Samsung launches new Galaxy S smartphone

Samsung has presented its Galaxy S21 Ultra mobile phone in a virtual event.
Samsung has presented its Galaxy S21 Ultra mobile phone in a virtual event.

Samsung has unveiled the first Galaxy S smartphone with a stylus for on-screen work called the S Pen, more than a month ahead of its usual annual release schedule for models of its flagship compact phone.

Analysts have said offering a stylus within the Galaxy S21 series might signal the South Korean tech giant will merge the S line with its other premium smartphone range, the Note, already equipped with a note-taking stylus.

That could free up resources for Samsung to push its separate range high-end foldable phones as key mass products rather than niche devices.

Samsung is also looking to grab market share after China's Huawei Technologies was hit with US sanctions that restricted its supply and hurt sales, analysts have said.

An early Galaxy S21 launch is a likely tactic to capitalise on Huawei's woes, said Counterpoint Research analyst Sujeong Lim.

New iterations of the Note typically come in the second half of the year.

Lim said Samsung faces intense competition in the high-end category from Chinese vendors amid growing demand for devices that can be used for remote work amid the coronavirus pandemic as well as play like videogaming.

In the US, the Galaxy S21 price starts at $US799.99 ($A1,032), S21 Plus at $US999.99 and S21 Ultra at $US1,199.99.

The series will be widely available starting January 29 through Samsung.com, carriers and retailers online, Samsung said.

Australian Associated Press