Samsung S21, S21+, S21 Ultra mmWave 5G Compatablity

Evening Ozbargain,

Some potentially bad news for people thinking of purchasing an Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+ or S21 Ultra.

After watching the first video teardown of a S21 Ultra international version with a Exynos 2100 processor (https://youtu.be/cU3QXPoFOUI) I discovered an issue for me and maybe others. One of my conditions for getting a new phone was future proofing by getting a phone that would be compatible with the soon to be allocated mmWave 5G spectrum of 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands in Australia. In the video it is shown that the international version of the S21 Ultra does not have the required mmWave antenna — these antenna are however present in the Snapdragon version.

I contacted Samsung Australia, regarding this and I received the following: "The latest Galaxy S21 range of devices do not support mmWave in Australia. For the Galaxy S21 range, supported bands will be 5G Sub 6 FDD and 5G Sub 6 TDD. The mmWave band is only available in US and Japan markets. At the moment, Samsung Australia will also be unable to offer any form of repairs to make it compatible for mmWave as it requires special equipment to re-calibrate RF after device dismantle."

I hope this information is of use to some, I don't think I will be purchasing a device that is inferior to its other versions.

Comments

  • Samsung have been using Exynos processors for years. Nothing new. And yes it is inferior to the Snapdragon.

    They released the Australian Samsung S20 FE 5G with a Snapdragon so it is possible. Though in terms of 5G, it usually is in the city areas, good luck if your out in the burbs. Australia covers too large area so 5G range isn't that great.

  • And another note is that we get charged premium prices for something that is not as good. O well…. Day to day users won't notice the difference.

  • Mmwave is the fastest band but also the worst for actual usability, as it only really works if you're right next to the tower, with an unobstructed line of sight. Mid band is what most people will actually be using day to day.

    Since you'll never actually get mmwave coverage, I wouldn't be too perturbed about the antenna not being included. If you really are put off, I guess you'll have to vote with your wallet.