Samsung Galaxy S21 copies Apple with no charger — and there's more bad news

Samsung Galaxy S21 box
(Image credit: Evan Blass)

Even though we're a day away from the reveal of the Samsung Galaxy S21, the leaks keep coming, with fresh marketing images pretty much confirming the flagship phone won't come with a bundled charger or microSD card slot.

The images, which come courtesy of German site WinFuture, and would suggest Samsung is following in Apple's footsteps after Cupertino dropped the charger from the box of its iPhone 12 range.

Apple was the first to start the whole no charger trend with the release of the iPhone 12. Samsung was quick to mock Apple on Facebook, teasing the Cupertino-based company for removing the accessory. But of course, just as with the removal of the headphone jack, Samsung later deleted its post to prevent any online ridicule.

Excited to see how they spin it? Check out our guide for how to watch the Samsung Galaxy S21 event.

Samsung will likely pin the decision to remove the charger on environmental reasons. Considering that 300,000 tons of e-waste are generated from included chargers, the South Korean company has a valid point. Most smartphone users at this point have a few chargers tucked away in drawers.

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi also pulled an Apple and decided not to include a charger with the Mi 11. But it had a novel solution for potentially affected buyers: a free charger upon request. It's unclear if Samsung will offer a similar deal for fans.

Even then, as was with the Galaxy S20 FE, while a charger was included in the box, it wasn't the company's 45W Super Fast Charger. That was a separate purchase. And with Samsung looking to release a 65W charger this year, it will only push those wanting the best to open their wallets. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 no headphone jack

(Image credit: Evan Blass (Modified))

Samsung Galaxy S21 to drop microSD card slot

Curiously, Samsung will remove a feature that fans have long become accustomed to: the microSD card slot. This isn't the first time Samsung has dropped the microSD card slot, however. It first did so with the Galaxy S6, only to bring the feature back with the S7. 

Kyle Brown, the head of content, technology and launch management at Samsung, pinned the decision on performance, as the company was worried that some cards could slow down the device. That's not really the case as microSD cards have increased dramatically in speed and data throughput. 

Companies like OnePlus have long not included microSD card support with its devices, instead opting to give customers large amounts of storage on the device itself. This has left customers largely satisfied.

While OnePlus might start off users with 256GB of storage, Samsung does not seem to be following as generous of a strategy. Everything we know about the Galaxy S21 points to Samsung only including 128GB of storage on the base model, with 256GB being available for a premium. The Galaxy S21 Ultra can be configured with upwards of 512GB of onboard storage.

Considering that this year's Galaxy S21 will see a massive price cut to the $700-750 range (down from $999 with the Galaxy S20), the new storage strategy could be a way to get consumers to opt for the more expensive 256GB storage option, a scheme to potentially help Samsung's bottom line.

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.