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Samsung has launched its S21 series

Three new mobile phones, the Galaxy Buds Pro, and the Galaxy SmartTag Bluetooth tracker

Text:
Daniel Haaf

Published:
19 January 2021

Samsung has introduced three new mobile phones in the Galaxy S21 series. The Galaxy S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra, all with screen sizes from 6.2 inches and up to four rear cameras. 

During its launch event, Samsung unveiled several other products that will be released in early 2021. Among them the Bluetooth tracker Galaxy SmartTag, a direct competitor to the Tiles series, and the Galaxy Buds Pro headphones. 

In this article, we’ve gathered the most important information about Samsung's new mobile phones and other gadgets from the event.

Photo: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus

Samsung unveiled three new mobile phones during its digital event. The two smaller, cheaper variants, the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus, are the more wallet-friendly models while the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the most feature-rich flagship phone.

The Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus look almost identical. The big differences are the screen size and battery capacity. The Galaxy S21 is the smallest model with a screen of 6.2 inches, while S21 Plus has a screen size of 6.7 inches. The screen resolution is the same in both phones, and has actually decreased from last year's models, 2,400 x 1,080 pixels instead of 3,200 x 1,440 pixels.

The edges around the screen have been reworked and given a sharper shape with less of a curve than before. The back of the Galaxy S21 is made of plastic,  whilst the S21 Plus has aluminium. Behind the screen we find batteries with a capacity of 4,000 mAh and 4,800 mAh for the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus respectively. There is also 8GB of RAM, and the system circuit Exynos 2100 or Snapdragon 888 depending on where in the world you buy your Galaxy phone.

The front camera is a single camera of ten megapixels. The back houses three cameras. It’s a 12-megapixel wide angle camera, 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle and the main camera is a 64-megapixel telephoto lens. Both mobile phones can record video in 8K resolution.

Photo: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the largest and most expensive model in the series. Here we’ll find the best camera set, the largest screen and the largest battery capacity. 

The screen size is a massive 6.8 inches and the resolution increases to 3,200 x 1,440 pixels. The screen refresh rate is up to 120Hz. The battery has a 5,000 mAh capacity, and there is 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. The system circuit is Snapdragon 888 from Qualcomm. 

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is Samsung's first mobile phone outside the Galaxy Note series that supports the active stylus pen S Pen. The stylus is not included when you buy a Galaxy S21 Ultra, you have to buy that separately. The Samsung S Pen can be purchased with a case that protects both the S Pen and the mobile phone. 

Just like the sibling models, the Ultra model has a 40-megapixel front camera. On the back is a high-resolution 108-megapixel camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle and no less than two 10-megapixel telephotos cameras. What distinguishes the telephotos cameras is the zoom level, one has 3x and the other 10x.

  • Samsung has removed the support for microSD cards in all new mobile phones. This means that the maximum storage is 256GB for the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus, and 512GB for the S21 Ultra.
  • Only the S21 Plus and S21 Ultra support ultra-wideband. If you want to use the Galaxy SmartTag +, you have to choose one of these models. Galaxy SmartTag, on the other hand, works with all three models.
  • All Galaxy S21 Series screens have an adaptive screen refresh rate of up to 120Hz. The best is the S21 Ultra which can handle from 10Hz. The two smaller models can only handle 48Hz and up.
  • The phones don’t come with a power adapter when you buy them. Just like with the Apple iPhone 12 series, you have to buy one separately, or use an adapter you already have lying around at home.
Photo: Samsung

S Pen and S Pen Pro

Samsung is releasing two new active stylus pens – the S Pen and S Pen Pro. They are manufactured in collaboration with Wacom and use improved technology that makes them work optimally with the new S21 Ultra. 

With a stylus, it’s easier to, for example, take screenshots, take notes on pictures, control the mobile phone with gesture movements and sign documents. 

What distinguishes the new S Pen and S Pen Pro is that the latter supports Bluetooth. This means that it works with gesture control and you get notifications on your mobile phone if you happen to forget it on the desk when you leave the office, for example. 

S Pen and S Pen Pro can be used with Galaxy S21 Ultra, Note 10/20 and Galaxy Tab S6 / S7. For stylus pens to work properly, One UI 3.1 or later software must be used.

Photo: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Galaxy Buds Pro are the latest and, according to Samsung, the best-sounding in-ear headphones so far in the Buds series. The headphones have active noise reduction and a tight fit against the ear to block out as much noise as possible. 

There is also a so-called "ambient sound mode" which instead amplifies the sound from the surroundings. When you start talking, the mode is activated automatically so that you don’t drown out your own voice with, for example, music in your ears. 

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro has three microphones in each headphone. They are used both to capture your voice during conversations and to analyse the surroundings, including the wind, so that the noise reduction is optimal. 

Other exciting details are support for surround sound with "Dolby Head Tracking" technology that senses your head movements and automatically changes the sound image for you. And just like the AirPods series for iPhone, Galaxy Buds Pro can automatically switch between your Samsung gadgets. 

You’ll get up to 20 hours of battery life, weather-resistant design (IPX7) and three colours - black, silver and purple - to choose from.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro on PriceSpy

Photo: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag – helps you find your lost gadgets

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag is a so-called Bluetooth tag, or tracker, which you attach to your most important gadgets. For example, the keys, wallet or purse. You can then find them using your mobile phone when the Bluetooth tag is within reach. 

When a Galaxy SmartTag is found, an approximate position is shown on a map. Positioning is done using the signal strength of the Bluetooth connection. 

It was long rumoured that the Galaxy SmartTag would use "ultra-wideband" as Apple AirTags are expected to do, but that didn’t happen. Instead, the Bluetooth chip is completely dependent on Bluetooth low energy to be connected and found by a mobile phone. However, Samsung says that an extra advanced UWD variant called Tag + will come later in 2021. 

Galaxy SmartTag only works with Samsung's own mobile phones. If you have an Android phone from another manufacturer, or maybe an iPhone, the Galaxy SmartTag does not work at all. In that case, try using the Tile series that offers similar functionality.

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag & SmartTag+ on PriceSpy

This article is written by PriceSpy's editorial staff. No one else has influenced the content of it. There are no paid links or other types of advertising collaborations. Daniel Haaf can be reached at [email protected]