Samsung Galaxy S21 event: Everything to expect at Unpacked

Samsung isn’t waiting around to get the Galaxy S21 and other new products into our hands. In normal times, the company holds its first Unpacked event of the year in mid- to late February, using that event to show of its latest flagship phone along with any other supporting devices it plans to release in the first few months of the year.

But these aren’t normal times, in case you haven’t noticed. And to kick off 2021, Samsung has moved up its Galaxy Unpacked event by a month, scheduling a Jan. 14 launch event to show off those products you’ve been hearing rumors about.

Samsung Galaxy S21 release date, price, specs and leaks Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S20: What are the expected differences Just in: Samsung Galaxy S21 teaser reveals biggest camera upgrades So which products can you expect when Samsung executives take to their virtual stage on Thursday? Here’s a closer look at what to expect from this week’s Galaxy Unpacked event and how you can live stream the event.

Samsung Unpacked: Start time and how to watch Samsung is hosting a Galaxy Unpacked virtual event on Thursday, Jan. 14. The live stream begins at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT.

It’s widely expected Samsung will release three Galaxy S21 models on Thursday — a 6.2-inch Galaxy S21, 6.7-inch Galaxy S21 Plus and a 6.8-inch Galaxy S21 Ultra. All three phones will likely be powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 silicon and offer displays with 120Hz refresh rates.

Only the Ultra is expected to feature a dynamically adjusting refresh rate similar to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, though.

The S21 Ultra could stand out in other ways, such as gaining support for the S Pen stylus previously limited to just the Galaxy Note lineup. Samsung’s largest S21 model could also offer two telephoto lenses (3x and 10x) and a 108-MP main shooter. The S21 and S21 Plus look like they’re going to sport similar triple camera setups, according to the rumor mill.

Some rumors suggest that the Galaxy S21 will cost less than the $999 debut price of the Galaxy S20, with the S21 Plus also seeing a price drop. The S21 Ultra could cost a little more than last year’s model, however. It’s expected that the Galaxy S21 lineup will ship before the end of the month, with some people pointing to next week as the release date.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Outside of the Galaxy S21, the Samsung product we know the most about despite the fact that it’s never been announced is the Galaxy Buds Pro. These wireless earbuds are expected to adopt more sophisticated features to better challenge Apple’s AirPods Pro.

Specifically, the next set of wireless earbuds from Samsung are likely to offer active noice cancellation, a smart voice detection feature that enables ambient listening once you start talking and a 3D audio mode. That latter feature would compete with the AirPods Pro’s spatial audio, even though Samsung’s Pro earbuds are said to cost less.

New foldable Galaxy phones?

Samsung Electronics president TM Roh promised last month that Samsung would continue offering foldable phones. “We’ll be expanding our portfolio of foldables, so this groundbreaking category is more accessible to everyone,” Roh said.

Most people have interpreted that to mean that Samsung will come out with more affordable foldable phones, though it’s unclear if any of those will be ready in time for this week’s Unpacked event. It’s more likely that we would see updates to Samsung’s existing foldable phones, especially since we know those devices are in the works.

We have the most details about the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which is rumored to be a potential replacement for the Galaxy Note lineup. However, rumors suggest that phone won’t arrive until the second half of the year. That leaves the next version of the Galaxy Z Flip, which will reportedly jump ahead to become the Galaxy Z Flip 3. The original Flip debuted alongside the Galaxy S20, so introducing a new model wouldn’t be out of place.

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