Samsung Galaxy S21 leak reveals good news for battery life — here's why

Galaxy S21
(Image credit: Evan Blass/Voice)

We already know that the Samsung Galaxy S21 is set to come with Samsung’s Exynos 2100 chipset outside the U.S., rather than Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 888. While typically not as impressive, Samsung’s own chip is set to come with one key advantage.

According to Twitter leaker Anthony, the Exynos 2100-powered Galaxy S21 will have improved battery life. While slightly longer-lasting than the Snapdragon-powered variant, its battery is set to get a big jump in endurance over the Samsung Galaxy S20.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 didn’t have the strongest battery life, with the Snapdragon 865 model lasting just 9 hours and 31 minutes during our testing. According to Android Central, the Exynos 990 model performed slightly worse but not by much. So news of a boosted battery life in the Galaxy S21 is welcome news.

According to the leak, the Exynos 2100 is set to improve the Galaxy S21’s battery life by up to 35% over its predecessor, while the Snapdragon 888 model will be improved by around 15%.

Of course, given the mediocre performance of the Galaxy S20 range in our testing, it means the Galaxy S21 isn’t going to be a battery powerhouse. A 15% increase would only add around 90 minutes or so onto a 9 and a half hour battery life, which, while an improvement, isn’t fantastic in the grander scheme.

That said, if the Exynos 2100 model really does offer as much as a 35% increase, that could be a big deal for Samsung. It could even mean the standard Galaxy S21 model, which is set to come with a 4,000 mAh battery like last year, could make it onto our best phone battery life list.

We’re just going to have to wait and see what Samsung has to say when it launches the Galaxy S21 on January 14, and how well it stands up to testing when it’s released at the end of the month.

Typically Samsung Galaxy S phones with an Exynos chip perform worse than their Snapdragon-powered counterparts. Benchmark leaks still suggest it won’t be as powerful as the Snapdragon 888, but a battery boost of this caliber is a positive change. It could even mark a turning point for Samsung’s in-house brand of phone chips, even if there is a way to go. 

As for other Galaxy S21 features, we're expecting a new rear camera module design that curves around the top left-hand corner of the phone and holds a trio of lenses. And the Ultra model is expected to come with a boosted 108MP sensor, and a pair of telephoto cameras, offering 3x and 10x optical zooms. Expect 120Hz displays as standard, with the Galaxy S21 Ultra making use of an LTPO panel to dynamically adjust the refresh rate, much like the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can do. 

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.