- The India price of the Galaxy S21 series phones starts from Rs 69,999.
- All three S21 phones in India are powered by Samsung Exynos 2100 processors.
- They all come without charger and the earphones, and consumers will have to buy them separately.
Last night Samsung launched the Galaxy S21 series phones. There are three phones: Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Unlike the previous years where you could say that all phones of the Galaxy S series — except the likes of the S20 FE that were launched later — were through, blue-blooded flagship phones. But this time, Samsung is changing strategy. It seems that the company believes there is not enough scope for true-premium phones, and definitely not for three. So, the S21 Ultra is the all-out premium phone, and the S21 and S21+ make some compromises.
Interestingly, these compromises seem to be balanced with reduced price in the global market. The S21 phones are up to $200 less in price compared to the introductory prices of the S20 series. But not in India. In India, the S21 phones cost more than the S20 did at its launch, even though they come with components that are a clear downgrade compared to the previous flagship Galaxy S series phones.
More on that some other time. In this piece, let us quickly summarise the S21, S21+ and the S21 Ultra for you.
1- The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the flagship phone of the series. It comes with a QHD display measuring 6.8-inches and has a 108-megapixel rear camera. In total it has 4 rear cameras, and one selfie camera with 40-megapixel image sensor. By all accounts, of the three S21 series phones the S21 Ultra is the top dog. It also weighs a hefty 227 grams and comes with 256GB storage.
2- The S21 and the S21+ are more generic phones in their approach compared to the S21 Ultra. They feature the same rear camera system that we saw in last year's Galaxy S20, complete with the 12-megapixel main camera. On the front, there is the 10-megapixel selfie camera. The S21 is also the lightest of the bunch with weight of 169 grams. It has a more cut-down FullHD+ display measuring 6.2 inches. The S21+ too has a FullHD+ display measuring 6.7 inches, and it weighs 200 grams. In fact, display on the S21 and the S21+ is a bit of a puzzle because it is inferior to the display Samsung put in the S20 and the S20+ last year.
3- The India prices of the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 Ultra are:
Galaxy S21 Series price in India
Galaxy S21 (8+128GB): Rs 69,999 (Phantom Violet, White, Pink, Grey)
Galaxy S21 (8+256GB): Rs 73,999 (Phantom Violet, White, Grey)
Galaxy S21+ (8+128GB): Rs 81,999 (Phantom Violet, Sliver, Black)
Galaxy S21+ (8+256GB): Rs 85,999 (Phantom Violet, Sliver, Black)
Galaxy S21 Ultra (12+256GB): Rs 105,999 (Phantom Black, Sliver)
Galaxy S21 Ultra (16+512GB): Rs 116,999 (Phantom Black)
4- It is important to note that — and this is what Samsung says — for environmental reasons the company is longer bundling a charger and earphones with the Galaxy S21 series phones. Not even the S21 Ultra, which has a price of over Rs 1 lakh will come with a charger. Now, it is important to note that Apple had also earlier removed charger from its iPhone 12 series phones. But Apple had done that, Samsung had mocked Apple. Now, Samsung too has followed Apple in removing charger and earphones.
5- All three Galaxy S21 phones in India are powered by Samsung's own Exynos 2100 processor. In global market the phones use Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, although this time the difference in Exynos and Snapdragon is going to be marginal because both are using same almost off-the-shelf cores from ARM. Only that Exynos 2100 runs these cores at a slightly higher speed, which may account for better numbers in benchmarks and marginally less battery.
6- It is important to note that unlike the S21 Ultra and S21+ which have glass backs, the S21 uses a polycarbonate — fancy for plastic — back. This is a sort of trend we are seeing with Samsung phones. Last year the "premium" S20 FE and Galaxy Note 20 came with plastic backs. This year it is the Galaxy S21.
7- Although globally the Galaxy S21 series has debuted at lower prices compared to previous S20, in India, the price is higher. Last year the Galaxy S20 was launched at a price of Rs 66,999. The S21 this year comes in at Rs 69,999. Similarly, the S20+ debut price was Rs 73,999 and S20 Ultra came in at Rs 92,999. This time the S21+ starts at Rs 81999 and the S21 Ultra price is Rs 105,999.
8- The Galaxy S21 series comes with OneUI 3.1, which is Samsung's custom user interface built on top of Android 11. It's slick UI though people who like more pure Android UI, something that users get in Google Pixel phones, may find the customisation heavy-handed.
9- The S21 series phones use water and dust-proof design. All three use same design, although the material choice of the S21 — that plastic cover — means that this design looks best in the S21+ and the S21 Ultra.
10- The Galaxy S21 series is available for pre-orders in India. People who pre-order it will start getting the phones from January 25 while those who want to buy it in open sale will be able to do it from January 21.