Samsung Galaxy S21 Series: Everything You Need To Know!

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 28
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On January 14, 2020, Samsung announced the Galaxy S21 series. Which consists of the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra.

This is the latest series of flagship smartphones from the biggest Android smartphone manufacturer. With the Galaxy S21 and S21+ being the latest and greatest smartphones. While the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the “ultimate smartphone experience” according to Samsung.

The Galaxy S21 Series boasts a new design, and one of the more radical design changes that Samsung has done in quite a few years. Perhaps, since the Galaxy S8. And it largely revolves around the camera design. It’s a new contour cut that is seamless into the frame of the Galaxy S21.

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How much does the Galaxy S21 series cost?

The Galaxy S21 starts at $799. Galaxy S21+ starts at $999 and the Galaxy S21 Ultra will start at $1299. We say “start” because there are different storage capacities available. The Galaxy S21 and S21+ will be available in 128GB by default, with an option to jump to 256GB. Meanwhile the Galaxy S21 Ultra will also start with 128GB, with options for 256GB and 512GB. On the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the RAM is also increased from 12GB to 16GB if you go to 512GB of storage.

These prices are $200 lower, across the board, compared to their predecessors, the Galaxy S20 series. Likely due to the pandemic and economic recession seen around the world.

Should I wait for a price drop?

If you don’t absolutely need a phone right now, we would recommend waiting a month or two.

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Samsung smartphones always drop in price about a month or two after launch. The Galaxy S20 series dropped a couple hundred bucks in April, which was barely two months after it launched. So unless you are an early adopter and need the phone on launch day, or are without a phone and need one desperately, it’s a good idea to wait.

Samsung Galaxy S21 5

What trade-in offers are available at launch?

Samsung is offering some sweet trade-in offers for those that pre-order before January 29. You’ll be able to get up to $700 for your current phone, and that will be put towards the price of a Galaxy S21 series device. However, it’s important to note that the newer the phone you are trading in, the more you will get for it.

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Carriers will also offer up trade-in offers, at least during the pre-order period. But typically, Samsung offers the best trade-in amount for your old phone.

Where can I buy the Galaxy S21 series?

The Galaxy S21 series of smartphones will be available virtually everywhere you can buy phones. That includes Samsung.com, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Best Buy, Amazon, B&H Photo and likely a few other retailers. You can find the best place to buy your Galaxy S21 smartphone by clicking here.

What carriers support the Galaxy S21 series?

All three US carriers will support the Galaxy S21 series. Both the carrier variants and the unlocked variants.

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This year, all three Galaxy S21 smartphones support Sub-6 and mmWave 5G networks. Meaning that all three will work on Verizon without any issues. As well as AT&T and T-Mobile when their mmWave networks roll out a bit more.

Which carriers will sell the Galaxy S21 series?

Additionally, all three carriers will also sell the Galaxy S21 series. However, color and storage options may be limited. Carriers typically only sell one or two colors of a specific phone. And typically just the base-model of storage, or they have a few “upgraded” models. But those are usually tough to find.

What colors are available?

The Galaxy S21 will be available in phantom violet, phantom pink, phantom gray and phantom white.

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Galaxy S21+ will be available in phantom violet, phantom silver and phantom black.

Meanwhile the Galaxy S21 Ultra will be available in phantom silver and phantom black only.

Samsung Galaxy S21 7

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What are the specs of the Galaxy S21 series?

Below are the specs for all three models of the Galaxy S21 series.

Galaxy S21Galaxy S21+Galaxy S21 Ultra
Display6.2-inch FHD+
Dynamic AMOLED 2X
120Hz
6.7-inch FHD+
Dynamic AMOLED 2X
120Hz
6.8-inch QHD+
Dynamic AMOLED 2X
120Hz
ProcessorSnapdragon 888 5GSnapdragon 888 5GSnapdragon 888 5G
RAM8GB8GB12GB/16GB
Storage128/256GB128/256GB128/256/512GB
Battery Capacity4000mAh4500mAh4800mAh
Charging SpeedsWireless Powershare,
Super Fast Charging,
Fast Wireless Charging
Wireless Powershare,
Super Fast Charging,
Fast Wireless Charging
Wireless Powershare,
Super Fast Charging,
Fast Wireless Charging
SoftwareAndroid 11, OneUI 3.0Android 11, OneUI 3.0Android 11, OneUI 3.0
Rear Cameras12MP wide
64MP telephoto
12MP ultrawide
12MP wide
64MP telephoto
12MP ultrawide
108MP wide
10MP telephoto1
10MP telephoto2
12MP ultrawide
Front Camera10MP10MP40MP
Dimensions71.2×151.7×7.9mm75.6×161.5×7.8mm75.6×165.1×8.9mm
Weight171g202g229g
Price$799$999$1299
Colorsphantom violet
phantom pink
phantom gray
phantom white
phantom violet
phantom silver
phantom black
phantom silver
phantom black
AvailableJanuary 29January 29January 29

What new features did Samsung unveil?

The new features for the Galaxy S21 series are mostly within the camera and having to do with UWB (Ultra Wide Band). Surprisingly, Samsung doesn’t have a long list of new features with the Galaxy S21 series. And is working more on optimizing and perfecting the existing features.

New UWB features

Samsung unveiled UWB or Ultra Wide Band last year, and it supported in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 2. Basically,  it’s a short-range, wireless communication protocol that – like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi – uses radio waves Apple has also integrated it into the iPhone 12 series.

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Samsung is adding Digital Key Support, starting with the Galaxy S21 Ultra (it’ll come to Galaxy S21+ later, S21 doesn’t have UWB support). This means that your phone will be able to unlock your car for you. That’s also something that Apple showed off last year in iOS 14.

Secondly with UWB, Samsung is combining the Android Auto experience with SmartThings. This has a little less to do with UWB actually, but it is a case of all of these technologies working together. With Android Auto, you can tell SmartThings to turn off your lights as you leave the house. Or adjust the thermostat, turn on your alarm, and so forth.

That’s what’s new with UWB on the Galaxy S20 series – mostly the Galaxy S21 Ultra though. Expect Samsung and other companies to continue to build on it. Where Samsung and Apple already are using UWB on its phones, expect competitors to also join in.

The new and improved Galaxy S21 camera system

The Galaxy S21 series boasts mostly the same camera setup as its predecessor. With the biggest difference being two telephoto lenses on the Galaxy S21 Ultra versus just one on the Galaxy S20 Ultra last year. But Samsung has worked to optimize and improve this existing hardware.

Let’s start with the Galaxy S21 and S21+. You are going to get unlimited super steady video at 60fps now. It can do 4K60 on all of the cameras – front and back now. It is also bringing in a couple of new modes like Vlogger View. So you can record on the front camera and the back camera at the same time. Creating those “reaction” style videos we see on TikTok.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5

Portrait Mode and Single Take have gotten improvements thanks to AI. There’s an Enhanced Portrait Mode available on the Galaxy S21 series. That uses AI to improve bokeh. It also gives you different effects like, adjusting studio lighting. Single Take has 5x more AI included, so it takes a look at even more frames. Giving you more content from just a few seconds. And it can even create a reel from what you shot, using these cameras.

Let’s move over to the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Everything we listed above applies to the Ultra, along with a few other things. The Ultra has the laser autofocus  that we saw return on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra last year. For fast and accurate auto focusing, even in low light. We still have Space Zoom up to 100x. Along with optical zoom at 3x and 10x, based on the telephoto lens you are using. There is a new “Zoom Lock” that will allow you to get better looking zoom photos too.

Thanks to a brighter sensor, night mode has also been improved. Not so much brighter images, but less noise in the night mode images.

S Pen support, finally

Technically, all three Galaxy S21 series smartphones will support the S Pen. But only the Galaxy S21 Ultra will have a case that can be used to store the S Pen.

At launch, S Pen support is pretty limited. It basically only works for writing on the screen. None of the Bluetooth-enabled features we see on the Galaxy Note series will work. Which means there’s no charging needed. However, that might change in the future, according to Samsung.

Samsung will sell the S Pen separately, and you can also buy an S Pen case for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Samsung also notes that older S Pens will work just fine on the Galaxy S21 Ultra (as well as the Galaxy S21 and S21+).

What cases are available?

You can check out full list of Galaxy S21 cases by clicking here. But here are a few different options that you can check out.

Spigen Tough Armor

61HBcWK35VL AC SL1000

The Spigen Tough Armor is another one of those cases that is pretty popular and a good option for the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

This is a somewhat rugged case for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which will provide plenty of protection for your new smartphone. It is a dual-layer case which has a soft inner layer and a hard shell that will absorb impact. It also happens to be one of the cheapest cases on this list.

Spigen Tough Armor - Amazon

Samsung Leather Cover

cases galaxy s21 ultra

Protect your smartphone in style with Samsung's Leather Case option for the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

The Leather Cover is available in two colors: black and brown. These cases look really good, and do add some bulk to your Galaxy S21 Ultra, so think about that before you purchase. But after months of use, the leather is going to look incredible, once it has weathered.

This case does not have a silo available for the S Pen, unfortunately.

Samsung Leather Cover - Samsung.com

Samsung Silicone Cover

cases galaxy s21 ultra

This Silicone Cover is the same as the one listed earlier on this list, except, this does not have a S Pen. That explains why it is about $40 cheaper than the other option here.

This one comes in more colors though. Including Violet, Pink, Gray and Black. The colors that the Galaxy S21 series is available in. So it can really match up with your smartphone. Which is pretty neat.

Samsung Silicon Cover - Samsung.com

Which Galaxy S21 should I buy?

Which Galaxy S21 device to buy really depends on your needs. If you want a smaller device, then the Galaxy S21 is a good choice. Want something a bit bigger? There’s the Galaxy S21+. And if you want the best of the best, well, there’s the Galaxy S21 Ultra. All depends on your needs and your wallet.

All three models do stand apart quite nicely, compared to the Galaxy S20 series last year. So there is something for everyone here.

Buy Samsung Galaxy S21