As expected, the Samsung Galaxy S21 does not come with a charging brick in the box. The move is hot on the heels of Apple, which did the exact same thing with the iPhone 12, and Samsung won’t be stopping with its latest phone.
A Q&A on Samsung’s press page with Patrick Chomet, EVP and Head of the Customer Experience Office at Samsung, confirms that other Samsung phones will be ditching the charger as well. Though it won’t all happen immediately.
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Here's the official statement in full from Patrick Chomet, Samsung's EVP and Head of Customer Experience Office, Mobile Communications Business:
“We discovered that more and more Galaxy users are reusing accessories they already have and making sustainable choices in their daily lives to promote better recycling habits. To support our Galaxy community in this journey, we are transitioning to removal of the charger plug and earphones in our latest line of Galaxy smartphones.
We believe that the gradual removal of charger plugs and earphones from our in-box device packaging can help address sustainable consumption issues and remove any pressure that consumers may feel towards continually receiving unnecessary charger accessories with new phones.
We’ve also been implementing standardized USB-C type charging ports since 2017, so older chargers can still be compatible with our newest Galaxy models.”
Of course, making the charger optional will also generate revenue for Samsung, A 25W fast charger for the Galaxy S21 currently costs $34.99 through Samsung.com, but you can grab one for $14.99 through Amazon.com when it's on sale.
While we expect that removing the charger will become standard practice for Samsung flagships from now on, including the upcoming Galaxy Note 21 and Galaxy Z Fold 3, it’ll likely have an impact on cheaper phones as well.
Samsung does produce a lot of budget and mid-range devices, and it’s worth bearing in mind that there will be a point where there isn’t a charger brick inside the box. In other words, that bargain of a phone might turn out to be more expensive than you think.
Assuming, of course, you don’t have a USB-C charging brick already. Chargers you received with other phones will work with Samsung handsets, but what you have may not be able to the fastest charging speeds available for your phone.
It’s not clear when Samsung will be widely implementing its new "no charger" policy, but we expect it will start soon for new premium and budget handsets alike.