In addition, John Curtis will replace Mike Coleman as Samsung’s North America channel chief.
Samsung is enhancing the security, communications and collaboration capabilities of its premium smartphones with the new Galaxy S21 line. Launched today at the semiannual Samsung Unpacked event were new pro earbuds and three new Galaxy S21 phones.
In addition to enhancing its flagship Galaxy phones, Samsung has a new channel chief in North America. John Curtis, VP of B2B sales, will take over the role vacated last month by Mike Coleman, who joined Avaya. Curtis joined Samsung nearly five years ago after a decade at Vodafone Global Enterprise, according to his LinkedIn profile. Samsung confirmed the move but said they will make him available at a future time.
Partners can now start accepting orders for the new Galaxy S21 phones, which will ship on Jan. 29. The 5G-compatible phones will be available either unlocked or aligned with any of the three major U.S. wireless carriers. Commercial partners will also be able to offer enterprise editions of the new phones.
The Galaxy S21 Enterprise Edition will include Samsung’s new Knox Suite, a set of tools launched last year. Knox Suite provides mobile enrollment, device and app management, and remote administration to protect enterprise data. The suite extended the Knox device security and management tooling Samsung has offered to enterprise customers of its Galaxy devices.
The three phones consist of the standard Galaxy S21 featuring a 6.2-inch display, the Galaxy S21+ with a larger 6.7-inch screen and the 6.8-inch Galaxy S21 Ultra. They represent “a giant leap forward,” TM Roh, president and head of Samsung’s mobile communications business, said during the Unpacked event. “It has an iconic and redefined design, that will turn heads. [It has the fastest chip ever for [the] Galaxy.”
Enhanced Dual-Layer Hardware Security
Samsung is powering the new phones with its new 5 nanometer CPU and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G mobile platform. The new Galaxy S21 line is also the most secure set of phones the company has developed to date, according to Samsung.
The new Knox Vault provides two layers of security. It includes a secure processor and a secure memory layer isolated from the phone’s operating system. Providing a separate, secure chipset from the OS gives an isolated place to store sensitive information, such as fingerprint and authentication data. There is a secure protocol that communicates between an application processor and the memory processor.
“So not only are the two pieces of silicon secure, but you also have a secure protocol to communicate between the two,” Bob Escalle, Samsung’s head of B2B product management, said during a briefing with media and analysts.
“The new dedicated security processor and secure memory look very provocative and will make IT sleep better at night,” said Patrick Moorhead, founder and chief analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy.
Wireless DeX for Windows and Mac
When Samsung launched the Galaxy Note20 phones and Galaxy Tab S7 tablets in August, they offered the new wireless DeX. Wireless DeX extends the device display to a Miracast-capable monitor or Samsung TV manufactured after 2019. With the Galaxy S21 line, Wireless DeX will work with PCs or Macs.
“With this feature, the DeX UI appears as a window on your PC or Mac,” Escalle explained. “In that window, you can access all of your apps — even the ones designed only for the phone. You can complete an email you started on your phone or drag and drop files between your phone and PC. No need to email documents to yourself anymore. And if you have to switch locations; there’s nothing to unplug.”
Galaxy S21 Ultra Adds Pro-Grade Camera
The new Galaxy S21 Ultra is the highest-end phone, which includes a professional-grade camera, an “intelligent” and high-resolution display. The 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display supports Quad HD+ and has a 120 Hz refresh rate. The display adjusts based on the content, from 10 Hz to 120 Hz, and offers a 50% improved contrast ration over the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
The camera system includes four rear cameras with ultra-wide, wide and dual telephoto lenses and an upgraded 108MP sensor. Samsung said users can now shoot 4K video at 60 frames-per-second (fps) across all the front and rear four lenses. The camera also has a 12-bit RAW file option. Escalle noted that the “director’s view” lets users switch between multiple AI enabled cameras in real time. They can record video from the rear and front-facing cameras at the same time.
“A realtor, for instance, can use multiple lenses to show a room from every corner, or have a picture-in-picture of their face as they take families on a virtual tour,” Escalle said. “And factory leaders can use these innovations to shoot dynamic training videos on how to operate machinery. [Users] can shoot, edit and deliver professional quality footage all from their phone.”
The Galaxy S21 Ultra also is the first to support the S Pen. That makes it the first Samsung phone other than the Galaxy Note that is pen-enabled. Samsung will offer two new optional S Pens.
Samsung said pricing for the 6.2-inch Galaxy S21 will start at $800, the larger Galaxy S21+ starts at $1,000 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra starts at $1,200.