Just weeks after the iPhone 12 arrives, our attention now turns to arch rival Samsung and what its answer, expected to be called the Ga;axy S21 or Galaxy S30, will be like.
It has been widely reported that Samsung is bringing the launch of its flagships smartphone forward for 2021. Instead of the usual late-February reveal, it is possible the new phone could arrive in January, just three months after the iPhone 12.
- The replacement to your Samsung S20 could arrive sooner than expected
- The Galaxy S21 has leaked already and the camera is bigger than ever
The Samsung gossip began around a month ago, with 3D renders published online that were claimed to resemble the upcoming phone. The highlight of these was a new rear camera design, with up to four lenses sat on a large module that spilled over the top corner of the phone.
Now, Android Police has published a complete set of specifications for three members of the new Galaxy S21 family. These are claimed to have come from multiple sources and are backed up by official press renders from Samsung, but which can't yet be published.
Samsung Galaxy S21 leaks and rumors: What we know so far
First, the regular S21, which is codenamed O1. This phone is claimed to have a 6.2-inch display with an FHD+ resolution, making it slightly larger than the 6.1-inch iPhone 12, but exactly the same size as the year-old Galaxy S20.
Also the same as the S20 (but an improvement on all models of iPhone 12) is the 120Hz refresh rate of the S21's display, double that of Apple's latest phones.
The S21 is said to be powered by the Snapdragon 875 processor, or the company's own Exynos 2100, depending on which country the phone is sold in. The phone is expected to have a 4,000 mAh battery that is the same size as the S20's, and it will of course have 5G, Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity
The rear camera of the Galaxy S21 is said to have three lenses (as per the renders mentioned earlier). These lenses are ultra-wide, wide and telephoto, with respective resolutions of 12, 12 and 64 megapixels. Again, this is all the same as the Galaxy S20, suggesting we are looking at a small, incremental update from Samsung in 2021, at least for the regular S21.
Camera upgrades coming across the board for the S21 family are said to include 4K video recording at 60 frames per second on every camera of all three phones; previously only the main sensor was capable of this. There will also be a new 8K recording option at 30 frames person, joining the 8K/24fps from the S20.
Color options for the entry-level S21 are said to be violet, pink, gray and white.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus leaks and rumors: What we know so far
Next up is the larger Galaxy S21 Plus, which is tipped to have a 6.7-inch display – exactly the same as the iPhone 12 Pro Max – and a 120Hz refresh rate.
This phone is very similar to the regular S21, other than its size, so it has the same Snapdragon 875/Exynos 2100 processor, and the same three-lens rear camera system. A major difference, given the larger screen, is a bigger 4,800mAh battery.
Color options for the Galaxy S21 Plus are said to be silver, black and violet, meaning pink and white are exclusive to the smaller S20.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra leaks and rumors: What we know so far
Lastly, we have the Galaxy S21 Plus, which is codenamed the P3. This phone is even larger than the S21 Plus, with a 6.8-inch display that also has a 120Hz refresh rate. Just like the other members of the S21 family, the Ultra is powered by the Snapdragon 875 or Exynos 2100 depending on where it is sold.
The slightly bigger screen means space for an even larger battery, this time coming in at 5,000 mAh, which is the same as the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
The S21 Ultra is expected to have a different camera to the rest of its family. This, according to Android Police's sources, is made up of a 12-megapixel ultra wide lens and a huge 108MP main sensor described as "gen 2". There are then expected to be two telephoto lenses, which we haven't seen on other smartphones before.
Both of these lenses sit in front of 10MP sensors, with one capable of 3x optical zoom and the other capable of 10 optical zooming, which is significantly more than the 4x optical zoom of the S20 Ultra, which managed 10x magnification but by combining optical and digital zooming. It isn't known yet what sensors Samsung is using with the S21 family, but they are thought to be the same as found in the S20.
Also unique for the S21 Ultra is Wi-Fi 6E, which is claimed to be twice as fast as the Wi-Fi 6 standard.
Color options for the S21 Ultra are claimed to be black and silver.
We expect more features to leak out between now and Samsung's first Unpacked launch event of 2021. But so far the S21 family looks like a case of evolution rather than revolution, with noteworthy upgrades to the camera system of the S21 Ultra, but little else to write home about. Hopefully more will come to light and Samsung will prove us wrong on this point.
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