Every Samsung Galaxy S21 news, you must need to know
Looks like the pricing information for the Samsung Galaxy S21 phone have been leaked, and it seems the devices could cost basically the same as their Galaxy S20 counterparts.
And on the twentieth day of Christmas, the Samsung Galaxy S21 brought me my true love! Samsung's next flagship will appear on January 14, so many reports have indicated, and it seems this could be our first big phone launch after the festive season.
It is expected that the Samsung Galaxy S21 will come with a Galaxy S21 Plus and a Galaxy S21 Ultra, and the trio has been extensively leaked. Right now, there's almost nothing that we don't know, or think we know, but hopefully Samsung has some secrets that haven't been exposed yet.
As the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus currently top our list of the best smartphones in the world, that's exciting.
The color variants and design of the Samsung Galaxy S21 have recently been leaked quite a bit - so much so that we have written a color guide for the Samsung Galaxy S21 so that you can see what they all look like.
We have also given in-depth information on the likely release date and price of the Samsung Galaxy S21, and if you still need more after that, head to the bottom of this article for a wish list of what we want from the phones to ensure that they are significant updates to the Samsung Galaxy S20 series.
Samsung Galaxy S21 release date and price
Early in the year, Samsung always unveils its latest Galaxy S models, and in recent years it unveiled them in February, then sold them from March, so we expected the Samsung Galaxy S21 series to be the same.
But the Samsung Galaxy S21 series is very likely to actually arrive in January, with an official Samsung store in India already saying the phones will be released on January 14.
The store added that on January 29 the phones would then go on sale in the region, but indicated that most of the world might get them a week earlier, suggesting that by January 22 you may be able to get a Samsung Galaxy S21 model.
That's also not the first time we've heard these dates, with a leaker saying earlier that on January 14 the Samsung Galaxy S21 series will be announced, and that pre-orders are scheduled to open the same day and that phones will be available on January 29.
The January 14 assertion was also reiterated by subsequent leaks, although some earlier rumors also indicated that the release date of the Samsung Galaxy S21 will be early in 2021, so it looks very likely at the beginning of 2021 and more precisely January 14.
A month earlier than normal, the phone also passed through the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification process, further indicating that a January launch is on the cards. If all this is real, it will be the earliest point in the year we've seen the launch of the Galaxy S flagship handset.
As for the cost of the Samsung Galaxy S21 series, the phones are expected to be at least as expensive as the Galaxy S20 range, which presumably means a starting price of at least $999 / £899 / AU$1,499 for the basic model, with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra likely to cost much more.
Indeed, a reliable leaker claims that in the Samsung Galaxy S21 series, the S21 Ultra will be "by far the costliest device."
One source indicates that the range would cost around the same as their predecessors, but that said, the Galaxy S21 series has indicated that one leak from Naver (a Korean site) might be cheaper than the handsets of 2020. It says insiders believe that between $849 and $899 (while the Galaxy S20 began at $999) the Galaxy S21 would cost anywhere.
We have also recently seen prices in euros for the range leak: the Galaxy S21 standard is apparently launching for EUR 849 and up, the S21 Plus 128GB for EUR 1,049, the S21 Plus 256GB for EUR 1,099, and the S21 Ultra for EUR 1,399 and up. Depending on the model, that's a little less or a little more than the S20 equivalent.
So while we're not yet sure of the price, there's no sense so far that the phones would in any case cost far more than the Galaxy S20 series, which is good news.
Samsung Galaxy S21 design and display
The reports of the Samsung Galaxy S21 are pouring in, and we now have a complete hands-on video of the Plus model in action: you can see the entire phone design, front and back, as well as the software interface speed.
The phone is as fast and as sensitive as you would imagine, although in this particular clip there is no sign of the S Pen stylus; stylus support is supposed to be an exclusive feature for the Ultra model.
We have also seen in another leak what appears to be a press rendering of the Samsung Galaxy S21, which you can see below sporting a style that is strikingly similar to the S20.
This is a true Galaxy S21, but the chin is smaller than S20via @evleaks pic.twitter.com/5LyFpWeiAEDecember 16, 2020 The bezel on both sides is larger than S20, but the chin is smaller.
Samsung's own teaser clips of the three phones showed one of the biggest leaks yet.
You can see the Galaxy S21 Plus clip below, and it gives us a good look at what to expect from the camera, teasing the gold camera and purple body with a two-tone color scheme. The regular Galaxy S21 video leak looks similar, so we haven't included it.
A flat screen for the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus also appears to be showing, which matches a previous Ice Universe rumor.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy S21 Ultra film - which you can see below - shows a black phone with a wider camera block and a curved lens.
In the section below, we'll dig into what we expect from the camera, but expect the S21 Ultra to be a larger and more powerful handset all round, more capable than the S21 and S21 Plus.
Courtesy of @OnLeaks, you will get a more complete look at the Galaxy S21. These renders, very much like the Galaxy S20, display a front design, but a rear camera configuration that has been redesigned to create a wraparound effect over the phone corner.
It's quite a drastic shift, but in the evolution of the Galaxy S20 and then the Note 20 handsets, the signs were there. The standard model's screen size is said to be 6.2 inches, and, as other leaks have indicated, it will obviously be flat. Meanwhile, obviously, the measurements would be 151.7 mm x 71.2 mm x 7.9 mm.
Earlier whispers that the phone may have an in-screen camera may seem to preclude the renders, but Samsung is obviously testing the feasibility, so it sounds like the tech may not be ready.
These renders are backed up by an image of the Galaxy S21 camera bump taken from inside a warehouse, as it is exactly the same shape as the module shown in the images above. This makes it seem quite probable that the renders are precise.
The same source that provided the previous images of the Galaxy S21 also leaked Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra renders, one of which you can see below.
This is seen with an evidently curved screen of around 6.7 to 6.9 inches, and a camera block that is much larger than the regular S21, with four lenses and a flash. The screen size would presumably be 6.8 inches, based on the current reports.
In the meantime, the dimensions are reportedly about 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm, and on the front there is a punch-hole selfie camera, but no slot for a S Pen, unlike some other leaks that could be assisted by Samsung's stylus.
We have now also seen what are reportedly leaked official marketing photos of the black and white shades of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, one of which you can see below.
These looks just like the above leaks, so this is almost probably the style. Notice that although the screen appears to be curved, it is apparent that the curve is much less than on some previous Samsung handsets from these pictures.
We've also seen Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus renders from another source that suit with the images we've seen of the other smartphones. And we've seen photos that seem to display either the case of the Samsung Galaxy S21 or the S21 Plus, and the configuration of the camera makes for a surprisingly ugly cut-out.
Meanwhile, a real-world leak has revealed what the S21 Plus and S21 Ultra devices look like in real life, but unfortunately it is limited to the rear of the devices only. Yet, it corresponds with what we see elsewhere.
Another leak of the design doesn't show the final version of the devices, but instead shows renders that are based on information directly leaked from sources at Samsung on what to expect from the design.
These can be seen below. They were posted by Lets Go Digital and built by its in-house designer Giuseppe Spinelli.
These are meant to show elements of the design that have been leaked through sources, so don't expect this to be the final look of the phone. Rather, we're showing you these as a flavor of what you may get.
Finally, in terms of screen sizes, Android Police has shared a whole host of specs about the three phones coming in the series, stating that we'll see a 6.2-inch Galaxy S21, a 6.7-inch Galaxy S21 Plus, and a 6.8-inch Galaxy S21 Ultra.
They're also all said to have a 120Hz refresh rate, with the S21 Ultra having an adaptive refresh rate that can automatically adjust as needed. The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus apparently have a FHD+ resolution, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra is said to be WQHD+.
Samsung Galaxy S21 colors
As far as the colors are concerned, we learned that the phones might come in shades of black, white, grey, silver, violet or pink. The source did not say which versions would be available in which colors, but the exact colors you can expect have been indicated by a further leak - the Android Police story we described above.
Samsung Galaxy S21 camera and battery
Android Police sources say we're going to get a 64MP+12MP+12MP rear camera on the S21 and S21 Plus, with a 108MP+12MP+10MP+10MP array on the S21 Ultra, apparently. We've heard about the camera setup for the S21 Ultra many times now.
Similarly, another leak says the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will have four rear snappers, along with a 40MP front-facing camera, with a primary 108MP one.
An earlier rumor also indicates that a 108MP camera (just like the S20 Ultra) would be available for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, but with a new and potentially improved image sensor.
And yet another leak from the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera said the same thing. The system will apparently have a 108MP primary, 12MP ultra-wide and 40MP selfie camera, like the S20 Ultra, but instead of one, with two zoom lenses, and no ToF sensor. It is said that these zoom cameras allow 3x and 5x optical zooming - while we have heard of 10x optical zoom elsewhere.
Samsung Galaxy S21 specs and features
A benchmark reveals an Exynos 2100 chipset - apparently for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus. Its ratings are not especially impressive (although they are definitely high-end) and it is classified with only 8 GB of RAM.
Another Exynos 2100 result shows similar scores to the Exynos result above (this time for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra combined with 12 GB of RAM), so these disappointing results might well be correct.
We have also seen a benchmark with a Snapdragon 888 chipset and 8GB of RAM for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus.
Its ratings are higher than the above Exynos benchmarks, but @UniverseIce leaker elsewhere indicates that the version of Exynos could actually be the quicker of the two, so we're just not sure what's right at the moment.
We have now seen another Galaxy S21 benchmark for a model using a Snapdragon 888 chipset, further confounding stuff, and this one lists a fairly bad score, so neither version seems to be outstanding in benchmarks overall.
Older reports included benchmarks that show that a new Exynos 1000 chipset with GPU output would be used by some models of the Samsung Galaxy S21 that is up to three times faster than the Snapdragon 865, which was the best Android chipset when it was leaked.
Since most leaks are talking about the Exynos 2100, that confuses matters, but it's likely that the two chips are one and the same, just with sources having different ideas about the name. In any case, the Exynos 2100 seems likely to be the launch name, as most reports, including one from an official Samsung shop, point to that.
In any event, US buyers will probably get a variant with the Snapdragon 888 based on past shape - that's a chipset that was released at the beginning of December, while UK and Australian buyers are likely to get an Exynos model.
In terms of storage, one of the new reports indicates that we're looking at capacities of 128 GB or 256 GB for all three versions, with the Galaxy S21 Ultra also offering a greater capacity of 512 GB if you have the money for it.
Expect all Galaxy S21 devices to come with 5G support options, and the business could be going all in on next-gen internet access and not selling 4G-only models.
As for features, several leakers have speculated that Samsung's S Pen stylus (like the Galaxy Note range) may be enabled by the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, but you will have to purchase an extra case to attach the accessory.
Even now, a source claims to have learned from a Samsung official that the S Pen stylus will support the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
"More revealingly, TM Roh, head of Samsung Mobile, said, "We have also been paying attention to the favorite aspects of the Galaxy Note experience of people and are excited to introduce some of its most common features to other devices in our lineup." While there are not called either the S Pen or S21, the candidates seem likely to be.
Plus, we've heard reports that on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Samsung has ordered digitizers for the screen - that's a part that's required for the S Pen to function. So at this stage, it looks very likely that the S Pen is coming to the S21 Ultra - although it may be sold separately.
The ability to unlock the Samsung Galaxy S21 set with your voice is another rumoured feature. Apparently, this will be operated by the Bixby voice assistant from Samsung, but it is not clear if it would require a password or if your voice would just be recognized by the phone.
Finally, a leaker says that the Galaxy S21 fingerprint scanner would both be faster and bigger than the one in the S20 range, so you're less likely to miss it.