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2021 in smartphones: losing LG, Samsung Galaxy S21, iPhone 13, Pixel 6 and more

2021 in smartphones: losing LG, Samsung Galaxy S21, iPhone 13, Pixel 6 and more
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2021 has been yet another odd year for most of us, but it has also been an exciting one in the world of smartphones, with a lot of change in the Android space and improvements for Apple’s iPhone line.

The Covid-19 pandemic delayed many tech launches, but we’ve still seen some top-tier smartphones released throughout the year.

We’re here to run you through all the big launches as they happened and remind you how the year went down in smartphones. Let’s get started with the very beginning of 2021.

January to March - A messy conference season CES 2021 was the first virtual CES ever, thanks to the ongoing pandemic discouraging people from congregating. The biggest phone story was the LG Rollable, which was exhibited for the first time via a short teaser trailer. Everyone expected it to launch at some point in 2021 but, well, that didn't happen. Because in late January, LG revealed that it might stop making smartphones, which it did. More on that bombshell later.

More reliable news came from Samsung. The company used a similar timing to CES 2021 to announce the Samsung Galaxy S21Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra. All three models arrived at the end of January and proved highly successful. 

Other phones actually at CES 2021 included Motorola showing off its G-series phones, and TCL highlighting its new TCL 20 lineup. During CES, Sony showed off its 360 Reality Audio support, in a bid to take on Dolby Atmos and other spatial audio technology.

While CES 2021 broke some exciting news, MWC 2021 was postponed to late June due to concerns about Covid-19. Away from CES, the Honor V40 was launched, and the Xiaomi Mi 11 was released as a rival to Samsung’s Galaxy S21.

March was also a busy month, with the March 11 unveiling of Oppo Find X3, a smartphone leading the way for a new generation of flagship Oppo phones. That same month, Samsung introduced new mid-range models, the Samsung A52 and A72.

The OnePlus 9 went on sale in March, proving to be a good-value option with no significant issues. Gaming phones also got some love with the release of not only the ASUS ROG 5, but also the Nubia Red Magic 6 and the Xiaomi Black Shark 4

April to June - Farewell LG 

LG Rollable

April was the month LG officially bid us adieu, quitting the smartphone world. That meant no possibility of the LG Rollable, or the rumoured LG V70 ThinQ either. 

During this period, we also saw initial glimpses of what we could expect from the release of iOS 15 later in the year - a redesigned Control Center in particular, stole everyone's attention. 

Apple's first launch event of 2021 was in April. Spring Loaded focused on Macs and iPads, but it also introduced a new iPhone 12 color: purple. 

The Oppo Find X3 series, including the Oppo Find X3 ProFind X3 Neo, and Find X3 Lite, also finally went on sale in the UK. Oppo continued its busy season with the introduction of some cheap 5G headsets - the A54, A74 and A94