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Samsung Galaxy S21 leak just confirmed early release date

Samsung Galaxy S21 design render
(Image credit: OnLeaks)

You might want to hold fire buying an iPhone 12 Pro, as the Samsung Galaxy S21 look almost certainly to get released in January. That's because the upcoming Samsung flagship phone has been granted certification by Indian regulator BIS. 

RootMyGalaxy (via SamMobile) uncovered a listing in the database of Indian regulator BIS for a Samsung phone with the ID of SM-G991B, which according to various leaks and rumors is the model number for the basic Galaxy S21. As such certification comes pretty close to a phone's launch, we can surmise that rumors the Galaxy S21 is coming in January are rather on the money. 

The listing doesn't reveal any new specs, but the fact it's there means we can start to look forward to the Galaxy S21's grand unveiling.

The phone was granted approval on November 20, a month in advance of the approval date of the Galaxy S20 last year by BIS. That fits with the rumors that claim the S21 series is launching in January this year, instead of around February and March time like it has for the past several years. 

Galaxy S21 BIS listing

(Image credit: RootMyGalaxy)

From what other rumors have said, it sounds like this change in dates is a tactical decision. The new iPhone 12 series is providing some stiff competition to the existing S20 range, not to mention other strong competition in the Android phone space like the OnePlus 8T. So it looks like Samsung wants to get a new flagship with the latest hardware out fast, to avoid losing potential sales to Apple and others.

All phones have to go through a country's approval process before it can be sold there, like with the FCC in the U.S. So with the launch window for the S21 rapidly approaching, we may see the S21 appear in more certifications like this soon.

A lot of the S21's specs have already been leaked. We can expect three models in different sizes, the S21, the S21 Plus and the S21 Ultra. All of these will share a smooth 120Hz refresh rate and use the same processor, either a Snapdragon 875 or an Exynos 2100 ,depending on where you buy them. 

The S21 and S21 Plus will reportedly share the same camera array, consisting of a 12MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera, and a 64MP telephoto camera. The S21 Ultra has a far more impressive setup. It's said to feature a 108MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide and two 10MP telephoto cameras, one with 3x magnification and another with 10x.

Time will tell if these rumors end up being true. But with a January launch seemingly just around the corner, we won't have to wait long to see if the Galaxy S21 is a smartphone worth upgrading to.