Though it is not yet known if the devices will be called the Galaxy S21 or Galaxy S30 - we think it will be the former - there are plenty of rumours already doing the rounds.
We've covered off what is claimed to be coming for the Galaxy S21 and S21+ in a separate feature but here we are focusing on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. This is everything we have heard so far.
What will the next Samsung Galaxy S be called?
- Likely Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra
- Galaxy S30 is possible
Samsung followed sequential numbers when it came to naming its Galaxy S devices until 2020 when the company jumped from Galaxy S10 to Galaxy S20. It is now harder to determine what the next Galaxy S will be called going forward.
We would put our money on the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra as this would tie in with the year too, but the company could also use Galaxy S30. As most rumours call the range the Galaxy S21, that's what we will refer to it in this feature.
Release date and price
- Early 2021 launch
- Likely on sale by March 2021
The Galaxy S range of smartphones is typically announced in February, followed by a March release so we would expect the same for 2021, though there has been a suggestion that the devices might appear in January 2021, specifically 14 January and available from 29 January.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 was announced on 25 February and on sale from 16 March. The Galaxy S10 was announced on 20 February and on sale from 8 March and the Galaxy S20 was announced on 11 February and on sale from 6 March.
In terms of price, we'd expect the devices to be in a similar ballpark to their predecessors with the Galaxy S21 Ultra the top-of-the-range, and therefore the most expensive, device.
- Pronounced camera housing
- Metal and glass likely
Some leaked renders suggest the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will have an even more pronounced camera housing in the top left corner of its rear compared to the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
We'd expect a combination of metal and glass and a very premium finish. Colours have been reported as black and silver options for the S21 Ultra.
- Between 6.7-6.9-inches
- Quad HD+ likely
According to rumours, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will have a display between 6.7-inches and 6.9-inches, with a report pinning this down to 6.8-inches. The Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch display.
It's said the Galaxy S21 Ultra will have a Quad HD+ resolution, an adaptive 1Hz to 120Hz refresh rate and it will apparently offer a peak brightness of 1600nits. It's also claimed to have a 300,000,000:1 contrast ratio.
- Two telephoto lenses?
- 108MP main sensor
Early reports suggested that the Galaxy S21 Ultra's main camera might move to 150-megapixels, but there are also reports claiming Samsung will stick to the 108-megapixels of the S20 Ultra, but a second generation of the sensor.
We're expecting the DepthVision sensor to be removed from the Ultra though and replaced with laser autofocus. The sensor for the new model is expected to be a slight evolution of the 108-megapixel unit used previously.
What we might see is two telephoto lenses instead. It's thought that to increase the zoom performance, there will be a mid and long range telephoto offering, with a 3x and 5x lens offered. That could mean that zoom up to 3x is higher quality before it switches to the 5x optical for the longer ranges. There has also been talk of 3x and 10x.
A 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor is also expected to be on board and camera features are said to include 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.
Hardware and specs
- Exynos 1000/Qualcomm Snapdragon 875
It's been suggested the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will run on the unannounced Exynos 1000 - a 5nm chipset said to compete with the unannounced Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 - which the US version of the device will likely offer. There is also talk of the Exynos 2100 though.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra will no doubt be a 5G device and reports claim it will come in 128GB and 256GB storage options. Its battery capacity is said to be 5000mAh.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra rumours: What's happened so far?
14 November 2020: Samsung Galaxy S21 series features revealed in huge spec leak
A report from Android Police revealed a number of specifications and features said to be coming to the Samsing Galaxy S21 Ultra.
6 November 2020: S21 Ultra camera reported to be a minor tweak on the S20 Ultra
A reliable leaker has said that the S21 Ultra will only be a minor update on the S20 Ultra.
Galaxy S21 Ultra is a small improved version of S20 Ultra. Using HM3 sensor, single pixel is still 0.8um, 108MP, laser focus, no ToF.— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) November 6, 2020
5 November 2020: Colours reported for Galaxy S21 models
Small correction/update in upcoming S21 models. S21+ and 21 Ultra are basically reversed.— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) November 6, 2020
S21 is still Gray, Pink, Violet and White.
S21+ is Black, Silver and Violet with Pink in Korea.
S21 Ultra is Black and Silver.
4 November 2020: Is Samsung going break with tradition to launch the Samsung Galaxy S21 in January?
Leaker Jon Prosser claimed on Twitter that Samsung will announce the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra on 14 January 2021, with pre-orders starting immediately. He claimed the devices will then be available on 29 January.
27 October 2020: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra might not come with charger or headphones
Sammobile reported that Korean media have suggested that Samsung is considering ditching the charger and headphones in the box for the Galaxy S21 series.
23 October 2020: Colours of Galaxy S21 Ultra revealed
Twitter user Ross Young has claimed he knows what colour options the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will be available in.
S21 Leak, 100%— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) October 23, 2020
S21 - Gray, Pink, Violet and White
S21+ - Black and Silver
S21 Ultra - Black, Silver, Violet
Production in Brazil, Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam
19 October 2020: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra could arrive early and here it is...
A report has claimed the Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra could come in "early January" 2021.
Renders of the S21 Ultra have already appeared online too - adding further weight to the idea of an early release.
30 September 2020: Galaxy S21 Ultra battery confirmation via Chinese certification
What's thought to be the battery for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has been registered with the Chinese certification authority 3C, confirming previous leaks that the S21 Ultra will have a 5000mAh battery.
17 September 2020: Samsung Galaxy 21 Ultra could have two zoom cameras
According to sources in Korea, the next-gen Ultra from Samsung could use two zoom lenses, to create a camera system to rival Huawei.
16 September 2020: Galaxy S21 Ultra battery details leak
It looks like there won't be a big boost in battery for the S21 Ultra, with 5000mAh being reported.
21 August 2020: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will keep the 108-megapixel main camera
According to a Twitter leaker with a good reputation, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will keep the 108-megapixel main camera.
20 August 2020: S21/S30+ battery might get a bump in capacity
The 2020 Samsung Galaxy S21/S30 devices might get an increase in battery capacity compared to the S20 models.
27 July 2020: Details leak about Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 875
Qualcomm's next-generation Snapdragon chipset won't be unveiled until the end of 2020, but Roland Quandt of WinFuture claimed on Twitter it's called Snapdragon 875 SoC with the codename SM8350.
The new mobile device processor is expected to be built on a 5nm process, with Qualcomm using a Cortex X1 and Cortex A78 large-core architectural combination. It's expected it will be used in the US models of the Galaxy S21, at least the Ultra model.
25 July 2020: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra might use 5nm Exynos 1000
A leaker called Mauri QHD claimed on Twitter that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra might use an unannounced 5mn Exynos 1000 chipset.
24 July 2020: Samsung making three Galaxy 21 models
Sammobile reported that its sources claimed Samsung is making three models for the Galaxy S21 series, likely to be called the Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra - though the names could change.
The site also said the model numbers for the 5G variants are SM-G991, SM-G996, and SM-G998 and they are in development with 128GB and 256GB storage options.
7 May 2020: Samsung Galaxy S21 could have selfie camera with OIS
Sammobile reported that Samsung was apparently testing two Galaxy 21 prototypes - one with a 1/2-inch front sensor it thinks likely has a 48MP resolution and the other featuring a 1/2.55-inch sensor with 12MP resolution and OIS.
9 April 2020: Samsung Galaxy S21 could have under-screen camera
Leaker Ice Universe tweeted saying Samsung was considering using under-screen camera technology on the Galaxy S21 first and is testing the technology.
16 March 2020: Samsung developing 150MP sensor
A report appeared on Clien claiming Samsung was developing a 150-megapixel 1-inch sensor using the same Nonacell technology as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. The rumour doesn't say the sensor will be used in the Galaxy S21 but it's possible a version of it could be.