Technology

After Apple, Samsung now ditches chargers in latest flagships

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. PHOTO | COURTESY OF SAMSUNG

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Summary

  • The lower priced Galaxy S21 and its bigger brother the S21+ share a lot in common with the difference being the S21 is small in size and has a plastic back case while the S21+ has a glass-back.
  • Battery-wise, the S21 comes with a smaller 4000mAh power pack while the S21+ because of its larger size spots a bigger 4800mAh battery.

Samsung Electronics has unveiled its latest flagship series of smartphones; the Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 Ultra, in a global event held Thursday evening.

The series, according to Samsung, feature the latest and most advanced smartphone chipset yet in a Galaxy for greater speed, energy efficiency, and advanced computing capabilities to support 5G connectivity and on-device AI.

The lower priced Galaxy S21 and its bigger brother the S21+ share a lot in common with the difference being the S21 is small in size and has a plastic back case while the S21+ has a glass-back.

Internally, the two phones offer 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM with an option of either 128GB or 256GBs of internal storage. Samsung is however dropping the SD card slot, so that means users will not be able to expand the internal storage on these two phones.

Battery-wise, the S21 comes with a smaller 4000mAh power pack while the S21+, because of its larger size, spots a bigger 4800mAh battery. Samsung reports that the two devices come with improved wireless charging speeds with Fast Wireless Charging 2.0.

Samsung Galaxy-S21.

Samsung Galaxy-S21. PHOTO | COURTESY OF SAMSUNG

Both the S21 and  theS21+ come with a dynamic AMOLED screen with an adaptive refresh rate of 48Hz to 120Hz - In layman terms, that means the screen should be buttery-smooth when scrolling through content. The only difference however, is the size. The S21’s screen is 6.2-inches while the S21+ spots a larger 6.7-inch screen.

But the rather more commanding features of these devices lie at the back - the cameras. Samsung put a triple camera setup on the S21 and the S21+ comprising an ultra-wide 12MP camera, a 12MP dual pixel wide angle camera and a 64MP telephoto camera with phase detection autofocus for zoom (not the meeting app). The front camera on both phones is a 10MP dual pixel camera.

The camera software on both devices is packed with features, which according to Samsung, should “enable users of every skill level to get the best shot.”

These include features like an improved 8K Snap that lets you grab clear images from 8K video footage, Super Steady video at 60fps, a new Director’s View that lets users see, switch, and select the best shot and Single Take feature which allows users to capture a variety of still and video formats with one tap.

The more expensive Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has a lot  more bells and whistles, especially on the camera-front. It has a quad camera setup comprising an ultra wide 12MP camera, a wide-angle 108MP camera with phase detection autofocus, a 10MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and another 10MP telephoto camera with 10x optical zoom.

It also comes with a laser autofocus sensor at the rear for better focus. The front camera is a 40MP sensor with phase detection autofocus.

According to Samsung, the S21 Ultra can shoot in 4K resolution at 60fps across all lenses including front and rear four lenses to give users a different perspective with the same quality.

The flagship device also comes with an improved Bright Night sensor for better low-light photography, improved Night Mode, noise reduction and 12MP Nona-binning technology to enable users capture challenging shots – like in a dimly-lit room, or a landscape at night.

Samsung Galaxy-S21.

Samsung Galaxy-S21. PHOTO | COURTESY OF SAMSUNG

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra buyers will have a choice of either a 12GB RAM with 128GB / 256GB internal storage or a maxed out 16GB RAM version with 512GB of internal storage. As with its smaller brothers, the S21 Ultra doesn’t come with an SD card slot for expansion of internal storage.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the largest member of the Galaxy S21 series with a 6.8-inch AMOLED screen with a refresh rate ranging from 10Hz to 120Hz to ensure users enjoy the best image while staying power efficient to stretch the 5000mAh battery life even further according to Samsung.

Also new for the S21 Ultra is the S-pen popular with Samsung’s Note series. “Samsung is bringing the fan favourite S Pen experience to the Galaxy S21 Ultra with Wacom’s technology. From drawing to note-taking to editing photos and signing documents, now you can unlock the power of the S Pen on the Galaxy S21 Ultra,” wrote Samsung on its blog.

The three devices launched by Samsung will not ship with a charger, a move notably following Apples’ decision to ditch the charger on the iPhone 12, and over which Samsung mocked Apple for.

Other shared similarities across the three devices include features like Ultrasonic Fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor

Proximity sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, 5G connectivity, Android 11 operating system and IP68 water resistance.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 will set you back Sh100,999, the Samsung Galaxy S21+ Sh154,999 while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will cost Sh169,999.