Samsung President Roh Tae-moon showcases Galaxy S21 lineup during a virtual Unpacked show Thursday at midnight. (Samsung Electronics)
Samsung Galaxy S21, unveiled Thursday at midnight, boasts a new, striking design and is equipped with the most powerful processor yet. Plus, it comes with a lowered price tag.
Samsung streamed the Galaxy S21 Unpacked show through various online channels to introduce its flagship smartphones for 2021 -- Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra -- one month earlier than previous years. The Ultra model supports the S Pen stylus for the first time. Samsung also introduced Galaxy Buds Pro with noise cancelling and wind shield capabilities for the first time.
The biggest change made for the S21 series is elevated, new design.
Samsung has introduced what is called “Contour Cut Camera” referring to the rear camera module that seamlessly blends into the device’s metal frame for a sleeker aesthetic.
In addition to the design change, S21 and S21+ will be available in a new range of colors including the signature Phantom Violet color for the new series. And each device is coated with a luxurious haze finish on the back for a more sophisticated look.
Galaxy S21 is designed for those who want a light design with a compact 6.2-inch display, while S21+ sports an expanded 6.7-inch display and a larger battery, which would be perfect for marathon gamers and binge-watchers, Samsung described.
“We are living in a mobile-first world, and with so many of us working remotely and spending more time at home, we wanted to deliver a smartphone experience that meets the rigorous multimedia demands of our continuously changing routines,” said Roh Tae-moon, president of IT and mobile communications business at Samsung. “We also recognize the importance of choice, especially now, and that’s why the Galaxy S21 series gives you the freedom to choose the best device for your style and needs.”
The S21 and S21+ models feature the FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O display with an adaptive refresh rate of 120-hertz for smoother scrolling and viewing.
The 6.8-inch Galaxy S21 Ultra sports the QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O display, which Samsung calls “the most intelligence screen yet.”
Compared with the Galaxy S20, S21 Ultra offers a 25 percent brighter picture at a 1,500 nits of peak brightness, the brightest on a Galaxy smartphone. And with a 50 percent improved contrast ratio, it delivers crystal-clear, immersive images, even when outside.
To help reduce eye fatigue on all three devices, Samsung has newly adopted what they call the Eye Comfort Shield that automatically adjusts the blue light based on the time of day, the type of content users view, and at bedtime.
The Galaxy S21 series camera boasts pro-grade enhancements with increased artificial intelligence capabilities, Samsung said.
Samsung newly introduced a Director’s View that allows users to capture video by using both front and rear cameras simultaneously for real-time reactions, allowing users to preview or change the angle, zoom or go wide without losing any action. Paired with the newly unveiled Galaxy Buds Pro, users can capture both ambient sounds and voice at the same time using multiple mic recording.
Galaxy S21 and S21+ feature an AI-powered triple-lens pro-grade camera system that helps users capture better shots that automatically adjusts in accordance with its surroundings. For example, in Portrait Mode, the AI-powered camera leverages an improved 3D analysis that more accurately separates the subject from the background. It also brings in options for virtual studio lighting and AI background effects to make sure the subject pops from the frame.
With Ultra, Samsung continues to pivot on offering the best-in-class camera experience, it said.
Samsung describes the Ultra camera system as the most advanced pro-grade ever yet.
It has a quad rear camera, consisting of ultra-wide, wide and dual tele-lenses, which features an upgraded 108-megapixel pro sensor, from which users can capture 12-bit HDR photos with 64 times richer color data and more than three times wider dynamic range.
For the first time on a Galaxy smartphone, users can shoot in 4K at 60fps across all lenses including front and rear four lenses.
When zooming in on S21 Ultra, users do not have to worry about sacrificing clarity. The Galaxy S21 Ultra features 100x Space Zoom which is powered by Samsung’s first-ever Dual-tele lens system – one optical 3x and one optical 10x both equipped Dual Pixel autofocus.
Ultra also features an improved Bright Night sensor, the biggest leap yet in low-light photography along with noise reduction and 12MP Nona-binning technology, Samsung said.
Such improved AI capabilities have been possible with the backing of the latest smartphone chipsets, according to the smartphone maker.
The Galaxy S21 features the latest and most advanced smartphone chipset Exynos 2100 built on cutting-edge 5-nanometer process technology for greater speed and energy efficiency.
In Korea, Samsung will start taking preorders on Friday through Jan. 21.
The official launch date is set for Jan. 29 globally.
The 256-gigabyte Galaxy S21 and S21+ models will retail for 999,900 won ($911) and 1.19 million won each. The Galaxy S21 Ultra will be 1.45 million won for 256GB, and 1.59 million won for 512GB.
By Song Su-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org