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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra launched as the first S series phone with S Pen support

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Alongside the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+, Samsung also announced the Galaxy S21 Ultra, succeeding the Galaxy S20 Ultra model that was announced last year. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is a special phone as it is the first Galaxy S Series smartphone with support for the S Pen.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Galaxy S21 Ultra Design

This is not just a bigger model but a more feature-packed phone. It also has an Infinity-O display with a centered punch hole and the same Contour Cut Camera housing that is bigger as a result of having more cameras. The phone comes in Phantom Black, Phanom Silver, Phantom Titanium, Phantom Navy, and Phantom Brown. The last three colors are exclusive to Samsung.com.

Galaxy S21 Ultra Specifications

The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a curved 6.8-inch Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display covered with Gorilla Glass Victus. It also has a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate (10Hz to 120Hz) and users also have the option to choose the highest resolution and highest refresh rate at the same time.

Samsung says the display has a peak brightness of 1500 nits, the brightest on a Galaxy smartphone. The contrast ratio has also improved by 50% and the display offers a 25% brighter picture than the Galaxy S20.

Just like its siblings, the phone comes in Exynos 2100 and Snapdragon 888 variants. However, the Galaxy S21 Ultra packs more RAM than the other models. The base model has 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and is available in 128GB and 256GB storage variants. There is also a 16GB RAM variant of the phone that has 512GB of storage.

Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the first Galaxy S phone to have support for the S Pen, so you get S Pen features in the operating system. It is a nice addition but we think Samsung should have included the stylus for free but seeing as you don’t even get a charger, it is no surprise that a stylus not natively built into the device will not be included in the box. The S Pen for the Galaxy S21 Ultra is different from that of the Galaxy Note 20. It doesn’t have a battery, so those tricks and air gestures are not available.

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If you don’t want to pick up the S Pen for $40 (or $70 if you decide to get a case that has storage for the S Pen too), you can purchase a Wacom stylus as that too will work.

Galaxy S21 Ultra battery

There is a 5000mAh battery inside the phone with support for 25W fast wired charging (seriously Samsung?). That is slower than the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 45W fast wired charging. You also get support for wireless charging and reverse wireless charging support too.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra has an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner, IP68 rating, NFC, and is the first smartphone to support Wi-Fi 6E. It runs One UI 3 based on Android 11 out of the box.

EDITOR’S PICK: Samsung says the next flagship Exynos will have an AMD GPU

Galaxy S21 Ultra Cameras

Aside from the support for the S Pen, the camera department is another major distinguishing area between the Galaxy S21 Ultra and its siblings.

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Galaxy S21 Ultra cameras

The phone has four rear cameras that include a 12MP f/2.2 Dual Pixel AF ultrawide sensor with a 120-degree field of view, a 108MP f/1.8 0.8µm camera with OIS and PDAF, a 10MP f/2.4 Dual Pixel camera with OIS and 3x optical zoom, and a 10MP Dual Pixel AF periscope zoom camera with OIS and 10x optical zoom. The selfie camera is a 40MP f/2.2 sensor with PDAF.

The 108MP is an upgrade from the one in the S20 Ultra. It uses 9-in-1 pixel binning to 12MP. The phone also has support for 4K 60fps video recording with all five of its cameras. There is a laser focus module and the telephoto cameras bring 100X Space Zoom.

Galaxy S21 Ultra Price and Availability

The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a starting price of $1,199 and pre-orders include a free pair of the new Galaxy Buds Pro and a SmartTag. Just like its siblings, there are no 4G versions. Pre-orders begin today and it goes on sale on January 29.

UP NEXT: Samsung teases under-display selfie camera tech, but it’s not for smartphones

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