Samsung Galaxy S21 key specs just leaked — and iPhone 12 Pro should be worried

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
(Image credit: OnLeaks)

More specs for the Samsung Galaxy S21 have been leaked, revealing what we can expect from its display, camera and charging abilities.

Reliable leaker Ice Universe is once again the source for these details. Much of what they claim seems similar to the Galaxy S20 Ultra that launched this year, but it's still looking like a specs monster that will easily challenge the iPhone 12 Pro Max on paper.

The first thing IU tells us is near enough a repeat of their last Galaxy S21 Ultra leak. The claim is that, like the S20 Ultra this year, the S21 Ultra will feature a QHD display with a 120Hz refresh rate. IU described the resolution as "2K" rather than QHD previously, but these two resolutions can mean the same thing since 2K normally refers to displays with different aspect ratios compared to the typical smartphone.

While iPhones don't use normal display ratios like Android phones do, a QHD display is higher resolution than the Super Retina XDR display used on the iPhone 12 Pro. Brightness and color accuracy are also important in figuring out if a display is good, but at least from a resolution standpoint, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has Apple beat.

Samsung Galaxy S21 45W charging

"Support 45W" tells us that Samsung will again use its highest speed 45W charging tech in the S21 Ultra. You might need to spend extra to use it, however. The Galaxy S20 Ultra, which also supports 45W charging, comes with a 25W charger by default. 

45W is fairly quick, but is starting to look a little sluggish compared to others. The OnePlus 8T features 65W charging with its included charger, with higher charging speeds in development at a number of companies. It's possible that a few months after its predicted January 2021 release, the S21 Ultra will be outclassed by newer rivals in charging speed.

Either way, it beats the 20W maximum speed of the newest iPhones, which you can only achieve with a separate charger since Apple no longer sells its phones with charging bricks in the box.

Samsung Galaxy S21 camera upgrade

We've heard before that the S21 Ultra will again use a 108MP main camera, like the S20 Ultra and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. However the HM3 sensor is new, a successor to the S20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra's HM1. 

If IU's information proves to be correct, that could mean some minor improvements to what we've seen from the already impressive camera this year. Combined with the laser autofocus that's also been rumored, the S21 Ultra will be a strong contender for a spot on our best camera phones list.

While the main camera on the Galaxy S21 may be an evolution over the Galaxy S20 Ultra's, things could get more interesting with the phone's other lenses. That's because the Galaxy S21 might drop the time-of-flight sensor in order to support two optical zoom lenses. One is tipped to be a 3x lens and the other a 10x periscope lens.

Samsung Galaxy S21 super-slim bezels 

Finally, IU is referring to the Galaxy S21's display bezels with "almost equal width." Most phones have asymmetrical top and bottom bezels, but IU noted that the Galaxy S21 will have bezels that are pretty much of equal size all the way around the handset. 

It's hardly the most exciting of leaked details. But small changes could make the phone look better overall, and refine Samsung's reputation for making stellar smartphone displays. The iPhone 12 handsets have been praised for their slim and neat bezels, so Samsung further refining the aesthetics is welcome.

Normally, Samsung launches its new Galaxy S series phone in February. But the company is expected to release the Galaxy S21 in late January this year. The goal is to steal the thunder of the iPhone 12, which comes with a new design, upgraded specs, stellar cameras, and 5G connectivity. 

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.