Samsung refreshes the Galaxy S21 & S21+ with improved performance, display, and camera

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In brief: The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ are two peas in a pod. Aside from their slight difference in size and price, both flagship phones feature the same performance provided by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. They each feature “pro-grade cameras” with innovative AI-assisted image processing and 5G support starting at $799.99.

Samsung showed off its newest Galaxy-branded products on Thursday. The Korean electronics giant unveiled its Tile-like tracking fob the Galaxy SmartTag and its next-generation Galaxy Buds, but stars of the show were its flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+, as well as the premium Galaxy S21 Ultra.

As one would expect, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 have many of the same features with subtle differences. Both have a “Dynamic” AMOLED FHD+ display with a variable 120Hz refresh rate (48-120Hz). The difference being that the standard S21 has a 6.2-inch screen, while the S21+ is 6.7 inches.

Each model has identical 10MP front-facing selfie cams and triple-camera arrays at the rear, which feature “pro-grade enhancements,” including 12MP wide- and ultra-wide-angle lenses. The third sensor is a 64MP telephoto. However, users need not worry about camera complexity. Samsung’s imaging software handles all the heavy lifting, so even taking 8K video is point and shoot.

Speaking of imaging software, Samsung has focused on making the Galaxy S21 series Vlogger-friendly. Users can capture video from both the front and rear cameras simultaneously. Additionally, with a set of Galaxy Buds, vloggers can record crisp, clear ambient sound and commentary at the same time using multiple mic recording technology.

Both models are powered by a 2.8GHz 5nm Snapdragon 888 octa-core processor with 8GB RAM (LPDDR5) and either 128GB or 256GB internal storage. All phones in the S21 line have 5G support as well. Unfortunately, Samsung chose to drop the expandable storage this time around. It has also stopped bundling phones with charger, but we knew that was coming. Both moves helped to reduce the price to around $800 for the most basic model.

Pricing for the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ starts at $800 and $1,000, respectively. Samsung offers financing plans of $4.17 per month (21 months) for the S21 and $8.34 per month (36 months) for the S21+ with an eligible $700 trade-ins.

Pre-ordering began today, with both phones shipping on January 29. Those making purchases between now and January 28 are eligible for $100 Samsung Credit for the Galaxy S21 and $150 for the S21+. As a bonus, pre-order customers will also receive a free Galaxy SmartTag, Samsung’s new tracking fob.



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