Will Galaxy S21 Phones Tempt Us with Cameras and Styluses?

Snazzy specs, familiar features

Key Takeaways

  • Samsung’s latest S21 phones won’t be officially announced until next week, but rumors of high-end specs are whetting my appetite.
  • Leaked specifications suggest the phones will come in three different screen sizes and sport minor design tweaks.
  • The primary camera on the highest-end model will have a 108-megapixel sensor, and the whole lineup is expected to include Qualcomm’s latest and greatest mobile processor.
Guests waiting in line to attend Samsung's Galaxy UNPACKED at The Palace of Fine Arts in February 2020 in San Francisco, California
Kelly Sullivan / Getty Images

Samsung will unveil its latest S21 phones next week, and if the rumors prove true, there’s a lot to look forward to, such as an included stylus and better cameras.

All will be revealed at Samsung’s scheduled unveiling of its new line of smartphones on January 14. For those who just can’t wait, though, there’s a ton of innuendo spinning across the web about Samsung’s flagship line, including hints of a few new design tweaks.

The most substantial and compelling evidence of the new phones comes courtesy of Android Police, which may have gotten its hands on the actual spec sheet. Expect three models with different screen sizes: the 6.2-inch S21, a 6.7-inch S21 Plus, and a 6.8-inch S21 Ultra.

Samsung is known as one of the world’s premier screen manufacturers, so it’s no surprise that these models’ screens are expected to be top-notch. All of the S21 handsets will likely support 120Hz for silky smooth scrolling and video watching, but the high-end S21 Ultra could boast the highest resolution WQHD Plus display.

"This wild mixture of speculation and evidence is driving me to rethink my love of iPhones..."

If the renderings snagged by Steve Hemmerstoffer prove correct, there won’t be a massive difference in the design of the S21 line compared to previous models. However, I look forward to a hole-punch selfie camera. There may also be a violet-colored option for those who want to stand out from the pack. While not a massive design change, Samsung fanatics might want to be on the lookout for a possible move of the cameras on the S21 and S21 Plus to the top left corner of the phablets.

More Megapixels and Many Cameras

Speaking of cameras, Samsung appears to be trying to blast the competition with its photo specs. The S21 Ultra boasts a vast camera module with four rear cameras, including a 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide, plus two 10-megapixel telephoto cameras at 3x and 10x optical zoom. According to the leaked spec sheet, the primary camera on this model appears to have a 108-megapixel sensor.

A person films a newly unveiled holiday window that reads, "love" outside of Macy's in Herald Square on November 25, 2020 in NYC
Noam Galai / Getty Images

Driving all these high-end cameras and screens will be the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor in the U.S. The Snapdragon 888 was announced last month, and Qualcomm claims it will have speedier 5G performance and longer battery life.

"Snapdragon 888 transforms mobile devices into professional-quality cameras," Qualcomm said in a news release. "Featuring the new Qualcomm Spectra 580 ISP, this platform is the first Snapdragon with a Triple Image Signal Processor (ISP), capable of capturing from three cameras simultaneously at breakneck processing speeds—up to 2.7 gigapixels per second."

With big specs often comes a big hit in battery life, but it looks like Samsung’s S21 lineup will come prepared. The lowest-end S21 will have a 4,000-mAh battery, the S21 Plus battery will clock in 4,800 mAh, and the S21 Ultra will get a beastly 5,000-mAh battery.

One Stylus to Rule Them All?

Perhaps the most exciting possibility, although one that’s supported by slim evidence, is that the S21 could sport a stylus like Samsung’s Galaxy Note lineup. However, the renderings that have been leaked don’t show any place for a stylus to be inserted. So, why suspect that the S21 is getting stylus support? There’s a Reuters report from last month claiming the Galaxy Notes are going bye-bye and that, therefore, the styli may migrate to the S21 lineup.

"All will be revealed at Samsung’s scheduled unveiling of its new line of smartphones on January 14."

This wild mixture of speculation and evidence is driving me to rethink my love of iPhones and reconsider the possibility of taking up a Samsung as my daily driver. I’ve invested a lot in Apple gear, but I do love the idea of having a stylus, and those camera specs are undoubtedly enticing. It won’t be too long before we find out if this excitement was worth it.

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