetings with it. I use S Note and sync with Evernote, so I can access them from my desktop anytime. I also have all of my work documents either in our internal wiki or in Google Drive, so I can bring up Word , PPT, od PDF documents during meetings to review and discuss all the time. I also have a UML diagram app that I use to sketch out diagrams. I am a business analyst, so it is very convenient.
        I am not yet looking for a Win 10 tablet/laptop replacement. I love the size of the 10.1, and Android is to me a better tablet experience than Win10. I also love than the stylus slides right inside the tablet. Much easier to carry around, I actually have an app that warns me if I forget to put the stylus back in its slot after turing off the screen and moving around. Very useful.

      3. Wombat said on August 12, 2016 at 1:12 am

        What Notes app do you use and do you use handwriting recognition?

  19. Kate said on August 7, 2016 at 4:40 am

    Definitely tempted by the new Note 7 – they seem to be beefing up the capabilities of the SPen! But would love to know if Samsung are planning on an updated Note 12 with better screen resolution and improved SPen. I have a Note 3, 10 and 12 and love them for design drawing (I’m a jeweller) – I also have an iPad pro but none of the apps are as useful to me as (android only) Infinite Painter – it has the best symmetry settings of all of them.

  20. Anonymous said on August 3, 2016 at 8:49 am

    I’m pretty disgusted with Samsung now. I too was a devout Note Fan. I have the original Note 10.1, Note 8.0, and now begrudgingly bought a Note 5, because I tried the Lg 5 and couldn’t see it on my dash for GPS in the daylight. No other phone was out at the time that i liked, so picked up a Note 5. It’s the first Note phone I’ve had, that I don’t really delve into it’s capabilities, because I really don’t like it. I do like having the s-pen again though. When I saw that Samsung was not delivering any new Note Tablets in 2016,

    I tried the SP 3 and SP 4 and hated both and Windows. So when Apple came out with the Apple Pencil and the Ipad Pro 12.9″, I had to have something and I really like it. This coming from a die hard Android Guy. I have to give Apple Props for the IPad Pro and Pencil. The only thing I can say negatively about the Apple Pencil is that I liked the smaller tip on the S Pen for Drawing. I even have a regular pen sized Stylus I use with my Note 10.1. BTW my Original Note 10.1 and Note 8.0 tablets are still going strong. Just losing battery life a little on the Note 10.1. That’s why I was looking for something new.

    So Samsung Lost me as soon as I saw the Samsung TabPro S and that doesn’t even come with a Stylus. So Sorry Samsung, you lost this guy for any future Tablet purchases. Now that I see they skipped the Note 6 and barely upgraded the Note 7’s Specs, they are really losing my interest. I too wish another company would come out with a tablet/stylus combo or phone/stylus combo.

    1. Wombat said on August 12, 2016 at 1:29 am

      What is the regular pen sized stylus you use with the Note 10.1? I tried the Wacom Bamboo stylus, supposedly designed specifically for use with the Note and was very disappointed with its calibration. Returned it for a replacement and the second one was no better. I found a forum where someone described how to calibrate it (take off the button and adjust small screws) but that didn’t help – so frustrating! I really would prefer a bigger stylus than the SPen

  21. said on August 1, 2016 at 12:08 am

    A stylus equipped version of the tab S3 would be an instant purchase for me. Also hanging out for the Note 7 – great for my various concept artings :)

    It does seem odd that they’ve relegated the sPen to the cheaper tablets. I would have thought it would be considered a high end feature for high end users :/

    The iPhone pro is starting to look tempting to be honest, and I’ve only ever owned android devices. Samsung just don’t do lean business, which shows in their chaotic mess of poorly supported devices with often below par software. Apple, much as I’m a hater, are just better businesspeople.

  22. Max said on July 29, 2016 at 2:28 am

    Hopefully good news Samsung has a tablet coming to U.S. soon that went through the FCC that has a stylus. I’m eagerly awaiting more details, hoping they announce it on Aug 2 with the note 7.

  23. JustWannaUpdated2014 said on July 29, 2016 at 2:05 am

    For what it’s worth, it looks like the 10.1 Tab A with S Pen is a reality.

    1. Serge said on August 9, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Yes, but the specs are so much lower than the 10.1 2014 edition. The screen resolution in particular is not up to par with what I expect of a great tablet.

      1. JustWannaUpdated2014 said on August 9, 2016 at 6:46 pm

        I was skeptical of your claim, but man, you weren’t kidding. The 2016 Tab A 10.1 (without S Pen) is lower in specs in just about every category. I doubt the processors would compete, but PPI and resolution are lower, battery is lower, even memory is lower. Maybe I WILL try to just find a good deal on the 2014 and root it.,Samsung-GALAXY-Note-10.1-2014-Edition/phones/10047,8139?ft=2

  24. Zach said on July 26, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Samsung is going to cede the market to Apple if they don’t update their S-Pen tablets soon. I want a new Note tablet this year!

  25. Megan said on July 26, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    If they are giving up on the pen, this is quite disappointing. I bought my Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 because of the S-Pen. It was great for taking notes on while I was in school and I used Sketchbook Pro to make drawings frequently. I still do… though now I wonder where I’ll have to look for an alternative when it does just get too old.

  26. Sharon said on July 25, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I totally agree! I bought the samsung Tab A because of thes Pen, but the resolution was so poor I returned it to Best Buy and got the Tab S2, but there is no pen, nor is there a thin pointed stylus that even works on this tablet for writing notes. The resolution on this tab is great and it is fast but I am very unhappy without the S Pen. I have bought all the galaxy note Phones, Plus I have the 12.2 tab and I love it but I wanted a smaller tab. I also have a Samsung Note 8.0 tab, but it stopped working and wont turn on anymore. Anyway, “Samsung, If you stop putting the S Pen in your devices, I will go with another brand. You need to reconsider your design and what your custumers are wanting in a phone and in a Tablet!”

  27. Dustin said on July 22, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    I also have a Galaxy Note 4 and the Note 10.1 2014 tablet just like the writer I think they’re both fantastic machines I upgraded to the latest Android which seems to be slowing my phone down and making it glitchy I’m not happy about that it’s something with the card reader in my tablet keep saying I don’t have SD card SD card corrupted

  28. tom said on July 21, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    it’s disappointing for certain! i am a story artist in the animation industry, i’ve used a note 8 for several years with sketchbook pro to do storyboard drawings (just the layered black line posing and backgrounds which i saved out as PSD’s and finished in photoshop) i absolutely love my note 8, it’s size is perfect and i want a newer faster higher resolution replacement! close to a year ago the device sort of died and i had a tech repair place replace the motherboard and it’s good as new, but i’m concerned about it’s longevity… how many more months do i have before it’s finished? i’m really quite frustrated as well at my friends who paid a fortune for the ipad pro and the extra cash for the expensive pen! i tell them i’ve had this thing for years and it’s just as functional at a FAR lower price point…

    BOO samsung! ipad is copying YOU and you quit the game…

  29. Samer Alsa'd said on July 21, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    As a loyal Samsung user, I’m hooked to Note series since the beginning. Currently i have the note 4, and planning to upgrade to Note 7 by end of the year. If Samsung decided to give away note series, i guess my eyes will be redirected to other brands.

  30. Jim said on July 20, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    As a Tab A 9.7 S Pen user, I can say that it has changed how I do business. As a salesperson, I need to keep track of my clients and using S-Note helps me to remember important imformation for every meeting. At this point, I don’t carry a conventional pen anymore. I only use a Bamboo pen for notes and sketching ideas with S Note and Bamboo paper.

    I am looking for an upgraded version of the Tab A. I love the 9.7 format but hate the 16Gb storage. After a year in use, I find my self reviewing storage constantly to keep from maxing out.

    Lets hope Samsung will see the light and include the S Pen in future table releases.

  31. Mariosag17 said on July 19, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I am using the Galaxy Note 10,1 for the past 3 years as an everyday tool to keep notes of every meeting I have locally and on my business travels abroad. The S-Pen facility is fantastic. It can replace every manual notebook you have to carry and with the press of a button you share your notes or you store them electronically in your dbase office system.
    I even use it for my personal family matters or even for garden design ideas.
    The S-Pen could have replaced all the paper waste and tree cutting. It’s a pity if it is discontinued.
    It will be the reason for me leaving Samsung.

  32. Ed said on July 13, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    I too have a Note 4 and a Note 8 (2 of them), if there are not going to be upgrades, when it gets to the point that neither is usable I see no reason to stick to the Samsung brand.

  33. Zach said on July 13, 2016 at 1:27 am

    I am dying for another 10″ s-pen equipped tablet. Come on, Samsung! Hurry up! It’s halfway through 2016 already.

    1. Zach said on July 13, 2016 at 1:28 am

      I am dying for another 10″ s-pen equipped tablet. Come on, Samsung! Hurry up! It’s halfway through 2016 already.

      I have to admit to starting to like the iPad pro with pen more and more. It has serious flaws that have prevented my purchasing so far.

      I hope Samsung comes up with something better shortly, or I’ll likely bite the bullet on the next gen ipad pro.

  34. Brian Knutsson said on July 10, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Hi, I agree with you. I think samsung is wasting a potential they currently have in the marked. I do not think the fact that it is inbuilt is important, but i do not understand why they do not use the s-pen enabled screen on all of their high end devices. If you were taking notes on paper, what would you rather use? Your fast finger, or a sharpened pencil?

    My situation is very frustrating. I want a new tablet. The one I currently have is broken, so i really need a new one, but i want a android device about 10″ with s-pen. And I refuse to buy a 2 year old model.

    Why do they not release a new one?!!!

    I am trying to get their attention on twitter, maybe you could help by liking my post.

    Hope they wake up soon.

    Best regards
    Brian Knutsson

  35. saintsinner said on July 7, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Samsung is done with note and don’t care about users it prove it in past by stop updating Android.

    Let’s talk alternatives!

  36. Cheezy said on July 7, 2016 at 4:54 am

    I agree with all the guys commenting this article. I have also been a loyal Samsung brand user starting with the old Galaxy S2. I first experienced the S pen with the Galaxy Note 10.1 and loved it at first sight, and use. I really love the uses of the S pen. I’ve been looking for a replacement for my Note 10.1, since it has actually bogged down (bought it 2012). I’m currently using the S6 edge, but I really miss the S pen so I was really hoping I could find a Samsung tablet with the S pen. Hope Samsung takes the time to consider the sentiments of the people commenting here.

  37. JustWannaUpdated2014 said on July 6, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I’ve been looking to replace my iPad 2 (old school) with an Android tablet with a stylus (ideally S-pen). An update to the 2014 Note 10.1 would be perfect.

    Although I’m excited about the prospect of S-pen for ever’s rumor, that looks like a 16:10 tablet and I was hoping for a 4:3 (closer to dimensions of a piece of paper). But I guess at this point beggars can’t be choosers.

  38. S-Pen for ever said on July 6, 2016 at 9:41 am
  39. OEI said on July 6, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Bought Tab S2 without knowing that no S note and Pen. Very disappointed.
    Got so many S files with Tab A and Note 4.

  40. Hisham said on July 3, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    I am with Samsung because of the pen. If Samsung decides to cancel it, it would be a big mistake, since the pen makes Samusung tablets stand out.

  41. spitinkitten said on June 27, 2016 at 7:09 am

    The very thought of not having an upgraded version of my Note with the s pen makes me very sad. What I have not seen addressed about the Note series is that it makes use much easier for some of those that have a physical handicap (like myself). Neurological problems make it difficult to use a phone/tablet with just my hands, and the s pen makes it incredibly easy because it is small and very precise. I am disappointed that there was not a followup release of the Note 12″ tablet. Regardless, as long as there is a precision stylus availabe, then I am a loyal consumer.

  42. Marius said on June 21, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Thanks for your great article Samer!
    I am an S-Pen tablet enthusiast for several years now. I even started making software for it I missed together with colleagues: a mobile infinite whiteboard (if you have a S-Pen device look for “Mind-Objects” in the play store:
    In my opintion, more people would use the S-Pen if there were better software making use of it! Most of all people working in an “office job” or let’s say doing “knowledge work” are using a pen during their daily routine. For Samsung it might be better to address those people and refine the own marketing-stragegy than abandon the Note tablet line. What is strange to me up to date is: even if companies produce pen-tablets, they are hard to find – even on the manufacturers websites (e.g. there is no option to search / filter for tablets using a “pen” or “stylus”).
    But I found some Andorid pen tablets next to those from Samsung: Asus and Huawei. I listed them here:
    If you happen to know any other pen tablets fpr Android I would be happy to know!
    Best regards,

  43. JAMIE Abbott said on June 18, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Thank you forearing up my confusion as I shop for a new tablet. As a note 4 user I love the spen and use it constantly. Was hoping to find an 8 inch version and have been very confused by the lack of Spen options, thankfully the 10.1 2014 reviews here convinced me to look for a used or refurbished. I WILL NEVER BUY A SEALED BATTERY OR NO EXTERNAL SD DEVICE. it’s time people stand up against planned obsolescence.

  44. Shahid said on June 17, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    I feel Samsung has not addressed real concerns regarding their product, rather chose to stop them all together. We might not see any more phablets beyond 9.7 from Samsung with S-PEN. It does make business sense to market for academics, professionals to use those phablets. As of today there is no real competitor to IPAD PRO from Android. Who is going to fill this void – Samsung. I cant say for sure, but lets see.

  45. gerard said on June 17, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I have a lovely Note 8.0 LTE. I use it both to make phone calls and as a tablet. I wanted to upgrade to the newest 8.4 Samsung tablets, but unfortunately no S-Pen!!! Also I read Samsung is retiring MHL functionality too. Not sure if to keep waiting or take the plunge with Surface. But I dont want to buy a separate phone for calls!

  46. MR C O RUSSELL said on June 16, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Great article and relieved to know that there are others facing the same problems as I have encountered, trying to relate to others who have no clue whatsoever is a hard thing to do. I agree a petition should be started, I have the notes 2, 4 and 12.2 Samsung has left us S pen fans high and dry.

    1. Sharon said on July 25, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      I totally agree! I bought the samsung Tab A because of thes Pen, but the resolution was so poor I returned it to Best Buy and got the Tab S2, but there is no pen, nor is there a thin pointed stylus that even works on this tablet for writing notes. The resolution on this tab is great and it is fast but I am very unhappy without the S Pen. I have bought all the galaxy note Phones, Plus I have the 12.2 tab and I love it but I wanted a smaller tab. I also have a Samsung Note 8.0 tab, but it stopped working and wont turn on anymore. Anyway, “Samsung, If you stop putting the S Pen in your devices, I will go with another brand. You need to reconsider your design and what your custumers are wanting in a phone and in a Tablet!”

  47. Warpony said on June 16, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Galaxy Note 10.1 2014ed. is still an outstanding tablet. Why not to make a newer iteration with better processor?

  48. Max said on June 16, 2016 at 3:48 am

    I agree with all comments in this article. I have been waiting for a high end Samsung Android note tablet. I had a note 2 and the pen was outstanding. So I decided on smaller galaxy S6 while awaiting a 2016 note tablet almost exclusively due to the outstanding s pen. I really hope they read these comments and take action.

  49. Desaa said on June 14, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    I found a new Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 online for $700 and it came with a Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, headphones w/mic, and a case. It is an international version and I can make phone calls from it. I am so glad I found it! I have played with both the Surface Pro and iPad Pro, and it is not the same at all. I contacted Samsung via e-mail and sent them theven link to this site. I told them there are people out there that are looking forward to the next generation of Note tablets. Hopefully sending them this link will help.

  50. Fipil said on June 14, 2016 at 9:07 am

    What about a petition?

    1. Nakkai said on September 11, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      let’s do it!

  51. David Y said on June 14, 2016 at 7:37 am

    My Note 8 battery is on the fritz…going from 50% down to 5% in an instant. So I started searching for a newer replacement Samsung Tablet w/Spen only disappointingly coming across this article. I never used the Spen for doing work or note taking, etc…but found it extremely useful for navigating, doing email, playing games, etc. much easier than using my fat fingers. This is indeed a unique advantage that Samsung has over others and has kept me from going to the Apple side. I may have to resort to chancing buying a replacement battery and doing surgery on my Note 8 to buy some time and hope that they announce an upgraded tablet w/the Spen soon, otherwise they will have lost me as a customer. If I jump over on the tablet, then the phone will likely be next. Lost me as a loyal customer.

  52. H said on June 13, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    No news?
    I really hope they bring back the Note Tablets.
    They killed this, and there is no alternative.
    They have a Tab A 9.7 with spen but with very low resolution screen , weak processor, small battery.

    The next move would be to use a pc, like Lenovo Thinkpad yoga, with a built in pen. but to loose Android which is much better for these apps, based on touch and pen.


  53. Sara said on June 12, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    I am searching for a Samsung Note Tablet most like the 10.1 Note (2014) edition. The closest version available as told to me a few days ago by a Samsung rep at Best Buy, is the Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 with no S-pen. I am not understanding why Samsung is saying there is no need to continue the note versions. I am one of 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide not counting underage children who use tablets extensively in our ministry and meetings & conventions we attend. That is a large market of tablet users. Maybe Samsung should reconsider discontinuing the Note Tablets.

  54. George said on June 11, 2016 at 5:00 am

    Same boat as the others, the Note 10.1 2014 is the only device I need – don’t even have a PC anymore. Most importantly it’s my notebook and canvas so the Spen is essential.

    I actually did buy a Surface Pro 3 and was gonna sell the 10.1 2014 but after 3 replacements from Microsoft, apps that constantly crash (bye bye art or whatever else I was doing) and a pen that randomly goes out of whack (can’t reach corners, doesn’t line up with nib) and that can’t draw slow lines without them coming out wavy (google Ntrig wavy lines, it’s a common problem with no fix) I sold the final replacement I received. Not to mention the functionality of screen write and other Spen features can’t be found on the Surface. In short, if you love the Spen….The Surafe sucks as a replacement.

    Samsung really dropped the ball here.

    The only other option I see is the iPad Pro, which is at least very accurate but then you’re locked into iOS land and the overall functionality isn’t as good as the Spen either.

    Well done Samsung, drop the only innovative idea you’ve had and ask customers to take their money elsewhere. Bravo.

    1. Nakkai said on September 11, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      You’ve made all the same points I would have made. The SP4 does fix the wavy line issue from what I ve read.

  55. Jael said on June 4, 2016 at 8:08 am

    I agree. 3 years back, I was eyeing the iPad and swore NEVER to get an android tablet. Then the Note 8.0 came out and the rest was history. The S-Pen honestly works magic. In uni, I have tons of ebooks and I get to highlight, scribble, add notes to the files without needing to print it all out and lug several kilogram worth of documents around like my friends. Without this handy device, I would never have gone electronic. I love drawing as a past time but I’m not good enough to warrant getting a Wacom tablet. The Note 8.0 solves it by being both a drawing tablet and a tablet for my everyday use.

    The Note as a smartphone is great, but I seldom take my S-pen out of my phone as compared to the tablet, where I use the S-pen so much I had to buy a replacement stylus and put it in my pencil box for in case I left it at home by accident because the tablet without the S pen is just non-functional.

    Now, three years later, still no news of an upgrade. What? I mean, the Note series is the ONLY reason I’m sticking with Samsung. What’s stopping me from going over to oodles of other Android phone makers? Samsung is totally going the wrong way by releasing all those A, E and J series that basically does nothing but add to their inventory and provide competition for their own flagship. Plus, if I want to get a cheap phone, I’d look to OnePlus, Xiaomi etc. which offers better specs for the price. This is dumb. Samsung should be pouring resources into developing the one field that makes them stand head and shoulders above the crowd, not abandon it. They should be applauding the fact that no other Android phone companies bothered to delve into the stylus business, but it seems like instead of exploiting their monopoly, this is just making them complacent and dumb.

  56. Tara said on June 1, 2016 at 12:12 am

    I love my note too. I’m ready for an upgrade. Samsung is missing an opportunity.

  57. Ralph said on May 31, 2016 at 6:46 am

    There are a few gems on ebay btw. I got a bnew 10.1 note from this nice lady. Sad to say accessory wise there’s no more niche for this dying breed.

  58. Caroline said on May 29, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Time to flood their Facebook page and demand what we want.

  59. Caroline said on May 29, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Note, am also a fanatic despite using Apple for everything else. I am also an illustrator and graphic designer and find it completely invaluable. Mine just finally bit the dust and I’m shocked to find they’re becomming hard to find! GET IT TOGETHER SAMSUNG. Who cares what the Euros are doing?! You were lightyears ahead with this tablet and now that people are warming up to why the pen is valuable (if you don’t agree look at Apple’s ‘new’ pencil, 4 yrs later) you discontinue it?? You might as well just send the $ you’d make as Apple’s ONLY competition to them in briefcases. Seriously. All of us who love the Note will have no other recourse but to give Apple our $. Samsung should just shoot itself in the foot.

  60. Ralph said on May 26, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    I wish the time would come when ordinary folks could custom build their own smartphone or tablets (much like the cpu on our PC’s since the late 90’s). As a struggling student, S pen is life. I use it like a highlighter and i save a ton of trees and highlighter fluid because of the s pen. I have to say im already considering the apple pencil because of this malady. Wake up Samsung. Smh

    1. Nakkai said on September 11, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      I am also a student and use my samsung galaxy note 8.0 in class religiously. It saves so much paper and removes the need to print off my note from my home printer all the time. Not to mention i immediately upload all my notes to the cloud at the end of lecture. I may have to opt for the surface pro to fit my needs..

  61. BMCCLAIN said on May 22, 2016 at 6:16 am

    I own the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. I am a writer and use both and the S-Pen CONSTANTLY. I will buy the Note 6 as soon as it comes out. I have no idea what I will do if my Note Pro becomes obsolete. Samsung may lose a longstanding customer.

  62. A said on May 21, 2016 at 5:48 am

    I’ve been an avid Samsung user since the Stratosphere, moved to the Note 2, had that until the Nexus 6 became available and only got that because I LOVE the screen size. Which is also why I bought the Note Pro 12.2. Sadly, I think this article is spot on and don’t think Samsung is going to do anymore Note tablets. Which is too bad, I’m ready to move up from the 12.2, but I really don’t see anything appealing with their current offerings. The Tab pro that’s going to run Windows…I mean WHY? Why would I buy Samsung’s Windows tablet? Why wouldn’t I just buy a Surface? Why wouldn’t I just buy a laptop? Maybe the S-Pen is just a gimick. Maybe I don’t use it much, but it’s nice to have it when I want it and if they’re done offering it there’s really no reason to stay with Samsung and it’s just time to move on.

  63. Patrik Nandorf said on May 20, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    The s-pen was the only thing that made Samsung worthwhile.

    1. Caroline said on May 29, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      EXACTLY!! PRECISELY why I chose it over an iPad.

  64. M said on May 19, 2016 at 4:09 am

    Why dont they make the s pen a standart?
    It is so usefull?
    Why dont they update the tablets?
    Why did they remove ir blaster?

    I use the s pen so many times a day
    With phone and with tablet.

  65. Anonymous said on May 18, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Without s pen it will be incomplete ever.
    – a user of s pen

  66. Mufid said on May 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Great article, points out my concerns with Note series very well.
    I am using a Note 4 now but desperately waiting for a Note tablet.
    Early this year I bought a Surface 3 device and 2 styluses (microsoft & htc) with the hopes that I can find the same experience. Putting it kindly, there hasn’t been a single day that I didn’t want to smash the device into a wall.
    Windows 10 as a tablet is just a joke, it doesnt register the touches correctly, hand writing is not even close to what I can do with s-pen. And then you also get traditional issues with it, such as not recovering successfully from sleep mode, problems with drivers esp camera. Starting the Skype only to get “camera has been removed” message becomes your daily anger class challenge.

    I blame Samsung and dont understand why they dont want to make their S tablet series perfect by adding in S-pen.
    Anyway, I hope you wont need to go through the same troubles.

  67. Fipil said on May 13, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    I’m in the same situation, I love my Note 10.1 tablet, but it’s quite obsolete model – the first one and I’m still waiting when Samsung releases a new S-Pen equipped tablet. Reading your article and comments under that is killing my hopes… :(

  68. Dennis Wilson said on May 3, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Well I bought the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 a few years ago and I was a constant user of the S-pen. First I used the S-pen at my job. I work as an a designer for a engineering firm and I would use it to take picture inside of plants we were working in and use those picture to sketch dimensions and notes on. I lot of time I would use these annotated pictures in my contract documents to the customer. I would also use it a lot during meeting to take hand written notes and to pull and review pictures with.

    Secondly I have also been going back to school work on a bachelors in civil engineering. I constantly used it to hand write all of my homework on. Then after I completed my homework I would copy my work from my tablet to paper as a study and review time. Also I needed it on paper so I could turn the work in. I used Evernote for all of my note taking and could use it to share my work remotely with study groups from my classes.

    This was the perfect work flow for me until recently I drop and broke the screen on my tablet and when I tried to replace it thru my device insurance they no longer had any tablets with a built in stylus to replace it. So I had to settle for the Tab S2 as a replacement. I now lost my entire workflow because of the lack of having a S-pen. This new tablet is still useful but its now more of a toy than a critical tool for my trade.

    So I decided that I would get a new tablet from the Verizon store and sell my replacement Tab S2. But I all of the Verizon stores in my area no longer sell any tablets with a built in stylus. So now the only option I have to get a similar workflow is to buy a Microsoft Surface Pro. With it I get all of my handwriting abilities back but Evernote has limited support for handwriting capabilities so I’ll have to find a new work around for that. But now using the surface I’ll have access to all of my design and engineering software that I only had access to on my desktop computer.

    Samsung basically lost my as a customer because they no longer have equipment that is a useful tool for my trade besides having a smartphone. But smartphones a plentiful so I could chose to go with anyone.

  69. Virginia Downey said on April 26, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    I’m a loyal Note user, from the Note 3 smartphone and Galaxy Note 8 tablet, up through the Note 5 phone and the Note 10.1 2014 edition tablet. I use the S-Pen a lot and love it. I’ve been waiting rather impatiently for the successor to the Note 10.1 to appear, but alas, to no avail. And like Samer, I’m about ready to give up and go purchase a Surface. I hate to give up hope, but it appears that no new Note tablet is going to be coming on the market. It’s a real shame.

  70. Desaa said on April 22, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    On Wednesday (4/20/16) I went to Best Buy and asked a Samsung rep about the Note series tablets. According to her, there are no plans to bringo them back. Let’s hope she is wrong.

  71. Dietmar said on April 22, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Thx for the article. Same situation with me. Have a Note 4 and a 10.1-2014. Am ready to upgrade the 10.1 while I have no real urgency with the Note 4. I’m with Samsung mainly because of 2 features, the S-stylus and the removable SD card. Once Samsung were to decide dropping the stylus or not to upgrade the10.1 I have to reconsider my hardware device policy. That means once I have to select eg an ipad 9.7 pro that might cause also a switch to Iphone or even replacement of the Samsung television and once the family been broken up I might also forget about a Samsung my ultrabook

  72. Robert McLaughlin said on April 13, 2016 at 6:30 am

    I too have a Note 4 and Note 10.1 2014. I absolutely love both. I have 50+ pages of professional notes and I have abandoned paper notes in my software development career. However, if Samsung abandons the s-pen, I will abandon Android and Samsung. Why would Samsung cede the field to Apple and Microsoft when they pioneered the technology? I hope they are planning their response and not their retreat.

  73. JEN said on April 7, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    I am a big fan of the Spen I use it everyday for work or personal use on my Note 10.1 2014 tablet. I too will be greatly disappointed if there is not a new version soon. I will be forced to spend my money on Microsoft’s Surface. :(.

  74. Desaa said on April 2, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    I too am an avid Note user and I have started with the Note 1. I currently have the Note 5. There are some things Samsung should not have taken away from the series, such as the SD card, battery access, and quite a few software changes. As far as the Note series tablets, I am hoping they come out with something because they are WAY overdue for a release. One thing I do not understand is, they came out with the Tab A and the S2. The resolution on the Tab A sucks, but it has an S-Pen. The resolution on the S2 is wonderful, but no S-Pen. Why in the hell was a decision like this made? Were they testing a concept of a budget tablet since the others were on the expensive side? I really hope they do something soon; otherwise, the Surface Pro is looking pretty good right now. Oh and I do hope the Note series tablets are Android tablets, not Microsoft like the Tab Pro S.

  75. Jeri, avid Note user said on March 20, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I do not understand why Samsung has consistently downgraded the S pen and the S note app. I bought the first Note and thought the pen was a gadget I wouldn’t use but I loved the big screen and in days I found out just how darn handy that S-pen and S-note could be. When the Note 10.1 tablet came out there were Android forums talking about how wonderful it was, I couldn’t resist. By this time, the S-pen and the S-Note app were my greatest tool and when I discovered that I could send notes back and forth from tablet to phone and vice versa and keep writing on them, I was in heaven! Then I upgraded to a Note 3 and discovered that Samsung had changed the format to the S note app so that now the notes wouldn’t cross from tablet to phone and back again. In the meantime, there have been complaints on various forums about companies and students who had purchased the Note phones and tablets and running into similar problems. I figured Samsung would fix it but NAH, they obviously didn’t think disenfranchising a serious group of users was important. Plus students complained that Samsung had downgraded the app and it had less features. They were right, at first it was more of a word processor with many more features. The only downgrade that bugs me is the eraser. It used to be exact, you could push a tiny circle right to the very edge of what you wanted to erase, now it erases in globs. I finally bought a Note 10.1 2014 because I’ve given up waiting for a new 10.1 for 2015 or 2016. I love the functionality of sending things back and forth between phone and tablet again. But I fear Samsung has never given the S-note it’s due importance and that you may be right, they could be phasing it out. It doesn’t make sense to me. I could write a whole article on the many uses of the S-note pen and app and none of them would be art. It’s a shame that Samsung seems to think making a number of different models of any device is more important than making the most of the devices that are theirs and theirs alone. Without the S-pen, I might as well consider any manufacturer and not buy Samsung at all.

  76. BobbyPhoenix said on March 16, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I’m still rocking a Note 3. It seems with each new Note release something is taken away. I love the SD card, removable battery (which I’m using a 10,000 extended battery now), IR blaster as my TV remote, and just an overall great feel and use device. It still runs buttery smooth, and does everything I need it to, and more. Why Samsung thinks they need to dumb down all the features to make it a regular phone with an S-Pen is beyond me. They need to add back all the power features, and improve on it, not remove features, and ask why it’s not as big a seller as it was.

  77. ilev said on March 16, 2016 at 9:19 am

    “single important feature that is unavailable in any other Android or iOS device: the built in S-Pen”..

    The iPad Pro and the coming iPad Pro “mini” have Apple’s Pencil.

    1. Samer Kurdi said on March 17, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      You’re right. Except that because it’s not quite ‘built into’ the body of the iPad, like the S-pen is, it is almost simply an addition, like any old stylus you can use with any tablet and toss into a backpack. The S-Pen has a certain ‘wow’ factor associated with taking it out on demand when you need it.

  78. noted said on March 16, 2016 at 4:36 am

    On a phone I want S-Pen, SD-card AND replaceable battery AND OLED.
    Without all of them I won’t upgrade from my Note. It’d be nice if LG made such a phone, too.

    Also, it seems the replaceable battery is dying because those extend the life expectancy of the Hardware
    way beyond the one or two years of heavy use.
    The Note 5 has that issue with the reversed pen ruining the functionality permanently,
    yet more evidence that Samsung nowadays aims to create throwaway Hardware.

    Me, I want to be able to burn through two or three batteries a day without charging with the phone.
    And have a phone which actually is still useable after three years / decades…
    Who in their right mind goes swimming with their phone 365 days a year?
    We really do not need waterproofed phones outside of a niche that is truly negligible.
    And waterproofing was the official reason given for the non-replaceable battery for Note 5 and S6.
    Running out of power on the other hand… yeah, happens less often than swimming with your phone…, sure.
    All phones ancient and new are reasonably rain-proof.

    If the manufacturers don’t deliver, I keep my money. It is about time they wake up to the fact.
    You cannot expect people to throw money at you if you ignore their needs.

    1. Kris said on May 15, 2016 at 9:59 am

      Waterproofing is NOT the reason the removable batteries wete removed from the Note 5 and S6. Those phones are not waterproof to begin with. The S7 is, but not the S6 nor Note 5.

      1. Chris said on August 15, 2016 at 7:37 am

        The S6 and Note 5 may not officially be waterproof, but I have personally put my S6 edge in a bowl of water and left it for a couple minutes in there with no problems.

      2. H said on July 6, 2016 at 9:46 pm

        Also Galaxy s5 is waterproof and has a removable battery!

    2. Samer Kurdi said on March 17, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      “If the manufacturers don’t deliver, I keep my money.” — this is why I didn’t buy the Note 5.
      I want all of those things you mention too.

  79. smartbrother said on March 16, 2016 at 12:21 am

    I hope they continue to the Note line. I too, am a fanatic for the s-pen. I started with the Note 2. I’m currently a Note 3 owner. I was completely disappointed that instead of continuing to deliver the handset that power users wanted, they opted for a knock-off of the iPhone 6 Plus. If I wanted an iPhone, I would BUY an iPhone. So, now I’m waiting for the Note 6. The early rumors are that the SD card and removable battery are back. We will see. If not, I’ll buy a used Note 4 and drop a Note 5 ROM on it. Yes, that’s what power users do.

  80. Leon said on March 15, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    As far as I read about Note phones, there are many improvements when comparing, let’s say, Note 1 to Note 4. But I don’t see much sense to upgrade from Note 4 to 5. Therefore Note 6 will have to offer many enhancements to justify the upgrade from previous versions, such as:

    – a big step in battery endurance (according to GSMArena the battery endurance of Note 5 is worse than that of Note 4…),
    – increased battery charging speed (Huawei’s competition for fast-charging on the rise?)
    – considerable weight reduction (especially if there will be no option to replace a battery and no option to add a memory card – as it’s already in the case of Note 5),
    – introducing noticable innovations (considering that high screen resolution, curved screen and Android 6 do not count as “genuine” innovations).

    I am not advanced user and I use older phones (currently Note 1). I may be old-fashioned, but it seems that Samsung gradually opted-out simple yet useful features from its Note series (such as radio receiver, replacable battery, memory card slot, long-lasting battery…). Interestingly, some of them are available in “A” series. Maybe they are going to discontinue “Note” series… if Note 6 comes out without S-Pen and the next A7 increases the screen size, there won’be much difference between “A” and “Note” series anyway.

    1. Samer Kurdi said on March 17, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      Speaking of a curved screen: I wonder if the stylus would work as well on one. Tried to slide the S-pen on my wife’s (curved) LG G4 and it didn’t feel quite right.

      I do hope they continue the Note line too.

  81. Henk van Setten said on March 15, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Well, let me try to represent an average user here. I bought a new 5.5″ Galaxy Note 2 (N7100) smartphone exactly three years ago, early 2013. The device still does a wonderful job serving all my needs. This is why I’ve never felt any urge whatsoever to replace it with a newer generation smartphone. Or even to upgrade the Android 4.4.2 it’s still running on. Why should I?

    And perhaps this also illustrates why in many countries smartphone sales are beginning to get past the top of the curve: apart from being more fashionable, the latest smartphones do not really offer essential new features compared to the ones we already have.

    I’ve used my Note 2 sliding-out S-pen a few times for things like note-scribbling or quickly drawing some basic street directions for someone else. But I must say I’ve never found it essential or even handy enough for frequent daily use. So if the pen were gone, I don’t think I would actually miss it very much. Therefore, while I can understand your regrets, Samsung’s own hunch of it being superfluous for more average users (like me) may in fact be right.

    Re your question about a Note 5 launch in Europe: do official launches still matter in today’s world? If for some reason I would urgently want to buy a Galaxy Note 5, in my own country (the Netherlands) I know at least two local web shops that do offer them – imported through parallel channels.

    1. Samer Kurdi said on March 17, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks for your input Henk. I guess I have to accept that many users such as yourself would not miss the S-Pen if it went away, but it does make me sad.

      1. Jerry Battistoni said on October 4, 2016 at 11:06 pm

        I think a lot of people under utilize their phone. If you left a tablet and phone sitting on desk and asked the person to do something using the devices, besides make a call or text, they would pick up the tablet.

        I think a lot of people actually get subconsciously frustrated with using phones as an computer, do not use them in that way and so do not see the reason for the pen.

        Small links, poorly designed sites that force you to use the normal sites and limited functions all get fixed by the pen, but when you limit exposure to those problems because you don’t use your phone in that manner then the pen doesn’t seem so necessary.

        The best way I could put it is to imagine a person on one side of River, the man is the user. There is food, shelter, water, it all must be worked for but it is all work the man knows, this is using a phone normally. There is also some danger, but nothing constant, frustrations of using a phone to surf, small links, bad sites and limited functionality. On the other side is paradise, where everything is easily obtained, but all the man can see of it is a forest, this is using the phone with a pen, but not using the pen. Now the man has a bridge, the pen, but he has to work to extend the bridge, work/use/learn with the pen. It actually takes less work to extend the bridge then it would be to forage food on his side, but because from his side all he sees is a forest there was no reason to ever use the bridge and see what it’s like on the other side. Same with the pen, when people don’t use the pen every day the don’t see a reason compared to how they are now, but if they would just cross that bridge, they might find paradise.

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