Samsung has certainly had a busy year on the high-end smartphone release front, following up 2019's experimental Galaxy Fold
with a much more refined second generation while offering the similarly polished Z Flip
in both 4G LTE-only and 5G-enabled versions and heavily promoting the surprisingly affordable Galaxy S20 FE 5G
That's obviously in addition to the company's three main S20 models, as well as the Note 20 duo unveiled alongside the Z Fold 2 5G
, but in spite of the undoubtedly hard work that went into releasing and advertising so many great 2020 products, the world's number one smartphone vendor
is expected to announce its "next big thing" as early as January 2021.
That would be unusually early for a Galaxy S-series launch, mind you, which might explain why we seem to already know so much about the S21
, and S21 Ultra. The latest report comes from 91mobiles
and a relatively trustworthy and well-connected Twitter tipster, lending a little extra credence to a few previously rumored specifications while also mentioning a couple of all-new ones.
A familiar-sounding display, primary camera, and battery
If you're hoping to see Samsung
revolutionize the mobile industry or push the envelope in any groundbreaking way with the impending Galaxy S21
trio, we're sorry to inform you that's probably not happening. There's a good reason why everyone expects this ultra-high-end family to carry the S21 label as opposed to S30, and it all starts with those recently leaked designs
Although we obviously wouldn't go so far as to deem the Galaxy S21 Ultra
, for instance, a carbon copy of its predecessor on the outside thanks to a completely redesigned camera module, it sure sounds like Samsung plans to rehash a bunch of the S20 Ultra
's components and specs.
Interestingly, the S21 Ultra 5G is tipped to sport an ever so slightly smaller 6.8-inch screen compared to the 6.9-inch S20 Ultra 5G while retaining the 108MP count of the main rear-facing camera and the 5,000mAh battery capacity. One possible but unconfirmed upgrade could see the Dynamic AMOLED 2X display jump from 120 to 144Hz refresh rate support for an even faster and smoother content viewing experience.
Meanwhile, the 108-megapixel shooter is all but guaranteed to step things up in terms of actual real-world imaging performance, although for the time being, we have no idea exactly how Samsung plans to improve the camera hardware and/or software of its most impressive (and expensive) mobile device.
A 40MP selfie camera and a number of question marks
Because megapixel counts are not everything, many regular users were probably incapable of noticing a big difference between the self-portraits produced by the 40MP front-facing camera on the S20 Ultra
and the ones coming out of the Note 20 Ultra
's modest-sounding 10MP selfie snapper.
Still, we're glad to hear Samsung will most likely go back to a 40-megapixel front shooter for the Galaxy S21 Ultra
5G and we naturally hope to see some upgrades and improvements deriving from software optimization and hardware iteration.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with S Pen
Circling back to the quad rear-facing camera system, you should know this is widely expected
to include a 16MP ultra-wide-angle shooter, as well as a 10MP telephoto and... a second 10MP telephoto sensor instead of a largely useless 3D Time-of-Flight lens.
Another exciting possibility that may or may not materialize in the end is S Pen support, which could help some of Samsung's most hardcore fans make a faster and less painful transition to a world without the Galaxy Note roster
Tipped to be made available
in black, silver, and violet paint jobs in early February
, the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is obviously expected to pack a Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 processor in markets like the US, with details on pricing, memory, and storage configurations still up in the air.