Samsung is unveiling the Galaxy S21 earlier than ever, on January 14

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Samsung is unveiling the Galaxy S21 earlier than ever, on January 14
Samsung

Samsung has officially announced its next big product launch event, “Galaxy Unpacked 2021.” This show will unveil the Galaxy S21 and will be broadcast live on Samsung.com on January 14, 2021 at 10am ET. Typically, the Galaxy S announcement is in February, so this is earlier than ever for Samsung. January 14 is also the last day of this year's all-digital CES.

If you needed confirmation that the leaks were on the right track, Samsung's teaser image above confirms the rumored S21 camera bump design, which is shown disembodied and stored in a glass box. The new camera bump is the big design change this year—Samsung's camera solution has a new wrap-around design and is integrated into the corner of the phone. This sounds a bit scary for drop survivability, but the official renders seem to show a seam along the edge of the phone, hopefully indicating that the camera glass doesn't actually wrap around the sides of the phone. It certainly looks distinctive.

We know most of what we'll be getting with the Galaxy S21. The S21 will be the US's first phone with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC (the world's first Snapdragon 888 phone, the Xiaomi Mi 11, has already been announced for China, and some territories will get an S21 with a Samsung Exynos chip). The 888 will bring an ARM Cortex-X1 design to market, integrate a 5G modem into the main SoC design, and, for select, ultra-premium phones, will include Wi-Fi 6E.

Android Police has leaked spec sheets for the entire lineup, which should be the S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra. All three models have a 120Hz display, divvied up into 6.2-inches, 6.7-inches, and 6.8-inches respectively. Last year, the S20 line had 120Hz, 1440p displays, but you couldn't run the phone at both 120Hz and render the UI at the full 1440p resolution. This year it sounds like Samsung is solving that by downgrading the base and Pus model to a 1080p display, while the Ultra will stay at 1440p and hopefully can run at max refresh rate and resolution.
For battery power, we should be looking at 4000mAh for the S21, 4800mAh for the Plus, and 5000mAh for the Ultra model. The S21 and S21+ have three rear cameras, a 12MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, and a 64MP telephoto. Like the Note line, the base model S21 should have a plastic back, while the other models will be glass.
The more expensive S21 Ultra isn't much bigger than the S21+, but it should have some exclusive features. The Ultra is rumored to be the only model with Wi-Fi 6E support, along with support for Samsung's S-Pen stylus, borrowing a feature from the maybe dead, maybe not, Galaxy Note line. Unlike the Note line, the S-Pen isn't stowable in the Galaxy S21 Ultra, and we're already seeing leaks of bulky S21 Ultra cases that offer external stylus storage. The Ultra should also have a unique camera setup, with a 108MP main sensor, a 12MP wide-angle, a 10MP 3X optical telephoto, and a 10MP 10x optical telephoto camera.

Tune in for all the official info on January 14.

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