Here’s everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy S21 series, launching in January

Samsung’s flagship smartphones for 2020 were some of the best Android smartphones this year, and we have high hopes for the company’s upcoming Galaxy S21 series. As per recent reports, the company will unveil the Galaxy S21 series in January next year, a few weeks before its usual Galaxy S series launch schedule. Ahead of the official reveal, we’ve seen several leaks and rumors about the upcoming devices, giving us a good look at their design and specifications. In case you’ve not been keeping up with our coverage of the devices, here’s everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra so far.

Samsung Galaxy S21 series: Release Date and Announcement Date

Samsung has inadvertently confirmed that the Galaxy S21 series will be unveiled on January 14th and that the devices are expected to go on sale in India on January 29th. Global retail availability is expected around January 22, 2021.

Samsung has opened pre-order reservations for the Galaxy S21 series in the U.S. weeks ahead of the official announcement. If you want to be one of the first people in the region to get your hands on the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, or S21 Ultra, you can now register for a pre-order notification in the Samsung Shop app.

Once you’ve registered, Samsung will notify you as soon as the devices are available for pre-order. All users who pre-order a Galaxy S21 series device via the app will receive $60 in instant credits towards accessories for their new device.


Samsung Galaxy S21 series: Ultra, Plus, and Regular variants

Much like the previous generation, the Galaxy S20, the Galaxy S21 series will also have three devices in it at launch. There will be the regular Galaxy S21, followed by the Galaxy S21 Plus, and topping off with the premium flagship Galaxy S21 Ultra.

If you want an updated flagship from Samsung, the regular variant is the choice for you, as it will feature an updated SoC with a relatively modest package. It’s going to be the most accessible way to get a new Galaxy 2021 flagship in the first half of the year without abusing your wallet.

The Galaxy S21 Plus will be the middle-child in the lineup, and the option that would make sense for most people. It will pack in most of the needed features at a relatively-not-obscene price tag, giving users the sweet medium.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra will obviously be the overkill option. It would make sense for users who want the absolute best within conventional smartphone realms, and do not intend to flinch from spending top dollar for it. It will be the most premium and feature packed device from the South Korean company (outside of foldables and luxury special editions), so it’s the phone to get for those looking to make a statement while still holding something recognizable as a smartphone.

Design

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen plenty of leaked CAD renders, live images, and even promotional videos of the Galaxy S21 series. These leaks gave us a good look at the device’s design.

Galaxy S21 (Regular)

For the regular Galaxy S21, the design is almost the same as the Galaxy S20. The only major differences between the two devices are the new camera island, which flows over the device’s left edge and blends seamlessly with the frame, and the flat display. This new camera module design is consistent across the Galaxy S21 lineup, and it comes in a couple of different finishes, which depends on the base colorway of the device.

Samsung Galaxy S21 in Phantom Pink, Phantom Purple, Phantom White, and Phantom Black colors in all angles

Speaking of colors, leaked official press renders of the Galaxy S21 suggest that Samsung will be offering the device in four color variants — Phantom Violet Phantom Gray, Phantom White, and Phantom Pink. Out of these, the Phantom Violet and Phantom Pink colorways will feature a copper-colored frame and camera module, the Phantom Black colorway will feature a black frame and camera module, and the Phantom White colorway will have a silver frame and camera module. All variants of the Galaxy S21 will have a plastic back, much like the Galaxy Note 20 from earlier this year.

Galaxy S21 Plus

In terms of design, the Galaxy S21 Plus won’t differ much from the base variant. It will feature the same design elements, including the new camera module, but it will have a slightly larger footprint. However, the device will differ from the regular Galaxy S21 in terms of material choice.

Samsung Galaxy S21 in Phantom Purple, Phantom White, and Phantom Black colors in all angles

Samsung will offer a glass back on the Galaxy S21 Plus, unlike the glasstic back on the base variant. Additionally, Samsung won’t offer as many color variants for the Galaxy S21 Plus, and it will only be available in Phantom Silver, Phantom Black, and Phantom Violet at launch.

Galaxy S21 Ultra

The top-of-the-line Galaxy S21 Ultra will also feature a similar camera island design, but it will be much larger than the camera island on the other two variants. This is due to the fact that it will include a total of 4 camera sensors. Unlike the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus, the Galaxy S21 Ultra will feature a curved display.

Samsung Galaxy S21 in Phantom White, and Phantom Black colors in all angles

As with the Galaxy S21 Plus, the Galaxy S21 Ultra will feature a premium glass back. But the device will only come in two color variants —Phantom Black and Phantom Silver.


Samsung Galaxy S21 series: Specifications

These are the expected specifications for the Samsung Galaxy S21 series. Note that these are not final specifications, and are based on leaks and reasonable guesstimates. We’ll keep them updated, but know that these may change by the time the phones are actually released.

Specifications Samsung Galaxy S21 Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Build
  • Aluminum mid-frame
  • Plastic back
  • Gorilla Glass Victus front
  • Aluminum mid-frame
  • Gorilla Glass back
  • Gorilla Glass Victus front
  • Aluminum mid-frame
  • Gorilla Glass back
  • Gorilla Glass Victus front
Dimensions & Weight
  • 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm
  • 171 grams
  • 161.4 x 75.6 x 7.8mm
  • 202 grams
  • 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm
  • 228 grams
Display
  • 6.2″ FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display
  • 2400 x 1080 pixels
  • 421 PPI
  • 120Hz variable refresh rate
  • 20:9 aspect ratio
  • HDR10+
  • 1300nits peak brightness
  • Always-On display
  • Infinity-O display
  • 6.7″ FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display
  • 2400 x 1080 pixels
  • 394 PPI
  • 120Hz variable refresh rate
  • 20:9 aspect ratio
  • 1300nits peak brightness
  • HDR10+
  • Always-On display
  • Infinity-O display
  • 6.8″ QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X curved display
  • 120Hz variable refresh rate
  • 20:9 aspect ratio
  • 1600nits peak brightness
  • HDR10+
  • Always-On display
  • Infinity-O display
SoC
  • International: Exynos 2100:
    • 1x Core @ 2.9GHz +
    • 3x Cores @ 2.8GHz +
    • 4x Cores @ 2.4GHz
  • USA: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888:
    • 1x Kryo 680 Prime Core @ 2.84GHz
    • 3x Kryo 680 Performance Cores @ 2.4GHz
    • 4x Kryo 680 Efficiency Cores @ 1.8GHz
  • International: Exynos 2100:
    • 1x Core @ 2.9GHz +
    • 3x Cores @ 2.8GHz +
    • 4x Cores @ 2.4GHz
  • USA: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888:
    • 1x Kryo 680 Prime Core @ 2.84GHz
    • 3x Kryo 680 Performance Cores @ 2.4GHz
    • 4x Kryo 680 Efficiency Cores @ 1.8GHz
  • International: Exynos 2100:
    • 1x Core @ 2.9GHz +
    • 3x Cores @ 2.8GHz +
    • 4x Cores @ 2.4GHz
  • USA: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888:
    • 1x Kryo 680 Prime Core @ 2.84GHz
    • 3x Kryo 680 Performance Cores @ 2.4GHz
    • 4x Kryo 680 Efficiency Cores @ 1.8GHz
RAM & Storage
  • 8GB + 128GB
  • 8GB + 256GB
  • 8GB + 128GB
  • 8GB + 256GB
  • 12GB + 128GB
  • 12GB + 256GB
  • 12GB + 512GB
Battery & Charging
  • 4,000mAh
  • 25W USB Power Delivery 3.0 fast charging
  • 15W wireless charging
  • 4.5 reverse wireless charging
  • 4,800mAh
  • 25W USB Power Delivery 3.0 fast charging
  • 15W wireless charging
  • 4.5 reverse wireless charging
  • 5,000mAh
  • 25W USB Power Delivery 3.0 fast charging
  • 15W wireless charging
  • 4.5 reverse wireless charging
Security Ultrasonic In-Display Fingerprint Scanner Ultrasonic In-Display Fingerprint Scanner Ultrasonic In-Display Fingerprint Scanner
Rear Camera(s)
  • Primary: 12MP, wide-angle lens, f/1.8, 1/1.76″, 1.8µm, OIS, Dual Pixel PDAF
  • Secondary: 12MP, ultra-wide-angle lens, f/2.2, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm
  • Tertiary: 64MP, telephoto lens, f/2.0, 1/1.76″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS
  • Primary: 12MP, wide-angle lens, f/1.8, 1/1.76″, 1.8µm, OIS, Dual Pixel PDAF
  • Secondary: 12MP, ultra-wide-angle lens, f/2.2, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm
  • Tertiary: 64MP, telephoto lens, f/2.0, 1/1.76″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS
  • Primary: 108 MP, wide-angle lens, f/1.8, 79°, 24mm, 1/1.33″, 0.8 µm, OIS, PDAF, Laser AF
  • Secondary: 12 MP, ultra-wide-angle lens, f/2.2, 120°, 13mm, 1/2.55″, 1.4 µm, AF
  • Tertiary: 10 MP, telephoto lens, f/2.4, 35°, 72mm, 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, OIS, 3x optical zoom
  • Quarternary: 10 MP, telephoto lens, f/4.9, 10°, 240mm, 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, OIS, 10x optical zoom
Front Camera(s) 10MP, f/2.2, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF 10MP, f/2.2, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF 40MP, f/2.2, 0.7µm, Dual Pixel PDAF
Port(s) USB 3.2 Type-C USB 3.2 Type-C USB 3.2 Type-C
Audio Stereo speakers Stereo speakers Stereo speakers
Connectivity
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • 5G
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • 5G
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • 5G
Software Samsung One UI 3.1 based on Android 11 Samsung One UI 3.1 based on Android 11 Samsung One UI 3.1 based on Android 11
Other Features
  • IP68 water resistance
  • ANT+
  • DeX
  • Knox
  • UWB
  • Bixby Voice Assistant
  • Google Discover pane
  • IP68 water resistance
  • ANT+
  • DeX
  • Knox
  • UWB
  • Bixby Voice Assistant
  • Google Discover pane
Colors
  • Phantom Violet
  • Phantom Gray
  • Phantom White
  • Phantom Pink
  • Phantom Violet
  • Phantom Gray
  • Phantom White
  • Phantom Gray
  • Phantom White

The baseline for performance is set, with all three of the flagships in this series coming in with the top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 in the USA and select other regions, and with the Exynos 2100 internationally. There should be plenty of RAM and storage onboard, though microSD card expansion is not yet known. The rear and front camera setup remains the same on the regular and Plus variant, while the Ultra gets a complete overhaul. Between the regular and Plus variant, the differentiating factor would be the slightly larger size and the difference in plastic back and glass back.

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera module leaked

The camera setup on the Galaxy S21 Ultra is expected to be significantly better, with a second-gen 108MP primary camera, the same 12MP wide-angle camera as the other two variants, a 3x telephoto sensor, and a 10x optical “super” telephoto sensor. The new telephoto sensors will feature 130% larger pixels and dual-pixel autofocus, and with the 10x telephoto sensor, Samsung will be reviving its 100x Space Zoom feature. As per the latest leak, all three devices in the Galaxy S21 lineup will offer 8K video capture capability at 30 frames per second, and 4K video capture at 50 frames per second. The devices will be able to capture Full HD video at 240 frames per second.

The leaks further reveals that all three devices will feature stereo speakers, NFC, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 6, and IP68 dust and water-resistance. However, only the top of the line model will offer extras like S Pen support.


Samsung Galaxy S21 series: Price

As for pricing, reports suggest that the Galaxy S21 will start at €849 for the 128GB storage variant and €899 for the 256GB storage variant, €1,049/ €1,099 for the Galaxy S21 Plus 128GB/256GB, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra will cost €1,349/€1,399/€1,529 for the 128GB/256GB/512GB variant respectively. The pricing for the base model is lower than what the Galaxy S20 launched within Europe, but the higher-end model is more expensive than the Galaxy S20 Ultra possibly because of the improved camera hardware and S Pen support. In all, there’s a wider price bracket to cover with the coming flagship series.

Samsung Galaxy S21 / Galaxy S21 Plus / Galaxy S21 Ultra XDA Forums

Reports also suggest that Samsung might not offer a charger with the Galaxy S21 series in some regions. While we haven’t seen much information about the new software features that may launch with the devices, we’ve learned that Samsung may let users unlock the Galaxy S21 series devices with Bixby Voice and that the devices could come with the Google Discover feed on the minus one screen.


S Pen support on the Galaxy S series and the end of the Galaxy Note?

Historically, the S Pen had been the defining feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note series, clearly differentiating the product lineup towards productivity-focused pro-consumers. Some of Samsung’s tablets have come with support for S Pen, but by and large, the S Pen has been part of the Note identity.

Samsung Galaxy S Pen

But with the rise of foldables as the new forte for productivity-focused pro-consumers, and with the S-series also closing the gap in terms of other features, there’s little left for the Note and its own identity. Many rumors suggested that the Note lineup is dead. But Samsung had to come clean and reaffirm the existence of the Note series for another year, with the rider that some signature Note features will make their way on to other devices. This is the signal needed to reaffirm all rumors of the S Pen support coming over to the S series with the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

With the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the S Pen will reportedly be sold separately and stored separately. There’s no housing cavity within the device to store the stylus. Instead, Samsung will offer a couple of case options that will make it easier to store the stylus when not in use and charge it up as well.

The rest of the three phones, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus, have not been rumored to come with S Pen support, indicating that Samsung will lock the feature to the top of the line model only. Note that this is not a software-lock, but a limitation on hardware as the needed digitizer components will not be present on the other two phones.


Will there be a Galaxy S21 FE or Galaxy S21 Mini?

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was a runaway hit in a year of widespread economic recession and rising smartphone pricing, thanks to its relatively affordable price tag for a pseudo-flagship. There’s good reason to believe Samsung is considering a successor simply because the predecessor was pretty successful, though there have been no leaks or rumors to this end just yet. If a Galaxy S21 FE comes into existence, it will be in the second half of the year.

As for the Galaxy S21 Mini, this is a form factor that many would hope Samsung takes considering the positive reception to the iPhone 12 Mini. Samsung has done “mini” flagships before, like the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, Galaxy S4 Mini, and Galaxy S5 Mini, so a “mini” flagship would not be out of place for the S series at all. There’s no indication that Samsung is indeed working towards a Galaxy S21 Mini. But if they do, it should hopefully follow along with the same principles as Apple followed for its mini: all of the flagship in just a smaller size. Samsung has three devices in its Galaxy S21 lineup, which then begs the question: which of the three forms the base for expectations for the Galaxy S21 Mini? If the South Korean company uses the regular variant as the base, then the resultant phone would be similar in concept to early A-series and M-series smartphones, with just a flagship processor. And we aren’t sure if that alone would be enough reason to convince everyone looking for a small-footprint device, especially with Exynos 2100 at the helm.


What are your thoughts on the Galaxy S21 series? Do you think that they’ll live up to the hype? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The post Here’s everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy S21 series, launching in January appeared first on xda-developers.

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