On the 14th of January, Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy S21 lineup at Galaxy Unpacked 2021, which consists of the S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra, set to be released on the 29th of January.
Compared to last years' Galaxy S20 lineup which started at a retail price of $999, the Galaxy S21 lineup gets a $200 price drop across the board, retailing at $799, $999, and $1199 respectively. Although, this comes at the expense of the previously included power brick and 1440p displays on the S21 and the S21+.
Even though Samsung uses almost the same camera hardware as the previous generation, the S21 lineup gets a host of new camera features; the main highlights being Single Take 2.0, 12-bit HDR, 12-bit RAW photography, dual telephoto cameras, and 100x Space zoom.
Single Take 2.0
Samsung introduced the 'Single Take' feature last year with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It allows users to capture fast-changing scenarios by recording a short video clip of up to 10 seconds instead of just a single photo, letting users pick what fits the best according to their needs. With the Galaxy S21 series, Samsung has announced Single Take 2.0 that now captures more frames each second. Now, the feature also records the section as a slow-motion video clip so you can share the most action-packed events with great detail and the added dramatic effect of slow-mo.
12-bit HDR and 12-bit RAW photography
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is also capable of capturing photos with HDR and RAW shots in 12-bit. This means that images in this mode will have about 68 million colors — or 64 times the colors in a 10-bit image. As you can expect, this allows for a finer transition between one color to another on a photograph, essentially eliminating color noise to a great degree. An average user may not detect the difference between 10-bit and 12-bit color, but the upgrade is of great importance to professional photographers.
Dual telephoto cameras and 100x space zoom
Samsung is reintroducing the 100x Space Zoom with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Unlike the Galaxy S20 Ultra, which only features a 4x telephoto setup, the Galaxy S21 Ultra features a more advanced 10x periscope camera for crisper long-range images. Inarguably, this is among the most advanced telephoto cameras available on any handheld device. To top it up, Samsung also offers a secondary telephoto camera set at 3x optical zoom. The company claims there is a seamless and automatic transition between the two telephoto cameras based on the level of the zoom or focal range at which you are attempting to shoot.
Other Exciting attributes
Generally, the Galaxy S lineup in most regions including Europe and India are shipped with a significantly inferior Exynos chip on board rather than a Snapdragon one. According to reports, previous Exynos variants not only ran hotter but also had up to 20% worse battery life and performance. Not surprisingly, this resulted in many dissatisfied users, who went as far as starting petitions begging Samsung to sell Snapdragon variants in their territory instead. Samsung heard that loud and clear and this year, according to reports, Samsung has managed to close the gap between their in-house Exynos 2100 chip and the competing Snapdragon 888 chip, with some reports suggesting that the Exynos 2100 CPU cores are clocked higher than those of the Snapdragon 888 processor. Samsung is serious with their Exynos SoCs now more than ever. Samsung went as far as to announce a partnership with AMD for a next-gen mobile GPU on their next flagship chipset.
The Galaxy S21 lineup will be sandwiched between the Gorilla Glass Victus which according to reports can survive drops of up to two meters in height, compared to the maximum drop height of 1.6 meters for Gorilla Glass 6. It's also twice as scratch-resistant.
Alongside the S21 lineup, Samsung is also launching two new S Pens, including a Pro model. These and any old S Pens will be supported by the Galaxy S21 Ultra.