Samsung will be holding its Unpacked event on January 14th at 10AM ET, and we’ve already got a pretty clear picture of what it’ll be releasing. Obviously, the Galaxy S21 will be shown off in its regular, Plus, and Ultra varieties, and it seems like we’ll be seeing a new pair of wireless earbuds and tracking tags alongside the phones. This post has all of the rumors we’ve gathered up until now, and we’ll be adding all of the news from the event as it happens.
Samsung hasn’t been shy about the fact that it’s releasing a new phone — you can even already reserve a preorder for it. The company has also more or less confirmed that the S Pen stylus, previously limited to the Note line of phones, will be coming to the Galaxy S line. Rumors also indicate that the phones will include a wide variety of cameras but not a charger in the box.
It’s also expected that Samsung will launch a $199 set of wireless earbuds, dubbed the Galaxy Buds Pro, which are rumored to have active noise cancellation. We may also see a tracking tag meant to compete with the likes of Tile, possibly called the Galaxy SmartTag.
The hours are short until the event, but if you’d like to see a list of all the things we expect to see, you can check out our full roundup. Otherwise, we’ll see you back here when everything kicks off so you’ll have all your Unpacked news in one place.
Jan 29, 2021
Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra
Samsung’s new line of smartphones the S21 line — the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra are now available for purchase at various retailers. Below, we tell you where you can order them and what deals you can get from each retailer. As a reminder, their prices range from $999.99 to upward of $1,379.99.Read Article >
If you want to check out our thoughts before you buy, we reviewed the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. If you want more information on the Galaxy S21 Plus, The Verge’s Chaim Gartenberg did a hands-on earlier this month for all three phones.
Jan 15, 2021
Samsung will gradually remove chargers and earbuds from future phones
Samsung’s future phones will also not come with charging bricks, the company has revealed, but it’s leaving itself some wiggle room. In a Q&A about why it’s no longer including headphones and a charging brick in the box, Samsung says it believes gradually removing the accessories from its phones could help make them more sustainable.Read Article >
This answer implies that, while the next generations of its phones may not come with the included accessories, some may. Samsung has other lines that it brands as Galaxy, from its folding phones to its more budget options, and it’s left itself room to keep including a charger in some of them for a little while longer.
Samsung put the final nail in the box that used to contain a charger
There was a time I would have railed against a gadget maker for daring to ship a phone without a charger.Read Article >
That time was yesterday. Then, Apple was the poster boy for the idea — Apple with its goody-two-shoes rhetoric about saving the environment while continuing to produce an array of proprietary cables and wireless chargers, one of which requires you to buy a new power brick anyhow.
Jan 14, 2021
You’ll never believe it, Samsung made a black phone
Samsung’s just announced a ton of new products: the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is the company’s latest flagship and SmartTags are a Tile and (maybe) Apple AirTags competitor. But the real innovation, the thing that Samsung spent almost three minutes waxing poetically about during its 2021 Unpacked presentation, was the color black.Read Article >
Specifically, “phantom black,” the company’s “new” version of black for the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. A black that Samsung describes as “strong, fluid, and modern,” and also “unapologetic,” “resonant,” and “unforgettable,” despite looking more or less like the black phones Samsung’s rolled out almost every year. Call it Samsung entering its Adult Goth phase or maybe just a way to pad out a presentation that was light on news. You can get a glimpse of Samsung’s... passion for the color in the video below:
Samsung partners with Audi, BMW, Ford, and Genesis to turn your phone into a car key
The dream of using your phone to unlock your car door (instead of carrying around a bulging key fob) may be one step closer today: Samsung has announced partnerships with Audi, BMW, Ford, and Genesis to do just that, saying the feature may be available as soon as August 2021. And excitingly, those digital car keys should work with Apple iPhones and across other Android brands, too.Read Article >
That’s because Samsung is part of multiple standards bodies that are working on the tech, including the the FiRa Consortium and the Car Connectivity Consortium, of which Apple is also a leading member. “You’ll even be able to share your digital key across smartphones, regardless of brand or platform,” Samsung’s Kevin Chung announced during the company’s Galaxy S21 event today.
Jan 14, 2021
Samsung’s object eraser will let you remove people from the background of your photos
Samsung revealed new One UI 3 details at today’s Unpacked event, including an interesting new photo trick called object eraser, which lets you delete people from the backgrounds of your images. After a photo is taken, you can simply tap on the people you want to remove, and AI will (in theory) do the rest.Read Article >
If it works well — and that’s a big if — this is no small feat. Removing an element from a photo and intelligently filling in the background to replace it would be similar to what Adobe does with its Content-Aware Fill tool. We wouldn’t expect this feature to perform quite on that level, but it’s a tricky problem usually left to sophisticated image editing software to solve. If Samsung can pull this off convincingly, it’ll be a good trick.
Jan 14, 2021
Samsung’s Galaxy S21 event: the biggest announcements
Samsung just finished its first Unpacked event of 2021. The headline announcements were the three new phones in its S21 lineup, but the company also announced new true wireless headphones, an item tracker, and a few other things.Read Article >
We’ve rounded up all of the biggest announcements from the event right here.
Jan 14, 2021
Samsung’s Galaxy S21 phones don’t include microSD card support
It’s official: Samsung is ditching the microSD card on all three of its Galaxy S21 models.Read Article >
We asked Samsung about this, and the company’s rationale seemed to be that it doesn’t think it’s necessary. A spokesperson told us that it only costs $50 to upgrade from 128GB to 256GB and that this is cheaper than what competitors are charging to step up storage. They also noted that cloud storage is an option.
Jan 14, 2021
Samsung Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra first look: polished design (and prices)
Samsung’s latest flagships are here: the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The first two — which start at $799 and $999, respectively — mark some of the least expensive flagship phones that Samsung has made in years, while the $1,199 S21 Ultra aims to be not just the top-specced phone in Samsung’s lineup, but also the best phone, period.Read Article >
I was able to briefly try out all three devices last week, and they all share a new design language that throws out a lot of what I’d come to expect from a Samsung smartphone. The internal changes are more incremental from last year’s S20 lineup, though, and in some cases, they’re an intentional step back. All three phones are available to preorder and will launch on January 29th.
Jan 14, 2021
Samsung’s Galaxy S21 phones come with plenty of features — but not a charger
It’s official: Samsung’s new flagship phones will ship without a charging brick in the box. The phones will include a USB-C to USB-C cable, but no way to plug it in to the wall. If it helps take the sting out of it at all, Samsung has dropped the price on its 25W charger from $35 to $19.99. If you don’t have a USB-C charging brick, or don’t have a high-powered one and want fast charging, you’ll have to add $20 to the price of the phone.Read Article >
The fact that it’s a standard cable means that many techy people will have something kicking around that can charge it — but it’s not hard to imagine a buyer who doesn’t. While last year’s Galaxy came with a USB-C charging brick, the one before that didn’t — and it’s the people who don’t upgrade every year who are less likely to have a free USB-C charging brick laying around.
Jan 14, 2021
How to watch Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2021
Samsung will be presenting its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S21, today at the streaming event titled Galaxy Unpacked 2021. The company is so confident that people will want the new device that it is inviting people to get in line to preorder before the phone is actually introduced.Read Article >
Samsung hasn’t been shy about the specs of the upcoming S21. As reported by The Verge’s Chaim Gartenberg and Sean Hollister, the company is widely expected to announce three new smartphones at the event, including a pair of matching S21 and S21 Plus phones (that are expected to be largely similar, except for size), and a higher-end S21 Ultra that will offer even better specs and cameras. There should also be an optional stylus.
Jan 14, 2021
With the Samsung Galaxy S21, it’s time for Bixby to put up or shut up
Today, Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra (I’ll take the Zune-inspired brown one thanks). It’s happening a couple months earlier than usual for the S line of phones, but otherwise the script will remain the same.Read Article >
Here’s the script. Samsung will be the first major Android maker out of the gate with Qualcomm’s newest chips, this time with the Snapdragon 888. Samsung will use its unseemingly immense marketing budget and longstanding carrier relationships to ensure it will be seen as the default option if you want a premium Android phone — especially if you are making that purchase in a US carrier store.
What to expect from Samsung’s Galaxy S21 event
Samsung’s next Unpacked event is less than a day away, kicking off on January 14th at 10AM ET, and thanks to copious leaks, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the upcoming event.Read Article >
Samsung is widely expected to announce its next lineup of flagship phones, which will likely be called the S21, S21 Plus, and the S21 Ultra. The S21 Ultra is rumored to have top-of-the-line specs, cameras, and, in a first for an S-model Galaxy phone, support for Samsung’s S Pen stylus. The S21 and S21 Plus are expected to have similar specs but differ in size. And since we first published this post, we’ve seen even more leaks about the phones.
Jan 13, 2021
Today’s day ends in y, so it’s time for more Samsung Galaxy leaks
Samsung is announcing its Galaxy S21 smartphones tomorrow, but thanks to dozens of leaks, most of the details are already public. Today saw yet more images of the upcoming handsets leak online, offering more details on their specs, key features, and accessories.Read Article >
First up is this report from WinFuture. It contains images of a case for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which includes space for its optional stylus. This case appears to differ from one shown in a previous leak that included a flip cover designed to protect the front of the phone. Cases like these are believed to be an important accessory for the new Galaxy device since it reportedly won’t include a built-in carrying slot for the optional stylus.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra may be the next big gadget to come in brown
Samsung’s next top-of-the-line smartphone may come in brown, according to leaked marketing renders of the entire Galaxy S21 lineup shared by WinFuture writer Roland Quandt, and I have to say that it’s giving me some serious Microsoft Zune vibes.Read Article >
The phone won’t just come in brown, though — it appears there are five colors planned for Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra, including that brown, and you can see all of them at the top of this post and pictured below.
Jan 11, 2021
Qualcomm’s second-gen ultrasonic fingerprint reader is bigger and faster than the original
Qualcomm has just announced the 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2, the latest version of its ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor that looks to improve on the original model in nearly every way. The new version offers a larger surface area for the sensor and faster processing to unlock phones even quicker.Read Article >
The company is making a big jump here: the new Gen 2 model measures 8mm x 8mm, compared to the 4mm x 9mm surface area of the first-generation model, for 77 percent more surface area. In turn, that means it’ll be easier to accurately place your finger on the sensor, and it allows for the sensor to collect more data with each scan. By combining the larger sensor with faster processing, Qualcomm promises that scanning a fingerprint to unlock a phone will go 50 percent faster with the 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2.
Jan 8, 2021
Looks like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro and SmartTags are a lock for January 14th
Samsung is widely expected to announce its Galaxy S21 lineup of phones at its upcoming January 14th event, and now it looks like we can safely assume that Samsung will launch its next true wireless headphones and its Tile competitor at the event as well. A leaked marketing render of a promotion offering either the unannounced Galaxy Buds Pro or a Galaxy SmartTag alongside a preorder of the Galaxy S21 Ultra was shared by leaker Evan Blass on Friday.Read Article >
A lot of information about both the Galaxy Buds Pro and the Galaxy SmartTags have hit the web recently, so it’s not a big surprise that we can expect to see them announced on January 14th. Details about the Galaxy Buds Pro have been leaking for weeks, and a YouTuber even posted a hands-on with the true wireless headphones on January 3rd. We’ve also seen photos of the SmartTag tracker, which is rumored to be a Tile-like tracker that uses Bluetooth to connect with nearby devices, thanks to filings spotted on Taiwan’s telecom regulator’s website.
Jan 4, 2021
Images of Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra’s optional stylus and compatible case leak early
Images of what appears to be an S Pen stylus and carrying case for Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S21 Ultra have leaked online, WinFuture reports. They show a stylus that looks similar in appearance to Samsung’s previous S Pens, as well as a phone case that’s a little wider than the handset itself to allow space for the optional accessory. WinFuture reports that the stylus will be sold separately from the phone for just under €40 (around $49).Read Article >
This phone case is necessary because the S21 Ultra is rumored to support the S Pen but reportedly won’t have a dedicated slot to store it unlike Samsung’s Note devices. The stylus is reportedly an optional accessory for the S21 Ultra, rather than something that comes in the box like with the Note phones.
Jan 1, 2021
Samsung appears to have a new Tile competitor on the way
Samsung seems to be close to launching a new Tile-like device for tracking lost items. The tracker, likely called the Galaxy SmartTag, has been leaking out over the past month, and there’s some speculation it could be announced alongside the Galaxy S21 later in January.Read Article >
The Galaxy SmartTag would use Bluetooth to connect with nearby devices and broadcast its location, so owners could find it later if they misplace whatever it’s attached to. It’ll be powered by a replaceable button cell battery, according to a regulatory filing spotted by GSMArena, so you won’t have to throw it out and buy a new one when the battery dies.
Dec 28, 2020
Detailed Samsung Galaxy S21 specs leak ahead of expected January 14th announcement
We’ll likely see a formal Samsung Galaxy S21 announcement on January 14th, but thanks to a raft of detailed specs from WinFuture and an assortment of previous leaks, there won’t be much to speculate about until then. Heck, you can even go ahead and reserve a preorder if you like what you see.Read Article >
This leak confirms some details that have surfaced previously, like the move from displays that curved slightly around the device edges to totally flat panels, and a redesigned camera bump that melds into the edges of the phone. WinFuture manages to identify a few new details though, including a slightly lower 2400 x 1080 screen resolution for both the S21 and S21 Plus, compared to the 3200 x 1440 resolution used by their predecessors.
Dec 28, 2020
You can now reserve a preorder for Samsung’s Galaxy S21
Samsung’s Galaxy S21 lineup of phones will reportedly debut on January 14th. If there’s even a slight chance you might pick one up, you can now place a reservation to guarantee a preorder slot when those become available, which they usually do right after an Unpacked event ends.Read Article >
Samsung’s page will take down some basic information like your name, email address, and zip code in exchange for dibs on buying one of these new phones. You won’t pay anything to reserve your preorder — Samsung will collect that once you actually order the phone yourself. But what you can also do now is get a quote for a phone you might like to trade in.
Dec 24, 2020
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro said to cost $199
More details of Samsung’s unannounced Galaxy Buds Pro wireless earbuds with active noise cancelation have leaked, including the price.Read Article >
According to slides shared on Twitter by WalkingCat, the Galaxy Buds Pro will cost $199 at launch making them $80 cheaper than the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, our noise-canceling champions. Samsung’s pro buds will feature strong IPX7 durability against dust and water, and up to 8 hours of listening time which can be extended to 28 hours with the charging case. WalkingCat provides this handy chart to compare specs across all of Samsung’s wireless buds.
Dec 23, 2020
Samsung’s deleting ads that mocked Apple for not including a charger in the box
Samsung has been caught deleting an ad that makes fun of Apple for not including a charging brick with the iPhone 12 — the same thing it’s rumored to be doing with its Galaxy S21 phones. The Facebook post was made by Samsung Caribbean back in October, and it had a picture of a charging brick with the caption “Included with your Galaxy” (via 9to5Google).Read Article >
This isn’t the first time Samsung has deleted ads after adopting the same practice it previously mocked Apple for. Back when the Galaxy Note 10 launched without a headphone jack, Samsung deleted ads making fun of the iPhone X for not having a similar plug (ads that were made even more awkward by the fact that the iPhone in the ad was just referred to as the “ten”).
Dec 23, 2020
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra S Pen support confirmed by FCC
An FCC listing confirms that Samsung’s S Pen stylus can be used with the company’s upcoming flagship Galaxy S21 Ultra phone. The confirmation, first discovered by Android Authority, comes in a test report for model number SMG998B. The discovery lends clarity to recent statements from Samsung mobile president TM Roh, who said that some of the “most well-loved features” of the Galaxy Note will be coming to other Samsung devices in 2021.Read Article >
The FCC test report explicitly describes an EUT (Equipment Under Test) device that can be used with an S Pen in both hover and click modes. “The EUT can also used with a stylus device (S Pen). The EUT operates with the S Pen in two different inductive coupling modes of S Pen motion detection (Hover and Click) operating in the range of 0.53 –0.6MHz.”
Dec 21, 2020
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro will have a feature just like ‘spatial audio’ on the AirPods Pro
With its upcoming Galaxy Buds Pro, Samsung is planning to counter one of the differentiating features of Apple’s AirPods Pro (and now AirPods Max): spatial audio. Spatial audio crams an immersive, surround sound-like experience into a set of earbuds or headphones. And it accurately keeps the sound source anchored to your iPhone or iPad, so if you turn your head, you’ll notice that the audio stays in front of you. Wherever you move the device, that’s where it’ll sound like the audio track is coming from.Read Article >
But Samsung seems to be readying its own take on spatial audio. As is becoming oddly common, the company’s mobile Galaxy Buds app has prematurely spilled some of Samsung’s latest earbud tricks. As noted by 9to5Google, an updated version of the app was found on Samsung’s servers with screenshots and features for the unannounced Galaxy Buds Pro. One of those new software capabilities is referred to as “3D audio for videos,” and the app says this will let you “hear vivid, immersive sound coming from all directions so you feel like you’re right in the scene when you watch videos.” Yep, sounds like spatial audio.