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Samsung Galaxy S21 (S30) release date, price, features and news

Samsung Galaxy S21 (S30) release date, price, features and news
The Samsung Galaxy S21 (or maybe S30?) is expected to arrive in January or February 2021. While the Galaxy S20-series was met somewhat lukewarm, the Galaxy S21 (S30) roster will have the task to go against four 5G-capable iPhones, which is quite the arduous task. Will Samsung's next year flagships be good enough to compete with the heavy competition, especially at the 'flagship' price point? 

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Galaxy S21 (S30) Price and release date

Samsung has been the subject of certain criticisms about the outlandish pricing of its Galaxy S20 series, therefore it wouldn't be too outlandish to expect that prices will either stay the same or get slightly cheaper. As a reminder, the base Galaxy S20 starts at $999, the S20 Plus costs $1,199, and the S20 Ultra comes in at a hefty $1,399. The new Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra come in at $999 and $1,299 respectively, thus corroborating Samsung's pricing strategy for 2021. 

It will probably be too hard for Samsung to justify another price hike for its 2021 flagships seeing that they are quite unlikely to introduce any major new features and will generally be rather similar to the Galaxy S20 series. . 

Galaxy S21 (S30)-series expected prices:

  • Galaxy S21 (S30) — ~$999
  • Galaxy S21 (S30) Plus — ~$1099
  • Galaxy S21 (S30) Ultra — $1199

Similar to Samsung's previous flagship releases, we expected the S30-series to be unveiled sometime in February 2021, although at the moment some rumors have been corroborating a mid-January date, or more precisely, January 14 as an announcement date for the Galaxy S21 series. However, we can't be certain yet. Each and every year we keep hearing rumors that the respective Galaxy will be unveiled in the month of January, but each and every year this turns out to be incorrect, with Samsung trying to unveil its flagships in February, right before the MWC trade show.

It's also important to note that the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to shake things up: virtual device announcements are now the norm and manufacturers use this flexibility to the best of their advantage, so an earlier Galaxy S21 release date is not impossible. Samsung will most certainly unveil the Galaxy S21 (S30) at a virtual event.

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Galaxy S21 (S30) Design

Our expectations are that the Galaxy S21 (S30) series will reiterate the design decisions that Samsung has opted for in 2020: a very slim front camera cutout, nearly-flat display, and top-of-the-line hardware.

The first 3D renders that some of the more prolific leakers out there have provided more than corroborate that. Here are the first few pairs of Galaxy S21 renders, which should give you the broad strokes of what to expect from the S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra. The Galaxy S21 (S30) is expected to feature a more elegant camera bump that wraps around the rear of the phone and blends with the frame.

As you can see, the Galaxy S21 (S30) is similar to the Galaxy S20 in terms of its general design. Mostly flat displays with a tiny punch-hole cameras at the front is the leitmotiff here, with thin bezels all around and predominantly glass build. This will likely be true for all three new devices. Recent rumors, however, point to a possible plastic back for the Galaxy S21.

Under-display selfie cameras are unlikely to be present on the Galaxy S21 (S30) family. Samsung is reportedly experiencing issues with light transmission through the display panel, which affects image quality in a negative way. This year might not be it, but rumors also claim these will be the last Galaxies with visible selfie cameras. We've recently heard that the next-gen flagships could be the last Samsung phones to sport pinhole displays. So, 2022 it is?

In terms of color options, the Galaxy S21 series are rumored to come in Black, White, Grey, Silver, Violet, and Pink. Although the leaker did not give us a breakdown of colors for the different models in the line-up, analyst Ross Young believes Samsung will sell the standard Galaxy S21 in Grey, Pink, Violet, and White, while the Galaxy S21+ will come in Black and Silver. The S21 Ultra color options are rumored to be Black, Silver, and Violet.

Another leak give us a slightly different picture, when talking about colors. Reportedly, the S21 Ultra will indeed come in black and silver, dubbed Phantom Black and Phantom Silver.

The Galaxy S21 will reportedly experiment more in the color department, and will come in the following colors:
  • Phantom Violet with a Copper frame
  • Phantom Pink with a Copper frame
  • Phantom White with a Bronze frame
  • Phantom Gray (frame color yet unconfirmed).
It's worth pointing out that the large camera bumps are integrated into the frame, so they won't necessarily match the color of the rear panel on all available variants.

The S21+ is rumored to come in these colors:
  • Phantom Black with a Black frame
  • Phantom Violet with a Copper frame
  • Phantom Silver (frame color is yet unknown).
We don't have information on whether the Galaxy S21+ will be built of plastic or glass at the moment.

Galaxy S21 (S30), S21 Plus, S21 Ultra Specs & Hardware

Needless to say, we expect the next-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 chipset to be powering the US version of the device, while an Exynos 1000 (Exynos 2100) chipset has been tipped for the international version of the phone. This should make them plenty fast, and if we believe some recent rumors, the Exynos chipset could actually be more capable than its Snapdragon counterpart, but we wouldn't jump to conclusion just yet as subsequent benchmarks have almost revealed that Qualcomm has the upper hand in performance. 

On the topic of memory, Samsung might put its shiny new 10nm LPDDR5 RAM in the Galaxy S21 (S30) series. The new memory, according to Samsung, will offer the highest speed and largest capacity ever provided by mobile DRAM. Samsung says the LPDDR5 can transfer at the rate of 6,400 megabits per second (Mb/s), which makes it 16 percent faster than 12GB LPDDR5 memory you find on flagships like the Galaxy Note 20. The 16GB package, in particular, can transfer 51.2GB of data in just one second. That's the equivalent of transferring 10 5GB-sized full-HD content. Super fast, indeed!

In the camera department, the base S21 (S30) is unlikely to get any improvements. Rumors point us to the same S20 camera systems on both the S21 and the S21+, therefore we can expect a 12-megapixel main camera coupled with a 64-megapixel telephoto shooter and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle snapper. The good news is that the phones will support the same 8K at 30fps and 4K at 60fps video recording options as the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The improved Night Mode, Moon Mode, and Dual Recording Modes should be present too.

The S21 (S30) Plus will reportedly stay at a 6.2-inch display size, and the S21+ will sport a 6.7-inch display, whereas the top-end S21 (S30) Ultra is rumored to sport a big 6.9-inch AMOLED display. The Ultra is expected to support 120Hz at 2k resolution, which will be complemented by LTPO technology for automatic lowering of frame rates to conserve battery, depending on the image or video displayed.

Recent leaks by tipster IceUniverse tells us that the S21 Ultra will ditch the ToF sensor and replace it with a laser autofocus, such as the one found on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Additionally, the leaker states that the 108MP will be slightly improved upon the one on the S20 Ultra. The sensor is said to feature the ISOCELL HM3 technology that is expected to offer us 12% better light sensitivity.

Additionally, rumors point us that a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle shooter and an advanced zoom system that includes a 10-megapixel 3x telephoto zoom camera and a 10-megapixel 10x periscope alternative will complement the Galaxy S21 Ultra's camera system.

Samsung offered a 100x Space Zoom feature on the Galaxy S20 Ultra but killed it off with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra due to its poor quality. According to sources, the feature is being revived on the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

In terms of battery size, we've got some evidence that the Galaxy S21+ (S30+) could come along with a 4,800mAh battery, whereas the entry-level S21 (S30) could arrive with a 4,000mAh battery. The S21 Ultra (S30 Ultra)'s battery capacity is rumored to be 5,000mAh and provide excellent battery life. Additionally, the phone should support 45W fast charging. A minimum of 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM is extremely likely too.

Recently, we have also received information that the Galaxy S21 Ultra will support S Pen, although it might not be included in the box but most likely sold as a separate accessory. It remains unclear whether the S Pen will be identical to the one with the Note 20 series, or a slightly updated version.

Galaxy S30 (S21) specs 

Here are the expected Samsung Galaxy S21 (S30) specs:

  • 6.3-inch 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED display
  • Snapdragon 875 chipset / Exynos 2100 chipset
  • 10/12/16GB RAM
  • 12MP+64MP+12MP+ToF cameras
  • Under-screen selfie camera
  • 128GB/256GB/512GB storage, microSD card slot
  • 3,880mAh battery with fast 45W wired charging
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11 with One UI 3.0

Galaxy S30 Plus (S21 Plus) specs 

Here are the expected Samsung Galaxy S30 Plus specs:

  • 6.8-inch 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED display
  • Snapdragon 875 chipset / Exynos 2100 chipset
  • 12/16GB RAM
  • 12MP+64MP+12MP+ToF cameras
  • Under-screen selfie camera
  • 128GB/256GB/512GB storage, microSD card slot
  • 4,800mAh battery with fast 45W wired charging
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11 with One UI 3.0

Galaxy S30 Ultra (S21 Ultra) specs 

Here are the expected Samsung Galaxy S30 Ultra specs:

  • 7.1-inch 120Hz QHD Dynamic AMOLED display, capable of doing 120Hz refresh rate at QHD resolution (2k)
  • Snapdragon 875 chipset / Exynos 2100 chipset
  • S Pen support
  • 12/16GB RAM
  • 108MP+16MP+10MP+laser autofocus (no ToF)
  • 256GB/512GB storage, microSD card slot
  • 5,000mAh battery with fast 45W charging
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11 with One UI 3.0

Galaxy S21 (S30) Camera

The Galaxy S21 (S30) series will certainly push things even further in the camera department. With the Galaxy S20-series setting new standards for the Galaxy family, the Galaxy S30-series will most definitely continue to improve the photography prowess of the next flagship generation. Another thing that will definitely increase is the physical size of the camera island. When we turn the Galaxy S21 Ultra over, it's clear the smartphone follows in the footsteps of its smaller sibling. It adopts the new camera bump design that Samsung is cooking up, which means one that wraps over the edges and highlights individual sensors.

Supposedly, there will be a triple-camera system that employs an ultra-wide, wide, and telephoto lenses, as well as a laser autofocus on the Ultra, that will replace the supplementary ToF sensor.

We've also heard the Galaxy S21 (S30) Ultra will have a 108MP main camera. It will reportedly use nonacell pixel binning technology to churn out 16MP shots. For comparison, the Galaxy S20 Ultra outputs 12MP images.

In the video department, leaks show that every camera will most likely support 4K video at 60fps, although an 8K video at 30fps option seems to be planned too.

Samsung is also rumored to use its own 3D ToF camera dubbed ISOCELL Vision on the Galaxy S21 (S30) series, so it remains to be seen whether or not the S21 Ultra will sport a ToF sensor or not. As a reminder, the Galaxy Note 20 series didn't come with a ToF sensor but a laser-autofocus one. Rumors have it Samsung wasn't satisfies with its performance, especially compared with Apple's own ToF sensor.

Speaking of the cameras, we simply can't pass up that under-display selfie camera that has been rumored for a while. There are high chances that the Galaxy S30 could be one of the very first major phone lineups to sport such a camera and the rumor mill is corroborating that notion. Samsung reportedly has the technology to cut very precise holes in OLED displays and cover these with an actual layer with active pixels that still lets enough light to pass through. 

Galaxy S21 (S30) 5G

The Galaxy S21 (S30) models will most certainly be 5G-capable devices. Given the fact that the S20 series was 5G-ready, there's zero chance that the Galaxy S21 (S30) series wouldn't support 5G. By default, we should assume all future flagships would come with 5G support right out of the bat. Just like the Note 20 series, we expect the S21 (S30) models to support Sub6 / mmWave 5G.

Latest Galaxy S21 News

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