Samsung’s Galaxy S21 phones have finally begun, and set the 2021 standard: a three-phone strong, large displays, 5G connectivity and S Pen support in the highest performance model.
Samsung’s S21 three-piece lineup resembles the lineup of the previous year: the regular S21 handset, the larger S21 Plus and S22. Two other new products were introduced with the phones: the AirPods Pro-competitor Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro and the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag tile-like trackers.
Maybe the most important news is that, while their spectra are scaled back a little in exchange, and phone is cheaper than in last year’s Samsung Galaxy S20 models.
Pricing for the Samsung Galaxy S21 starts at $799 / £769 / AU$1,249, while pricing for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus starts at $999 / £949 / AU$1,549 and for the S21 Ultra at $1,199 / £1,149 / AU$1. 849 – a savings of $200 (and different amounts in the UK and Australia) compared to last year’s Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus and Galaxy S20 Ultra prices.
In order to achieve these prices, the Samsung S21 and S21 Plus have flat 1080 x 2400 AMOLED displays (6.2-inch and 6.7-inch screens, respectively) instead of the 1440 x 3200 resolution found in the S20 phones, although both have a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz.
Also, starting with 8 GB of RAM, as opposed to the 12 GB found in the previous models. But otherwise, both have a powerful Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 chipset (depending on where in the world you are) and 128GB of base storage, with a 4,000mAh battery in the S21 and a 4,800mAh battery in the S21 Plus.
Both the Samsung S21 and S21 Plus have the same camera as last year, with a 12MP main camera, a 64MP telephoto camera, and a 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera (the S21 Plus loses its time-of-flight sensor, though).
However, there are a few camera software refinements to watch out for – Zoom Lock, for example, achieves “tripod-like stability” when zooming up to 30x, which is still called Space Zoom. Single Take (which collects a bunch of photos and footage) is back and now analyzes more frames per second for more stills to choose from.