Forget the depressing days when you could only get the Galaxy S20 Ultra in Boring Black or Battleship Gray — Samsung has really upped its style game for the Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra. However, before you run off and buy the Phantom Violet or Phantom Black models, head over to Samsung’s own online store and check out the exclusive colors only available there. We think you’ll be sorely tempted.

There are five options in total, two for the Galaxy S21 Plus and three for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The Galaxy S21 Plus’s exclusive colors are much, much brighter than those for the S21 Ultra, consisting of Phantom Gold and Phantom Red. The Phantom Gold version speaks for itself, with a matte gold rear panel matched to a gold metal chassis, but the Phantom Red mixes it up with a bright red rear panel matched to the same gold chassis.

It’s a very eye-catching combination, although we still think it’s tough to beat the Phantom Violet Galaxy S21 Ultra for beauty. The two exclusives join the Phantom Violet, Phantom Black, and Phantom Silver colors for the middle Galaxy S21 phone, and still come with a choice of either 128GB or 256GB storage space.

If you want the top Galaxy S21 Ultra, you can choose between the Phantom Black or Phantom Silver standard models — and the Phantom Black does look surprisingly good in real life — or the Phantom Titanium, Phantom Navy, or Phantom Brown special editions. The Phantom Titanium model is suave, while the Phantom Navy reminds us of the Galaxy S20 FE’s blue color, and the Phantom Brown looks to be a beautiful evolution of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s Mystic Bronze.

One thing to note when opting for a custom Galaxy S21 Ultra version is the carbon fiber effect added to the camera module. While it doesn’t extend along the rest of the chassis, it may put off as many people as it attracts. We’d have liked to see the option not to add the carbon finish.

Buying through Samsung means selecting an unlocked version of the phone. The exclusive colors can’t be purchased with a carrier, but buying unlocked if you can is always advisable. You have control over which carrier to choose, how long to stay with them, and when you can sell and upgrade your phone, too. Also, while phones in the standard colors will ship for the January 27 release date, you will have to wait between four and five weeks (or two and four in the U.K.) for delivery with one of the custom versions. Samsung makes each one to order, which takes longer.

We welcome Samsung’s decision to sell the exclusive colors directly, rather than limiting them to certain carriers, and best of all there’s no difference in price. You also still get Samsung’s generous pre-order package, which includes a $200 Samsung gift card (or the Galaxy Buds Pro in the U.K.), the SmartTag location tracker, and four months of free YouTube Premium. If you’re prepared to wait a while longer for delivery, these special editions will definitely make your Galaxy S21 Plus and S21 Ultra stand out from the crowd.

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