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Galaxy S21’s attractive camera design makes the iPhone 12 look outdated

The Galaxy S21 is weeks away from its official unveiling but the new design employed by the upcoming trio of smartphones has already been exposed in leaked renders, photos and early hands-on videos. And I must admit that although I was unsure at first, the new camera bump design is starting to grow on me.

I won’t know for sure until I’ll have the chance to see these phones with my own eyes but the design language soon-to-be-established by the Galaxy S21 series might be my favorite thing about it. The new camera bump doesn’t stand out as much as it did with the Galaxy S20 series and especially the Galaxy S20 Ultra. And if it does stand out, it’s for all the right reasons.

Unlike previous flagship generations whose camera bumps looked as if they were tacked onto the glass back panel, the Galaxy S21 design formula brings about a more seamless transition between the camera bump and the phone’s metal frame.

The top and left edges are flush against the phone’s metal frame and this serves to give the illusion that if you could somehow drag the opposite corner to increase the bump’s surface area, you could extend it to cover the entire back panel, resulting in a completely flat surface. And for many smartphone users, a powerful camera combo and a flat, bump-less back panel is the holy grail of design in today’s mobile world. Samsung may have given us a glimpse of the Galaxy series’ future.

Is Samsung purposefully trying to make the iPhone 12 look cheaper?

What’s also interesting about the Galaxy S21 camera bump’s design is that it might be a piece of a bigger puzzle. It could be one of Samsung’s secret weapons against the iPhone 12 series.

Both Samsung and Apple have been following a similar camera bump design philosophy in recent years and 2020 was no different. The Ultra versions of the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 20

, in particular, have prominent rectangular cameras, but the Galaxy S21 series is clearly headed in a different direction.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s mid-range devices like the Galaxy A42 5G and the Galaxy A12 flaunt the usual rectangular camera bump design, and although they are not as refined, they seem to resemble the iPhone 12 cameras in a roundabout way. Even more so now that they’re juxtaposed against the Galaxy S21 series’ design.

And perhaps this is all on purpose. Samsung is seemingly reserving the rectangular camera bump design for some of its mid-range series, perhaps in an attempt to create an association in the mind of consumers between the flagship iPhone 12 lineup and its own mid-range Galaxy portfolio. It’s almost as if Samsung’s mid-range series is working together with the Galaxy S21 to sabotage the iPhone 12’s image and elevate the Galaxy flagships to a higher plane as a result.

Or perhaps Samsung’s reasons are not as closely related to Apple, but whatever the case may be, the Galaxy S21 series appears to have a bold new design language and it’s undeniable that Samsung was brave enough to try something different for 2021.

That’s not only commendable but it might also lead to success. I’m excited for the new design, and perhaps even more so for what it might lead to with subsequent flagship generations. What’s your take on Samsung’s new formula for the Galaxy S21 series? Do you think this different approach has anything to do with the eternal rivalry between Samsung and Apple? Leave a comment below.

  • Model: SM-G991B
  • Dimensions: Bar: 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm
  • Display: 6.2 inch / 157.48 mm Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • CPU: Exynos 2100
  • Camera: 12MP

  • Model: SM-G996B
  • Dimensions: Bar: 161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8 mm
  • Display: 6.7 inch / 170.18 mm Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • CPU: Exynos 2100
  • Camera: 12MP

  • Model: SM-G998B
  • Dimensions: Bar: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm
  • Display: 6.8 inch / 172.72 mm Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • CPU: Exynos 2100
  • Camera: 12MP
Categories: OpinionPhone
Tags: AppleGalaxy A12Galaxy A42 5GGalaxy S21Galaxy S21 PlusGalaxy S21 Ultra

View Comments (20)

  • Galaxy S21 series' camera design looks amazing. The Apple's fidget spinner is trash, and now looks even more ugly and disgusting.

    • If look were everything that would be ok but they charge more in europe for the same phones with a much inferior processor at least Apple uses the same processor all over the world.

  • plastic back, inferior processor in europe (Exynos), am not an Apple fanboy, but who is chasing whom, privately use the S20U and business Apple, skip the S21 this year, and wait for the revelations in March 2021, missed opportunity with the same "setup" as the S20 U ...

  • Those squared off edges on iPhone 12 series are way more attractive than any design element on any smartphone released in the last few years.

  • In my opinion, Apple design looks way better than Samsung. Samsung camera design looks like unfinished or prototype.

      • I appreciate good design and don't blindly accept everything thrown as a dog.
        If the design is good it will attract more people and if its bad it will loose the existing fan base as well.
        I am here as a Samsung Note 10 plus user. I know my words. People like you are not supposed to be here. Get well soon bro.

      • Have u even seen the design? That bulge at the corner? no symmetry at all. Talking like a fool will not make you a fan of Samsung. I am proud owner of Samsung Galaxy Note 10 plus. I owned S7 edge and note 8 as well. I want Samsung to give best design and i will never blindly accept what ever is put forward. I have my mind to think and eyes to look. I want Samsung to know how much we care for brand and bring good design to flush the competition. May be you are sick and needs some medical attention. Get well soon bro.

  • The Samsung looks so much better, but it always has. No butt ugly notch and up to S10 and Note10 a more attractive camera set up. They went off base with S20/Note20 but are definitely back on track here. Makes the iPhone 12 look like the ancient design that it is. You have a lot to answer for Sammobile. Going by some comments here, for a Samsung fan site you seem to attract more pathetic iSheep than true fans. Most of it has to do with your blatant hate articles over the years. You attract haters, not fans. I cannot understand how Samsung gives you privileged access to their firmware update servers. You certainly don't deserve it.

  • You sow what you reap Sammobile. We actually have more haters than fans here. It's a damn shame that a site supposed to be for Samsung fans is actually more popular with haters and iSheep. Just look at the idiotic comments here. You have brought so much negativity that even the occasional positive article attracts the haters. If I was in the Samsung Marketing dept I would be rescinding your right to host firmware downloads. The site is a disgrace. I've watched this site changing from a real fan site with lots of positive views but also constructive criticism where necessary to one that attracts people who probably never had a Samsung phone, and simply make hateful comments on every article, usually as a result of the non stop negative articles you guys write. It is sad that you have declined so much. Maybe you need better writers or a good editor to filter content.

    • Would you rather have Samsung be hailed, I own the S20 U exynos, after 14 updates I am still not satisfied with the Samsung, 1349 euros for a phone that takes a detour photo and video the way I want it, there may also be criticism where do I go to express my dissatisfaction with Samsung's policy? Then we buy another brand, the range of good phones is getting better, as a customer from the first Samsung S2 customer, Samsung's arrogance amazes me.