Samsung launched the Galaxy 21 series on January 14, which coincided with the last day of CES 2021. The three new smartphones in the series are Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Many thought that the pricing of last year’s Samsung smartphones was a bit on the high side, and it appears Samsung felt the same way too: Its new Galaxy S21 has a $200 price cut. The Galaxy S21, which is the base model of the Galaxy S21 series, starts at $799, compared with the Galaxy S20’s $999 of 2020. Even with the price cut, the new device still boasts a pretty impressive package.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chipset powers the phone, which gets a trio of rear cameras, along with additional features like 5G (including mmWave this time around). The S21+ sports an almost identical design, though it has a bigger display. Its pricing also starts at $999.
But there’s a big difference between both models. While the S21+ retains the typical Samsung’s glass back, the regular S21 features the same matte plastic found on the S20 FE.
Let’s look at the features, price, and availability of the Samsung Galaxy S21, the Galaxy S21+, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+
At first glance, here are the obvious changes on the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+: A contour-cut camera design integrated into the phone’s metal frame, a new colour (Phantom Violet) with a contrasting gold-coloured frame producing a stylish effect, and an updated matte finish.
The S21’s 6.2” screen is a dynamic AMOLED display that provides a 120Hz refresh rate, which offers you with smoother scrolling and viewing experience. The model also has an eye comfort shield that adjusts blue light levels automatically for reducing eye fatigue.
The Galaxy S21+ features the same AMOLED display and eye comfort shield. However, its 6.7-inch display is larger. The S21 is the most compact model in the series, measuring 71.2 by 151.7 by 7.9 mm, while the S21+ is a bit larger at 75.6 by 161.5 by 7.8 mm.
There are three cameras on the two devices. According to the director of product management at Samsung, Steven Hawk, “It’s a triple camera system with a dual pixel, 12 megapixel main lens, a 12 megapixel ultra-wide lens, and a 64 megapixel tele lens.”
The cam shoots 8K video and also has the ability to turn it into a high-res still maintaining 8K video quality. “We developed a new feature called the Director’s View,” said Hawk, “to give creators more dynamic control while the action is going on. You can see your scene from multiple perspectives simultaneously, and switch between lenses, new recording, to piece together the exact video you want.”
In addition to that, the phones have Vlogger’s Mode, allowing you to record with the front and rear cams simultaneously to capture the scene as well as the reactions of the crowd. The S21 and S21+ also have support for multi-mic recording for capturing audio.
Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra gets a quad-camera that has a dual pixel 12MP ultra-wide lens, 108MP wide lens, and two telephoto lens. The model also features a laser auto-focus sensor first introduced on the Note20 Ultra. The S21 Ultra supports 4K, 60 fps for filming across its lenses (all five of them), including the front cam.
Its display is a 6.8-inch Edge WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. According to Hawk: “Compared with the Galaxy S20, you’ll get a 25% brighter picture at a max 1500 nits, and a 50% improved contrast ratio. And like the S21 and S21+, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has an eye comfort shield that reduces eye fatigue.”
Measuring 75.6 by 165.1 by 8.9 mm, the S21 Ultra is the largest of the trio. It’s equipped with the S Pen as an optional accessory that’s featuring in the Galaxy S series for the first time.
Ultrawide Band is also getting expanded on the Ultra and the S21+. Hawk believed that “soon, you’ll be able to use Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy S21+ to automatically unlock your car doors without pulling out your keys. Thanks to our partnership with Google, we’ll be introducing another car integration as well.”
“We’re combining the Android Auto experience with SmartThings, for a seamless and comprehensive connected-car experience. Before arriving home, you can turn on the porch lights and even raise the temperature of your thermostat for a warm welcome on your arrival,” he added.
As stated earlier, the Galaxy S21’s price starts at $799.99. The pricing of the Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 Ultra starts at $999.99 and $1,199.99 respectively.
Pre-orders for the Galaxy S21 series started on Thursday, January 14. Between January 14 and 28, consumers that pre-order are eligible to receive $100 Samsung Credit with a Samsung Galaxy S21 and $150 Samsung Credit with a Galaxy S21+.
All pre-orders will also come with a free Galaxy SmartTag, the new tracking tag that Samsung also launched at the Unpacked event. Shipping of the phones will start later in the month (on January 29).
In the United States, the Samsung Galaxy S21 will be sold in Phantom Gray, Phantom Violet, Phantom White, and Phantom Pink in 128GB and 256GB models featuring 8GB RAM (the 256GB option is only available in Phantom Gray).
The Galaxy S21+ will be sold in Phantom Silver, Phantom Black, and Phantom Violet in 128GB and 256GB options with 8GB RAM (the 256GB variant will only be available in Phantom Black).
As for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, it’ll be available in Phantom Titanium, Phantom Silver, Phantom Black, Phantom Brown, and Phantom Navy.