Samsung Galaxy S21 leak reveals all three models — and a game-changing display

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

A new Samsung Galaxy S21 leak has revealed what Samsung's next-generation smartphone could look like, albeit in a dummy metal unit form.

Continuing with their near-daily slew of Galaxy S21 leaks, Ice Universe has tweeted images of the dummy units, giving us a first-look at what the Galaxy S21 could look like in the real-world. This builds on the Galaxy S21 renders we've seen recently. 

We can see the somewhat oddly-shaped camera block of the Galaxy S21 on the rightmost model. This supports previously leaked renders, which have shown the protruding glass bump more clearly. Unlike the rectangle cameras block on the Galaxy S20 phones, the Galaxy S21's module seems to wrap around the left side of the phone, making it more of a design statement than that on previous Galaxy phones. 

The curved edges of the Galaxy S21 are also most prominent on the rightmost model. This may be because it's turned face down, and all S21s have curved backs, but it's possible that this is the Galaxy S21 Ultra specifically. Earlier rumors claim that the S21 Ultra will be the only S21 model with a truly curved display, while the smaller Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 will use flatter panels.

Samsung Galaxy S21

(Image credit: Ice Universe)

In a second tweet, Ice Universe claims the S21 Ultra's display will "refresh multiple records." This sounds like it could be referring to the phone's refresh rate, which rumors so far have indicated that it will be 120Hz like that of the Galaxy S20 series. However, there are 144Hz displays around, like the one on the Asus ROG Phone 3, and there's no reason why that number couldn't go higher if Samsung decided refresh rate was a priority.

We're expecting the sizes and resolutions of the Galaxy S21 three models to be the same as their S20 series counterparts. So it's not clear where Samsung would break records, given it's made phones with larger screens, foldable displays, and smartphones with 4K displays also exist. We don't Samsung to make a phone with an 8K display, as it's overkill and would use too much power. 

Perhaps the rumored LTPO technology for the S21 Ultra could be the key. This technology, first shown off on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, allows a truly variable refresh rate that can save battery life as the display can throttle down to 1Hz when it's not being used. 

There were initially rumors that the Galaxy S21 would be Samsung's first phone with an under-display selfie camera. Unfortunately, that now looks to be false, with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 now thought to be the first phone Samsung fits this technology to.

Based on other Galaxy S21 rumors, the three models will all use a new Snapdragon 875 or Exynos 2100 chip, depending on where they are sold. We'll also see similar camera tech to the S20 series, except the S21 Ultra looks to be gaining a second telephoto camera, allowing users to access two different optical zoom options: 3x and 10x.

Recent rumors have claimed we can expect to see the S21 debut in January 2021. It's supposedly launching earlier than usual in order to fight the iPhone 12. This event may also be where we see the Galaxy Z Flip 2 appear, although that may debut later in the year alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 3 instead.

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.