Flagships expected to launch this week

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

We’re now just days away from the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S21 series, with the Korean brand expected to unveil the phone at its unpacked event on January 14. We’ve created this guide to keep you up to date on all the latest news and rumours surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S21.

The Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra are expected to make their debut at the event on 14 January 2021. We can’t wait to see what Samsung has in store for the flagship series this year as there’s every chance this could be one of the best Android phones of the year. 

The company dropped a teaser for the phone on December 29, showcasing the S series evolution from the original Galaxy S all the way to the 2020 model and ends by highlighting the number ’21’, effectively quashing any suggestions it might be called the S30.

Read on for all the latest official news, leaks and rumours on the Galaxy S21. Don’t forget to bookmark this page too as we update it regularly as we get closer to the launch.

Samsung Galaxy S21 release date

The Galaxy S21 is expected to launch at Samsung’s annual Unpacked event on 14 January – that’s a month ahead of its usual February release date.

“Over the past year, mobile technology has taken center stage in everyday life as people are working from and spending time at home”, wrote Samsung in its official invitation to the event.

“The accelerated transition to a mobile-first world brings with it the need for devices that can transform everyday life into an extraordinary experience”.

You’ll be able to catch all the announcements on 14 January at 10am EST (that’s 3pm here in the UK) by tuning in on Samsung.com.

Related: Best Phone 2021

Samsung Galaxy S21 price

According to one South Korean media report (via SamMobile), the Galaxy S21 series could actually be cheaper than its predecessor. The S21 will reportedly cost KRW 999,000 in South Korea. That’s around £672 and the lowest the phone has dipped in Samsung’s home country since the Galaxy S9.

The report also states that the S21 Plus will cost KRW 1,199,000 (~£806) and the S21 Ultra KRW 1,450,000 (~£975), suggesting that the entire series aside from the 512GB Ultra could undercut the £1000 mark crossed by previous S-series handsets.

Meanwhile, an early listing from Belgian network operator Voo (via WinFuture) displayed the prices for the S21 5G as €849 (~£767), the S21 Plus as €1049 (~£947) and the 21 Ulta as €1,399 (~£1264).

Voo’s pricing is closer in line with last year’s S20 series at launch, with some the lower two models going up in price and the Ultra going up. The S20 was priced at £799, the S20 Plus at £999 and the S20 Ultra at £1199.

The S20 Plus presented a £100 price increase from the previous year’s S10 Plus, meaning there’s a chance the prices could fluctuate again. We’ll have to wait for word from Samsung to know for sure.

Samsung Galaxy S21 design

As far as looks go, one of our clearest looks so far comes from a trio of short promotional videos shared by Android Police in December.

The first video reportedly shows off the S21 5G. The phone is a bright Phantom Violet colour and features a gold triple camera bump. The video also showcases a punch hole selfie camera in the centre front of the display.

The second video is rumoured to be the S21 Plus 5G. According to the report, the Plus will boast a larger display and bigger battery but, visually, the handset looks very similar to its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Galaxy S21 Ultra (Credit: OnLeaks)

The final video is supposedly the S21 Ultra in a two tone black shade. This model appears to switch out the triple camera layout for a larger quad setup.

Galaxy S21 teaser leak

According to another report by Android Police, the S21 will sport a 6.2-inch 120Hz FHD+ display, while the S21 Plus will include a 6.7-inch 120Hz FHD+ display and the S21 Ultra a 6.8-inch adaptive 120Hz WQHD+ display.

The S21 is rumoured to come in the aforementioned Phantom Violet, Phantom Pink, Phantom Gray and Phantom White colours, while the S21 Plus could come in Phantom Silver, Phantom Black and Phantom Violet and the S21 Ultra in Phantom Black and Phantom Silver.

Related: Best Tablet 2021

Samsung Galaxy S21 specs

The Galaxy S21 is expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 888 5G SoC (via GSMArena). The S21 was spotted in a Geekbench entry for the next-gen Qualcomm chipset last month. It scored 1075 in the single core test and 2916 in the multi core test and packed 8GB of RAM.

The phone won’t be the first to carry the chipset, with Xiaomi taking the lead with its Mi 11. Meanwhile, European models are expected to carry the 5nm Exynos 2100 chipset that has just been announced. We’ve been disappointed with performance and battery life from previous Exynos models so it’ll be interesting to see if things are different this time around.

One of the latest S21 rumours to gain speed suggests the phone could lose its microSD storage expansion slot. Tipster Roland Quandt shared the news on Twitter. He did follow up to say the reported Ultra model would keep the slot, though. Another reason to make you want the likely far pricier model?

While the potential loss of the microSD slot is bound to disappoint many users, it also wouldn’t be entirely unexpected. Samsung has packed plenty of new features into its flagship line over the years, taking attention away from older features such as expandable storage.

The tweet also suggests the charger will be absent from the box in some markets, meaning Samsung could follow in Apple’s footsteps in a number of countries despite previously mocking the company for the move.

Samsung Galaxy S21 camera

It seems as though the S series could be in for another major camera upgrade. Steve Hemmerstoffer – better known as OnLeaks – has leaked renders of the new flagship on Voice, showcasing a massive five cameras on the S21 Ultra model.

It’s unclear whether the setup includes five lenses or four lenses and a sensor, but either way this could spell a big upgrade for the priciest model in the S series.

The S20 Ultra already featured plenty of lenses, including a 108-megapixel main shooter, 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 48-megapixel telephoto lens and an OIS lens. It isn’t clear what the fifth sensor will be, but rivals have packed macro and periscope lenses in their cameras.

According to a report by Android Police, the S21 will feature a 12-megapixel main lens, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a 64-megapixel telephoto lens. The S21 Plus will pack the same layout, while the S21 Ultra will include a 108-megapixel main lens, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 10-megapixel 3X optical telephoto lens and a 10-megapixel 10X optical telephoto lens.

Flagships expected to launch this week

Image: Evan Blass / Voice

Flagships expected to launch this week

Image: Evan Blass / Voice

Evan Blass leaked a series of infographics this week, offering an in-depth look at what lenses we might see next week. Blass’s leak pretty much matches Android Police’s report point for point with the addition of a 10-megapixel (f2.2) selfie camera on the S21 and S21 Plus and a 30-megapixel (f2.2) selfie camera on the S21 Ultra.

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