Samsung Galaxy S21: Here's What You Can Expect
STORY: Nicholas Yong
12 January 2021
Normally, we would have to wait until February for Samsung’s latest flagship Galaxy S series, but it looks like 2021 will start strong for techies as Samsung is planning to unveil the latest Galaxy S21 phones during their Unpacked 14 Jan online event.
While the full details for the new phones are expected to be announced in a couple of days, here’s what we’ve been hearing through the grapevine on what you can expect from the new models.
A familiar face
As in 2020, we’re getting three different Samsung Galaxy S21 phones: The Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and top of the line Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Samsung is set to carry over the form factor of the acclaimed Galaxy S20 over to the S21 and S21 Plus, including the vertical camera stack on the rear and a flat front display, while the S21 Ultra will come with Samsung’s trademark curved display. The 120Hz refresh rate display is back too, so scrolling your Insta feed is going to feel effortless.
Size and colours (trust me, they are really chio):
• Galaxy S21: 6.2-inch display in gray, pink, violet, or white
• Galaxy S21 Plus: 6.7-inch display; in black, silver, or violet
• Galaxy S21 Ultra: 6.8-inch display in black or silver
There were rumours that Samsung planned to completely replace the bezel with a new design it patented called the "blade bezel", but this is unlikely. Also unlikely is Samsung making its punch hole front facing camera "invisible" but this could be a feature that we can anticipate in its next flagship.
As for storage space, expect 128GB as a base with a 256GB upgrade option. Galaxy S21 Ultra users may be able to boost that to 512GB.
Can I borrow your S pen?
I’m sure that long-term Samsung Galaxy Note users can attest that the best thing about it is its S Pen stylus. And future Galaxy S21 Ultra users may be able to utilise the S Pen as well, if Android Central’s reports are true.
If support for the S pen is added, it will be an optional accessory not included in the package. A case with a holster for the S Pen could be released for the phone.
It’s unclear if S Pen support will be available for the normal Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus.
Hello (upgraded) triple cameras
Both the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus will have a triple camera setup similar to last year’s Galaxy S20: The main 12MP camera, an ultrawide 12MP, and a 64MP telephoto.
The top end Galaxy S21 Ultra will have four cameras, sporting a new version of the main 108MP sensor from last year’s S20 Ultra and Note S20 Ultra, plus a 3x optical telephoto lens and 10x super optical telephoto lens. It will have the same ultrawide 12MP as its cheaper counterparts.
Android Police reported that Samsung could bring back the 100x Space Zoom while also adding laser autofocus to the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
In Samsung’s flagship models, the company usually uses two different chipsets – the Snapdragon 8 series for its US models and its own Exynos processors for the rest of the world.
For the US, the Samsung Galaxy S21 is expected to feature Qualcomm’s best Snapdragon 888 chip for flagship smartphone models. This chip boasts 25% extra CPU performance, 25% improved power efficiency, and 35% better graphics for games.
In our part of the world, expect the Galaxy S21 phones to come with the Exynos 2100, a 5-nanometer chip similar to the Snapdragon 888. No features have been leaked, however.
Here’s to hoping that Samsung bucks the trend and gives us the Samsung Galaxy S21 with the Snapdragon chipset, like what it did with its budget-friendly and our Wonderwall.sg “Most Wonderful Standout Smartphone” Award winner, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.
Free chargers a thing of the past now?
Remember when Apple said it won’t be providing chargers and earphones with its iPhone 12? Well it seems that Samsung will follow suit with the Galaxy S21, according to leakers Ishan Agarwal and SamMobile (citing Korean media). The only bundled accessory in the Galaxy S21 will be a USB charging cable.
While this is becoming the new trend, I personally hope that brands make buying chargers much more affordable. Otherwise, better take good care of that charger you have.
Free wireless Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, pretty please? 😬
Top tech leaker Evan Blass certainly raised some hype when he posted a promo image on his Twitter that suggests Samsung Galaxy S21 preorders may come with the new Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy SmartTag, both set to be announced at the same time as the Galaxy S21.
The Galaxy Buds Pro is Samsung’s latest premium, AKG-tuned, true wireless earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation, impressive battery life, and much better water and dust resistance (IPX7 rated), just in time for the sweaty workouts you’re starting in the new year.
The Galaxy SmartTag is a device tracker, small enough to pocket anywhere so you can easily find your missing Galaxy devices—like when it goes missing when you’re Marie Kondo-ing your room.
It’s uncertain if the promo will be coming to our shores, so do take this rumour with a pinch of salt.