Samsung Galaxy Note 21 may have just been teased at CES 2021

Samsung Galaxy Note 21
(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy Note 21 might have just been quietly teased at CES 2021.

An innocuous Samsung CES 2021 promotional video about the new Galaxy Upcycling program showed off a phone with a design that looks a lot like the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, only with no punch-hole selfie camera. 

In the part of the video starting at 2:15, where Samsung's representative talks about using an old Galaxy phone as a baby monitor, the parent's device is shown briefly on screen. As mentioned, it looks a lot like a Galaxy Note 20 or Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, only without any camera notch, potentially suggesting the device has an under-display front-facing camera; if it's indeed a real phone. And it's this small detail that has people wondering if this is an early surprise appearance of the Galaxy Note 21.

While the Korean company's already shown off a robot vacuum, a rotating TV and new Neo QLED and MicroLED display technology at CES, this would be the highest-profile thing it has shown off by far.

Under-display camera phones are slowly becoming a reality, with the ZTE Axon 20 5G being first to market. It's been rumored for some time that Samsung is on the verge of introducing a sub-panel selfie camera in one of its flagships. But since the Samsung Galaxy S21 looks to still use a punch-hole camera, attention is now turning to the Galaxy Note 21 as the next likely candidate.

If this isn't a concept for a notch-less phone, then the most obvious answer would be it's a rendered image added in post-production. However, it's not clear why Samsung would go to the effort of excluding the camera punch-hole, as it doesn't intrude on the notification shown on screen.

Even if this was the Galaxy Note 21, we'd still likely have to wait until the Fall of this year before it launches. That's alright though since we've got the Galaxy S21 launching in just two days' time on January 14.

The Galaxy S21 will once again come in three different versions, according to multiple rumors. The basic model will be a 6.2-inch device with three cameras on the back, while the S21 Ultra will be 6.8 inches, and have four rear cameras plus an autofocus sensor. 

For more, check out our round-up of the biggest CES 2021 news from the virtual event. 

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.