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.
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.
The writing was on the wall for the omission: last year’s iPhone 12s come without a charging brick in the box, and Samsung has been rolling back the ads it ran poking fun at that fact. It’s also a move that’s been rumored for a while, but it’ll still be a bit of a sting the first time you unbox your new phone and have to use an old charger with it.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t all for naught — for every person who would actually need a charger in the box, there would’ve been another who wouldn’t have, and it’s always good to reduce the amount of e-waste that tech generates. It just seems like companies could've found a way to make sure that people who need the chargers would have them, or included compatible chargers for one more year to better serve the people who aren’t upgrading every year (by the way, isn’t that the most ecologically friendly path anyways?)
Speaking of things not being included in the box, the S21 will also ship without a pair of wired headphones (except, presumably, where it’s required to by law.) As with the charger, this is one less thing that will go to waste if you already have a pair of headphones or were looking to pick up the Galaxy Buds Pro, but it’s a bummer for people who don’t already have a pair and would’ve been just fine with keeping it simple.