Only two weeks into the new year and we already have new flagship smartphones to talk about. Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy S21 lineup today, and although technically not part of CES 2021, the news comes as the year’s biggest tech show comes to a close. But unlike most of the tech announced at CES, you could get your hands on the Galaxy S21 and all its variants fairly soon.
The Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra are available for pre-order starting today, January 14, at 11am ET from Samsung’s website. The trio of smartphones will be widely available starting January 29. Samsung’s throwing in a credit for those who pre-order before January 28th: those who buy a Galaxy S21 will get a $100 Samsung credit, the S21+ will earn you a $150 credit and the S21 Ultra gets you a $200 credit. Pre-order customers will also get a Galaxy SmartTag, the company’s new Bluetooth locator, for free.
Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21+
The Samsung Galaxy S21 starts at $799 while the S21+ starts at $999. The Galaxy S21 will be available in violet, gray, pink and white color options, while the S21+ will come in violet, silver and black. Exclusive gold and red colors will also be available directly through Samsung.
Best Buy and Walmart also have the S21 and S21+ available for pre-order, and they include the same credits and free SmartTag that Samsung does in its pre-orders. Walmart is offering up to an additional $200 off when you put your device on an installment plan.
Like previous Samsung smartphones, the biggest difference between these two is in screen size. The S21 has a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a 2,400x1080 resolution while the S21+ has a 6.7-inch display of the same quality. Aside from screen size, the other main difference lies in battery capacity — the S21 has a 4,000mAh battery while the S21+ has a larger, 4,800mAh cell inside. Both run on Snapdragon 888 processors and come with 8GB of RAM, either 128GB or 256GB of storage and 5G support.
Both handsets have Samsung’s new triple-lens, contour-cut rear camera system that includes an ultra-wide lens, wide-angle lens and a 64MP telephoto shooter. Samsung added a bunch of new camera features, including 8K Snap, which lets you grab high-quality stills from 8K video footage; Vlogger View, which lets you camera video from the front and rear cameras at the same time and multiple mic recording. There’s also new security provisions with Knox Vault and even a feature dubbed Private Share, which gives you the option to choose exactly who you share data with and for how long they can access it.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
The 5G-capable Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra starts at $1,199 and comes in black and silver. Additional titanium, navy and brown color options will be exclusively available directly through Samsung. Best Buy and Walmart also have the S21 Ultra for pre-order and they’re including the same credits and free SmartTag that Samsung does in its pre-orders.
The S21 Ultra is the largest of the three smartphones announced today with its 6.8-inch, 3,200x1440-resolution, Dynamic AMOLED display. Not only is it the brightest screen on a Galaxy handset capable of reaching 1,500 nits of brightness, but it also adjusts refresh rates from 48Hz to 120Hz depending on what you’re doing.
The camera system is even beefier on the Ultra than on the S21 and S21+. It packs four rear camera — an ultrawide, wide, and dual telephoto lenses — plus an upgraded 108MP pro sensor that makes the camera capable of capturing 12-bit HDR photos and 64 times more color data and more than three times wider dynamic range. Both the front- and rear-camera arrays support 4K video at 60fps and those who need extremely detailed footage can opt for the 12-bit RAW file option. On top of that, the cameras in the S21 Ultra have all of the new features that the S21 and S21+ have, plus a few extras like improved night mode.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra also supports ultra wide-band capabilities and WiFi 6E, the former of which will allow the handset to do things like remotely unlock car doors and the latter of which brings even speedier Internet connections. It also takes a page out of the Note family’s book with S-Pen support. While the handset doesn’t come with the stylus, you’ll be able to use one to take notes, scribble and otherwise interact with the device.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro cost $200 and are available in silver, black and violet. You can order them today at Samsung.com, while other retailers will begin carrying them tomorrow, January 15.
These are the latest versions of the company’s wireless earbuds, and they appear to take notes from both the Galaxy Buds+ and the Galaxy Buds Live. Their updated design is less intrusive and and IPX7-rated, so they’ll better handle heavy sweat-sessions or an accidental dunk in water. Samsung improved the mics for better call quality and added adjustable active noise-cancellation, 360 Audio and an auto-switch feature that lets Samsung smartphone and tablet users quickly switch between devices when using the buds.