We've seen mock-ups for the Samsung Galaxy S21 lineup, the company's upcoming trio of flagship phones. And with the release date potentially a month away, we've now seen what looks like the real deal.
Leaker Max Weinbach is showing off clips of what are reportedly the official teasers for the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra. The videos in this Android Police exclusive indicate that the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus will have a lot in common, while the S21 Ultra will stand out with its own unique design.
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Specifically, the Galaxy S21 Ultra showing in the clip posted by Weinbach features curved edges along what figures to be the largest of the three S21 models (at least if this year's Galaxy S20 Ultra is anything to go by). In contrast, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus feature flat displays. In all three cases, the phones feature a circular camera cutout in the center of the screen, retaining a feature of the S20 lineup.
pic.twitter.com/TvnFyFgzMADecember 8, 2020
Galaxy S21 camera looks killer
It's the camera array on the Galaxy S21 Ultra that will garner the most attention, though. The video shows a rear camera setup with four lenses — three stacked on top of each other on the left side of the array, with another lens off to the side. According to Weinbach, that's a single periscope camera with a 10x zoom. The cameras stacked on top of each other are a 108MP main shooter, 12MP ultrawide angle lens and 10MP telephoto camera with 3x zoom. Samsung will also include a time of flight sensor on the S21 Ultra, Weinbach says.
That second telephoto lens doesn't appear in the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus videos. Instead, those phones feature just three rear cameras, which Weinbach says will be a 12MP main shooter, 12MP ultrawide camera and 64MP telephoto lens.
pic.twitter.com/pjkT7krNLvDecember 8, 2020
Really, there's no noticeable physical differences between the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus depicted in those videos. According to Weinbach, Samsung will differentiate them by featuring different screen sizes and battery capacities.
Galaxy S21 design plays up the bump
There's something striking about the designs depicted in the videos. The frame of the phone extends into the camera bump on the rear, making it a different color from the rest of the device — at least for the S21 and S21 Plus teasers. The Galaxy S21 video, for example, depicts what Weinbach describes as a Phantom Violet color, but the camera array has a copper cast to it.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a black camera bump that blends into the black design for the model featured in the leaked video.
The recent trend in phone design has led to large rear camera arrays that stand out from the rest of the phone. Rather than attempt to conceal it, the design Samsung has opted for with the Galaxy S21 seems to call that feature out even more prominently. We'll see how would-be shoppers respond to that new look when Samsung unveils the new phones for real.
Galaxy S21 release date and prices
That could be happening fairly shortly. Other Galaxy S21 rumors have pointed to an earlier-than-usual launch for the phone, with some leakers suggesting that Samsung will show off its new device on January 14. That's the same date Weinbach cites, further forecasting that the new S21 models will land in stores on Jan. 29.
Weinbach adds to expect cheaper prices than last year's models, which began at $999 for the Galaxy S20. If true, that will be a welcome way to start the new year.
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Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.