Samsung Galaxy S21 leak just revealed design — and early launch date

Samsung Galaxy S21 renders
(Image credit: @OnLeaks)

Whether it ends up being called the Galaxy S21 or Galaxy S30, it’s pretty clear that Samsung is working on a new flagship phone that will likely launch in 2021 to take on Apple's iPhone 12 lineup.

Thanks to Steve Hemmerstoffer, aka @OnLeaks, we now have a first look at what the Samsung Galaxy S21 may look like. Hemmerstoffer published the renders on social network Voice. And it looks the Galaxy S21's release date could be sooner than we thought.

The 6.2-inch device has a pinhole camera in the center of its edge-to-edge display, although those with an aversion to bezels may wince at just how thick the frame of the handset seems to be. It seems Ice Universe is amongst those who are displeased.

Still, the cutout for the front camera is much smaller than the notch on the iPhone 12's display. Apple did not shrink the notch for its new lineup as many had hoped.

The most interesting design choice is on the back of the handset, where the triple-camera housing appears to wrap around the edge of the phone. It’s a distinct style, and one that looks quite appealing in this render.

It looks like the camera bump sticks out a bit, which means that the phone may wobble a bit when placed face up on a table (a problem that also affected the Galaxy S20 Ultra). At least you're getting a third telephoto lens on the Galaxy S21; you have to step up from the iPhone 12 to the iPhone 12 Pro to get a true optical zoom. 

Ice Universe also has dimensions for us, though he does add that these are rough: 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm (or 9mm for the camera bump). Those are almost identical to the dimensions of the S20, which measures in at 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm.

Samsung Galaxy S21 renders

(Image credit: @OnLeaks)

Most exciting of all, however, is the news that we may not have as long to wait as usual. While Samsung has unveiled a new Galaxy S handset in February/March every year since 2013, Hemmerstoffer says the company will go early this time around. 

“If you recently heard a rumor claiming the Galaxy S21 Series launch may happen sooner than usual and more more specifically in January, know that my own sources corroborate this rumor,” he wrote. “Yes, Samsung will officially introduce the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra in January 2021!"

One thing that goes unmentioned here is S Pen support, which is strongly rumored to be coming to the Galaxy S21 series in some form. But given we’ve heard that Samsung’s own pressure-sensitive stylus is an optional accessory, that’s not wholly surprising: we weren’t expecting to see a holster on the device.

Otherwise, we’re expecting the Galaxy S21 to have specs worthy of a 2021 Samsung flagship. While early benchmarks haven’t suggested great things from the Exynos 1000 chipset, it’s hoped that Samsung will include a Snapdragon 875 for the U.S. On top of which, the handset could pack a 108-MP main sensor, and there's talk of dual telephoto lenses, which could be a game changer for smartphone photography.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.