Samsung Galaxy S21 real-life images just leaked — here's your first look

Samsung Galaxy S21 blade bezel display
(Image credit: Snoreyn/LetsGoDigital)

A real-life image of two models of the Samsung Galaxy S21 has shown us what Samsung's next flagship phone will look like outside of renders.  

This image was provided by YouTuber sakitech, who apparently got the photo from an anonymous source. From what we've seen, this might be the first real image of these phones that's been published.

The video shows the Galaxy S21 Ultra on the left, and the S21 Plus on the right. Immediately you can see a big difference in the size of the camera bump, with the Ultra's being close to twice as wide. Both curve around to the left side of the phone, perhaps, the most unique part of the Galaxy S21's design.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy S21 Plus

(Image credit: Sakitech)

Samsung Galaxy S21 cameras

Specifically, the cameras on the 6.8-inch S21 Ultra will be a 108MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera, and two 10MP telephoto cameras; one capable of 10x zoom and the other of 3x. There's also a laser auto-focus sensor, like the one used on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

The Galaxy S21 Plus has three cameras: a 12MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera and a 64MP 3x zoom telephoto camera. This is basically the same setup as the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus. But sakitech claims they will perform slightly better on the S21, though it doesn't specify how. While the basic S21 isn't featured in this video, it is mentioned. We're expecting it to use the same triple camera array as the 6.7-inch S21 Plus, but in a smaller, 6.2-inch frame.

Samsung Galaxy S21 release date and prices

We've been hearing the Galaxy S21 will have a January release, and sakitech repeats the claim that January 14 will be a potential date for the next Samsung Unpacked reveal event. Pre-orders for the phone will reportedly open on the same day.

There's good news about the price of the S21 too. As sakitech mentions, we're expecting Samsung to price the S21 series a little lower than the S20 series. One rumor we've seen says the price of an S21 could be as much as $150 less than the equivalent S20 model.

Samsung Galaxy S21 displays and batteries

Other key details that have been rumored for the S21 series relate to displays and internal components. All three models will be capable of a 120Hz maximum refresh rate, but the S21 and S21 Plus will have a lower FHD+ resolution. The S21 Ultra will have a QHD+resolution instead, and will use LTPO technology to allow the scaling down of refresh rates to as low as 1Hz in order to help save battery life when a high refresh rate isn't needed. 

Speaking of batteries, the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra will use 4,000 mAh, 4,800 mAh and 5,000 mAh cells respectively. The base and Ultra models are the same size as their S20 counterparts, but the S21 Plus has got a welcome capacity boost from 4,500 mAh.

The S21 series will have one of two chipsets, depending on where you buy. In the U.S., we should get the new 5nm Snapdragon 888 chipset, but the U.K. and other users around the world should have Samsung's own Exynos 2100 silicon.

Samsung Galaxy S21 outlook

We won't know for sure if these leaks are accurate until January arrives. But taking in the specs as they seem to be, Samsung has some impressive hardware on the way. And that's just what it needs to help fight back against Apple's excellent iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, or other Android rivals like the OnePlus 8T.

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.