Samsung Galaxy S21 leak uncovers huge upgrade to battery life

Samsung Galaxy
(Image credit: Samsung)

Another day, another Samsung Galaxy S21 leak. Hot on the heels of comprehensive leaked spec sheets, a confirmed January release date and even a trio of teaser videos, we can now expect a major increase in battery life in the S21 – that's if a new leak is to be believed, anyway. 

According to the tip-off via smartphone specialist site PhoneArena, the S21 will not sport the 1440p screen found on the standard Galaxy S20. Instead, Samsung has chosen a more "frugal" 1080p screen – a claim supported by previous leaks a few weeks back. So the important new information is that because both the S20 and S21 are reportedly sharing the same 4000mAh battery, the S21 will see a two-hour bump in stamina, based purely on the new screen – and that's before we even get to the chipset onboard the newer devices. 

The Galaxy S21 Plus, meanwhile, is supposedly getting an even larger 4,800 mAh battery (up from the 4,500 mAh power pack found in the Galaxy S20 Plus) and the S21 Ultra should include the same 5,000 mAh colossus as its Galaxy S20 Ultra sibling. 

The lower resolution on the S21 and S21 Plus would mean that the pixel density will be downgraded from that of the S20 and S20 Plus. Yes, a potential  disappointment for Galaxy device fans who demand only the newest and most cutting-edge of displays from each year's update, but the stamina gains here are substantial – if, of course, this all turns out to be true. 

The step down in pixel density from 1440p to 1080p, when said pixels are squeezed onto a display just over six inches in diameter, is arguably negligible to the human eye. And the good news is that according to testing from Android Authority, full-HD (FHD) screens perform on average 24 per cent better in terms of battery life when compared to quad-HD (QHD) displays. As noted by Tom's Guide, that's an extra 176 minutes of screen-time – or at least one particularly hellish January commute eased, thanks to your phone. 

Beyond the new lower resolution screen, we can probably expect an even more efficient chip too. The S20's Snapdragon 865 processor is, according to the leak, being upgraded to the Snapdragon 888 in the S21, which should also mean a greater power efficiency. This is because (stay with us) the Snapdragon 888 features the X60 5G modem on the die itself, boasting greater efficiency over the S20 (which utilised a separate 5G chip). 

With fresh leaks springing up every few days regarding the hotly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S21 lineup, you can stay up to date on our dedicated S21: release date, leaks and all of the news page. 


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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.