January 20, 2021
Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event in February 2020 (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)Samsung is...

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event in February 2020 (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)Samsung is wasting no time in 2021, announcing its next Unpacked event for January 14th. We expect to see the latest of the Galaxy S family at the event, which is coming earlier in the year than usual. Among the new devices will be the Galaxy S21 Ultra with its new S Pen support, but we don’t have to wait to see how that will work. There’s a leak that reveals the new S Pen and the clunky cases to go with it. 

The event will begin at 10 AM Eastern on January 14, streamed live on YouTube. We’re expecting three phones: the Galaxy S21 (6.3-inch), S21+ (6.7-inch), and S21 Ultra (6.8-inch). Several notable details and renderings have leaked already, so we know the S21 Ultra will include an upgraded camera array compared with the base and plus models. All three phones should have the latest Snapdragon 888 ARM chip, though. 

The S21 Ultra will allegedly have a new 10x zoom periscope camera, along with a separate 3x telephoto module. There will also be 108MP primary and ultra-wide cameras, which gives the S21 Ultra a wider variety of focal lengths than other phones. The smaller S21s will have triple camera setups similar to last year’s phones. 

Samsung’s top-of-the-line model will also add support for the S Pen stylus for the first time. The S Pen was previously only compatible with Note-series smartphones — this isn’t a simple capacitive stylus, so the phone needs a digitizer. Samsung apparently saw fit to add that in the S21 Ultra, but it won’t include the S Pen with the phone. Leaks have pointed to a $40-50 price for the pen. 

The S Pen docks inside the spine of the S View flip case.

A new round of leaks also show the redesigned S Pen, which is much larger than the one that docks inside Note phones. That should make it more comfortable to hold, but it doesn’t slot inside the S21. Instead, Samsung will make a series of cases that have compartments for the optional S Pen. Although, that will make this already giant phone even wider and harder to hold. 

While this Unpacked is coming earlier than expected, Samsung likes to have pre-orders for its new phones live just a week or two after the event. Last year’s S20 family was criticized for being too expensive, with the S20 Ultra clocking in at $1,400. The S21 Ultra could end up being even more expensive.

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