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Samsung's Galaxy S21 Olympic Edition looks beautiful in real life

Just don't count on buying it outside of Japan.

Published onJune 22, 2021

samsung galaxy s21 olympic edition real life
Jon Fingas / Android Authority
  • A review has provided early photos of Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Olympic Edition.
  • The special smartphone looks great between its blue back and gold-hued metal trim.
  • Buying this outside of Japan may be a challenge.

Samsung has finally shipped a Tokyo Olympics phone after the pandemic scuppered last year’s plans, and this model might have been worth the wait. SamMobile reports that Garumax has reviewed the Galaxy S21 Olympic Edition — complete with photos illustrating what the rare Android device looks like in real life.

Not surprisingly, the Galaxy S21 Olympic Edition is a beautiful phone. The combination of the Phantom Blue back (not purple as we originally surmised) with a gold-colored metal trim helps it stand out, even compared to bolder colors like Phantom Violet. You’ll also find the Olympics rings on the back to help this model stand out, although we could do without NTT DoCoMo’s carrier branding.

See also: The best Snapdragon 888 phones you can buy

It’s all about software on the front. The S21 Olympic Edition has its own boot animation, wallpapers, color schemes, and round icons (no rounded squares here by default). The always-on display’s usual image even shows the Tokyo Olympic Games’ mascot. Samsung also installs the Olympics’ official app when you first start the handset.

The hardware is fundamentally identical to a regular Galaxy S21 once you get past the Olympic Edition cosmetics. The 6.2-inch 1080p screen, Snapdragon 888 chip, camera layout and other features are the same as what you’d get with an off-the-shelf S21. Sorry, there’s no Plus or Ultra version.

Availability may be this phone’s greatest drawback. The Galaxy S21 Olympic Edition is currently available only in Japan, and then only as a DoCoMo carrier version. Even if you can import it and use it with your network of choice, you’ll have to deal with DoCoMo apps and otherwise accept a less-than-pure experience. Barring a surprise international release, you’ll likely have to stare lovingly from afar.

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