Samsung Galaxy S21 could be with us earlier than we thought

Samsung Galaxy S20 series
The Galaxy S20 series. (Image credit: Samsung)

You can normally set your watch by the regularity of Samsung's phone launches, but maybe not in 2021 – we're hearing rumors that the Galaxy S21 (previously known as the Galaxy S30) is going to appear earlier than expected.

Those rumors come from sources speaking to SamMobile and 9to5Google, who have revealed that an "early January" unveiling is on the cards. You might be able to ring in the new year with a brand new Samsung Galaxy handset.

That would be quite the surprise. Not only is a global pandemic raging across the world, but the Galaxy S series phones usually show up in February: both the Galaxy S20 and the Galaxy S10 appeared in that month.

Exactly why Samsung is shifting its schedule is hard to say. Maybe it wants to get an early advantage over the other flagships of 2021, or maybe it's spacing out its handset launches so it can squeeze even more phones into the calendar next year.

Notes and Folds

Samsung has its S series, and the Note series, and not one but two foldable phones on the go, plus plenty of mid-range handsets too – it's perhaps not surprising that the South Korean electronics giant wants to make some more room in the schedule.

It now seems as though the 10-digit jump from the S10 to the S20 last year was a one-off: most sources are now pointing towards the next flagship phone being called the Galaxy S21 rather than the Galaxy S30.

Whatever nomenclature Samsung ends up using, brace yourselves for battery upgrades, fast charging, and a powerful new chipset that's scheduled to be unveiled in December. As usual, there'll be several different models in the range.

This time round at least, it doesn't look as though Samsung will be following Apple by removing the charging block from the phone. We've also heard that Samsung's in-screen selfie cam tech won't be ready until later in the year, so the Galaxy S21 is likely to come with the traditional punch hole.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.