Samsung’s new Galaxy S21 lineup has an updated look and lower price tags, but customers will also notice two items missing from the box: headphones and a charger.
In a digital press conference on Thursday, with the tagline “Welcome to the Everyday Epic,” the company demoed its three new Galaxy S21 smartphones in varying sizes – a 6.2-inch Galaxy S21, a 6.7-inch S21+ and a 6.8-inch S21 Ultra. Samsung showed off its faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, advanced AI-powered cameras, new colors in a matte finish and premium earbuds you can buy to go with it. All models come with built-in 5G capabilities.
The S21 Ultra is clearly Samsung’s standout product. While the Galaxy S21 and 21+ feature a new flat high definition screen (2400 x 1080), the S21 Ultra model takes it a step further with a super high-resolution display (3200 x 1400). The S21 Ultra has four rear cameras, compared to the three rear cameras on the other two devices. The S21 Ultra’s four cameras are a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens for shooting landscapes or group shots, a 108-megapixel wide-angle lens for clarity and color accuracy and two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses that work together to zoom even more into shots.
The Galaxy S21 ($799) and S21+ ($999) are $200 cheaper than the models they’re replacing, and the S21 Ultra ($1199) is $300 less than its predecessor. These prices are the same as Apple’s iPhone lineup, though the S21 Ultra costs $100 more than the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The S21 and S21+ (available in purple, black, gray, white and pink) and the S21 Ultra (available in black, silver, brown, titanium and navy) will be available for pre-order on Thursday. All devices start shipping on January 29.
The three models support the S Pen stylus used in its Note series phones, but all three models ship without a charger, which Samsung says is for sustainability reasons. Apple made a similar movie with the iPhone last year.
The upgrades are indeed improvements to the Galaxy lineup, most significantly to the camera technology, but Samsung’s “epic” motto feels off, both because the changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary and because of the backdrop to the announcements. Life fee