Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra leak reveals it won't get this big upgrade

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. (Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy S21 Ultra's battery spec just leaked, and it's not great news.

Within China's 3C certification website, MyFixGuide found an entry relating to a battery with ID number EB-BG998ABY, which is believed to be the cell that will power the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

While most of the information is written in Chinese characters, you can make out the capacity of 4855mAh. There are also two companies named: Samsung itself and Ningde Amperex, the latter seemingly Samsung's battery partner for the whole S21 series based on older leaks.

(Image credit: MyFixGuide)

If you're thinking that sounds smaller than the current Galaxy S20 Ultra's battery, you're only partially right. The S20 Ultra has a typical battery capacity of 5,000 mAh, but a rated capacity (essentially the minimum guaranteed by Samsung) of 4,855 mAh, as you can see in the fine print on Samsung's specs page for the S20 series. 

Since regulators record rated capacities, we can figure out that Samsung's not decreasing the size of the S21 Ultra's battery compared to the S20 Ultra. But it isn't getting any larger either. The Galaxy S20 Ultra's battery life was excellent with the screen set to 60Hz, with the phone lasting 11 hours and 58 minutes on average. That's good enough for the S20 Ultra to land on our best phone battery life list.

However, at 120Hz the Galaxy S20 Ultra lasted only 9 hours and 13 minutes, so that's nearly 3 hours less. Assuming Samsung employs the same adaptive display technology on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, that should help matters. But a larger capacity would also be welcome. 

It was rumored recently that Samsung could be giving the Galaxy S21 a 65W charging block, which would fill up this battery in record time. However, leaker Ice Universe poured water on that bonfire, claiming that this charger was for a Samsung laptop, not one of its phones. It probably means we'll end up with a 25W or 45W charging option like Samsung has been offering on the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 20.

What seems more certain is that the S21 series will use a new Samsung-designed Exynos chipset, the Exynos 1000. Having seen some early benchmarks leak recently, it's clear that Samsung still has work to do; otherwise its phones will end up severely underpowered compared to those using the equivalent Qualcomm chip, likely called the Snapdragon 875.

Aside from the internal components, rumors point to an enormous 180MP main camera on the back of the S21 Ultra, along with a pair of telephoto cameras for more adaptable zoom and close-up performance. The front will be quite different too, as it may be the first Samsung phone with an under-display selfie camera instead of a notch or bezel.

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.