Galaxy Unpacked 2021 | Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ launched with new camera hardware, 120Hz FHD+ screen, and more
The enormous number of Galaxy S21-centric leaks have told us everything there is to know about the devices. All three phones are now official. Unlike last year, the differences between the entry-level Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ are marginal. Barring the screen size, battery capacity, and choice of material, both phones have identical specifications across the board. The Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ will retail for US$799 and US$999 will be available starting January 29.
Starting with the Samsung Galaxy S21, we get a 6.2-inch FHD (2400 x 1080) AMOLED screen with a refresh rate of 120Hz. It is HDR10+ compliant and protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. However, the phone's back uses the same 'Glasstic' material found on the base Galaxy Note 20. Lastly, the Galaxy S21 comes with a 4,000mAh battery that supports fast charging at up to 25W, including USB PD-compliant chargers. These are significant downgrades compared to last year's Galaxy S20, but the lower price should help soften the blow a little.
Moving on to the middle-of-the-pack Samsung Galaxy S21+, we get a 6.7-inch screen with the same resolution, refresh rate, and Gorilla Glass protection. Unlike the Galaxy S21, the Galaxy S21+ comes with a slightly more premium glass back. Given the increased screen size, the Samsung Galaxy 21+ ships with a larger 4,800mAh battery that supports fast charging at the same speed as the Galaxy S21.
Both the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ come with three rear cameras. The primary 12MP sensor (FOV 120-degrees, f 2.2, 1.4µm ) is assisted by another 12 MP (Dual Pixel AF, FOV 79-degrees, OIS, f 1.8, 1.8µm) wide-angle lens and a 64MP (Optic 3X, FOV 76-degrees, OISf 2.0, 0.8µm) telephoto lens. The cameras can record 8K video at 30fps and 4K content at 60 fps. A 10MP selfie camera handles selfies and video calls.
Memory and storage options on the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ are limited to 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB/256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, respectively. Unfortunately, there is no option to expand the storage via a micro SD card this time around, which is hugely disappointing. At the very least, you get IP68 dust and water resistance, stereo speakers, an updated ultrasonic fingerprint scanner and an ultra-wideband chip that works in tandem with Samsung's SmartTags.
Depending on your region, the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ will ship with either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (North America and China) or Exynos 2100 (global) chipset. Both chipsets are manufactured on Samsung's 5nm process and support sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G networks. Unlike last years, both chips have nearly identical performance in benchmarks. Real-world usage should be similar too. Both phones ship with Android 11-based One UI 3.0 out of the box.