As more and more people have transitioned to working remotely over the past year, mobile technology has taken center stage in everyday life and work. The accelerated shift to mobile-first business brings with it a need for devices that can make daily tasks more seamless and can boost collaboration.

On Jan. 14, 2021, Samsung held a virtual Unpacked event to launch the newest devices in its smartphone lineup, the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra 5G. You can watch the full Unpacked event replay above, or continue reading to learn about the key announcements. You can also sign up here to stay up to date on the latest news and details about the Galaxy S21 lineup.

Key moments from the Galaxy Unpacked event

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

  • Samsung kicked off the Unpacked event by announcing the Galaxy Buds Pro, the next generation of intelligent earbuds. (6:08) “We use earbuds to listen to our favorite music, watch our favorite movies and connect with the people we love. They help us tune into the content we care about and tune out the content we don’t. … Galaxy Buds Pro come with the most intelligent active noise cancellation on true wireless earbuds.” —Elizabeth Linstrom, Global Direct to Consumer Center, Samsung Electronics

Samsung Galaxy S21

  • Samsung introduced the Galaxy S21 and S21+ as smartphones designed for the way you live today, but loaded with the innovation of tomorrow. (18:49) “This year we wanted to give you something different: a giant leap forward, to empower you to express yourself and live your life exactly how you want. … Galaxy S21 is groundbreaking on all fronts; it has an iconic boundary-defying design that will turn heads, the fastest chip ever for Galaxy, together with our most complete software and user experience.” —TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Communications, Samsung Electronics

S21 World Class Displays

  • The devices feature an all-new immersive display for an optimal viewing experience. (22:24) “These devices are designed to open up a world of extraordinary new experiences, starting with their stunning world-class displays. After all, the display is one of the most important parts of any smartphone. … Today we’ve made another leap forward, building the S21 series with an adaptive screen that goes between 48 and 120Hz.” —Yoonie Park, Global Brand Marketing, Samsung Electronics

S21 8K Photos and Video

  • The Galaxy S21 and S21+ feature a pro-grade camera system to capture truly cinematic videos. (28:36) “With the S21 series, you can capture every detail in cinematic quality without any extra effort thanks to 8K video. … These videos are so sharp you no longer have to choose between taking a photo or a video anymore. With 8K Video Snap, you can pull photos from your videos at 33 megapixels, so your screenshots will look like portraits.” —Yoonie Park, Global Brand Marketing, Samsung Electronics

S21 Director Mode

  • Director’s View lets you record video from the front and back cameras simultaneously. (30:00) “Sometimes you want to do more than point and shoot; you want to choose the right angles, focus on your subject and change your view as you film. … We created a new visual experience called Director’s View. Now you can preview thumbnails from all your camera lenses while you shoot.” —Yoonie Park, Global Brand Marketing, Samsung Electronics

S21 CPU and GPU

  • The Galaxy S21’s chipset represents a significant boost in speed and efficiency compared with the previous generation. (30:40) “We’ve engineered our chipset to give you more — more speed, more energy efficiency and more possibilities. At 5 nanometers, this chip represents the most significant leap in our chip performance ever, and it starts with the CPU. We are delivering 20 percent faster CPU, 35 percent faster GPU and two times faster AI … giving you the power to reach 20 tera-operations per second.” —Yoonie Park, Global Brand Marketing, Samsung Electronics

Samsung Knox Vault

  • Samsung discussed the enhanced security provided by the S21’s Secure Processor. (31:34) “The security of our most sensitive information is more important than ever. At the heart of our enhanced security system is a secure processor which is engineered to ensure your data stays protected, even against advanced hardware attacks. … In addition, we brought a whole new layer of protection, customized for this processor, by adding a physical tamper-resistant secure memory. We call it Samsung Knox Vault.” —Yoonie Park, Global Brand Marketing, Samsung Electronics

S21 5G and Battery Life

  • The S21 devices feature an all-day intelligent battery to get your though the workday, even when you are taking advantage of 5G connectivity. (32:58) “S21 and S21+ will last all day, even in a 5G network. Two years ago, we launched the world’s first commercial 5G smartphone, and our leadership continues with HyperFast 5G engineered to give you the best network experience possible.” —Yoonie Park, Global Brand Marketing, Samsung Electronics

S21 Ultra

  • Samsung then introduced the enhanced features on the top-of-the-line Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. (40:39) “Galaxy S21 Ultra takes it all up a notch. It’s a smartphone built for people who want more — more freedom, more power and more ways to shape the world around them. … We built S21 Ultra with our most powerful processor, amazing display and, of course, our incredible pro-grade camera. … Four cutting-edge lenses give you an enhanced visual experience.” —Charlie McCarren, Global Corporate Strategy, Samsung Electronics

S Pen on S Series

  • The S21 Ultra is the first-ever S series device compatible with an S Pen. (55:43) “We are introducing Wacom technology to S21 Ultra, making it the first-ever S series device compatible with the S Pen. … This is more than just a pen. It puts precision at your fingertips, so you can take charge of your mobile experience. You can use it to write, draw and make more precise edits.” —Charlie McCarren, Global Corporate Strategy, Samsung Electronics

S Pen and S Pen Pro

  • You’ll have a choice of of two optional S Pens. (56:05) “We’re introducing two new independent S Pens today: the standard model, now bigger with a more comfortable grip, and the more advanced S Pen Pro. The S Pen Pro allows you to take advantage of all the great Bluetooth features you’ve come to love, like snapping Air Actions to snap a photo remotely, control your music player or click through a presentation.” —Charlie McCarren, Global Corporate Strategy, Samsung Electronics

Microsoft and Google Collaboration

  • Samsung is continuing to emphasize seamless Microsoft integration, including Link to Windows. (59:20) “With Microsoft, we’ve brought a seamless productivity experience between phone and PC, as well as visual and entertainment experiences via the cloud … and we continue to work with Google to provide exciting mobile experiences that let you enjoy more of what you love.” —Federico Casalegno, SVP, Experience of Planning & SDIC, Samsung Electronics

S21 Enterprise

  • The Galaxy S21 lineup are recommended by Android Enterprise. (1:12:25) “For those of you interested in using your S21 for work, you’ll be pleased to learn that it’s an Android Enterprise recommended device. The S21 exceeds the program’s elevated hardware and software requirements for business use. The Galaxy S21 is an incredible device that brings the best of the Samsung and Google collaboration.” —Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP, Platforms and Ecosystems, Google

While you’re here:

For IT professionals looking to go a level deeper:

Posts By

Michael Archambault

Michael Archambault is a technology writer located in Long Island, New York. For the past decade, Michael has covered the consumer technology space, reporting on the latest industry offerings while crafting comprehensive how-to guides, hands-on-reviews and opinion-editorials.

View more posts by Michael Archambault