Galaxy Buds Pro earphones and SmartTag tracker also announced
Samsung has announced three new smartphones, plus a pair of wireless earphones and a possession-tracker called the SmartTag.
Landing just a day after the CES technology show, Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event comes a month earlier than normal. The online launch saw three handsets announced, called the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra.
As usual, the Plus model is larger than the regular S21, while the Ultra is bigger still and benefits from S Pen stylus support for the first time – reinforcing rumors that the Samsung Galaxy Note's days are numbered.
Also worth noting early on is how Samsung has adjusted its pricing strategy for 2021. The Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus are priced at $800 and $1,000 respectively, which represents a $200 discount on the year-old S20 and S20 Plus. The flagship S21 Ultra is priced at $1,199.
All models of S21 have a new rear camera system and new colors compared to the year-old Galaxy S20. As well as stylus support (although there isn't one included in the box), the range-topping S21 Ultra has no fewer than four rear cameras and a 108-megapixel imaging sensor.
It is also capable of 10x optical zoom and 100x hybrid zoom, which uses both optical and digital magnification. Video resolution is up to 8K, which will no doubt take up a huge amount of the S21's storage, which runs from 128GB to 512GB.
Looking at the Ultra's cameras in more detail, the rear module includes the following:
The front camera has a 40-megapixel imaging sensor with a wide lens and f/2.2 aperture.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has four rear camerasSamsung
As for the rest of the S21 Ultra, it has a 6.8-inch display with a resolution of 3200 x 1440, a high 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, and a fingerprint reader beneath the glass of the screen. The phone will support 5G (as will all members of the S21 family), and has an IP68 water and dust resistance rating.
The battery measures 5,000mAh and storage options are 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. The S21 Ultra has 12GB of RAM as standard, while the model with 512GB of storage has 16GB of RAM. All versions of the S21 have the same Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100 processors, depending on market.
The other two members of the S21 range are almost identical to each other, save for their screen sizes of 6.2 inches for the S21 and 6.7 inches for the S21 Plus.
Both have the same resolution of 2400 x 1080, the same 120Hz adaptive display refresh rate and the same rear camera system, which is made up of these three components:
They also both have the ame front camera, which has a resolution of 10 megapixels, a wide lens and an aperture of f/2.2. Battery sizes are 4,000mAh for the regular S21 and 4,800mAh for the larger S21 Plus. Both also have the same 8GB of RAM and storage options of 128GB and 256GB.
The Galaxy S21 does not have a charger included in the boxSamsung
All three models of Galaxy S21 have 25W fast charging and 15W wireless charging, and they can all be used to wirelessly charge other devices, like Samsung's Buds earphones.
Speaking of charging, Samsung has followed Samsung's lead and has chosen not to include a charger in the box of the S21. Instead, customers are asked to use a charger they already have, or buy one separately from Samsung. Like Apple, Samsung says the omission is in the interests of reducing its environmental footprint.
Also today, Samsung announced a new pair of $200 wireless earphones called Galaxy Buds Pro. Set to compete against Apple's AirPods Pro, these earphones feature active noise cancelling, an eight hour battery life (or up to 28 hours when used with the included charging case), and an IPX7 resistance to water and sweat.
These were joined today by a new possession-tracking device called the Galaxy SmartTag. Much like those made by Tile, this device is designed to be attached to non-connected items like keys and bags, and maintains a Bluetooth connection with your smartphone, which can then estimate the SmartTag's location.