Samsung Galaxy S21 is getting the Snapdragon 888 in some markets

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Image credit: TechRadar)

We're hearing more and more about the Samsung Galaxy S21 ahead of a rumored January launch, and the latest detail to leak is that the phone will indeed feature the brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset – at least in some markets.

As spotted by Android Central and others, the phone has made its way through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulation process in the US, and the filing mentions the technical model number of the Snapdragon 888.

While the Galaxy S series normally features a top-end Snapdragon chip in the US, rather than the Samsung Exynos silicon used in other markets, it wasn't clear if Samsung would be following the same pattern in 2021.

Samsung was notably absent from the list of partners that Qualcomm announced at the Snapdragon 888 launch, fuelling talk that Samsung might be going it alone with a new chip of its own in the US as well as other markets. However, now it seems like it's going to be business as usual.

It's raining rumors

Outside of the US we're expecting the Galaxy S21 phones to come running the as-yet-unannounced Exynos 2100 chipset, which should be in the same bracket as the Snapdragon 888 from Qualcomm when it comes to performance.

The FCC listing also reveals that the phone is going to arrive with 25W wired and 9W reverse wireless charging – that's the same as we saw last year in terms of wired charging, though the reverse wireless charging speed (for using the phone as a charger) looks to have doubled since the Samsung Galaxy S20.

There's now very little left to be revealed when it comes to the Galaxy S21, with the most recent leak up to this point being official teaser trailers for the phones. You can see the new camera design on the handsets, as well as some of the new colors you can expect.

As usual, there will be differences between the three handsets – the S21, the S21 Plus, and the S21 Ultra – with the top-end model expected to come with a bigger screen, an improved camera, and support for the S Pen stylus (which might spell the end for the Samsung Galaxy Note series).

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.