On Thursday, Samsung took the wraps off its first set of flagship phones for the new year: the Galaxy S21, S21+, and the S21 Ultra.


While the new lineup doesn't bring with it any revolutionary features as compared to predecessors, it does come with necessary improvements, including a more durable design, upgraded camera features, and the latest Snapdragon processor. 


All three Galaxy phones vary in price, depending on model and configuration, with the S21 starting at $799.99 and the S21+ at $999.99. The S21 Ultra will go on sale with a base price of $1,199.99. The entire S21 lineup is currently available for pre-order with full retail availability set for January 29.


This time, it's all about durability 


Last year's Galaxy S20 marked the start of a completely redesigned Galaxy lineup. Samsung retired the line's outdated look in favor of a softer, more modern aesthetic, complete with a curvier frame, prominent camera module, and shimmery colors. 

The S21 may not look all that different from the S20 it still retains the same curvy edges, pronounced camera, and fun pastel colors (depending on the model) but this time, there's a clear focus on durability. 

On the front, the S21 features a 2400 x 1080 6.2-inch display (421 ppi) whereas the S21+ has a larger 2400 x 1080 6.7-inch display (394 ppi). The S21 Ultra has the biggest display of them all, with a 6.8-inch display with 3200 x 1440 resolution (515ppi). 


Each S21 variant comes equipped with Samsung's signature Infinity-O display, which means there are minimal bezels all around, along with HDR10+ certification for increased contrast in photos and video, and a 120Hz refresh rate for faster and smoother scrolling. Both the S21 and S21+ also pack a 10-megapixel hole-punch selfie camera, while the S21 Ultra boasts a 40-megapixel front-facing sensor. 

Same cameras with some necessary changes 


Since Samsung went a little overboard with camera upgrades last year on the S20, it's not shocking the company chose to implement similar sensors on the S21 lineup.


Both the S21 and S21+ have a triple-camera setup that includes a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens with f/1.8 aperture, 120-degree 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens with f/2.2 aperture, and a 64-megapixel telephoto lens with f/2.0 aperture. 

The only notable change to the camera module is that the company included the same laser autofocus (AF) sensor as seen on the Note 20 Ultra. This is likely in response to the S20 Ultra, which had a buggy autofocus that required an over-the-air software update to fix. But rather than reserving it for the Ultra, it's been incorporated into all the new S21 models.


The S21 Ultra also comes with an improved Bright Night sensor that's supposed to capture better photos in low light and reduce noise when in Night Mode. And, there's now an option to shoot using a 12-bit RAW mode for those who want more freedom when editing photos.


The main upgrades can be found in the camera software specifically with Space Zoom. In case you're unfamiliar, Samsung introduced the feature last year. It combines optic zoom technology with AI-powered digital zoom. 

Additionally, Samsung added a few updates to Portrait Mode, including an improved 3D analysis to better separate the subject from the background, along with the option to filter through different virtual studio lighting. 

Under the hood


As usual, all three phones feature Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 888 processor along with support for 5G. Each one is also compatible with sub-6 5G (the slower version) and mmWave for faster speeds. But it's certainly not a selling point for this device, especially if 5G isn't available in your area right now. 


When it comes to battery life, the only phone to receive an upgrade in size is the S21+, with a 4,800mAh battery as opposed to the 4,500mAh on the S20+. Both the S21 and S21 Ultra have the same battery as last year's models at 4,000mAh and 5,000mAh, respectively. 

Galaxy S21 and S21+:


  • 8GB of RAM / 128GB of internal storage

  • 8GB of RAM / 256GB of internal storage


Galaxy S21 Ultra:


  • 12GB of RAM / 128GB of internal storage

  • 12GB of RAM / 256GB of internal storage

  • 16GB of RAM / 512GB of internal storage


But this time around, Samsung has nixed the microSD card slot on all of its S21 models unlike last year's devices which allowed for expandable storage up to 1TB. So if you're the type who tends to store a lot of content and apps on your phone, you might want to opt for the S21 Ultra.


A few additional accessories, too 

It's also not the fancy one you'd find on the Note 20 that allows you to wave it around and trigger different actions (like capture selfies or take screenshots). You're really only able to use it to take notes, sign documents, and edit photos. If you're willing to wait, Samsung is launching the S Pen Pro later this year, so you'll have all access to those aforementioned Bluetooth connected features and more.


But since there's no compartment for it on the S21 Ultra, Samsung is offering two accessories a silicone case ($49.99) and a case with a flip cover ($69.99) both of which come with the S-Pen and slots to store it in. 

In terms of pricing, the Smart Tag will cost you $29.99, but Samsung will also bundle it for free if you pre-order any of the S21 models. The Smart Tag+ will cost you a little extra, at $39.99, and will be available later this year.


Okay, I'm actually excited for these

I can easily say, however, that it seems like Samsung was actually listening to these criticisms. The S21 line appears to fix what was broken on last year's models a stronger build, less intrusive camera module, and improved Space Zoom functionality while still retaining what worked just fine ... on paper, anyway. 


That said, I may change my tune once I start to test these phones out. So be sure to check back soon for my full review of both the Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra.


Resource: mashable.com


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First look at Samsung's new Galaxy S21

On Thursday, Samsung took the wraps off its first set of flagship phones for the new year: the Galaxy S21, S21+, and the S21 Ultra.


While the new lineup doesn't bring with it any revolutionary features as compared to predecessors, it does come with necessary improvements, including a more durable design, upgraded camera features, and the latest Snapdragon processor. 


All three Galaxy phones vary in price, depending on model and configuration, with the S21 starting at $799.99 and the S21+ at $999.99. The S21 Ultra will go on sale with a base price of $1,199.99. The entire S21 lineup is currently available for pre-order with full retail availability set for January 29.


This time, it's all about durability 


Last year's Galaxy S20 marked the start of a completely redesigned Galaxy lineup. Samsung retired the line's outdated look in favor of a softer, more modern aesthetic, complete with a curvier frame, prominent camera module, and shimmery colors. 

The S21 may not look all that different from the S20 it still retains the same curvy edges, pronounced camera, and fun pastel colors (depending on the model) but this time, there's a clear focus on durability. 

On the front, the S21 features a 2400 x 1080 6.2-inch display (421 ppi) whereas the S21+ has a larger 2400 x 1080 6.7-inch display (394 ppi). The S21 Ultra has the biggest display of them all, with a 6.8-inch display with 3200 x 1440 resolution (515ppi). 


Each S21 variant comes equipped with Samsung's signature Infinity-O display, which means there are minimal bezels all around, along with HDR10+ certification for increased contrast in photos and video, and a 120Hz refresh rate for faster and smoother scrolling. Both the S21 and S21+ also pack a 10-megapixel hole-punch selfie camera, while the S21 Ultra boasts a 40-megapixel front-facing sensor. 

Same cameras with some necessary changes 


Since Samsung went a little overboard with camera upgrades last year on the S20, it's not shocking the company chose to implement similar sensors on the S21 lineup.


Both the S21 and S21+ have a triple-camera setup that includes a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens with f/1.8 aperture, 120-degree 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens with f/2.2 aperture, and a 64-megapixel telephoto lens with f/2.0 aperture. 

The only notable change to the camera module is that the company included the same laser autofocus (AF) sensor as seen on the Note 20 Ultra. This is likely in response to the S20 Ultra, which had a buggy autofocus that required an over-the-air software update to fix. But rather than reserving it for the Ultra, it's been incorporated into all the new S21 models.


The S21 Ultra also comes with an improved Bright Night sensor that's supposed to capture better photos in low light and reduce noise when in Night Mode. And, there's now an option to shoot using a 12-bit RAW mode for those who want more freedom when editing photos.


The main upgrades can be found in the camera software specifically with Space Zoom. In case you're unfamiliar, Samsung introduced the feature last year. It combines optic zoom technology with AI-powered digital zoom. 

Additionally, Samsung added a few updates to Portrait Mode, including an improved 3D analysis to better separate the subject from the background, along with the option to filter through different virtual studio lighting. 

Under the hood


As usual, all three phones feature Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 888 processor along with support for 5G. Each one is also compatible with sub-6 5G (the slower version) and mmWave for faster speeds. But it's certainly not a selling point for this device, especially if 5G isn't available in your area right now. 


When it comes to battery life, the only phone to receive an upgrade in size is the S21+, with a 4,800mAh battery as opposed to the 4,500mAh on the S20+. Both the S21 and S21 Ultra have the same battery as last year's models at 4,000mAh and 5,000mAh, respectively. 

Galaxy S21 and S21+:


  • 8GB of RAM / 128GB of internal storage

  • 8GB of RAM / 256GB of internal storage


Galaxy S21 Ultra:


  • 12GB of RAM / 128GB of internal storage

  • 12GB of RAM / 256GB of internal storage

  • 16GB of RAM / 512GB of internal storage


But this time around, Samsung has nixed the microSD card slot on all of its S21 models unlike last year's devices which allowed for expandable storage up to 1TB. So if you're the type who tends to store a lot of content and apps on your phone, you might want to opt for the S21 Ultra.


A few additional accessories, too 

It's also not the fancy one you'd find on the Note 20 that allows you to wave it around and trigger different actions (like capture selfies or take screenshots). You're really only able to use it to take notes, sign documents, and edit photos. If you're willing to wait, Samsung is launching the S Pen Pro later this year, so you'll have all access to those aforementioned Bluetooth connected features and more.


But since there's no compartment for it on the S21 Ultra, Samsung is offering two accessories a silicone case ($49.99) and a case with a flip cover ($69.99) both of which come with the S-Pen and slots to store it in. 

In terms of pricing, the Smart Tag will cost you $29.99, but Samsung will also bundle it for free if you pre-order any of the S21 models. The Smart Tag+ will cost you a little extra, at $39.99, and will be available later this year.


Okay, I'm actually excited for these

I can easily say, however, that it seems like Samsung was actually listening to these criticisms. The S21 line appears to fix what was broken on last year's models a stronger build, less intrusive camera module, and improved Space Zoom functionality while still retaining what worked just fine ... on paper, anyway. 


That said, I may change my tune once I start to test these phones out. So be sure to check back soon for my full review of both the Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra.


Resource: mashable.com


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