Samsung announced three new smartphones: the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the company’s newest flagship Android phone, with a 6.8-inch display featuring a Quad HD+ resolution (3,200 x 1,440) and a refresh rate of 120Hz. While in years past you had to choose between either resolution or refresh rate, you can finally have both across the entire Galaxy S21 line.
That said, this XL-sized handset automatically adjusts its frame rate between 10Hz and 120Hz depending on the type of content you’re viewing. The Galaxy S21 Ultra for example will display at 120Hz for gaming, 60Hz for video, and dip as low as 10Hz while viewing static content like books.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra also features a much brighter screen, with a peak brightness of 1,500-nits while also delivering 50% better contrast and a new Eye Comfort Shield feature to reduce eye fatigue.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 line is finally able to push high-resolution and refresh rate at the same time thanks to the new Snapdragon 888 processor. This particular handset is fitted with a 5,000mAh battery, as well as at least 12GB RAM and 128GB storage. Users can bump up the specs to 16GB of RAM, plus 256GB or 512GB of internal storage.
Around the back, Samsung has completely redesigned the Galaxy S21 line with a slimmer camera bump that more seamlessly blends in with the phone’s metal frame.
The number of cameras has increased up to four now, one more than last year. The main camera features a 108MP pro sensor with phase-detect autofocus. It captures extremely high-resolution images with 12bit HDR photos that offer 64 times more rich color data.
What’s more, you also get dual (yes, that’s right) 10MP telephoto cameras. Both of the telephoto cameras feature dual-pixel autofocus and are optically image-stabilized, but one offers a zoom of 3x while the other is 10x. Combined they power the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 100x Space Zoom feature.
Lastly, there’s a 12MP ultrawide camera with a 120-degree field of view and dual-pixel autofocus as well. All four cameras are capable of capturing 4K 60fps footage, and users can even switch between all the different lenses while recording. The new 8K Snap also allows users to quickly shoot 8K stills and video with their phones.
S-Pen fans will be glad to know it’s finally coming to the Galaxy S21 Ultra, though there’s no internal space to hold the stylus. Instead, you’ll have to buy a special case with a stylus caddy that bumps out the left side of the phone by about a centimeter.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is available for preorder now for $1,199 and releases on January 29th. Those that preorder between now and January 28th will also get a $200 Samsung Credit and a free Galaxy SmartTag – Samsung’s Bluetooth locator accessory.
Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+
Moving onto Samsung’s more affordable smartphones, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ offer up a slightly smaller screen experience with 6.2 and 6.7 inch devices, respectively.
Both phones also only feature a Full HD+ resolution (2,400 x 1,080), but you still get a 120Hz experience and the screens are HDR10+ certified too.
As for internal hardware, the two handsets are still powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset with 8GB of RAM, plus either 128GB or 256GB of storage. The Galaxy S21 features a 4,000mAh battery while the Galaxy S21+ has slightly more capacity at 4,800mAh.
The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ also have one fewer camera than their Ultra brethren and the arrangement is different too. They both have 12MP wide-angle and ultrawide cameras. The 64MP telephoto camera, meanwhile, features phase-detect AF and a 3x OIS optic for 30x Space Zoom.
Pricing for the Galaxy S21 starts at $799 and the Galaxy S21+ starts at $999, both phones are available for preorder now and will arrive on January 29th. Preorders made between now and January 28th come with a $100 Samsung Credit for the Galaxy S21 or a $150 Samsung Credit for the Galaxy S21+, as well as a Galaxy SmartTag.
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Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam