Here’s what to expect from Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Unpacked event

Breaking down Samsung's January 14th Unpacked event

Like every year, Samsung has announced that it will unveil its new S series smartphones at an Unpacked keynote. Unlike in previous years, however, the tech giant is holding the event in January. When most products and events have been delayed due to COVID-19, the top smartphone manufacturer in the world has managed to push up its timeline by slightly more than a month.

Samsung will host the Unpacked event on January 14th at 10am ET/7am PT. The video will stream on the company’s website and likely YouTube.

We’re expecting to see the Galaxy S21 series of smartphones, the successor to the Galaxy Buds+ and a new Samsung-branded Bluetooth tracker.

Galaxy S21 Ultra

The trio of devices will be the company’s newest flagships and potentially the best ‘Candybar’ handsets the tech-maker will release all year, as rumours indicate the South Korean manufacturer may ditch its Note brand.

The largest and most high-end of the three phones will likely be the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. It’s expected to sport a Snapdragon 888 chipset, four rear-facing camera shooters, a large battery and come in two colour variants.

Here are the handset’s rumoured specs, leaked by WinFuture

    • Snapdragon 888 chipset (Canada/U.S.)
    • 12GB of RAM
    • Curved 6.8-inch WQHD+, Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED 2X, Always-On display with Gorilla Glass 7, 120Hz refresh rate, 1,600 nits of brightness 515ppi pixel density
    • 128GB/256GB/512GB of storage
    • 108-megapixel (wide-angle lens, f/1.8, 79-degree field of view, OIS) + 12-megapixel (ultra-wide-angle lens, f/2.2, 120-degree, autofocus) + 10-megapixel (telephoto f/2.4, 35-degree field of view, OIS), 10-megapixel (telephoto f/4.9 10-degree field of view, 3x & 10x hybrid optical zoom)
    • 40-megapixel front-facing camera (f/2.2, 80-degree field of view)
    • 8K video recording at 30fps, 4K video recording at 30/60fps, etc.
    • IP68 rated, Wireless PowerShare, e-SIM, Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner
    • 5,000mAh battery, fast charging, Qi charging,
    • Phantom Silver, Phantom Black
    • 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm
    • 228g
  • For those who think they’ll miss the S-Pen given Samsung is rumoured to be ditching the Note series, the S21 Ultra works with the stylus. Unlike Note series smartphones, however, S21 Ultra won’t be capable of holding the stylus; instead, you’ll need to purchase a case.

If you want a powerhouse smartphone, the S21 Ultra is the device you’ll after, but it’ll also come at a high price as the handset is rumoured to cost 1,349€ (roughly $2,109 CAD). So, if you’re looking for a more affordable, high-quality device, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy S21+, another smartphone that Samsung will reportedly unveil at next week’s event.

Galaxy S21+

The Samsung Galaxy S21+ is rumoured to offer high-quality specs that aren’t over the top. You can expect three cameras on this device, a large 4,800mAh battery, less RAM and pretty standard screen quality.

Below are the handset’s rumour specs, leaked by WinFuture

  • Snapdragon 888 chipset (Canada/U.S.)
  • 8GB of RAM
  • Flat 6.7-inch FullHD+, Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED Always-On display with Gorilla Glass Victus, 120Hz refresh rate, 1,300 nits of brightness 398ppi pixel density
  • 12-megapixel (f/1.8 aperture, 26mm, 79-degree field of view, OIS) + 64-megapixel telephoto (f/2.0 aperture 76-degree field of view, OIS, 3x hybrid zoom, auto-focus) + 12-megapixel ultrawide (f/2.2 aperture, 120-degree field of view)
  • 10-megapixel (f/2.2 aperture, 80-degree field of view)
  • 8K video recording at 30fps, 4K video recording at 30/60fps, etc.
  • 128GB/256GB of storage
  • 5G, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC,
  • 4,800mAh battery with 25W charging, Qi Wireless charging and reverse charging
  • IP68 rated, Wireless PowerShare, e-SIM, Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner
  • Phantom Silver, Phantom Black, Phantom Purple
  • 161.4 x 75.6 x 7.8mm
  • 202g

Personally, I’m excited to get my hands on the ‘Phantom Purple’ or ‘Phantom Silver’ versions of this handset. As with previous years, this phone has leaked in several videos, giving us a detailed look at the device. For example, check out YouTuber Random Stuff 2’s video of the Galaxy S21+.

Galaxy S21

Next up is the smaller handset for those who think 6.7-inch or 6.8-inch smartphones are too large. The Samsung Galaxy S21 is mostly the same phone as the S21+, except it offers a 6.2-inch display paired with a smaller battery. It’s also worth mentioning the phone has a plastic back this time around.

Here are the handset’s rumoured specs, leaked by WinFuture

    • Snapdragon 888 chipset (Canada/U.S.)
    • 8GB of RAM
    • Flat 6.2-inch FullHD+, Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED Always-On display with Gorilla Glass Victus, 120Hz refresh rate, 1,300 nits of brightness 421ppi pixel density
    • 12-megapixel (f/1.8 aperture, 26mm, 79-degree field of view, OIS) + 64-megapixel telephoto (f/2.0 aperture 76-degree field of view, OIS, 3x hybrid zoom, auto-focus) + 12-megapixel ultrawide (f/2.2 aperture, 120-degree field of view)
    • 10-megapixel (f/2.2 aperture, 80-degree field of view)
    • 8K video recording at 30fps, 4K video recording at 30/60fps, etc.
    • 128GB/256GB of storage
    • 5G, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC,
    • 4,000mAh with 25W charging, Qi Wireless, and reverse charging,
    • IP68 rated, Wireless PowerShare, e-SIM, Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner
    • Phantom Gray, Phantom White, Phantom Pink, Phantom Purple
    • 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm
    • 171 grams
Samsung Galaxy S21 leak

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

While the phones alone are enough for an Unpacked event, rumours indicate that Samsung also has a pair of new earbuds up its sleeve.

Accidentally unofficially confirmed by Samsung Canada, the company will likely announce the Galaxy Buds Pro at its Unpacked event. Leaker Walking Cat has revealed quite a bit about the upcoming earbuds, confirming that the buds sport a two-way speaker, noise-cancelling, three microphones, always-on Bixby and eight hours of battery.

YouTuber Digital Slang was even able to purchase the earbuds from a seller on Facebook in the United States.

In the video, he notes that the noise cancellation isn’t as good as Apple’s AirPods Pro, but the transparency mode is the best he’s heard from any other earbuds.

Finally, rumours are pointing to Samsung officially launching the Galaxy SmartTag, a Tile-like Bluetooth tracker. The Galaxy SmartTag was first spotted on the Taiwanese NCC.

This IoT device reportedly uses Bluetooth to connect with nearby devices, according to 91mobilesThe SmartTag is powered by a standard button cell battery that allows users to swap out the battery when it dies.

We can confirm that Samsung will launch the Galaxy SmartTags in Canada, as it was spotted on the Canadian Radio Equipment List database. 

While we’ll see these above devices on January 14th, Canadian pricing and availability are currently unclear.

What might be at Unpacked 2021

We might see a new Galaxy Z Flip at this year’s event. Last year, Samsung revealed the Galaxy Z Flip alongside the Galaxy S series. That said, it doesn’t seem likely the company will do this again this year.

Rumours indicate that Samsung will launch the Z Flip 3 series sometime in the latter half of the year, near when it will also launch the Z Fold 3. This is likely to make up for the lack of a new Note handset in 2021.

Sources: Winfuture + Roland Quandt, WalkingCat, Taiwan NCC 

Image Credit: Android Police, GSMArena

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