As we start to move into the end of November, it is time to think about the next smartphone series to capture our attention. That would be the Samsung Galaxy S21 series consisting of the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Twitter Tipster Ice Universe (@UniverseIce) disseminated images of three dummy units. You might notice that the camera modules on the back of the dummies are a little different than the ones on the 2020 units as they wrap around the edge of the phone. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is believed to be the only model of the three that will feature a curved display.
Dummy units for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 surface
Samsung’s top of the line 2021 flagship could be equipped with a 6.8-inch screen LPTO display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Developed by Apple, low-temperature Polycrystalline oxide allows a device to dynamically change the screen’s refresh rate to a slower speed when the technology isn’t needed. For example, with LTPO a Galaxy S21 Ultra could have a refresh rate of 120Hz for buttery smooth scrolling and game animation. At that rate, the display updates 120 times per second. But as you might expect, running the display at 120Hz will drain the battery rather quickly. But with LTPO, the display can reduce the refresh rate when a quicker speed is not needed. First used on this year’s Galaxy S20 Ultra, in standby the display’s refresh rate can drop to as low as 1Hz.
All three phones will be powered by 5nm chips. In the U.S., Canada, and China, we should see the Snapdragon 875 under the hood while in most other countries the Samsung Exynos 2100 will be driving the flagship line. Sammy is hiking the line’s contrast ratio and screen brightness. The rear camera setup on the Galaxy S21 Ultra will be led by the second-generation 108MP camera that with pixel binning delivers sharp 12MP images. The module also features a 12MP ultra-wide camera and a 10MP Telephoto camera. The 100x Space Zoom that debuted on the Galaxy S20 Ultra but was dropped with its poor performance on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, is returning on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Sammy hopes that the 130% larger pixel size and use of dual pixel autofocus on both zoom cameras will improve the look of Space Zoom images. There will also be a laser autofocus system.
The Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 will keep many of the same specs used on this year’s Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 models including 6.7-inch and 6.2-inch displays respectively. The resolution on both panels is being reduced from QHD+ to FHD+. In addition, the Galaxy S20+ and the Galaxy S20 won’t use an LTPO display which means that when enabled, the 120Hz refresh rate can’t be changed dynamically. This means that the only way to save battery life on those two flagship models will be to disable the 120Hz refresh rate and keep the rate at an old school 60Hz speed. The battery capacity on the three models could start with the largest capacity at 5000mAh for the Galaxy S20 Ultra, 4800mAh on the Galaxy S21+, and 4000mAh inside the Galaxy S21.
The pictures of the dummy models disseminated by Ice Universe don’t give us a look that we can use for comparison purposes. We can say that according to the tipster, the chin and side bezels are the same size and that the chin bezel is the narrowest in the history of mobile phones. And we should point out that if Samsung doesn’t deliver a Galaxy Note 21 this year, the Galaxy S21 series has much more at risk this year as the manufacturer’s lone flagship handset series.