The Samsung Galaxy S21 has been officially presented. Samsung will launch the S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra on January 29 in the Netherlands from 849 euros. In this article you can read everything you need to know about the three new top smartphones.
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Samsung Galaxy S21 officially announced
After months of rumors, Samsung has announced the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra. The smartphones follow the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra, which by the way remain for sale. The Galaxy S21 series will be on sale from January 29 and can already be pre-ordered.
The S21 is the compact ‘entry level’ model, the S21 Plus is slightly larger with the same specifications and the S21 Ultra offers the largest screen with the best hardware. Below we list the most important specifications.
- 6.2 (S21), 6.7 (S21 Plus) and 6.8 (S21 Ultra) inch AMOLED screens
- 120Hz display for smooth image
- Exynos 2100 processor with 8GB RAM (S21 and S21 Plus) or 12 / 16GB (S21 Ultra)
- Runs on Android 11 with the One UI 3.1 interface
- Batteries: 4000 mAh (S21), 4800 mAh (S21 Plus) and 5000 mAh (S21 Ultra)
- No charger in the box, but fast charging support
- Fingerprint scanner under the screen and facial recognition
- 12 + 12 + 64 megapixels (S21 and S21 Plus), 108 + 12 + 10 + 10 megapixels (S21 Ultra)
- Choice of 128GB or 256GB storage, S21 Ultra also with 512GB
- Release date January 29 2021 for sale in the Netherlands
- Recommended prices: 849, 1049 and 1249 euros
Recognizable cameras, improvements on the Ultra
The cameras on the S21 and S21 Plus are very similar to those on the S20 series. It is a primary 12 megapixel camera, 12 megapixel wide-angle lens and 64 megapixel telephoto lens for 3x optical zoom with little loss of quality. Samsung claims to have made improvements so that you can shoot better photos and videos.
The S21 Ultra has four camera lenses, including an upgraded 108 megapixel main camera. It would take better photos than the camera of the S20 Ultra. The device also has a 12 megapixel wide-angle camera and two 10 megapixel zoom lenses, so you can zoom in further without the image deteriorating.
All three devices run on Samsung’s brand new Exynos 2100 processor, support 5G and are equipped with Android 11. Samsung promises three years of version updates (Android 12, 13 and 14) and four years of security updates.
Galaxy S21 design and screen
The design of the Galaxy S21 series looks a lot like the S20, but there are also differences. For example, the S21 has a plastic back, while the S20 series is made of glass. The S21 Plus and S21 Ultra are also made of glass. The S21 (Plus) also lacks a micro SD card slot to expand the storage memory. A headphone jack was already missing on the S20 and will not return to the S21 line.
The screens have also changed. The S21 and S21 Plus use a ‘flat’ screen, so without the curved edges that expensive Samsung smartphones were known for for years. The image also looks less sharp because the resolution has been reduced from QHD (3200 by 1440 pixels) to full HD (2400 by 1080 pixels). In practice, you will probably hardly notice the difference, while the battery will last longer.
The maximum refresh rate of 120Hz means the display refreshes itself 120 times per second. This produces a smoother picture than a 60 or 90Hz screen. Almost all expensive, modern smartphones have a 120Hz screen. Only the iPhone 12 sticks to a less smooth 60Hz display.
It is also worth noting that Samsung supplies the Galaxy S21 series without charger and earplugs. The manufacturer does this for environmental reasons. So you only get a USB-C cable with the smartphone. You have to arrange a charger yourself. The sales box of the S21 is therefore smaller than that of other smartphones.
Galaxy S21 Ultra offers the best of the best
If you are looking for the best Samsung smartphone of the moment, you will end up with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. It is very similar to the S21 (Plus), but offers a larger 6.8-inch screen with sharper QHD resolution and is suitable for the S Pen. This pressure sensitive stylus is sold separately and does not fit in the housing of the smartphone. In particular, you can use it to make drawings on the screen.
The S Pen is known from the Galaxy Note devices and offers fewer features on the S21 Ultra. Compared to the S21 (Plus), the S21 Ultra also offers more RAM, storage memory, better rear cameras and a 40-megapixel selfie camera.
Galaxy Buds Pro and Smart Tag unveiled
In addition to three smartphones, Samsung has also announced two accessories. It concerns the Galaxy Buds Pro and Smart Tag, respectively a set of wireless earbuds and a tracker to find objects.
The Galaxy Buds Pro are in-ear earbuds with ANC, or active noise cancellation. They are positioned higher than the Galaxy Buds Plus and Buds Live. With the Smart Tag you can find lost items faster. For example, you hang the tracker on your wallet or keys and indicate in the smartphone app that the tracker should make a sound.
Samsung Galaxy S21: pre-order, release and price
The Samsung Galaxy S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra are from today (January 14) can be pre-ordered from Samsung, providers and (web) stores. On January 29 the devices are delivered. From that date they can also be bought everywhere in the Netherlands.
The suggested retail price of the Samsung Galaxy S21 is 849 euros. You pay for the Galaxy S21 Plus 1049 euros and the Galaxy S21 Ultra costs 1249 euros.
If you pre-order the Galaxy S21 or S21 Plus, you’ll receive the Galaxy Buds Live earbuds and Smart Tag for free. When pre-ordering the Galaxy S21 Ultra, you get the better Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds and Smart Tag.