Galaxy Unpacked is always an exciting event for Samsung fans and especially industry analysts like me. Samsung is using the event as its own platform to share its latest corporate and consumer smartphones, tablets and many different wearable solutions. Last year’s event brought us the Note20 and Note20 +, Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 +, and Galaxy Buds Live. Topping last year’s Galaxy Unpacked event will be tough, but I don’t think that will stop Samsung from trying.
Let’s dig into the announcement. I’ll do a B-to-B analysis later.
Galaxy S21 5G and Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
The first announcement I want to bring up is in an all too familiar category. Ultra-premium smartphones are not a new market for Samsung, and it shows. I spent a lot of time using this last year Galaxy S20. At this year’s Unpacked, I was curious to see how the Galaxy S21 series could build on the successes of the previous generation. For strangers, the S20 and Note20 series smartphones represent the ultra-premium smartphones that are the best of the best smartphones Samsung can offer. These phones come with bright, responsive displays, lightning-fast chips, and long battery life.
The star of Galaxy Unpacked were the three new configurations of the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G and Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, which use the latest Android 11 operating system. The three arrangements of the device are the Galaxy S21 5G with a 6.2 “FHD (2400 x 1080), a 6.7” FHD (2400 x 1080), and a single 6.8 “(3200 x 1440) WQHD Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G model. All of the Galaxy S21 5G systems have an adaptive 120Hz display. I’ve used the 120Hz display on the last Galaxy S20 models and it was extremely responsive, so I expect a similar experience You really need to use a 120Hz display to see how different the experience feels.
Each of the systems comes standard with a Snapdragon 888 5 nm 64-bit octa-core processor. Both Galaxy S21 5G models are equipped with 8 GB LPDDR5 RAM and can be purchased with 128 GB or 256 GB of internal storage. The RAM and storage is one area where the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G represents a huge step forward over the other models. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is available in two configurations: the first has 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM with 128 GB or 256 GB of storage and the second has 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM with 512 GB of storage. I think it’s great that we live in a world where a premium smartphone can hold almost as much RAM and SD as a gaming PC. The 6.2 “S21 5G model is equipped with a 4000 mAh battery, the 6.7” S21 5G model with a 4800 mAh battery and the S21 Ultra 5G with a 5000 mAh battery.
The cameras Samsung can put in these smartphones are always the front runners in the smartphones category, including photo and video performance.
Galaxy S21 5G cameras –
The Galaxy S21 5G uses a unique front camera and a rear-facing three-camera system for photo and video.
- Front camera: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, F2.2, 80 degree field of view
- First reversing camera: Ultra-wide 12MP, F2.2, 120 degree field of view
- Second reversing camera: Wide angle 12MP, F1.8, Dual Pixel AF
- Third rear view camera: Tele 64MP, F2.0 phase detection AF, hybrid optics 3.0
- In addition to these specifications, the Galaxy S21 5G supports 30x space zoom.
Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G cameras –
The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is a good boost in camera performance compared to the Galaxy S21 5G. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G uses a unique front camera and quad rear camera system.
- Front camera: 40MP phase detection AF, 80 degree field of view, F2.2
- First reversing camera: Ultra-wide 12MP Dual Pixel AF
- Second reversing camera: Wide angle 108MP phase detection AF, F1.8
- Third reversing camera: Tele 1: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, optical 3x, F2.4
- Fourth reversing camera: Tele 2: 10 MP Dual Pixel AF, optical 10x, F4.9
A major difference to the Galaxy S21 5G compared to the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G are the better camera solutions, including 100x room zoom, laser AF sensor and two telephoto lenses. Another distinguishing feature of the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is the use of the S Pen via Wacom technology. The S21 Ultra 5G is also one of the first smartphones to support Wi-Fi 6E. The smartphones will be available in Phantom Black, Phantom Titanium, Phantom Navy and Phantom Brown. Pre-orders for the systems will begin on January 14th.
Galaxy Buds Pro
Samsung claims that the new Galaxy Buds Pro are the highest quality earbuds it has ever released. I have to say after reading the specs and watching the promotional video, I first have to agree. The new design of the Galaxy Buds Pro looks a bit slimmer than the last generation, but retains a design of similar quality. I didn’t think the design needed to change much, but it appears that the internals of Galaxy Buds Pro have been upgraded from Galaxy Buds Live. In my opinion, a set of wireless earbuds can boast significant noise cancellation, great highs and lows, and a reliable microphone.
Galaxy Buds Pro
The new earphones have an 11-millimeter woofer for enhanced bass and a 6.5-millimeter tweeter for more powerful highs. What that plaintively means is that this audio experience will have better bass, clearer, and louder audio. With a large workforce still working remotely or in a hybrid environment, a good microphone for earphones is essential. In general, earbuds are historically poor in microphone quality, so I wasn’t expecting a significant improvement in the Galaxy Buds Pro over Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live. Samsung added some new features to improve the microphone quality of the new earbuds. The additions include three microphones and a voice pickup unit (VPU). The external microphones also use a signal-to-noise ratio of SNR, which also reduces background noise. In addition, Samsung has incorporated its new Wind Shield technology, which is intended to address some issues with using the earbuds outdoors.
What’s interesting is that the earbuds can tell when a user is talking and that the earbuds automatically override the noise cancellation functions and switch to ambient noise. The device allows the user to keep the earbuds when talking to someone. I could have used this feature at the post today when someone called me on a different line and my noise-canceling earbuds prevented me from hearing the person behind me alerting me.
With the new Galaxy Buds Pro, you can expect 5 hours of battery life on a single charge with ANC enabled. You can also add an additional 13 hours of battery life to the charging case, so effective that 18 hours of operating time would charge the charging case. The new Galaxy Buds Pro will be available in three color waves, including phantom purple, phantom black and phantom silver. Starting January 14, the earbuds start at $ 199.
With Galaxy Unpacked officially behind us in 2021, a lot of devices have been launched that I can’t wait to get my hands on. Samsung doubled in size and pushed more chips into the table by launching its new S21 range of 5G-enabled devices. The smartphones have incredible displays and I can’t wait to test out the new camera options with this lineup. The Galaxy Buds Pro couldn’t come at a better time. With audio and video conferencing still prevalent while navigating Covid-19, the need for top quality noise-canceling earphones and a great microphone remains constant. Starting at $ 199, I could see these Apple Airpods Pro earbuds have been replaced for many users, especially at 20% cheaper prices. But it has to work because I’m willing to pay more for better. We will see.
Galaxy Unpacked 2021 was another exciting event that was well done by the Samsung team. I’ll follow up on more of a B-to-B take later.
Note: The authors and editors of Moor Insights & Strategy may have contributed to this article.
Disclosure: Like all research and analyst firms, Moor Insights & Strategy offers or has offered fee-based research, analysis, advice or advice to many high-tech companies in the industry, including 8×8, Advanced Micro Devices, Amazon, Applied Micro and ARM, Aruba Networks, AT&T, AWS, A-10 strategies, Bitfusion, Blaize, Calix, Cisco systems, Klare Software, Cloudera, Clumio, cognitive systems, CompuCom, Dell, Dell EMC, Dell technologies, Diablo technologies, digital Optik, Dreamchain, Echelon, Ericsson, Extreme Networks, Flex, Foxconn, Frame, Fujitsu, Gen Z-Konsortium, Klebenetzwerke, GlobalFoundries, Google (Nest-Revolve), Google Cloud, HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Honeywell, Huawei Technologies , IBM, Ion VR, Inseego, Intel, Interdigital, Jabil Circuit, Konica Minolta, Lattice Semiconductors, Lenovo, Linux Foundation, MapBox, Mavenir, Marseille Inc., Mayfair Equity, Meraki (Cisco), Mesophere, Microsoft, Mojo Networks, National Instruments , NetApp, Nightwatch, NOKIA (Alcatel-Lu Cent), Nortek, Novumind, NVIDIA, ON Semiconductor, ONUG, OpenStack Foundation, Oracle, Poly, Panasas, Peraso, Pexip, Pixelworks, Federdesign, Portworx, pure storage, Qualcomm, Rackspace, Rambus, Rayvolt E- Bikes, Red Hat, Residio, Samsung Electronics, SAP, SAS, Scale Computing, Schneider Electric, Silver Peak, SONY, Springpath, Spirent, Splunk, Sprint, Stratus Technologies, Symantec, Synaptik, Syniversum, Synopsys, Tanium, TE connectivity, TensTorrent, Tobii Technology, Twitter, Unity Technologies, UiPath, Verizon Communications, Vidyo, VMware, Wave Computing, Wellsmith, Xilinx, Zebra, Zededa, and Zoho which can be cited in this article.