Technology: Galaxy S21 rumors and leaks: Goodbye to Samsung's Galaxy Note line?

Samsung’s answer to the iPhone 12 just leaked

  Samsung’s answer to the iPhone 12 just leaked A new Galaxy S21 report seems to confirm the recent design and features leaks, revealing all the specs and features of the upcoming Galaxy S21 series. The Galaxy S21 Ultra will be the best new Samsung flagship to buy next year, featuring several upgrades over the other two S21 versions. The phones will be more affordable than the S20, as Samsung is looking to be more competitive and address the coronavirus recession. Samsung is widely expected to unveil the Galaxy S21 series much earlier next year than before. Several reports said that Samsung would unveil the phones on January 14th and launch them in stores 15 days later.

Samsung is getting ready to release the next Galaxy S phone, likely called the Galaxy S21, in just over a month's time according to reports. The company released a whole slew of phones in 2020 to match almost every budget, from the $100 (about £70 or AU$130) Galaxy A01 all the way through to the $1,999 Galaxy Z Fold 2 . But the Galaxy S line is seen as the company's flagship handset and new leaks point to the S21 sporting a new design with improved camera features including a 10x optical zoom. Other rumors say the S21 Ultra might even replace the Galaxy Note phones altogether.

a close up of electronics: @OnLeaks © Provided by CNET @OnLeaks a close up of a computer © @OnLeaks

Here's everything we know so far about the Galaxy S21 phones.

Samsung's busy 2021 starts with an early Unpacked … and new gadgets

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3 Galaxy S21 phones with the same processor

It should come as no surprise that Samsung is expected to launch three different models of the S21: the 6.2-inch S21, 6.7-inch S21 Plus and 6.8-inch S21 Ultra. But an extensive leak from Max Weinbach from Android Police documents almost the entire spec sheet, which reveals even more about these three phones than just the model names and sizes.

The screens will likely all support 120Hz like the earlier S20 series, with the S21 Ultra sporting the highest resolution WQHD Plus display. But the other key reveal is that these phones will likely use the latest Snapdragon processor in the US. Previously thought to be called the Snapdragon 875, it's actually been branded as the Snapdragon 888 and it was just announced at a Qualcomm virtual event last week. Some of the key claims of the new chip are faster 5G performance and extended battery life.

Galaxy S21 launch event announced for January 14th

  Galaxy S21 launch event announced for January 14th Samsung just announced the Galaxy S21 Unpacked event date. The press conference will take place on January 14th. As early as November, rumors said that Samsung would launch the phone in mid-January, offering the same announcement date. The event will be streamed online at 10:00 AM EST, just like most tech announcements taking place during the coronavirus pandemic. A series of rumors dating back to early November said Samsung would unveil the Galaxy S21 series a lot earlier than expected.

The other main differences between the S21 phones look to be the design of the camera modules, color options, material finish and of course the battery capacity. The base S21 will have a 4,000-mAh battery, the S21 Plus battery will be 4,800 mAH and the high-end S21 Ultra will get a mammoth 5,000-mAh battery, according to the leaked spec sheet. At the moment, it appears as if the S21 and S21 Plus will have a plastic finish, with the S21 Ultra getting a metal finish.

Renders show a sleek new camera and frame design

Earlier renders published by Steve Hemmerstoffer (@OnLeaks) indicate that the Galaxy S21 won't look radically different from the earlier S20 phones, but it will have a redesigned camera module. It appears there will be an in-screen fingerprint reader and a hole-punch selfie camera like before on all three phones, with the screens on the S21 and S21 Plus sitting flat and the S21 Ultra's screen curving at the edges.

Galaxy S21's cameras: What we know and think we know so far

  Galaxy S21's cameras: What we know and think we know so far We gathered all the rumors, leaks and educated guesses swirling around Samsung's forthcoming flagship, the Galaxy S21.Rumors abound (including the possibility of S Pen support and the potential end of the Galaxy Note line), and we've already seen speculation and leaks about the new phone's colors, specs and how it might compare to the S20. What most people are excited for, however, is some new camera tricks.

The three-camera array on the S21 and S21 Plus has been moved to the top left corner and it's safe to assume there will be a regular wide-angle, ultrawide angle and telephoto camera. This render matches the leaked spec sheet from Android Police, which says these will be a 12-megapixel ultrawide and wide camera, plus a 64-megapixel telephoto camera. The LED flash has been moved just to the right of the camera housing.

a close up of a sign: @OnLeaks © Provided by CNET @OnLeaks

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is a little different, with a much bigger camera module with four rear cameras: a 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide, plus two 10-megapixel telephoto cameras at 3x and 10x optical zoom . It also appears as if the 100x space zoom seen on the S20 Ultra will also feature on the S21 Ultra. Space zoom is Samsung's term for the hybrid digital and optical zoom used to reach 100x.

The S21 Ultra's main camera looks to have a 108-megapixel sensor dubbed "gen 2 sensor" on the spec sheet. We assume it will use a similar pixel binning method to output 12-megapixel shots, like the S20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra do with their 108-megapixel sensors.

Samsung S21, Galaxy Buds Pro Preorder

  Samsung S21, Galaxy Buds Pro Preorder Samsung held its first Unpacked event of 2021, during which it announced a new lineup of phones and earbuds, up for preorder January 14. We break down what you need to know about the Galaxy S21, S21+, S21 Ultra, Galaxy Buds Pro, and Galaxy SmarTag.The Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra — the successors to the Galaxy S20 family — arrive with a new design highlighted, faster processor, continued 5G support and camera updates. The Galaxy Buds Pro, the long-rumored high-end true wireless earbuds, boast ANC support and a voice detect mode. Most surprising, though, is the Galaxy SmartTag, a Bluetooth tracker designed from the ground up to work with Galaxy smartphones.

While the @OnLeaks renders show the S21 series in both a gray and black finish, other colors are expected. The S21 looks to come in a violet, pink, gray or white color; the S21 Plus in silver, black and violet; and the S21 Ultra in black and silver. The render in the video below from Italian site Pigtou shows what the silver finish may look like.

Twitter user Ice universe posted the image below showing concept renders of the other S21 colors.

Will the Galaxy S21 have accessories in the box?

Samsung might follow Apple's lead in removing both the charger and corded headphones from the box of the Galaxy S21, according to an earlier report. This wouldn't be the first time that Samsung has removed the headphones from the retail box, as the $1,999 Galaxy Z Fold 2 shipped without headphones in the US (although you could request a pair of AKG headphones from Samsung after purchase).

Goodbye Galaxy Note, hello stylus for the S21?

A report from Reuters reveals that Samsung may discontinue the Galaxy Note line and the S21 Ultra will take its place as the Samsung phone with a stylus. While the renders don't show a visible location for a stylus, the phone could still support the S Pen with a software update. This would mean that the stylus would have to be housed separately from the phone when not in use.

How to preorder the Samsung Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra

  How to preorder the Samsung Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra Starting at $799.99

Angela Lang/CNET © Provided by CNET Angela Lang/CNET

The S21 might be less expensive than the S20

There is also the possibility that Samsung will drop the base price of the Galaxy S21, perhaps in response to the drop in sales of mobile phones across the board because of the coronavirus pandemic. South Korean leaker Landsk claims that the S21 will start at $899, the S21 Plus at $1,099 and the S21 Ultra $1,250. This would mark a $100 price drop compared to the launch price of the regular S20 in March 2020.

As for release dates for the S21 series, Samsung usually updates the Galaxy S line in February or March each year. But this has been no ordinary year and several sources say that Samsung may move up the release schedule one month to January 2021.

Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra, .
Starting at $799.99

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