The smartphone season of 2020 may be ending but that just means 2021 rumours have already begun to ramp up. The Samsung Galaxy S21 (Galaxy S30) is first on the agenda, with a ton of information surrounding its design, processor and more floating around the web. Here’s everything you need to know about Samsung’s next flagship.
Samsung has an extraordinary amount of phones on sale now, from the budget to the mid-range and ultra-premium flagships, and the next step appears to be in the form of a Galaxy S21 (with the name still being up in the air). While Samsung sells a lot of phones, much of its acclaim has come in via the upper mid-range Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy Z Fold 2 it’s produced this year.
The new Galaxy flagship looks set to get a raft of interesting changes for 2021. Galaxy S21 is expected to get a new design on the back, with the camera sensor getting a big shakeup, as well as a welcome bump to the models of the phone previously saddled with the Exynos processor range.
For everything you should know about the incoming S21, we’ve created this simple guide. Read on for all the key details on price, release date, design, camera and specs.
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Samsung Galaxy S21 release date
Leaker Jon Prosser has revealed some expected dates for the release of the Samsung Galaxy S21 (or Galaxy 30) range:
As part of his recent posts, leaker OnLeaks pointed towards a January 2021 release date for the S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra. A January release would be earlier than what we’ve come to expect from Samsung but it has also been corroborated by Android Central.
Samsung unveiled the S20 at their Samsung Unpacked event back in February, with the phones going on sale in early March. So, if the Korean tech giant follows a similar schedule in the coming year, we could expect to see a Samsung Unpacked event in February 2021 – and possibly a release in March.
However, it remains to be seen how harshly coronavirus has impacted upon Samsung’s operations. It’s possible we may see a release slightly later in the year to account for working from home and other troubles the pandemic has wrought.
Samsung Galaxy S21 specs
If Samsung stick to old habits, we’re likely to see the upcoming Snapdragon 875 chipset, from Qualcomm, in the S30. At least in the USA – in the UK and the rest of the world, the phone will likely be powered by the latest Exynos chip.
Early findings on the 5nm Exynos 1000 chip suggest it could be a force to be reckoned with – a leaked benchmarking score found it to be around three times faster than a Snapdragon 865 (via GizChina).
Recent leaked benchmarks show the Snapdragon vs Exynos tussle could be even more fierce than we first thought. Leaker @yabhishekhd revealed Antutu score for the upcoming flagship Snapdragon 875 chip that put Samsung to the sword.
The benchmarks put the new Snapdragon well ahead of a rumoured Exynos 1080 chip, which score less than 700,000 in the same benchmark. However, according to NotebookCheck, the 1080 is expected to be a mid-range Samsung-produced chip – meaning the previous flagship vs flagship benchmarks still show Exynos having a clear lead.
On the Snapdragon 875 side of things, leaker Digital Chat Station (via MyFixGuide) has revealed more about what to expect. Snapdragon’s next flagship chip is expected to sport eight cores in total, with the main power core coming in at 2.84GHz, three performance cores at 2.42GHz and four low energy cores at 1.8GHz. The setup is the same as the current 865 flagship chip but the new 5nm process should make for enhanced efficiency.
Samsung Galaxy S21 camera
The specs of the Galaxy S30 camera look like they could be changed up for Samsung’s 2021 phone. Samsung already took a step back with 100x Space Zoom for the Galaxy S20, reducing it for the Note 20 lineup. According to Korean outlet The Elec, The change for S30 appears to be the ditching of the time-of-flight (ToF) sensor. The ToF sensor allows for enhanced depth sensing and it would be a strange omission given an industry move towards augmented reality support.
Another camera sensor rumour comes courtesy of prominent leaker IceUniverse:
The HM1 sensor is part of Samsung’s current flagship main camera and, sticking to the same megapixel count, would appear to indicate an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach to Samsung’s next marquee phone.
Samsung Galaxy S21 design
The Galaxy S30 (S21) rumours have been kicked into high gear courtesy of OnLeaks. The prolific leaker showed off images of the upcoming device and the Galaxy S30 Ultra, revealing an interesting new take on the camera bump:
Beyond the unique and much larger camera modules, the new Galaxy S device looks to remain much the same as the current Galaxy S20 in terms of overall design.
Galaxy S30 looks set to miss out on some interesting new “under display camera” technology, after previous reports indicated it could come to the new device.
The new setup would allow for the front-facing portion of the phone to be almost completely screen, with a portion of the screen going transparent to allow for the taking of those all-important selfies when needed.
However, the new camera appears to be leapfrogging Samsung Galaxy S30 and heading straight for the next iteration of the company’s flagship foldable – Galaxy Z Fold 3 – a bit of a disappointment for those not wanting to shell out on a £1500-plus device.
The previous reports regarding the under display camera came courtesy of often reliable leaker Ice Universe. However, the tipster did note that it was “under consideration”, rather than fully nailing their colour’s to the mast.
Samsung Galaxy S21 price
We’re expecting the next generation of Galaxy phones to come in with a similar price tag to their predecessors, the S20 range.
That said, we did see a significant price-hike between the S10 range and the S20 range. So it’s not impossible that Samsung put prices up, rather than sticking to a similar pricing strategy.