Samsung Galaxy S21: Rumors, launch date, S Pen and everything else we know so far


Image: Android Police

Samsung is taking a new approach this year by announcing and releasing its next Galaxy S-series smartphones about a month earlier than normal. It’s a move that’s aimed at better competing with Apple’s iPhone lineup. 

It feels early, and indeed it is. But because of the nearing launch date, we’re also beginning to see a lot of leaks and rumors bubble up to the surface. We’re tracking all of the details and have highlighted everything you need to know about Samsung’s upcoming phones below. 

What will it be called?

  • We’re back to incremental numbers: Galaxy S21
  • There will be a total of three models

Last year, Samsung went from the Galaxy S10 to the Galaxy S20, but this year the company is sticking with counting by one. As you’ll see throughout this entire post, Android Police’s Max Weinbach has revealed a lot of key details about the upcoming phones, including their rumored names. 

Samsung is currently preparing a Galaxy S21, S21 Plus and an S21 Ultra. 

Samsung Galaxy S21: Release date

  • Jan. 14 is the rumored announcement
  • The phone(s) will begin shipping a couple of weeks later on Jan. 29

According to Weinbach, Samsung will announce the new Galaxy S21 lineup on Jan. 14. That’s roughly a month earlier than when Samsung usually announces the S-series update. The event is likely to take place virtually. 

The phones are then expected to officially go on sale on Jan. 29. 

Samsung Galaxy S21: Pricing

  • Lower prices are expected, but it’s unclear by how much

Samsung’s Galaxy phones have continued to rise in price over the last few years, but given the success of the Galaxy S20 FE and the global pandemic and economic issues that come from it, it’s expected Samsung will lower the price of the S20 lineup. By how much? 

Samsung Galaxy S21: Design

  • There are several “phantom” colors
  • The camera design on the back looks fantastic
  • Curved edges are slowly starting to fade

Instead of trying to explain what the Galaxy S21 will look like, here’s an official teaser, courtesy of Weinbach and Android Police Twitter account. 

Notable leaker Ice Universe has the longer version of that same video, showing more details of the S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra. 

The S21 is expected to have flat edges on either side of the screen, while the S21 Ultra will keep curved edges. It’s unclear what the S21 Plus will have. 

According to Android Police, the display sizes will range from 6.2, 6.7 and 6.8-inches, respectively. 

As for colors, all three colors will use a new “Phantom” color scheme. With the S21 coming in violet, pink, gray and white. The S21 Plus will come in silver, black and violet. While the S21 Ultra will come in just black and silver. 

A video recently appeared on YouTube, appearing to show someone go hands on with the Galaxy S21, including benchmarks. 

Samsung Galaxy S21: Features and specs

  • 5G across the board, naturally
  • Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor
  • 10x optical camera on the Ultra
  • The S Pen is no longer just for the Galaxy Note

Samsung is expected to use Qualcomm’s brand new Snapdragon 888 processor in the S21 lineup, which will naturally include 5G connectivity across the board. The exact 5G specifications aren’t known yet, but it’s safe to assume Sub 6 will be supported across the board, with the likelihood that mmWave support will be reserved for the higher-end models. 

Reuters is reporting that the Galaxy S21 Ultra will gain support for Samsung’s S Pen tech, making it the first smartphone outside of the Galaxy Note line to work with the stylus. The same report also states that Samsung has no plans to update the Note lineup next year. The S Pen will reportedly be sold separately for the S21 Ultra. 

Lastly, the camera setups are set to receive updates across the board. Most notably, the S20 Ultra is rumored to gain a 10x optical zoom feature, meaning you won’t have to digitally zoom which often leads to pixelated photos. 

Also: Galaxy S20 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra: Which is best for business use? 

There’s still a lot we don’t know about Samsung’s Galaxy S21 plans, and really, until the company takes the stage to announce the new phones, any of its plans can and often do change.

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