January 16, 2021
The Galaxy S21 series is already available for preorder in India, where Samsung officials have...

  • The Galaxy S21 series is already available for preorder in India, where Samsung officials have confirmed the January 14th announcement and January 29th release date.
  • Separately, a leaker said the Galaxy S21 would deliver a huge upgrade over the Galaxy S20 and a feature that no iPhone has.
  • The fingerprint sensor in the S21 series will grow significantly, and the unlocks will be even faster than before. A simple tap instead of a press will suffice to unlock the screen.

A few weeks ago, several reports said that Samsung would launch the Galaxy S21 series in mid-January next year, about a month earlier than the usual timeframe for Galaxy S updates. Samsung is looking to compete better against the iPhone 12, take advantage of the ongoing Huawei ban, and improve smartphone sales. The pricing strategy for the Galaxy S20 and Note 20 did not do Samsung any favors, especially considering it all happened during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

An increasing number of Galaxy S21 leaks that followed seemed to confirm that the Galaxy S21 Unpacked press conference will indeed take place in mid-January, culminating with a leak that showed us official Galaxy S21 teaser clips. A new set of reports now tells us that the Galaxy S21’s unique advantage over the iPhone is about to get even better and further confirms the previously rumored press conference and release dates.

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Ice Universe, the Samsung insider that’s been using social media for years to report on Samsung’s unreleased devices, took to Twitter to detail one of the Galaxy S21’s main upgrades. The phone will feature an even larger fingerprint sensor than previous models. The sensor measures 8 by 8 millimeters for a total of 64 square mm, which is nearly twice the surface of the Galaxy S20’s sensor.

Ultrasonic fingerprint sensors use ultrasounds to detect fingerprints, to unlock the phone, authenticate payments, and log into apps. Apple has also researched the feature, which was widely expected to power the iPhone X back in 2017. Apple’s 3D face recognition is superior to fingerprints, but Face ID is inconvenient when wearing masks.

Ice now says that the fingerprint sensor is getting even faster than before, and a simple tap would be enough to unlock it, rather than a full press. Hopefully, it’ll be even more secure. Ultrasonic fingerprint-reading might be sophisticated, but Samsung had to face an unpleasant security issue when it first launched the feature a couple of years ago.

In separate reports, Android Authority and SamMobile note Samsung has confirmed the Galaxy S21 release date.

Android Authority discovered that Galaxy S21 preorders started in India, where Samsung Experience Stores accept reservations for an advance of Rs. 2,000 or around $27. The largest Samsung store in India told the blog that Samsung would launch the Galaxy S21 globally on January 14th, with in-store sales to start on January 29th. The execs also confirmed the S21 colors: gray, pink, purple, and white for the S21; pink, purple, silver, and black for S21+; and black and silver for S21 Ultra. The Indian versions of the phone will run on Samsung’s Exynos 2100 chipset, not the Snapdragon 888 that will power S21 models elsewhere.

SamMobile says it followed up on the report with Samsung’s local offices, which confirmed the news. The actual S21 did not leak, but earlier reports said the phones might be slightly cheaper than before. The handsets will also ship without free chargers and earphones in the box.

Yesterday’s Android Police story mentioned the same event and launch dates.

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