(Pocket-lint) - Samsung announced the Galaxy S21 series on 14 January during its Unpacked event, with three devices in the line up to choose from.
The Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra all feature a similar design language but different price points, specs and features. Here is how the three devices compare to help you decide which might be the right one for you.
- S21: 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm, 172g
- S21+: 161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8mm, 202g
- S21 Ultra: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm, 228g
All three Galaxy S21 models share the same design principles, though their physical sizes differ, and the materials differ between the models too - or so it is thought. This was unconfirmed at the time of writing but we will update once we have a definitive answer.
The Galaxy S21 is the smallest and lightest, followed by the S21+ and the Ultra is the largest and heaviest. The S21 and S21+ have flat displays though and they are presumed to be plastic like the Galaxy S20 FE, while the Ultra is sticks to a glass rear and offers a curved display.
The rear camera housing is similar across the three models, though the Ultra has a wider housing in order to accommodate the extra lenses.
- S21: 6.2-inches, Full HD+, 120Hz
- S21+: 6.7-inches, Full HD+, 120Hz
- S21 Ultra: 6.8-inches, Quad HD+, adaptive 120Hz, S Pen
The Galaxy S21 has a 6.2-inch display, the S21+ has a 6.7-inch display and the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 6.8-inch display.
Both the S21 and S21+ have Full HD+ resolutions and 120Hz refresh rates, while the S21 Ultra has a Quad HD+ resolution, an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate and support for the S Pen.
Sources also say the S21 and S21+'s displays have a peak brightness of 1400nits, while the S21 Ultra has a peak brightness of 1600nits, though we still need to confirm this.
As mentioned above, the S21 and S21+ have flat displays, while the S21 Ultra retains the curves Samsung has popularised over the last few years.
Hardware and specs
- S21: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100, 128/256GB, 4000mAh
- S21+: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100, 128/256GB, 4800mAh
- S21 Ultra: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100, 128/256/512GB, 5000mAh
All three Galaxy S21 devices are expected to run on either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, or the Exynos 2100 depending on the region. Samsung has said the devices have a 5nm chip, but it hasn't specified which as yet. They are all 5G devices.
The Galaxy S21 and S21+ come in 128GB and 256GB storage options with 8GB of RAM on board. The Galaxy S21 Ultra meanwhile, comes in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options. RAM is 12GB or 16GB depending on the model.
In terms of battery, the Galaxy S21 has a 4000mAh cell under its hood, the S21+ a 4800mAh battery and the Galaxy S21 Ultra a 5000mAh battery. The S21 and S21+ are expected to support 25W charging and come with a 15W charger in the box, while the S21 Ultra is expected to support 45W charging and come with a 25W charger in the box.
- S21: Triple rear (12MP + 12MP + 64MP)
- S21+: Triple rear (12MP + 12MP + 64MP)
- S21 Ultra: Quad rear (108MP + 12MP + 10MP + 10MP), 40-megapixel front camera
The camera is the main point of differentiation between the Galaxy S21 and S21+ models and the S21 Ultra.
The S21 and S21+ both have a triple rear camera, made up of a 12-megapixel main sensor with 1.8µm pixel size, f/1.8 aperture and optical stabilisation (OIS), a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with 1.4µm and f/2.2, and a 64-megapixel telephoto sensor with 0.8µm, f/2.0 and OIS.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra meanwhile, has a quad rear camera made up of a 108-megapixel main sensor with 0.8µm pixels, f/1.8 aperture, OIS and laser autofocus, a 12-megapixel ultra wide sensor (1.4µm, f/2.2) and two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses, one with 1.22µm, f/2.4 and the other with 1.22µm, f/4.9. It is also expected to have a 40-megapixel selfie camera.
All models are also expected to come with features including the cameras automatically switching between 30fps and 60fps depending on the lighting conditions, a dual recording mode, improved night mode, more manual controls and improved moon mode, though these features still need confirmation.
- S21: £769 / €849
- S21+: £949 / €1049
- S21 Ultra: £1149 / €1249
The Samsung Galaxy S21 is the entry model to the range, followed by the Galaxy S21+, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra sits at the top of the range, as was the case with the Galaxy S20 range.
The Galaxy S21 starts at £769 in the UK, and €849 in Europe. The Galaxy S21+ starts at £949 in the Uk and €1049 in Europe.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra starts at £1149 in the UK and €1249 in Europe. All three handsets will be available from 29 January.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21+ are very similar in terms of their offerings, with the main difference being their physical size and therefore display size, as well as a larger battery capacity in the Plus model.
The S21 Ultra meanwhile, offers a more substantial camera offering, a larger and sharper display, an adaptive refresh rate, a brighter display, support for the S Pen, a more premium build quality and appearance and more RAM.
We will be sure to update this feature as soon as we have reviewed all three handsets.