Samsung Announces the Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Announces the Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Galaxy S series has been around for more than a decade, but Samsung has initiated a few changes this year with the new Galaxy S21 series. The company launched three devices as part of its line-up, with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra being the most impressive model of the lot.

The 6.8” Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel is a little smaller than last year, but still has curved sides and Gorilla Glass Victus protection. And it kept its 1440p+ resolution while the other two S21 models dropped to 1080p+. This is also Samsung’s first display able to run at 120Hz refresh rate while rendering at the full 1440p+ resolution. Plus, it’s an Adaptive Refresh Rate (ARR) display, which can drop to 10Hz, when you don’t need the extra refreshes. This will reduce power usage, especially for static screens (think Always On Display). This also the brightest display of any Galaxy so far, with a peak of 1,500 nits.

The other major change is that the S21 Ultra supports the S Pen, or any Wacom stylus.The S Pen offers the same true to life experience of taking notes and sketching your ideas, plus handy shortcuts that Samsung users are used to. This version of the stylus doesn’t have a battery, so the Bluetooth functionality you’ve seen on the Notes is not available.

The first camera upgrade is that there are two telephoto lenses now. The periscope was extended to 10x optical magnification and a traditional 3x lens was added to fill in the mid-range zoom gap. Below that, the high-resolution main sensor handles the 1x to 3x range with lossless digital zoom. The 108MP main sensor has been upgraded too. Samsung calls it a “Bright Night sensor”, which uses its 9-in-1 pixel binning to 12MP, plus improvements in processing for superior low-light shots.

The S21 Ultra is the first Samsung to support 4K 60fps video recording with all cameras. All cameras, including the 40MP selfie camera, the 12MP Ultra Wide module (with Dual Pixel AF), the two tele cameras as well.

This is the first phone to support Wi-Fi 6E – that’s 802.11ax working in the less cluttered 6 GHz band, which means higher bandwidth and lower latency. The 5,000 mAh battery has the same capacity as last year, but the maximum wired charging speed has dropped to 25W. And, like we all feared, there’s no charger in the box. However, you can use any USB Power Delivery charger you have (PPS is supported), wireless chargers work too.

The Ultra starts at 128GB storage, the same as the other two phones, and has a 256GB option. The top configuration comes with half a terabyte, that is tied to 16GB of RAM. The base RAM capacity is 12GB. Samsung is building two versions of the S21 Ultra – one with the Snapdragon 888 and one with the Exynos 2100. The chipset is decided by where you buy the phone. So, North America gets the Snapdragon, Europe and India get the Exynos. The phone runs Android 11 with the latest One UI 3, which has some exclusive features.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra starts at €1,250/£1,150 for the 12/128 GB model. The phone will be in stores from January 29, but will probably arrive earlier if you pre-order. On pre-orders, users can get a pair of the noise-canceling Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro and a SmartTag for free.