The anticipation, which had already been spoiled by a lot of leaks has finally ended. Samsung has officially launched the Galaxy S21 series today. At its virtual Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event, which took place earlier this usual, the Korean giant unveilled its latest flagship phones – the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra. All of these model feature a 120Hz display, Snapdragon 888 5G chipset, up to quad-cameras, and up to massive 5,000mAh battery packs.
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Samsung Galaxy S21 Series Unveiled
Starting with the design, Samsung did not really make any major changes to the design as compared to its predecessor. The flat AMOLED display with a centered punch-hole and the triple camera system remains the same aboard the Galaxy S21 and S1 Plus. It’s just that the contour-cut camera system now blends seamlessly with the metal frame of the devices. You have a frosted haze finish on the rear, which offers a contrast to the camera system, and makes the S21 series look rather stunning.
As for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, you have the same frosted haze finish in black and silver on the rear. Its massive quad-camera system also fuses with the metal frame. But, you have an AMOLED screen that is curved at both edges on the front here. Both the front and rear of the Galaxy S21 series is protected with Gorilla Glass Victus. All the Galaxy S21 models are also IP68 water and dust resistant.
The Galaxy S21 series boasts a 120Hz AMOLED display across the board, with minor differences in size and resolution. Both the standard Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus are packing 6.2-inch and 6.7-inch Full-HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X panels on the front respectively. The display boasts a 2400 x 1080-pixel resolution, Gorilla Glass Victus protection, and adaptive refresh rate support.
The higher-end Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, features a 6.8-inch WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel on the front. The display boasts a 120Hz refresh rate (adaptive), 3200 x 1440-pixel resolution, 515ppi pixel density, and Gorilla Glass Victus protection on top. Samsung further adds that the S21 Ultra’s display offers 50% more contrast, 100% color volume, and Eye Comfort Shield support.
Snapdragon 888/ Exynos 2100
Much like every year, the Samsung Galaxy S21 series will be powered by the flagship Snapdragon 888 chipset in some regions (US, Korea, and more) or the new Exynos 2100 chipset in others such as India, UK, and more. Both of these chipsets are based on the 5nm architecture, include an ARM Cortex-X1 core, an integrated 5G modem, and offer up to 26 TOPS of AI performance.
The chipset is coupled with 8GB RAM on the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus, and up to 16GB RAM aboard the S21 Ultra. You have the option to choose between 128GB and 256GB storage options for the standard S21 and Plus variant. The Ultra variant includes up to 512GB of storage, which is great for heavy users.
The Galaxy S21 series runs Android 11-based OneUI 3.1 out-of-the-box. As for the connectivity options, you have a Type-C charging port, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 6 (6E for the S21 Ultra), and UWB (ultra wide-band) tracking aboard the S21 Plus and Ultra variants. The standard S21 does not support this feature, which will work with the newly launched Galaxy Smart Tags.
In the optics department, both the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus offer you exactly the same triple camera setup. The Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, includes a massive quad-camera setup on the rear.
First up, we have the triple camera aboard the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus. It includes a 12MP (f/1.8) primary camera, 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree FOV, and a 64MP telephoto camera with 3x hybrid optical zoom support. Both the primary and telephoto cameras support OIS.
As for the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s quad-camera setup, it is helmed by a 108MP primary sensor with OIS, Laser AF, and PDAF support. You will also find a 12MP ultra-wide lens with 120-degree FOV, a 10MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, and a 10MP periscope camera with 10x optical zoom support. Both the telephoto cameras here are optically stabilized.
All of the Galaxy S21 series supports up to 8K @ 30fps video recording,
Samsung offers massive battery packs into each of the three Galaxy S21 phones. The Galaxy S21 includes a 4,000mAh battery, S21 Plus boasts a 4,800mAh battery, and finally, the Galaxy S21 Ultra comes equipped with a 5,000mAh battery.
All three variants support 25W wired fast-charging, 15W wireless charging, and Wireless PowerShare (reverse wireless charging) as well. This means the Galaxy S21 series devices will also enable you to charge your smartwatch and TWS earbuds.
Galaxy S21 Ultra – S Pen Support
GALAXY S21 ULTRA: THIS IS THE FIRST S-SERIES SAMSUNG SMARTPHONE TO SUPPORT THE S PEN
The S Pen stylus has been a standout feature of Samsung’s Note lineup. However, the company recently announced that it will bring Note series features to more devices. It seems Galaxy S21 Ultra supporting the S Pen is the start of the transition to eventually phase out the Note series – in line with recent rumors.
Galaxy S21 Ultra “does not have a cavity” like the Note series to house the S Pen. The Korean giant will make available cases, both silicone and flip cover, with a cavity for the S Pen. It will surely add to the width of the device. You can see the silicone case pictured above.
Price and Availability
The Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21+ start at €850/£770 and €1,050/£950, respectively. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G starts at €1,250/£1,150 for the 12/128 GB model. That’s €100/£50 less than the S20 Ultra last year.
They will be on pre-order from tomorrow until January 29 when they will go into stores. If you order before then, you will receive a pair of Galaxy Buds Live and a Samsung SmartTag for free.
Note: there are no 4G-only versions of the S-series this year.
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