Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S smartphone works with its stylus for the primary time.The S Pen is an non-obligatory add-on for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. But the move will gasoline hypothesis the agency will part out its separate Note handset vary.Samsung informed the BBC it had but to decide about this.The firm’s handset gross sales have declined extra shortly than the broader market. One knowledgeable mentioned a streamlined line-up would possibly assist deal with this.”There’s increasing logic for Samsung to converge the Galaxy S and Note platforms, because there’s so little differentiation between the two kinds of devices now,” mentioned Ben Wood, from the CCS Insight consultancy.”That would align them with Apple, which also has one big phone launch event a year.”My concern is that each time Samsung has introduced its Note merchandise up to now, it has planted a seed in shoppers’ minds that the Galaxy S merchandise have turn into form of the outdated ones.”The benefit of having a stylus is that it is easier to write, draw or annotate notes than using a finger. But to work it requires special hardware under the glass of the phone’s display to pass power to the stylus and to track its tip.Smartphone shipments. October 2019 to September 2020. .’Expanded Note experience’The Android-based Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 6.8in (17.3cm) display, which is only slightly smaller than the top-end 6.9in Note.In years past, the Note phones were known as “phablets”, and their size was the other key distinguishing factor with the S range.Product manager Mark Notton said “we have not determined”, when asked whether Samsung planned to continue the Note family.”It doesn’t imply that Samsung isn’t dedicated to the Note class, however is increasing the Note expertise throughout gadget classes,” the firm said in a follow-up statement.”We will actively take heed to shoppers’ suggestions and mirror it in our continued product innovation.”The S21 Ultra will start at £1,149 when it goes on sale on 29 January. The S Pen costs an extra £35 on its own, or £85 when bundled with a case that stores it.Story continuesThat puts it in the ballpark of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s £1,179 starting price, which comes with a stylus that slots into its body.Ditched chargerThere are also two other lower-cost models in the new range, neither of which works with the S-Pen stylus: the 6.2in S21 and 6.7in S21+.All three models feature a redesigned camera module on their back.But while the two lower-end models have three lenses – ultra-wide, wide and 3x-zoom telephoto – the S21 Ultra adds a further 10x-zoom telephoto lens, letting owners shoot action from even further away.The handsets also benefit from a new Director’s View facility. It lets users film video while getting thumbnail previews superimposed on-screen of what it would look like if they switched to another lens.All three phones can film in 8K – double the maximum resolution of the competing iPhone 12 range’s native video app.The Director’s View mode lets users preview how the recorded shot will change in a video if they switch to a different lens while filmingOther benefits over Apple’s latest phones include:screens that can display up to 120 frames per second, to provide smoother visual effectswi-fi 6E wireless connectivity, allowing use of extra radio bandwith with a compatible routerbrighter screens – the S21 Ultra goes up to 1,500 nits, which should improve playback of HDR (high dynamic range) videoHowever, the handsets may be more notable for following Apple in two regards.They have abandoned a slot for a microSD memory card.And they will be sold without either a charger – a decision over which Samsung had mocked its rival. – or earphones.”We found that increasingly Galaxy customers are reusing equipment they have already got,” the firm said.Early launchSamsung typically unveils its Galaxy range in late February, but has brought forward this year’s launch to coincide with the CES tech show.”Samsung wants S21 to be successful provided that S20 was launched in the midst of Covid first wave in Europe and did not achieve many followers,” commented Marta Pinto, from research firm IDC.She added the earlier launch date could help it compete in the “premium market” with Apple, whose iPhones were released later than normal last year.The South Korean firm should also benefit from collapsing sales of Huawei’s devices in the West, caused by US sanctions that prevent them offering the Google Play store and some of the search giant’s other services.But Mr Wood said Samsung was facing growing competition from other Chinese brands including Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo.”Samsung’s differentiator goes to be its capability to market its sturdy model, and the very fact it has a really broad product portfolio,” he commented.Smarter earbudsSamsung additionally goals to widen its attraction with two additional equipment.It has a brand new pair of £219 wi-fi earbuds that monitor what the person is doing.If they detect the wearer is speaking, they robotically flip down the amount of music and amplify the sounds of the close by atmosphere picked up by their microphones, permitting the proprietor to have a short dialog with no need to take them out or manually alter their settings.Samsung is also launching the £30 Galaxy SmartTag – a Bluetooth-enabled tracker that may be hooked up to belongings or pets.It will permit an app to indicate their location, as long as the tag is in vary of the proprietor or anybody else’s suitable Samsung gadget.The tracker will compete with comparable merchandise from the present market chief Tile.Apple is broadly rumoured to be engaged on comparable units of its personal.