The Galaxy S21 is the expected 2021 follow-up to the Galaxy S20 that Samsung launched in February 2020, and considering how well received the Galaxy S20 and the Note 20 phones have been, we've got high hopes for whatever is coming with the next flagship range.
Based on the Galaxy S21 rumours and leaks we've heard so far, we're in for a treat: it sounds as though Samsung is once again going to improve the screen and camera technology, and quite possibly bump up the internal specs of the phone at the same time.
Whether you want to know the Galaxy S21 price, exactly when the phone is going to launch, or the sort of specs you can expect from the Galaxy S21, we've laid it all out here. We've got through the noise to bring you only the most reliable leaks and rumours.
Keep checking back on this article as the (supposed) launch date of February 2021 gets closer and closer – we'll be constantly updating this hub with the latest Galaxy S21 news and rumours, so there's no better place to get your information from in advance.
Samsung Galaxy S21: launch date
Samsung likes to keep its phone launch schedule the same every year, even in the middle of a global pandemic, and that suggests that the Samsung Galaxy S21 is going to be with us in February 2021. The Galaxy S20 was unveiled on the 11th of February 2020, at one of Samsung's own dedicated Unpacked events.
With future top-tier shows such as CES and Mobile World Congress in jeopardy or moving online, it makes sense for Samsung to host its own event again this coming February (it's what happened for the Galaxy Note 20). As a result, you might want to hold back on your next smartphone upgrade until you've seen what the Galaxy S21 has to offer.
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Samsung Galaxy S21: price
The all-important question: how much is the Samsung Galaxy S21 actually going to cost? Pricing can make or break a phone irrespective of the sort of performance or camera quality it offers, so Samsung will be keen to get this right. In previous years, it's likely that the Galaxy S series phones for this year will cover a wide range of price points, so as many people as possible can find something that works for their budget.
We haven't heard any specific rumours when it comes to the Galaxy S21 price, but we can look at the Galaxy S20 range for some clues: the standard S20 originally cost from £899 / $999, with the S20 Plus yours for £999 / $1,199 and up, and the S20 Ultra starting at £1,199 / $1,399 – expect the Galaxy S21 phones to follow along similar lines.
Samsung Galaxy S21: screen and design
We've seen some pretty incredible concept videos for the upcoming Galaxy S21, but when it comes to what the phone is actually going to look like, we don't think Samsung is going to depart too much from the design language of its previous handsets. A trailer concept put together by Ts Designer on YouTube is perhaps the most plausible we've seen so far, showing off a gorgeous curved screen and a very sleek aesthetic.
One of the big changes this time around could be the introduction of an under-screen camera, which would mean no notches at all on the front display – though whether Samsung is able to get the technology to an acceptable standard in time remains to be seen. Otherwise the approach to the appearance of the phone is likely to be similar to the handsets that launched in 2020.
Another concept video from the Technizo Concept YouTube channel suggests that Samsung might decide to put a small display on the back of the Galaxy S21. It's a very neat idea, but we're not sure that Samsung is ready to make that sort of leap just yet. Still, at this stage, just about anything could be possible – until Samsung unveils the phone officially at one of its events.
There are three phones in the Galaxy S20 range – the 6.2-inch standard S20, the 6.7-inch S20 Plus, and the huge 6.9-inch S20 Ultra. It looks as though Samsung is likely to launch three different models again this time around, with bigger sizes and better spec configurations available to those who want to spend more money.
Samsung Galaxy S21: specs and features
If you're hoping that the Galaxy S21 is going to be a huge leap forward from what we've seen with the Galaxy S20 and Note 20 in the performance department, be prepared to be disappointed: some tipsters are suggesting that there won't be a massive upgrade in terms of specs, and that the S21 might even stick with the same Snapdragon 865 processor that powers the S20.
The suggestion is that this could be more of a Galaxy S20.5 than a Galaxy S21, if that makes sense. The upcoming Snapdragon 765 chip is going to cost more than its performance gains justify, according to the rumours, which is why Samsung could stick to what it already knows. The Galaxy S21 wouldn't be a slow phone by any means – it just might not be that much faster than the S20.
On the other hand, Samsung might push its own Exynos 1000 CPU to the fore with the Galaxy S21, from a processor line that it's previously used in certain regions for Galaxy S phones. This chipset is reportedly a real powerhouse in terms of speed and performance, so there is still hope that the Galaxy S21 smartphone is going to arrive on the market with enough oomph to give the iPhone 12 some strong competition.
We're certainly expecting the phone to impress in terms of its cameras: a six-camera rear array has been spotted in a Samsung patent, and that would be quite the upgrade over the three-camera affair on the back of the Galaxy S20. As always with patents, it's not clear when or if the technology might reach the public, but the understanding is that Samsung wants to make some serious upgrades in the camera department.
Samsung Galaxy S21: other rumours and news
Samsung's digital assistant Bixby continues to live on, though it's hardly causing the likes of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant a huge amount of worry when it comes to market share. We've heard on the rumour grapevine that the Galaxy S21 might arrive without a Bixby button – the thinking being that Samsung knows the Google Assistant is better, and wants to let that app take the lead in future.
Otherwise it's likely to be business as usual – the Galaxy S21 should come with the usual IP68 waterproofing and dustproofing, wireless charging, and all the other goodies you normally get with a flagship phone from Samsung. Data transfer and wired charging will no doubt be handled with a USB-C port, as is standard these days.
Of course with so much uncertainty in the world and the industry at the moment, predicting what's going to happen is more difficult than it usually is – but so far we haven't read any reports suggesting that the Galaxy S21 launch might be delayed. In fact we haven't heard anything at all from Samsung, though it's early days yet.
What we can be sure about is that the Samsung Galaxy S21 will be one of the phones of 2021, ready to take on whatever Apple, Google and the other manufacturers have got planned. We will of course keep you right up to date with what's happening with the Galaxy S21 as the launch date gets closer and closer.
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