Samsung launched the Galaxy S21 series for global markets—including India—at its virtual Galaxy Unpacked 2021 event on Thursday, January 14. As expected, there are three models to boot: Galaxy S21 Ultra (replacing the Galaxy S20 Ultra), Galaxy S21+ (replacing the Galaxy S20+), and ‘vanilla’ Galaxy S21 (replacing the Galaxy S20). Almost everything about these phones has been circulating in the public domain for a while now. Specs, features, ‘value’ additions—and the lack thereof—all of it has been leaked to death. Turns out, much of it was true after all.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra represents the latest and greatest technology that Samsung can offer today on a ‘conventional’ form factor. The Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 bring some of those technologies to a slightly more affordable price point.
Samsung Galaxy S21 series design
All the three phones have the same design, which is a slight update to what we saw in their predecessors. For some context, the Galaxy S21 series is closer to the Galaxy Note 20 series in terms of look and feel (as well as some of the choices that Samsung has made in terms of build materials). Only the Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy S21+ have a glass back. This is Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. The Galaxy S21 uses ‘glastic’ which is how Samsung usually describes its plastic phones now. The finish is same across the board though which means all the three phones have a smooth matte finish on the back, sort of like the Note 20 series phones.
The outer frame uses metal in all the three phones. So does the ‘new’ contour-cut camera module.
There are new colours—obviously—with the Galaxy S21 Ultra coming in Phantom Black and Phantom Silver, Galaxy S21+ in Phantom Violet, Phantom Black and Phantom Silver, and Galaxy S21 in Phantom White, Phantom Grey, Phantom Pink and Phantom Violet.
All the three phones are IP68-certified for dust and water resistance and pack dual stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support. There is (still) no headphone jack.
Samsung Galaxy S21 series hardware
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 6.8-inch Quad HD+ ‘dynamic’ AMOLED 120Hz display. The Galaxy S21+ has a 6.7-inch FHD+ dynamic AMOLED 120Hz display. The Galaxy S21 has a 6.2-inch FHD+ dynamic AMOLED 120Hz display. All the three phones use Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection on the front and have an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication.
Under the hood, all the three Galaxy S21 series phones have Samsung’s brand new Exynos 2100 processor or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 depending on region. It is safe to assume, India will get the Exynos 2100 version unless Samsung decides to flip the switch or something. Based on a 5nm EUV process technology, the 8-core Exynos 2100 has a single powerful ARM Cortex-X1 core clocked at 2.9GHz, three high-performing Cortex-A78 cores clocked at 2.8Ghz and four power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 2.2Ghz. This is paired to a Mali-G78 GPU.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with up to 16GB RAM while the Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 max out at 8GB. The Galaxy S21 Ultra further comes with up to 512GB storage while the Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 max out at 256GB. For some reason, none of the Galaxy S21 series phones support expandable storage.
Software inside all the three phones is Android 11-based One UI 3.0.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with four cameras on the back. The main and ultra-wide-angle are same as last year—108MP+12MP. Rounding off the package are two 10MP cameras (3x, 10x zoom capable), one of which is periscope-style, plus a time-of-flight sensor for 3D depth sensing (like the one on the Galaxy S20 Ultra). A key difference this time round is that all the four cameras in the Galaxy S21 Ultra have OIS. The front camera is again same as the Galaxy S20 Ultra. This is 40MP.
The Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 have the same rear and front cameras. This is a combination of 12MP wide+12MP ultra-wide angle+64MP telephoto rear and 10MP front cameras.
Fuelling the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a sizeable 5,000mAh battery. This is 4,800mAh in the Galaxy S21+ and 4,000mAh in the Galaxy S21. All the three phones support 25W fast wired charging, 15W fast wireless charging and wireless power share.
All the three phones are unsurprisingly 5G-ready, support Wi-Fi 6E, with the Ultra and the Plus models also supporting ultra-wideband (UWB) tracking. Lastly, the Galaxy S21 Ultra becomes the first Galaxy S series phone to support Samsung’s S-Pen stylus accessory though there is no silo to stash it—and it is not bundled in the box for free.
Another thing that is not bundled with any of the three Galaxy S21 series phones is the charging brick. But then again, we all saw it coming, didn’t we?
Samsung Galaxy S21 series price
- Galaxy S21 (8GB/128GB): Rs 69,999 (Phantom Violet, White, Pink, Grey)
- Galaxy S21 (8GB/256GB): Rs 73,999 (Phantom Violet, White, Grey)
- Galaxy S21+ (8GB/128GB): Rs 81,999 (Phantom Violet, Sliver, Black)
- Galaxy S21+ (8GB/256GB): Rs 85,999 (Phantom Violet, Sliver, Black)
- Galaxy S21 Ultra (12GB/256GB): Rs 1,05,999 (Phantom Black, Sliver)
- Galaxy S21 Ultra (16GB/512GB): Rs 1,16,999 (Phantom Black)
Galaxy S21 series India pre-bookings start January 15 across Samsung Exclusive Stores and retail stores, Samsung.com and leading online portals. Pre-booked consumers will start getting deliveries on January 25.
Galaxy S21 series will be available for all in India from January 29.
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