In a little over 24 hours Samsung’s first event of the year, Galaxy Unpacked 2021, will kick off. Fans here at home and around the world can sit in on the digital event that’ll show off the South Korean company’s first flagship handsets of the season.
But if you’ve been paying attention, you may not need to check out what Samsung has to say at all. Besides pricing and concrete availability dates here in SA, there’s not much the company can do to surprise us. That isn’t to say there isn’t the potential for a shock but it’s very unlikely. With that in mind, here’s what we’re expecting from the first Unpacked of 2021.
The S21 trio will be there
There’s absolutely no doubt that Samsung’s headliners for its Unpacked event are the three Galaxy S21 smartphones. Expect a vanilla S21, an S21 Plus, and then an S21 Ultra 5G to be announced tomorrow evening. But don’t expect much in the way of new information — we already know what they look like, which colours are new for 2021, and we’ve also got a fairly good idea what each smartphone has inside. Expect an upgrade across the board as far as internals go. They’ll be as fast as you need them to be and they’ll look good while being speedy.
Mostly we’re hoping to confirm some of the more fiddly details — exactly what each camera is capable of, especially those five sensors we’ve seen at the back of the S21 Ultra 5G, how much each phone will cost and when we can buy one here in South Africa. Something tells us we’ll get everything we want tomorrow evening.
So will Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro are a little embarrassing for the company. Prior to the Galaxy Unpacked 2021 event (waaay prior), the Buds themselves were on sale on social media. And since some enterprising chap was selling them on Facebook, they’ve already been purchased and then unboxed online. Samsung will make the Galaxy Buds Pro official tomorrow night because… really, it’d look rather silly if they didn’t.
Expect an IPX8 rating, up from IPX4 from the Galaxy Buds, Buds Pro Plus, and Buds Live, and eight hours of battery on a charge. How they sound is about the only thing we’re not certain about but we’re sure that’ll change in short order.
Expect to see the Galaxy SmartTag and S Pen as well
It’s been rumoured that Samsung would launch its own take on Tiles, little Bluetooth gadgets that can be used to track missing bags/jackets/tech around your home, some time soon. The first Galaxy Unpacked 2021 event was the prime candidate for the reveal but it looks as though everyone who pre-orders a new Galaxy S21 handset will lay their hands on Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag. Even though it hasn’t been formally announced, it’s definitely a thing that exists. Honestly, we’re mostly turning up to see what it costs here in South Africa.
Samsung’s S Pen for the S21 range, as well as smartphone cases that hold the stylus, are also on the cards for tomorrow’s event. We know enough to make a guess at pricing (R1,000 or under here at home). Otherwise, it’s a Samsung S Pen. It’s missing the clicky bit, because it doesn’t live inside a Note, but you’ve seen what they look like and what they can do.
And possibly a few surprises
Samsung has been very quiet on the folding smartphone front, with the most recent leak being that Samsung’s Note line was being folded into the S- and Fold-series lineups. Samsung’s since confirmed that the Note is sticking around but of the Galaxy Fold 3, there’s been nothing substantial since.
It’s not even close to confirmed, and last we heard we were looking at a June 2021 release for the company’s newest folding smartphone, but it’s just possible that we’ll get an early look at the Galaxy Fold 3 tomorrow evening. That might include updates on the display tech and a look at the final (or near-final design) but we’re definitely not expecting it to surprise-launch at tomorrow’s event.
Watch Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked 2021 here
The ‘where’ is just as easy to guess as the ‘what’ when it comes to Samsung’s January Unpacked event. You’ll find a live-stream available on Samsung’s official website, as well as right here on Stuff, tomorrow at 17:00. That same stream will be replicated on YouTube so you can catch it on this page, or on YouTube itself. We’re also covering the event here on the Stuff website, if you’d like all the information broken down into easy-to-read bits, and we’ll also have coverage on the @StuffSA Twitter account. It’s the first Unpacked of the year — here’s hoping it sets the tone for the rest of 2021.