It will probably come as a surprise to very few that Samsung has followed Apple and Xiaomi’s lead, making it so its new Galaxy S21 series of phones will ship without a charger and headphones.
This means that even if you buy the £1149/€1299/$1199 Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra you won’t be able to charge it without either using an old plug or paying for a new one.
The good thing is that the Galaxy S21 has a USB-C port and comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable, so if you’ve got an older Android phone, recent iPad Air 4 or Pro or even a USB-C-toting laptop then odds are you’ll be able to easily charge the phone.
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To get the fastest charging you’ll need a plug capable of 25w. There’s wireless Qi charging too, although it’s a little slower at 15w.
Samsung’s reasoning for this move sounds very much like the case made by Apple when it announced the iPhone 12 towards the end of 2020.
Here is EVP and head of customer experience office, mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics, Patrick Chomet’s reasoning for the move:
“We discovered that more and more Galaxy users are reusing accessories they already have and making sustainable choices in their daily lives to promote better recycling habits. To support our Galaxy community in this journey, we are transitioning to removal of the charger plug and earphones in our latest line of Galaxy smartphones.
“We believe that the gradual removal of charger plugs and earphones from our in-box device packaging can help address sustainable consumption issues and remove any pressure that consumers may feel towards continually receiving unnecessary charger accessories with new phones. We’ve also been implementing standardized USB-C type charging ports since 2017, so older chargers can still be compatible with our newest Galaxy models.”
So, there you have it. Apple kicked off this trend with the iPhone 12 and it looks like others will be following. We wouldn’t be surprised if certain manufacturers started using the inclusion of a charger as a ‘feature’ in the coming months. If you’re on the hunt for a pair of earbuds to replace the removed ones from the box, Samsung has also announced the Galaxy Buds Pro.