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Samsung launches competitors to iPhone 12 and AirPods Pro, beats AirTags to market

Samsung debuted its newest flagship smartphones and more today at its Unpacked 2021 event. The major launches include three new iPhone 12 competitors with the Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra as well as AirPods Pro and AirTags competitors.

Samsung launched its new flagship Galaxy smartphones about a month earlier than it traditionally does this year and the S21 lineup features three new smartphones. Most everything we’ve learned today was leaked ahead of time, but everything is now official. Samsung no doubt took note of Apple’s approach of offering four models with the iPhone 12 lineup but also made its own choices when it comes to sizes, features, and design.

Galaxy S21 design and sizes

The Samsung Galaxy S21 series features an all-new design and the camera modules on the back are getting pretty close to becoming flush with the rest of the smartphone on the back. The S21 features a 6.2-inch display, the S21+ a 6.7-inch display, and the S21 Ultra has a slightly larger 6.8-inch display.


Some of the ways Samsung is differentiating the S21 smartphones from the iPhone 12 lineup is even the base model features a wide, ultra wide, and telephoto camera. The S21 Ultra steps up from there with four cameras on the back, one wide sensor, an ultra wide, and two telephoto sensors. There’s also a laser autofocus system comparable to Apple’s LiDAR.

The Galaxy S21 series features ultra wideband, 120Hz displays, battery capacities between 4,000-5,000mAh, 8-16GB RAM, Snapdragon 888 processor, 5G – including mmWave, S Pen stylus support for the Ultra, 12-bit RAW photo support, and more.

Galaxy S21 Pricing

Samsung has priced the Galaxy S21 lineup very similar to Apple with the base model starting at $799, the S21+ at $999, and the Ultra starting from $1,199. Notably, Samsung opted to skip a S21 model under the 6-inch screen size like Apple’s iPhone 12 mini.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S21 series goes official w/ Snapdragon 888, S Pen, $200 price drop

Samsung beats Apple’s AirTags launch

A notable launch today is Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag and SmartTag+. These are the competitors to Apple’s AirTags that are expected to launch at some point here.

Galaxy SmartTags leverage ultra wideband like AirTags will and include some of the same features that we’ve uncovered AirTags should have like an AR experience to find lost items.

Another intriguing aspect is a $29 price point for the Galaxy SmartTag with the SmartTag+ going from $39. It will be interesting to see how Apple approaches pricing but it wouldn’t be surprising if it charges more for AirTags.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy SmartTag works like a Tile tracker, available from $29

New AirPods Pro competitor

Another launch today from Samsung is the Galaxy Buds Pro. As the name suggests, they match most of Apple’s AirPods Pro features like noise-cancellation, an ambient sound setting like AirPods Pro’s Transparency mode, and more.

Galaxy Buds Pro come in at $199, a bit less than what AirPods Pro regularly retail for. However, for committed Apple users, giving up instant pairing and and more with AirPods Pro to switch to Galaxy Buds Pro is probably a non-starter.

Read more: Galaxy Buds Pro can cancel out or amplify ambient noise, switch between devices for $199

Head over to our sister-site 9to5Google for more in-depth coverage on everything Samsung launched today.

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.