As the early launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S21 family approaches – with many expecting a launch in the middle of January – we have the best look at the design of the new Android powered smartphone yet.

The images come from Let’s Go Digital. Thanks to sources that have provided details on the design of the three key handsets, the team has put together a series of detailed imagery to show what Samsung is planning. ilse Jurrien reports:

“LetsGoDigital has received reliable information from a source closely associated with Samsung Electronics. This source also provided us with images of the new devices. We are convinced that these are real images. However, in order to guarantee the anonymity of our source, it is unfortunately not possible to put these images online. These images have enabled us to make very accurately designed 3D product renders of all three expected models.”

The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is not only the flagship of the Galaxy S series, it’s also likely the flagship for the entire Galaxy brand. While the Z Folds and Z Flips will carry the technology, the expected loss of the Galaxy Note phablet will leave the Galaxy S as the only mainstream handset flying the flag.

With support for the S-Pen (although no S-Pen holder in the chassis), the Note series has lost its last unique selling point. With the world’s economy slowing in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of explosive growth in the smartphone space, rolling out a new ‘could be the flagship’ handset every six months no longer feels suitable.

With that said, let’s take a closer look at the S21 Ultra.

The display looks to be slightly smaller, t 6.8 inches rather than last year’s 6.9 inches, but with a curve on the edge that I expect to help the ergonomics of the large form factor. It’s also running at 120 Hz refresh, with QHD+ resolution. Any advances in under screen camera technology are not on show here – instead a central punch out supports a 40 megapixel selfie camera. And the screen supports the previously mentioned S-Pen.

Processor wise Samsung will continue with its own Exynos chipset in all territories bar America and South Korean, where Qualcomm’s recently announced SnapDragon 888 will be used. Either processor will back up the same 5000 mAh battery as last year’s model.

But it’s the rear camera where the real benefits will be seen, and also where the new design language is on show.

As you can see in the renders, Samsung has taken the principle of the camera island and extended it out to cover part of the spine and top edge of the handset. Presumably this offers just a little bit more internal volume to pack in the extra camera technology.

Camera lens wise, the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 10x Hybrid zoom function is expected to be carried over to the S21, along with a 108-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses.

And the design cue of the new camera island will carry down through the Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21, offering something that is rare in the current Android world… a distinctive visual element that identifies the brand.

Samsung is expected to hold a launch event to coincide with the end of CES 2021, which runs Monday 11th January to Thursday 14th January.

Now read the latest smartphone headlines in Forbes’ Android Circuit…

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