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Samsung's Galaxy S21 Flagships are Prettier and More Affordable

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Jan 14, 2021, 10:00 AM   by Rich Brome
updated Jan 19, 2021, 11:10 AM

Samsung today officially unveiled its Galaxy S21 series of flagship phones for 2021. All three models sport a distinctive new "Contour Cut Camera" design where the metal frame extends around one corner to surround the rear cameras. Each of the three new phones has a starting price a full $200 lower than last year's models. Samsung achieved this on the S21 and S21+ by reducing RAM from 12 to 8 GB and switching from curved QHD-resolution displays to flat FHD displays. Also, none of the S21 series has a memory card slot nor ToD depth camera. Naturally the processor has been updated on all models to Qualcomm's new flagship chip, the Snapdragon 888. Samsung is also using Qualcomm's new Gen 2. ultrasonic in-display fingerprint reader, which offers a 70% larger sensing area and is 50% faster. The phones ship with Android 11 and have a number of software improvements to the camera, such as Director's View, Vlogger View, and multi-mic recording. Samsung has also used AI to improve Single Take, Portrait Mode, and Space Zoom. The camera hardware on the S21 and S21+ is nearly identical to that on the S20 series. The S21 Ultra has the most-upgraded specs of the three, despite starting at a lower price than last year's model.

All three phones will launch on major US carriers as well as unlocked on January 29th. Pre-orders start January 14th at 11am ET. All pre-orders will include a free Galaxy SmartTag, and consumers who pre-order the S21 Ultra get a $200 credit to use on samsung.com or the Shop Samsung app.

source: Samsung

Galaxy S21 series  

About the author, Rich Brome:

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.


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Jan 14, 2021, 4:42 PM

S21 Has No Memory Card Expansion Slot?

That is really, really dumb. They are becoming more and more like an Apple clone (non-removable battery, no memory card slot). If this is the new trend from Samsung, then I'm done with them. I know I will NOT be buying the S21 because of no memory card slot. I'll find another brand that does still offer it. We'll see if the S22 continues this stupid trend.
I agree. There should be the option for a memory card. This will influence where I spend my money. I want integration. Compatibility. High quality.

All of these things can be accomplished without copying Apple. Samsung , please go your own route i...
I don't disagree, but I will point out that Samsung is giving all S21 models 128 GB minimum storage (Apple still starts at 64 GB) and Samsung is only charging $50 to upgrade to 256 GB. (Apple charges $100 to go from 128 to 1256 GB.)

FWIW, Samsung'...
Agreed, I will have to skip this model and see about next year.
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