When Samsung's Galaxy S series reached its tenth iteration with the S10 we thought the successor would be named the Galaxy S11 – but it turned out to be the Galaxy S20. Now, many have been assuming the next handset in the line would be the Galaxy S30, but a reputable leaker has referred to it as the Galaxy S21.
This leaker is @UniverseIce, who has a pretty solid track record of smartphone leaks, especially regarding Samsung products – and they're the first big leaker who correctly predicted the name of the Galaxy S20.
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Galaxy S21，Project“U”August 18, 2020
In a tweet, @UniverseIce simply stated 'Galaxy S21, Project“U”'. While it's clear what the first part of the message means – the new phones will, according to the leaker, be called the Galaxy S21 – the latter half isn't as clear.
It's not likely the internal codename for the phone, as Samsung typically uses actual words for this – the Galaxy Note 10 was codenamed Da Vinci for example – and while 'U' could be referring to the Galaxy S21 Ultra, UniverseIce also did that in a separate tweet, so we can't know for sure.
That separate tweet regarding the Galaxy S21 Ultra simply names it, as well as stating it'll have a 108MP main camera like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, but an improved version, so perhaps it'll have a larger sensor and/or bigger pixels to improve light gathering.
What's in a name?
The Samsung Galaxy S21 / S30 name doesn't tell us anything about the phone in itself, but some phone fans can get pretty opinionated about what new devices are called, especially since most phone manufacturers play pretty fast and loose with naming conventions.
Galaxy S21 Ultra，Still 108MP, the sensor is the successor to HM1August 19, 2020
It was speculated that Samsung jumped from 'S10' to 'S20' for its 2020 smartphone to match the name of the year – many didn't expect the company to continue this trend, but if the leak is right they will.
Some might argue that 'S21' sounds a little less 'landmark' compared to 'S30' – and it's worth bearing in mind that Samsung already has a '21' handset, the affordable Galaxy A21.
While this leak is from a reliable source, it's just one voice, and we'll take the claim more seriously if and when other major leakers start referring to the handset as the S21 instead of the S30 – but we'll have to wait until early 2021, when we're expecting the new Samsung Galaxy flagships to launch, to know for sure.
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Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.
He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.