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Last year’s Galaxy S20 lineup was such a huge change that Samsung presented a brand-new calling scheme to hammer house how substantial the upgrade was. This year, the Galaxy S21 series refines that vision at much lower costs.
Samsung has actually introduced 3 Galaxy S21 models in extremely comparable sizes. The S21 and S21 have 6.2-inch and 6.7-inch screens like their S20 predecessors, while the S21 Ultra is somewhat smaller, 6.8 inches versus the S20 Ultra’s 6.9-inch screen. The top and bottom bezels are a bit slimmer as well to develop a near-all-screen appearance, however all 3 models are basically the exact same size as last year’s:
S21: 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm
S21 : 161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8 mm
S21 Ultra: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm
S20: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm
S20 : 161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8 mm
S20 Ultra: 166.9 x 76.0 x 8.8 mm
They also weigh a fair bit more than last year’s models, even the S21, which is made of a “specifically enhanced polycarbonate material” (plastic) versus the Gorilla Glass Victus glass covering the S21 and S21 Ultra:
S21: 171 grams
S21 : 202 grams
S21 Ultra: 229 grams
S20: 163 grams
S20 : 186 grams
S20 Ultra: 222 grams
The additional weight is likely due to the electronic camera module, which differs from anything you’ve seen on a smart device. Rather than a drifting rectangle-shaped or square selection in the leading left corner, like the iPhone or previous Galaxy phones, the camera module on the S21 is less of a bump and more of a bulge, effortlessly extending from the metal side frame. It even has a name: Contour Cut Electronic camera housing.
Inside the variety, you’ll discover the most significant upgrade for the S21 While you’ll still find a triple-camera in the S21 and S21 and a quad-camera in the S21 Ultra, the entire system has actually gotten an upgrade:
Galaxy S21/ Galaxy S21
Electronic Camera 1: Ultra Wide (120- deg) 12 MP, f/2.2
Camera 2: Wide 12 MP, F/1.8, OIS
Video Camera 3: Telephoto (Hybrid Optic 3X) 64 MP, f/2.0 OIS, 30 X Area Zoom
Camera 1: Ultra Wide (120- deg) 12 MP, f/2. Camera 2:
Cam 2: Wide 108 MP, F/1.8, OIS
Video Camera 3: Telephoto (Optical 3X) 10 MP, f/2.4, OIS
Cam 4: Telephoto (Optical 10 X) 10 MP, f/4.9, 100 X Area Zoom
That’s not a misprint. The S21 Ultra is Samsung’s first dual-telephoto lens, which must provide an enormous increase over the S20 Ultra’s somewhat janky zoom capabilities. Like its predecessor, the S21 Ultra can zoom approximately 100 X thanks to Samsung’s Space Zoom tech, however the addition of a 10 X optical zoom lens should make a big difference.
Like in 2015, all designs have 120 Hz display screens, but this year they have adaptive refresh rates so the effect on battery life must be diminished. On the S21 Ultra, you’ll be able to use the 120 Hz display with Quad HD resolution in addition to a larger 10 Hz to 120 Hz adaptive refresh range than the S21 and S21 (48 Hz to 120 Hz) to eke out a little additional juice from the battery.
Speaking of the battery, the S21 and S21 Ultra have the very same capabilities as their S20 equivalents– 4,000 mAh and 5,000 mAh, respectively– while the S21 gets a boost to 4,800 mAh from the S20’s 4,500 mAh battery. You’re also getting less RAM (8GB vs 12 GB) with the S21 and S21 versus the S20, while the S21 Ultra still starts at 12 GB of RAM with a max of 16 GB on the 512 GB design. Sadly, nevertheless, Samsung has disposed the expandable memory slot, so what you get inside your phone is it.
You get Wi-Fi 6E with the S21 Ultra (and regular Wi-Fi 6 on the S21 and S21 ) and Ultra Wide Band assistance with the S21 and S21 Ultra for identify location tracking that augment the new $30 SmartTags Bluetooth trackers. All 3 designs get the complete complement of 5G, together with Android 11 in the kind of One UI 3.
Inside package, you’ll find the phone and a cable television, which’s it. Following Apple’s somewhat questionable move to dump the battery charger with the iPhone 12, Samsung is doing the same, eliminating both the earbuds and the charger from the S21’s box.
But the S21 line is a bit cheaper than the S20 Samsung has actually shaved off $200 from both the S21 and S21 , bringing them down to $800 and $1,000, respectively, and $100 off the Ultra for a beginning cost of $1,300 The Galaxy S21 is offered for preorder today in violet, pink, gray, and black, the S21 in violet, silver, and black, and the S21 Ultra in black and silver. All preorders through Samsung.com will get a free SmartTag and up to $200 in Samsung credit.
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Michael Simon covers all things mobile for PCWorld and Macworld.