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Galaxy S21 hands-on video gives us the first camera comparison with iPhone 12 Pro Max

Published Dec 18th, 2020 7:50AM EST

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  • The first Galaxy S21+ hands-on video gives us the first look at the unreleased flagship handset, including a first camera comparison with the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
  • The Galaxy S21 series is expected to be unveiled in mid-January, according to recent leaks. Samsung is already teasing an Exynos chip announcement for January 12th.
  • Leakers who usually publish online official renders of unreleased Samsung flagships have scored renders for all three Galaxy S21 versions.

If you’ve asked for a new Galaxy S handset this Christmas, you should make sure the elves know it’s the Galaxy S21 rather than an older model. The S21 series won’t be ready in time for Christmas, but it’s launching in mid-January. We’ve already seen plenty of evidence supporting those leaks, including early preorders that went live in India. It’s customary for Samsung’s next flagships to leak in full well in advance of the Unpacked press conference where they’re supposed to be introduced, and the S21 series is no different. A series of recent leaks revealed the design, specs, camera features, and release dates for the three phones. If that’s not enough, the official press renders of the Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra have appeared online this week, as well as a first detailed hands-on video of the S21+. These are all signs that the Galaxy S21 launch is imminent.

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YouTube channel Random Stuff 2 published a five-minute Galaxy S21 video preview that walks us through the design of the handset and the main features, including the new triple-lens camera.

The Galaxy S21+ series features an all-screen design with much thin, uniform bezels that are even slimmer than previous models. The Galaxy S21+ will feature a flat 6.7-inch display rather than a curved one and a rear-plastic panel. Reports say only the Galaxy S21 Ultra will have curved display edges and a metal back.

The triple-lens camera on the back features a new design, with the entire camera module being encased into the metal frame of the phone. This should help with durability and prevent accidental damage to the camera module.

Most of the video is dedicated to Galaxy S21+ camera samples, with the reviewer offering us a first comparison to the iPhone 12 Pro Max. That’s Apple’s best iPhone version this year, and the one ready to offer the best possible camera experience. The reviewer explains he’s been playing with the version of the phone for a week, and the S21+ sample is still running prerelease software. The actual camera performance results may vary in the final version of the handset.

Separately, well-known leakers Evan Blass and Roland Quandt published online the three Galaxy S21 handsets’ official press renders.

Finally, Samsung has started teasing the “new Exynos chip” that will likely equip some versions of the Galaxy S21 phones this year. Samsung says that the “whole new Exynos” will come on January 12th, 2021.

It’s unclear whether the Galaxy S21 will be unveiled on the same date, with previous rumors saying the S21 Unpacked event will take place on January 14th.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.