Samsung Galaxy S21 Unpacked event: how and when to watch the live stream

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Not only is Samsung pulling forward the Galaxy S21 series announcement, but it is also dedicating its first Unpacked 2021 event solely to the new Galaxy S-line, no Flips, buts or maybes. Oh, well, we are also expecting the Galaxy Buds 2 as well but those usually come bundled for free or at a discount during the preorder period anyway.

Samsung is gearing up for a very unusual event, and not just because it may be held in a stream-only format due to the new coronavirus realities. It gradually moved its Unpacked announcements outside of big industry expos, and held no less than four in 2020 – for the S20 family, the Note 20, the Z Fold 2, and even for the affordable S20 FE. 

Long story short, Samsung is expected to have the earliest of S-line product launches with the Galaxy S21 Unpacked announcement, ever when you take the usual Note 20 series announcement of at least two handsets, then add the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the 5G version of the Galaxy Z Flip for a five-banger. Throw in a purported Galaxy Tab S7+ and, potentially, the new Galaxy Watch 3, and the big summer event is bound to grow bigger.

When is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Unpacked 2021 event?

  • January 14, 2021, at 10am ET 
  • Galaxy S21 release date: January 29, 2021

Well, “Galaxy S21 smartphones will likely start official sales a month sooner than its predecessors,” claimed sources, which would put the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra release date in early February, with Unpacked event scheduled for late January. 

The Galaxy S20 series was announced in February and went on sale March, but in 2021 the Galaxy S21 will do the skits in the January/February timeframe, it seems. Given that the S20 line hit the shelves on Friday, March 6, the S21 could be released on Friday, February 5, 2021.

If we extrapolate back three weeks, as the S20 Unpacked was on February 11 and the phones were released March 6, we arrive at a Tuesday, January 12 or January 19 announcement of Samsung. Leaks, however, point to a day-in-the-week swapping of Tuesday for Thursday, and shorter timeframe till the actual launch, making January 14 the announcement, and January 29 the actual release dates of the Galaxy S21.

As you can see that would make the S21 appear just 11 months after the S20, and chart a new territory of release dates for Samsung. Why the rush?

Well, there is a new Samsung Mobile chief, who already shattered the established schedule by outing an S20 Fan Edition with a dedicated Unpacked event, something unseen for a $700 Samsung phone so far, and also held a separate one for the Z Fold 2 back in September.

He is apparently accelerating the S21 development, production and launch process “to take advantage of Huawei’s absence.” Huawei will be having trouble procuring the latest and greatest processor chips now because of US sanctions, even the fruits of its own research, as the sanctions are also on the foundries, so Samsung could try and carve as much of a market share from Huawei as possible while the Chinese juggernaut figures it out.

Moreover, Apple’s iPhone 12 supercycle will go deep into Q4 this year, and perhaps even Q1, given that the iPhone 12 Pro Max was released November 13, ditto for the other interesting iPhone this year, the 12 mini. Thus, if it releases the Galaxy S21 in early Q1, Samsung will both capitalize on Huawei’s presumed absence in the 2021 flagship realm, and counter the iPhone 12 series sales somewhat.

How to watch the Samsung Galaxy S21 Unpacked 2021 event

Samsung will have a live stream to beam the Unpacked 2021 event on its website, YouTube channel, Facebook and Twitter, and you can watch it embedded right here when time comes.

What Galaxy phones to expect at Samsung’s Unpacked 2021 event

  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: 6.9″120Hz LTPO curved display, SD 888, 5000mAh battery, 108MP camera, 10x zoom, $1399 price.
  • Samsung Galaxy S21+: 6.7″ 120Hz flat display, 4800mAh battery, 64MP camera, $1199 price.
  • Samsung Galaxy S21: 6.2″ 120Hz flat display, 4000mAh battery, 64MP camera, $999 price.
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: water-resistant with ANC.

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