Buying a gently used smartphone shouldn’t be overly complicated, but at times, it can seem a bit overwhelming. For example, Samsung offers three versions of the Galaxy S21, and each of those three versions has several different variants. This may have you trying to figure out which Galaxy S21 variant will be compatible with your wireless carrier. Keep reading and you’ll soon have the information you need to pick the correct model.
- Which model Samsung Galaxy S21 should I buy?
- Which model Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus should I buy?
- Which model Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra should I buy?
- Find your gently used Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, or S21 Ultra on Swappa
Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra model numbers
Samsung released the Galaxy S21 lineup with a base model number of SM-G99x. The model number for the Galaxy S21 is SM-G991, the model number for the Galaxy S21 Plus SM-G996, and the model number for the Galaxy S21 Ultra is SM-G998. The different variants for each of these models are listed below.
- Samsung Galaxy S21: SM-G991U, SM-G991U1, SM-G991B, SM-G991B/DS, SM-G991W, SM-G991N, and SM-G9910
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus: SM-G996U, SM-G996U1, SM-G996B, SM-G996B/DS, SM-G996W, SM-G996N, SM-G9960
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: SM-G998U, SM-G998U1, SM-G998B, SM-G998B/DS, SM-G998W, SM-G998N, SM-G9968
You’re reading that correctly — three versions of the Galaxy S21 and seven variants for each, which brings that to a grand total of 21 different model numbers. But don’t worry, because if you are buying a Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, or Galaxy S21 Ultra to use in the United States, this list can immediately be cut down to two variants — the U and the U1 versions.
The important thing to remember is that the “U” is the carrier version and the “U1” is the factory unlocked version. Carrier versions of smartphones are generally locked for use with one specific carrier, and factory unlocked versions can be used with different carriers.
The two Galaxy S21 models you should consider for use with US-based wireless providers include the SM-G991U and SM-G991U1. The SM-G991U is the model you should choose if you plan to use your Galaxy S21 with a single carrier. The SM-G991U1 is the model you need if you think you may switch carriers, say from Verizon to AT&T or T-Mobile, or vice versa.
You can begin your search for an SM-G991U Galaxy S21 for Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile using the links below.
If you are the more adventurous type and think you may switch carriers at some point in the future, a factory unlocked model is for you. Current listings for the SM-G991U1 Galaxy S21 can be viewed by tapping the widget.
The Galaxy S21 Plus is the middle model in the Galaxy S21 family. But while the Galaxy S21 Plus has a slightly different model number as compared to the Galaxy S21, the same rule applies — you will be looking for the “U” or the “U1” variant depending on your needs. The Galaxy S21 Plus carrier model is the SM-G996U, and the Galaxy S21 Plus factory unlocked model is the SM-G996U1.
If you are looking for a Galaxy S21 Plus for use with a single carrier, such as Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile, you can tap the appropriate link below to begin your search. Or, if you want to skip the carrier model and go with a factory unlocked model, just jump directly to the widget below the list.
The Ultra may be the biggest model in the Galaxy S21 family, but the same rule applies if you are shopping for a Galaxy S21 Ultra — look for the “U” variant if you want a carrier-specific model, and look for the “U1” variant if you want a factory unlocked model.
In the case of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, this means you would be looking for the SM-G998U (carrier model) or the SM-G998U1 (factory unlocked model). You can begin your search for a Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or Unlocked Galaxy S21 Ultra using the following links and widget.
- Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Buyer’s Guide
- Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Plus Buyer’s Guide
- Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Ultra Buyer’s Guide
There are three different models in the Galaxy S21 smartphone family and several different models for each. But as we’ve outlined here in this post — there are really only two model numbers you need to be concerned about — the carrier model or the unlocked model. You can begin your search for a carrier-specific or unlocked Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, or S21 Ultra by tapping the appropriate widget below.
Shopping for your newish smartphone in the Swappa marketplace means you will find a wide variety of models to choose from, and perhaps equally important — you will get a great deal and spend much less compared to buying brand new.