Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Price, Release Date, Specs Revealed

The latest flagship smartphone has arrived. The new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has been unveiled in a virtual event, taking the brand’s mobile division to a whole new level, but is it enough? Reports suggest that sales of the S20 failed to live up to the S10’s lofty expectations, which may have been a response to crippling economic pressures, but also a reflection of the steep price tag.

Whatever the case, it seems Samsung has listened to fans and diverted course. The newly announced Galaxy S21 starts at AUD$1,249, far less than its predecessor. But for true Android fans, all eyes are on the flagship S21 Ultra.

“Galaxy S21 Ultra is another example of how Samsung is driving meaningful innovation forward to give people personalised experiences that enrich their lives and empower them to express who they are,” TM Roh, president and head of mobile communications business, Samsung Electronics said. “Given how indispensable technology has been to our lives during these times, we wanted to take another leap forward and push the boundaries of what a smartphone can do.”

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5

Design

Over the past few years, it’s been hard not to note the rising focus on glass backs and futuristic design functionality, however, Samsung has kept things simple with the latest release. Featuring a familiar Galaxy design language, there are only minor tweaks to the curvature of the body and camera placement, which seems both an aesthetic and ergonomic move.

One thing to note is just how large the Galaxy S21 Ultra really is. At 229 grams, the flagship smartphone is a hefty beast, but it makes sense when you account for the 6.8-inch dynamic AMOLED 2X display. According to Samsung, the latest release is its most intelligent screen yet, with users no longer having to choose between a 120Hz refresh rate and a Quad HD+ display.

“The screen’s refresh rate adjusts to the content you’re viewing from 10Hz to 120Hz to ensure you enjoy the best image while staying power efficient to stretch your battery life even further,” Samsung said. Additionally, the S21 Ultra offers a 25 per cent brighter picture at a 1,500nits of peak brightness, the brightest on a Galaxy smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5

S-Pen

What we were interested to see was confirmation the S-Pen would be making an appearance on the flagship release. Samsung revealed that S Pen has indeed come to the Samsung S21, but is only compatible with the Ultra. The redesign S Pen and accompanying case, have been created for the S21 Ultra, and are sold separately.

Camera & Performance

As it did with the S20, Samsung has once again gone hard with the camera technology. According to the brand, the 2021 flagship release delivers Samsung’s “most advanced pro-grade camera system”. From a basic perspective, the Galaxy S20 Ultra cops a quad rear camera (ultra-wide, wide and dual tele-lenses) that features an upgraded 108MP pro sensor. This, in turn, allows you to capture 12-bit HDR photos with 64 times richer colour data and more than three times wider dynamic range, compared to previous models.

One massive upgrade comes in the form of video. For the first time on a Galaxy smartphone, you can shoot in 4K at 60fps across all lenses including front and rear four lenses, meaning you can shift to a different perspective with the same quality. As seen on the previous release, the S21 Ultra also scores 100x Space Zoom, powered by Samsung’s first-ever Dual-tele lens system – one optical 3x and one optical 10x both equipped Dual Pixel(2PD) AF.

From a performance perspective, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra does exactly what you’d expect. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, the release comes with a base of 128GB of storage, nothing amazing but worthwhile nonetheless. The Ultra also scored 12GB of RAM, up from the 8GB that the other models received.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Price & Release Date

As mentioned above, the new Samsung Galaxy S21 price is far cheaper than in previous years. The base model S21 comes in Phantom Silver, Phantom Black or Phantom Violet and starts at AUD$1,249, a full $100 cheaper than the starting price of the S20 last year.

Similarly, the Galaxy S21+ cops the new colour variations and will start from AUD $1,459, a saving of $50 on the previous generation. For the Ultra, the colour options go down, but the specs go up. The flagship release is available in Phantom Silver and Phantom Black and will run for AUD$1,849 for the 12GB/128GB version.

For the big daddy 16GB RAM and 512GB storage version, however, you’re’ looking at an AUD$2,149 price tag. The Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra will be available for pre-order from January 15 and on sale from January 29. Also, if you pre-order a Galaxy S21 or S21+ before January 29 you get a bonus pair of Galaxy Buds Live. If you pre-order the S21 Ultra you get the new Galaxy Buds Pro.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5

Final Thoughts

From the outside, it seems like Samsung has made some minor improvements on what was a solid release last year, more than enough to satisfy fans, but there are some lingering issues. The introduction of the S-Pen is an interesting move, suggesting the brand is using the S21 Ultra to target a more creative market and the redesigned camera notch does seem a little more ‘mature’ in its language.

But if there’s one gripe we have, it’s the charger, or lack thereof. Samsung’s new flagship phones will ship without a charging brick in the box. Sure, the phones will include a USB-C to USB-C cable, but without the brick, there’s no way to plug it into the wall.

Instead, buyers will have to spend up to purchase a charger as a separate add-on, a-la-Apple, a move which is sure to infuriate the public. Imagine dropping $2,000 on a new phone and having to fork out another $20 for a charger? Nevertheless, the new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra does look to be the real deal, charger or no charger.

Technical Specs

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Display:  6.8-inch WQHD+ LTPO, 120hz
CPU: Snapdragon 875 (Exynos 2100 in Australia)
RAM: 12GB/16GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Rear Camera: 12MP Ultra wide, 108MP main (with a gen 2 sensor), 10MP 3x optical telephoto, 10MP 10x optical telphoto
Front Camera: 40MP
Connectivity: 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Battery Life: 5,000 mAh

Samsung Galaxy S21+

Display: 6.7-inch FHD+ LTPS, 120hz
CPU: Snapdragon 875 (Exynos 2100 in Australia)
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Rear Camera: 12MP Ultra wide, 12MP main, 64MP telephoto
Connectivity: 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Battery Life: 4,800 mAh

Samsung Galaxy S21

Display:  6.2-inch FHD+ LTPS, 120hz
CPU: Snapdragon 875 (Exynos 2100 in Australia)
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Rear Camera: 12MP Ultra wide, 12MP main, 64MP telephoto
Connectivity: 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Battery Life: 4,000 mAh

Check it out

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General FAQs

How big is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra?

According to Samsung, the Galaxy S21 5G comes with a 6.2-inch screen, measuring at 71.2 x 151.7 x 7.9 millimetres and weighing at 171g(mmW), 169g(sub6). The Galaxy S21+ 5G comes with a 6.7-inch screen and measures at 75.6 x 161.5 x 7.8 millimeters, while weighing 202g(mmW), 200g(sub6).

How many cameras do Galaxy S21 5G and S21+ 5G have?

Per Samsung, the Galaxy S21 5G and S21+ 5G have three rear cameras and one 10MP selfie camera. The rear cameras include one 64MP Telephoto Camera, one 12MP Wide-angle Camera and one 12MP Ultra Wide Camera.

What colours are Galaxy S21 5G and S21+ 5G available in?

While the base Phantom colours (Phantom Silver, Phantom Black and Phantom Violet) are available, the Galaxy S21+ 5G comes in Samsung.com exclusive colours Phantom Red and Phantom Gold. Galaxy S21 5G is available in base Phantom colours only.