The big picture: The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the company's latest flagship smartphone that features what they call their most advanced and intelligent pro-grade camera system to date. The handset has a heavy focus on camera and display tech, two areas that consumers key in on when shopping for a new smartphone.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra packs a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Display (3,200 x 1,440 pixels, 515 PPI) that's HDR10+ certified. The screen additionally boasts an adaptive refresh rate that adjusts to the content you are viewing, from 10Hz to 120Hz, to better balance image quality and battery life.
The new screen is also brighter than before, too, with up to 1,500 nits of peak brightness. According to Samsung, that's 25 percent brighter compared to the display on the Galaxy S20.
Under the proverbial hood is Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 SoC, a 5nm octa-core chip ticking along at up to 2.8GHz, alongside up to 16GB of LPDDR5 memory and as much as 512GB of internal storage (depending on model). Notably, there is no longer any expandable storage. Wi-Fi 6E and 5G connectivity come standard.
It's all powered by a 5,000mAh battery that supports both wireless charging and fast charging, the latter of which can add a 50 percent charge in just 30 minutes.
Samsung went all-out on the camera setup, packing in four total rear-facing cameras. The primary shooter consists of a wide-angle (83-degree field of view) 108MP sensor with an f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization. There's also an ultra-wide 12MP camera with f/2.2 aperture and a 120-degree field of view, a 3x telephoto camera with f/2.4 aperture and a second telephoto with 10x optical zoom and f/4.9 aperture. Both of the telephoto cameras are 10MP units.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is also the first in the Galaxy S series to work with the S Pen, the stylus from Samsung's Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab lines. Samsung said you can either use an existing S Pen from one of those devices or purchase one separately.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that the S21 Ultra carries an IP68 water resistance rating and uses an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor built into the display for authentication purposes. Like other flagship phones recently launched, you don't get a power brick in the box.
Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra starts at $1,199.99 and pre-orders are now being accepted directly by Samsung and several major carrier partners. Look for it to drop in your choice of silver, black, titanium, navy or brown starting January 29, 2021.