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Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2021: What to expect

Samsung announced it’s set to host the first of its biannual “Unpacked” launch events this year on Thursday, January 14, about a month ahead of its usual schedule.

While the South Korean tech giant has been tight-lipped about what it’s cooking up, as is usually the case every year, a multitude of leaks have already clued us in on what we can expect to be announced at the event.

Here are some of them:

Galaxy S21 phones

Samsung typically launches its Galaxy S series phones at the early part of the year and that doesn’t appear to be changing in 2021, with leaks suggesting the S21 will headline this year’s Unpacked.

Similar to its predecessor, the S21 is expected to launch as a trio of phones: the base S21, the S21+, and the S21 Ultra.

If leaked information shared by WinFuture and AndroidPolice are to be believed, all 3 phones support 5G network connectivity and ship with either a Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 chipset.

All 3 also boast a redesigned camera array that closely resembles the one seen on the Note 20.

That, however, just about wraps it up for similarities. As for differences, the S21 line doesn’t stray too far from the last few S iterations, mostly boiling down to display size, battery capacity, camera capabilities, and, of course, price.

The S21 is the smallest of the bunch with a 6.2-inch panel. The S21+ sits in the middle at 6.7-inches while the S21 Ultra is the biggest at 6.8-inches.

Both the S21 and the S21+ will support 120Hz refresh rate at FHD+ resolution. The two are also expected to flaunt the flatter, 2.5D screens seen from the S20. The S21 Ultra, meanwhile, has a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate that can be enabled on a WQHD+ screen resolution and a curved display.

When it comes to battery capacity, the S21 ships with a 4,000mAh pack; the S21+ with a 4,8000 pack; and the S21 Ultra with a 5,000mAh pack.

For cameras, the S21 and S21+ reportedly share the same triple-rear setup, which is comprised of a 12MP main lens, a 12MP ultra wide lens, and a 64MP telephoto lens; while the S21 Ultra boasts a quad setup, which is made up of a 108MP main lens, a 12MP ultra wide lens, a 3x and 10x zoom telephoto lens, with support for up to 100x digital zoom. Samsung is said to have also packed a laser autofocus on the S21 Ultra to resolve the focus issues experienced by users of the S20 Ultra.

On top of this, the S21 Ultra is likely to be the fastest and best-performing among the three since it houses 12GB of RAM, compared to the 8GB of the S21 and the S21+.

Finally, for prices, according to renowned leaker Ishan Agarwal the Galaxy S21 starts at €849, which is about P49,715 when converted; while the S21+ starts at about €1,049, which is approximately P61,430; and the S21 Ultra starts at €1,399, which estimates to P78,410.

Remember these numbers are just initial estimates and probably won’t reflect the local prices of the phones. They could be cheaper or more expensive than what we’ve listed here. We’ll find out for sure in the coming week.

Standalone S Pen

If the rumors are true, starting with the S21, the S Pen will no longer be exclusive to the Note phones, with Samsung adding support for the stylus on the Ultra variant of this year’s flagships.

Unlike the Note series, though, it doesn’t seem like the S21 Ultra includes its own S Pen in the package. Instead, the stylus will be sold separately as a standalone product.

The S Pen on the S21 Ultra features a remote shutter button for the camera and gesture controls.

Galaxy Buds Pro

Apple’s well-received AirPods Pro is arguably the current undisputed king in the earbuds space. Samsung, however, might finally have something to give it a run for its money with the Galaxy Buds Pro, which has already found its way into the hands of some online reviewers.

Samsung’s new earbuds reportedly take the active noise-cancelling and wireless charging features of the Galaxy Buds Live and combine it with improved sound quality and wireless charging. It also features an overhauled design, ditching the bean-like shape of the Live in favor of the more traditional buds look.

It’s rumored to sell for around $200, which is somewhere in the upper P9,000 range.

Other possible announcements

There have been rumors about Samsung developing a new foldable phone due to launch this year, but we’re not holding our breath on seeing it at the event. It could make an appearance, but it seems unlikely at this point, given how there haven’t been any leaks yet.

The announcement of new wearables, tablets, and other gadgets are also very much possible. But we don’t see any of them stealing the spotlight away from the S21.

Finally, there have been rumblings that Samsung could be following in Apple’s footsteps in shipping all the S21 trio without a charger or a pair of headphones. It’s not clear yet what the company’s take on the matter is, but we’ll surely find out when the phones launch. –