Samsung Galaxy S21 leak reveals weird cases — here’s you first look

Samsung Galaxy S21 case leak
(Image credit: Ice Universe)

It’s already been a few weeks since we got our first look at the Samsung Galaxy S21 and the S21 Ultra, and since then there’s been a flurry of leaks about what we should expect from the phone.

Today is a little different, because the phones are only sort of the focus. We have leaked images of the cases that corroborate the slightly strange design aesthetic of Samsung’s upcoming flagship.

The camera array on the back of the S21 isn’t so strange, but the bulky four or five lens module (depending on who you ask) on the Galaxy S21 Ultra is something else entirely. They’re both the focus of new images posted on Twitter by Ice Universe, at any rate, suggesting that these are indeed the true designs.

The standard Galaxy S21 case is pretty, well, standard. It’s a very typical leather case with a cut-away section that lets the camera lenses see what they’re doing. Unfortunately the wrap-around design of the camera module does mean the corner of the phone is completely unprotected from any bumps or drops it may incur. Which isn’t such a great look.

The same is true for the S21 Ultra, albeit slightly worse since the module itself is about twice the width of the S21’s. There are a couple of stranger things, though. The first is that the image is clearly a very rough photoshop of someone holding the phone, though that can easily be attributed to the fact none of the S21 models have been manufactured yet. Given Ice Universe’s reputation, we don’t doubt that this came from Samsung. It wouldn’t be the first time a company scraped together a placeholder image in Photoshop either.

What’s interesting is that the image only shows the S21 Ultra with four lenses, rather than the five lenses OnLeaks claims it will have. We’ve already heard that there will be two optical zoom lenses on the S21 Ultra, alongside a 108MP main lens and presumably some sort of ultra-wide angle lens as well. The fifth lens was a mystery, and we assumed it could either be a time-of-flight sensor or possibly even Samsung following Apple’s lead with a LiDAR sensor

But if there’s no fifth lens, then there's no mystery. Especially since Ice Universe has already said there will be no ToF sensor on the S21 Ultra. Then again we still don’t know which leaker is correct, and just how many camera lenses the Ultra will come with. 

Fortunately we don't have to wait very long, since the S21 range's release date has already leaked. Expect to see the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra on January 14, ahead of a January 29 release date.

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.