Galaxy S21 specs leak hints at Ultra model with S Pen support

The Exynos versions might catch up in performance, too.

Cherlynn Low/Engadget

There might not be much mystery left when Samsung reveals the Galaxy S21 (or S30) next year. Android Police sources claim to have leaked detailed specs for the S21 family, and they suggest the Ultra model will be even more of a centerpiece than it is now. While display sizes should remain very similar across the line, the 6.8-inch S21 Ultra will reportedly use a battery-saving LTPO display (like that in the Note 20 Ultra) with S Pen support and an eye-searing 1,600-nit peak brightness. The stylus won’t be included, the sources said. Instead, you’ll have to buy a case if you want to easily carry the pen with you.

The whole lineup, including the 6.2-inch S21 and 6.7-inch S21+, will reportedly move to the expected Snapdragon 875 in some countries and the unannounced Exynos 2100 in others. Don’t groan if you’re used to Exynos variants struggling to keep up, though. The 2100 is supposed to be “on-par or better than” the Snapdragon. We’d be cautious about accepting that boast at face value, but it is a positive sign if true.

Camera sizes wouldn’t change much on the regular S21 models between their 12MP primary sensors, 64MP telephoto units and 12MP ultra-wide shooters. The Ultra, however, would use a second-gen 108-megapixel sensor as well as 3X and 10X telephoto cameras with 130 percent larger pixels. All of the new Galaxies would finally get 4K, 60 frames per second video capture across all cameras as well as 8K recording at a faster 30FPS.

Other improvements would include ultra wideband from the Note 20, twice-as-fast WiFi 6E on the Ultra and a mode that records video from front and back cameras at the same time. Not everything would be a step forward, though — Samsung might use plastic (or “glasstic”) on the base S21 and reserve glass for at least the Ultra.

It’s not certain how firm these specs would be. If accurate, though, they’d negate some of the incentives to buy a Galaxy Note. You’d only need one if you intended to use the S Pen from the outset or otherwise want Samsung’s latest technology when the Note is current. This might not represent an end to the Note if so, but it could represent a change in strategy.