Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra specs leak just revealed iPhone 12 killer

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

The full specs of the Samsung Galaxy S21 family have leaked, and it’s immediately clear that the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the true flagship.

The giant leak comes via Android Police, which confirmed the Galaxy S21 specs via multiple sources. The site has also seen official press renders, but declined to publish them in order to protect said sources’ anonymity. 

While the specs for all three models look impressive, the Galaxy S21's display and its cameras are a big step up from the other models. And it should be a killer rival to the iPhone 12 Pro Max 

Samsung Galaxy S21 specs

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Specifications Galaxy S21Galaxy S21 PlusGalaxy S21 Ultra
Display6.2-inch FHD+ LTPS, 120Hz6.7-inch FHD+ LTPS, 120Hz6.8-inch WQHD+ LTPO, 1-120Hz adaptive
SoftwareOne UI 3.1 based on Android 11One UI 3.1 based on Android 11One UI 3.1 based on Android 11
CPU Snapdragon 875 or Exynos 2100 Snapdragon 875 or Exynos 2100 Snapdragon 875 or Exynos 2100
Rear CameraUltra wide: 12MP Main: 12MP Telephoto: 64MPUltra wide: 12MP Main: 12MP Telephoto: 64MPUltra wide: 12MP Main: 108MP, Gen 2 sensor 3X Optical: 10MP 10X Optical: 10MP
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.15G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1
ColorsPhantom Violet, Phantom Pink, Phantom Gray, and Phantom WhitePhantom Silver, Phantom Black, and Phantom VioletPhantom Black and Phantom Silver
Battery4,000 mAh4,800 mAh5,000 mAh

Samsung Galaxy S21 cameras

It’s immediately clear that Samsung is going all out to make the S21 Ultra variant the most desirable handset on the market. The Ultra’s camera is leagues ahead of the regular S21 and S21 Plus, with two telephoto zoom lenses (3x and 10x) supporting the main 108-megapixel camera.

The best the iPhone 12 can do is 2.5x zoom for the iPhone 12 Pro Max and 2x for the regular iPhone 12 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S21 displays

The S21 Ultra should feature an adaptive LTPO display, supporting refresh rates of 1-120Hz — handy for switching between low-power situations (e.g: notifications on an always-on display) and high-power ones (e.g: 120fps gaming). 

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus make due with a LTPS display, so you'll get a 120Hz refresh rate but it won't be dynamic. The iPhone 12 series maxes out at 60Hz.

While the Galaxy S21 Ultra is expected to feature a quad HD display, the S21 and S21 plus settle for full HD+.

Galaxy S21 Ultra to support S Pen

First of all, the rumors were true: the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will be the first non-Note branded handset to support the S Pen. As predicted, “support” is the key word here, as the stylus won’t come bundled — instead, it’s an optional accessory that will be held in place by first-party cases, rather than docking inside the handset as it does on the Galaxy Note 20.

There have been rumors in the past that the iPhone might support the Apple Pencil, but that accessory remains exclusive to the iPad, iPad Air and iPad Pro

Samsung Galaxy S21 processor

All three versions of the S21 will be powered by the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 chip or Samsung Exynos 2100 depending on region. And if you’re in an Exynos region and worried about relative performance, don’t be: Android Police’s sources say it could be “on par or better than the Snapdragon 875” as well as being more energy efficient than past efforts.

This is one area where the iPhone 12 should definitely stay in the lead. The A14 Bionic is a 5nm beast, and we don't see anything catching it.

Samsung Galaxy S21 battery

The Samsung Galaxy S21 spec leak points to the same 4,000 mAh battery as before, but the S21 Plus is said to get an upgrade from 4,500 mAh to 4,800 mAh. The Galaxy S21 Ultra should feature the same 5,000 mAh battery.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max has the largest battery capacity of Apple's new phones at 3,687 mAh.

Samsung Galaxy S21 design

Although Android Police declined to publish the leaked press renders, it did confirm that the earlier CAD renders are pretty much spot on, and the camera bump will indeed be part of the frame. The frame and camera bump will come in different colors depending on the shade you opt for, with copper on the "Phantom Violet" and "Phantom Pink" variants, for example.

Samsung SmartThings tags coming for AirTags

There’s one more interesting detail from the report: Samsung SmartThings tags will apparently be supported by the S21 Plus and Ultra models, thanks to the two handsets’ usage of Ultra Wide Band (UWB). This will give Samsung a head start on Apple’s long-rumored AirTags, with both products rumored to offer a Tile-like experience of tracking missing possessions.

Samsung Galaxy S21 outlook

We’ve already heard that the Samsung Galaxy S21 family will be coming earlier than usual, with a January release date rumored. Even better, Samsung is also apparently pondering a price cut “to be more competitive and match the recession and global pandemic we are in.” While no specifics are provided, if Samsung can get the pricing right, it may have a huge hit on its hands — and a much better shot at beating the iPhone 12.

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.