Photo Credit: Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S21 series is now official. After a plethora of leaks, rumours, and teasers, the new flagship range of smartphones have finally been launched by the South Korean giant at its Galaxy Unpacked 2021 event. The new series continues the company's tradition of bringing three distinct models in its flagship smartphone series — just like the Galaxy S20 series launched last year. The Galaxy S21 family consists of the regular Galaxy S21 as well as the Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. All three models come with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate and flaunt an all-new camera housing that Samsung calls “Contour Cut Camera”. The Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ in the series share an identical triple rear camera setup, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra houses a superior, quad rear camera setup with a 108-megapixel primary sensor. The Galaxy S21 Ultra also comes with S Pen support. The entire Galaxy S21 series includes an IP68-rated for dust and water resistance.
Samsung Galaxy S21 price in India has been set at Rs. 69,999 for the base 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant, while the 256GB storage option's price tag is Rs. 73,999. The Samsung Galaxy S21+ starts at a price of Rs. 81,999 for the base 8GB RAM + 128GB storage option, with the price for the 8GB RAM + 256GB storage variant set at Rs. 85,999. The most premium Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra starts at Rs. 1,05,999 for the base 12GB RAM + 128GB storage variant, with the top-end 16GB RAM + 512GB storage configuration priced at Rs. 1,16,999. It appears the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage variant hasn't been brought to India.
Pre-orders start from January 15, and pre-order customers will get a Galaxy SmartTag, also launched at the event, and a Rs. 10,000 Samsung Shop voucher, redeemable against a Galaxy Watch Active 2 or a Galaxy Buds+ with a Travel Adapter. Cashback of up to Rs. 10,000 will be available for HDFC Bank customers. Pre-order customers get delivery from January 25, whereas regular sales start from January 29, via Samsung.com, Amazon India, and Flipkart, amongst other online portals, as well as via offline retail stores.
In the US, the Samsung Galaxy S21 starts at $799 (roughly Rs. 58,500), whereas the Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra come with a starting price of $999 (roughly Rs. 73,100) and $1,199 (roughly Rs. 87,700), respectively. The phones will go up for pre-orders from January 14, and on sale from January 29.
The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ both come in a new signature colour option called Phantom Violet, whereas the Galaxy S21 Ultra gets Phantom Titanium, Phantom Navy, and Phantom Brown colour options that will be exclusive to Samsung.com. Launched alongside the new smartphones were the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro TWS earbuds and the Galaxy SmartTag.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 runs on Android 11 with One UI on top and features a 6.2-inch Flat full-HD+ (1,080x2,400 pixels) Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and a 421ppi pixel density. The display also comes with HDR10+ certification, Samsung's Eye Comfort Shield, and an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate that can drop to as low as 48Hz. Under the hood, the Galaxy S21 has an octa-core Exynos 2100 SoC in all markets (except in US where it comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888), along with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM.
In terms of optics, the Samsung Galaxy S21 houses a triple rear camera setup that includes a 12-megapixel sensor with an ultra-wide-angle f/2.2 lens with a field-of-view (FoV) of 120 degrees. The camera setup also comes with a 12-megapixel primary Dual Pixel sensor with an f/1.8 lens that comes with autofocus support. Additionally, there is a 64-megapixel sensor with phase detection autofocus, hybrid optic 3x zoom, and FoV of 76 degrees through an f/2.0 lens. The tertiary sensor is also equipped with optical image stabilisation (OIS).
The Samsung Galaxy S21 features a 10-megapixel camera sensor at the front for selfies and video chats. The front-facing sensor is coupled with an f/2.2 lens that has FoV of 80 degrees.
Samsung has provided an upgraded camera app on the Galaxy S21 that supports features including 8K Snap, Director's View, Super Steady Video, and Single Take. When paired with the new Galaxy Buds Pro, the phone is also capable of recording ambient sounds and your voice simultaneously using a pre-loaded multiple mic recording functionality. There is also an improved Space Zoom feature to let you digitally zoom an object or subject 30 times.
On the storage part, the Samsung Galaxy S21 has 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage options. Connectivity options include 5G (NSA and SA both), 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, and USB Type-C port (with DisplayPort support). Sensors on board include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, barometer, geomagnetic sensor, gyroscope, and proximity sensor. The phone also comes with an all-new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 packs a 4,000mAh battery that supports USB PD 3.0 fast charging. There is also Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 at 10W as well as Wireless PowerShare for reverse wireless charging. The phone measures 151.7x71.2x7.9mm and weighs 171 grams (mmWave) and 169 grams (Sub6).
The Samsung Galaxy S21+ runs on One UI based on Android 11 and comes with a 6.7-inch Flat full-HD+ (1,080x2,400 pixels) Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and a 394ppi pixel density. The display also includes HDR10+ support as well as a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate and Eye Comfort Shield. There is the Exynos 2100 SoC on the global Galaxy S21+ version (Snapdragon 888 in the US), along with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM. The triple rear camera setup of the Galaxy S21+ includes a 12-megapixel Dual Pixel primary sensor with an f/1.8 lens, 12-megapixel ultra-wide shooter, and a 64-megapixel telephoto shooter with OIS support. There is also a 10-megapixel selfie camera sensor.
The preloaded camera features on the Samsung Galaxy S21+ are identical to those available on the Galaxy S21. This means you'll get the same Super Zoom, 8K Snap, and Director's View, among other options.
The Samsung Galaxy S21+ comes in 128GB and 256GB of onboard storage options. Connectivity options include 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, and USB Type-C port. There is also Ultra Wideband (UWB) support.
Sensors on board include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, barometer, geomagnetic sensor, gyroscope, and proximity sensor. The phone also includes an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.
Samsung has provided a 4,800mAh battery on the Galaxy S21+ that supports both fast wired and wireless charging, just like the Galaxy S21. Besides, the phone measures 161.5x75.6x7.8mm and weighs 202 grams (mmWave) and 200 grams (Sub6).
Just like the other two models in the series, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra also runs on Android 11 with One UI on top. It, however, features an advanced 6.8-inch Edge QHD+ (1,440x3,200 pixels) Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Display with HDR10+ support and a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate that can go down to 10Hz. The display of the Galaxy S21 Ultra is also equipped with Wacom's technology to support S Pen. Users can get the note-taking experience by using an existing S Pen from their Galaxy Note or Galaxy Tab or can purchase an S Pen meant for the Galaxy S21 Ultra with a compatible case. The phone is powered by an octa-core Exynos 2100 SoC in global markets (Snapdragon 888 in the US), paired with 12GB and 16GB LPDDR5 RAM options.
On the camera part, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra flaunts a quad rear camera setup that includes a 108-megapixel sensor with an f/1.8 lens and OIS support. The camera also carries a 12-megapixel Dual Pixel sensor with an f/2.2 lens, a 10-megapixel sensor with an f/2.4 telephoto lens and OIS support, and another 10-megapixel sensor with an f/4.9 telephoto lens and OIS support. The former telephoto lens supports 3x optical zoom, while the latter one has 10x optical zoom. There is also a laser autofocus sensor for enhanced results. Further, the camera supports 100X Space Zoom.
For selfies and video chats, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 40-megapixel camera sensor at the front, with an f/2.2 lens.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra comes in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options. Connectivity options include 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, and USB Type-C port. You'll also get UWB support. Sensors on board include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, barometer, geomagnetic, gyro scope, hall, and a proximity sensor. There is also an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.
Samsung has offered a 5,000mAh battery on the Galaxy S21 Ultra that supports USB PD 3.0 and Wireless Charging 2.0 for fast wired and wireless charging. The phone measures 165.1x75.6x8.9mm and weighs 229 grams (mmWave) or 227 grams (Sub6).
Is this the end of the Samsung Galaxy Note series as we know it? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.