The Samsung Galaxy S21 series is right around the corner, and in our preview you can find a lot of information. Samsung is allegedly planning to announce its next-gen flagships earlier than usual. The company usually announces the Galaxy S series phones in late February, but this year, they will become official in January. Samsung is expected to announce all devices in mid-January, based on several reports. The company will announce three flagships as part of the announcement, the Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra.
Quite a few pieces of information leaked already, about all three of those devices. Their designs surfaced as well, which is not that surprising considering that we’re not that far away from their announcement. Some of you are probably wondering why did Samsung decide to announce these phones early? Well, based on a recent report, the company is doing it to beat the competition, mainly Huawei. Samsung is hoping to grab some of Huawei’s users by doing this.
In this article, we’ll take look at what we know thus far. As already mentioned, quite a few details leaked on all three devices, and more will arrive in the coming weeks. That being said, let’s get started, shall we.
This article will be regularly updated with new information on the Samsung Galaxy S21 series (this is a preview article) — both official teasers and credible leaks, rumors, and insider claims — as it becomes available in the run-up to the release of the upcoming Android smartphone.
They will offer similar designs, but will be quite different in terms of size
This is not exactly surprising, as that was the case with the Galaxy S20 series as well. The Galaxy S21 will be the smallest, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra will be the largest. All three phones will be made out of metal and glass, though. They will all include a centered display camera hole, and almost non-existent bezels. Furthermore, those bezels will be uniform, it seems, following the Pixel 5’s lead. The Galaxy S21 Ultra will be the only one to offer a curved display, though, it seems. Both the Galaxy S21 and S21+ will have a curved glass on top of their displays, of course.
The biggest change compared to the Galaxy S20 series, at least in terms of the design, can be found on the back. We’re talking about the camera housing. In the case of the Galaxy S21 phones, the rear-facing camera housing will be an extension of the frame. This makes for a rather interesting design detail that we haven’t seen before. It is considerably different compared to the Galaxy S20 series.
You can take a closer look at all three smartphones (S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra) in the galleries below. These are all CAD-based renders that surfaced recently, and they do give us a good look at all three phones. You can clearly see that they will be quite similar one to the other, save for the differences we’ve mentioned. It is also worth noting that an in-display fingerprint scanner will be included, and that the back side on all three phones will be curved towards the sides. They will all be quite slippery, most probably.
Samsung Galaxy S21:
Samsung Galaxy S21+:
Galaxy S21 Ultra:
120Hz refresh rate all around, no 144Hz just yet
According to everything we’ve seen thus far, including the detailed specs leak, all three phones will feature 120Hz displays. That means that the refresh rate will remain unchanged compared to the Galaxy S20 series. What’s interesting here, is the fact that the Galaxy S21 and S21+ will include fullHD+ displays, it seems. The Galaxy S20 and S20+ offered QHD+ panels, so this is quite surprising. Both phones will utilize the LTPS technology, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra will have a LTPO display. We do hope that Samsung will be able to offer QHD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate at the same time this time around, though, for the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Another thing worth noting is that the Galaxy S21 Ultra is expected to offer an adaptive refresh rate as well, unlike the other two handsets. The ‘Ultra’ model will be the only one to offer a curved display, as mentioned under the design section of the preview. The other two phones will have flat displays, with curved glass on top of them. Needless to say, all three devices will utilize AMOLED panels, with a centered display camera hole. The Galaxy S21 is set to use a 6.2-inch panel, while the Galaxy S21+ will include a 6.7-inch one. The Galaxy S21 Ultra will use the largest, 6.8-inch display. So, the Galaxy S21+ will be considerably larger than the vanilla model this time around.
Snapdragon 888 and / or Exynos 2100
So, Samsung has been using both Snapdragon and Exynos flagship processors for years now. Both the company’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series smartphones have been utilizing chips for both brands. Samsung has been equipping models for the US and China with the Snapdragon SoC, while Indian and European models shipped with the Exynos chip. Pretty much everyone expects that to be the case with the Galaxy S21, but there’s a slight chance Samsung may ditch Qualcomm.
During the Snapdragon Tech Summit, Qualcomm announced 14 companies which plan to utilize the Snapdragon 888 in 2021. For those of you who are out of the loop, the Snapdragon 888 is the company’s upcoming flagship SoC. This is essentially the Snapdragon 875, as Qualcomm decided to ditch that name. In any case, Samsung was not mentioned amongst those companies, which brought into question the company’s usage of the Snapdragon 888. Reports have been hyping up the Exynos 2100 quite a bit, is it possible Samsung will use it exclusively? Well, that’s still not as likely, but we’ll see.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra will stand out in the camera department
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will stand out in terms of cameras, it seems. Camera specs for all three smartphones did surface. The Galaxy S21 and S21+ will have the same setups, pretty much, but not the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Let’s start with the S21 and S21+, shall we. Both phones will utilize two 12-megapixel and one 64-megapixel camera. Those two 12-megapixel ones will be the main and ultra-wide ones, while the 64-megapixel one is reserved for a telephoto unit. We still don’t know the details about each of the sensors, though.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, will utilize four cameras, instead of three. Its main sensor will be a new 108-megapixel unit (second-gen sensor). The ultra-wide camera will be the same as on the Galaxy S21 and S21+, a 12-megapixel until. This handset will utilize two telephoto cameras, though, two 10-megapixel ones. One will serve as a 3x optical telephoto unit, and the second one as a 10x optical “super” telephoto camera. Samsung is allegedly planning to revive “Super Zoom”.
Decent battery capacities, but not all of them will have extremely fast charging
The Galaxy S21 is set to ship with a 4,000mAh battery, while the ‘Plus’ model will utilize a 4,800mAh unit. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is said to utilize a 5,000mAh battery. These are decent battery sizes considering their display sizes, but the charging won’t be as fast as you think. Well, that goes for the Galaxy S21, at the very least. A report suggested that the Galaxy S21 will offer 25W fast charging, which is not that fast considering that the competitors are offering much more in that regard. The Galaxy S21 Ultra will allegedly offer 45W fast charging, which is considerably faster.
The Galaxy S21+ will probably go down the path of the regular Galaxy S21, and also offer 25W charging. It is worth noting that all three phones are expected to support fast wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging. We’re still not sure how fast will that wireless charging be, though, we’ll have to wait and see. Needless to say, all battery packs will not be removable.
Connectivity & S Pen
All three phones will support 5G connectivity, and the same goes for Bluetooth 5.1. The Galaxy S21 and S21+ are expected to include WiFi 6 support, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra will offer WiFi 6E. Having said that, it’s also worth noting that the Galaxy S21 Ultra will support the S Pen. That will be the only Galaxy S series smartphone to support the S Pen this time around. It will also be the first-ever Galaxy S smartphone to support it. Note that the device will not ship with the S Pen, though, nor will it offer a dedicated space inside a phone to host it, unlike the Galaxy Note series.
Launching in January, going on sale in February
The Samsung Galaxy S21 series will probably become official in mid-January. It was initially reported that it will go on sale towards the end of the month, but our source claims that will happen in February, at least in the US. That being said, we already know what color variants to expect, and even the price tag ranges have surfaced. Let’s talk about their color variants first, shall we.
The Galaxy S21 is said to ship in Phantom Violet, Phantom Pink, Phantom Gray, and Phantom White color options. The S21+ will arrive in Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, and Phantom Violet options. The Galaxy S21 Ultra will be available in two variants only, Phantom Black and Phantom Silver.
Now, regarding price tags for the Galaxy S21 smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S21 is tipped to cost between $850 and $899. The Galaxy S21+ is said to be priced between $1,050 and $1,099. The Galaxy S21 Ultra will be the most expensive unit, of course, and it will cost between $1,250 and $1,299, according to the latest information. Samsung also, allegedly, set a rather modest Galaxy S21 sales target.