Samsung Galaxy S21

Get over the leaks, the real deal is finally here. Samsung has lifted the covers from its first 2021 flagship range – the Galaxy S21 series. Just like 2021, we get three devices this year as well – the vanilla Galaxy S21, the slightly bigger Galaxy S21+, and the cream-of-the-crop Galaxy S21 Ultra. The new phones flaunt a fresh design that now favors flat panels, dual-tone aesthetics on a few color options, a matte finish on the rear panel, and a camera island that appears to merge with the surrounding metal frame. 

Enough on the design aspect, let’s talk about the internals. The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ are both powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC which is based on the 5nm process. However, in some regions, Samsung will sell a variant that draws power from the in-house Exynos 2100 SoC. You get 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage.

Samsung Galaxy S21 on a phone stand

A flat 120Hz display, three cameras and a 5nm processor

Notably, both the phones feature a flat display, a departure from the flat panel on their predecessors. The vanilla Galaxy S21 comes equipped with a 6.7-inch display, while the  Galaxy S21+ bumps the screen size to 6.7-inch. Samsung is using a Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel on both phones with an FHD+ (2400×1080 pixels) resolution, HDR 10+ certification, and a 120Hz refresh rate. The panel’s refresh rate adjusts automatically based on the on-screen content between  48Hz to 120Hz.

The imaging hardware, as well as the camera capabilities, on both phones, is identical. Samsung has equipped the Galaxy S21 and S21+ with an optically stabilized 12MP primary camera, a 12MP wide-angle lens, and a 64MP telephoto camera that offers up to 3x optical and 30x space zoom range. Over at the front, you’ll find a 10MP selfie snapper.

Improved night mode and SuperSteady mode for video capture

Both the phones can capture 8K video, while the SuperSteady mode for negating hand movements now supports video capture at 60fps frame rate as well. There is also a vlogger mode that lets users record video using both the front and rear camera, and also make adjustments in real-time by checking the live thumbnails for each camera. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 in 3 different colors

And for the first time, all camera lenses can now record 4K videos. Night Mode and Single Take have also been improved, with the latter now allowing users to extend the capture time to 15 seconds and getting a new dynamic motion upgrade as well. The Director’s View, on the other hand, allows users to pick the best shot from among the three images captured by each camera lens. 

How much do the Galaxy S21 and S21+ cost?

Starts at $799.99, and now up for pre-orders

The Galaxy S21 comes in Phantom Violet, Phantom Gray, Phantom Pink, and Phantom White color options. It starts at $799.99 and is now up for pre-orders from Samsung.com, carrier partners, and authorized retail distributors. As for the Galaxy S21+, it starts at $999.99 and will be up for grabs in Phantom Violet, Phantom Silver, and Phantom Black trim, while adhering to the same availability schedule as the Galaxy S21. The official Samsung website will also exclusively offer Phantom Gold and Phantom Red color options as well. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21+ specifications

Samsung Galaxy S21Samsung Galaxy S21+
Display6.2-inch Flat FHD+
Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Infinity-O Display (2400×1080)
421ppi pixel density
HDR10+ certified
Adaptive 120Hz refresh rate
(48~120Hz)
Eye Comfort Shield
6.7-inch Flat FHD+
Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Infinity-O Display (2400×1080)
394ppi pixel density
HDR10+ certified
Adaptive 120Hz refresh rate
(48~120Hz)
Eye Comfort Shield
Rear Cameras12MP wide camera
(Dual Pixel AF, OIS, F1.8, 1.8μm)
12MP ultra-wide camera
(FF, FOV 120°, F2.2, 1.4μm)
64MP telephoto camera
(Phase Detection AF, OIS, F2.0, 0.8μm)
3x optical zoom
30x Space Zoom
12MP wide camera
(Dual Pixel AF, OIS, F1.8, 1.8μm)
12MP ultra-wide camera
(FF, FOV 120°, F2.2, 1.4μm)
64MP telephoto camera
(Phase Detection AF, OIS, F2.0, 0.8μm)
3x optical zoom
30x Space Zoom
Front
Camera
10MP
(Dual Pixel AF, FOV 80°, F2.2, 1.22μm)
10MP
(Dual Pixel AF, FOV 80°, F2.2, 1.22μm)
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 888
Exynos 2100
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Exynos 2100
RAM8GB LPDDR58GB LPDDR5
Storage128GB / 256GB storage128GB / 256GB storage
Battery4,000mAh
USB PD 3.0 Fast Charging
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Wireless Power Share
4,800mAh battery
USB PD 3.0 Fast Charging
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Wireless Power Share
UWB supportNoYes
Connectivity 5G
WiFi 6E
NFC
5G
WiFi 6E
NFC
SoftwareAndroid 11Android 11
BuildIP68 certifiedIP68 certified
Dimensions71.2×151.7×7.9mm75.6×161.5×7.8mm
Weight171g202g
(Note: This table is best viewed in landscape mode on mobile)

I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.
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