Galaxy S21: Why didn’t Samsung include headphones and charger in the box?

PROMO ] Get additional Samsung ANC Type-C Earphones (worth RM299) for free when you buy the Galaxy S21 series with the promo code SCS21VIP via the Samsung online store. Offer ends 28 Feb 2021.

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Just months after Apple made its bold move to exclude power adapter and wired earphones for new iPhone units, Samsung has done the same thing with its new Galaxy S21 series. As a result, you’re getting a slimmer box and all you’ll get is just the phone, manuals, sim ejector tool and a USB-C to USB-C cable. Obviously, Samsung has gotten some backlash over the move especially after it had mocked Apple on social media following the launch of the iPhone 12.

The South Korean smartphone brand has released an FAQ with answers from several top executives. This included questions about its move to ditch essential accessories that have always been included as standard across their smartphone lineup.

Samsung charger and earphones in box

Patrick Chomet, the EVP and Head of the Customer Experience Office said the move to remove the charger is to help address sustainable consumption issues and to remove any pressure that customers may feel about getting a charger that they don’t use. Samsung said they are seeing more Galaxy users that have been reusing their existing chargers for their new devices.

Samsung seems confident that most users won’t face major challenges with the change as they have switched to the USB-C charging standard for its flagship devices since 2017 with the Galaxy S8. Below is Patrick’s answer in full:

“We discovered that more and more Galaxy users are reusing accessories they already have and making sustainable choices in their daily lives to promote better recycling habits. To support our Galaxy community in this journey, we are transitioning to removal of the charger plug and earphones in our latest line of Galaxy smartphones.

We believe that the gradual removal of charger plugs and earphones from our in-box device packaging can help address sustainable consumption issues and remove any pressure that consumers may feel towards continually receiving unnecessary charger accessories with new phones.

We’ve also been implementing standardized USB-C type charging ports since 2017, so older chargers can still be compatible with our newest Galaxy models.”

Despite its sustainability ambition, it is odd that Samsung doesn’t reveal how much of an impact the removal of accessories will make to the environment. Apple estimates that the move to shrink their iPhone box will cut over 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually, which is equivalent to taking out 450,000 cars from the road each year. The smaller size will also enable them to fit up to 70% more products onto a shipping pallet.

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How much does the charger and earphones cost?

Samsung 25W charger

If you do need the charger, the original Samsung 25W USB-C PD power adapter is retailing for RM79 but it is now offered at a discount for RM59. It supports Power Delivery 3.0 charging protocol with PPS and the Malaysian version comes with a UK standard 3-pin design that can be folded for a smaller size.

Since Samsung devices are using USB Power Delivery standard, there are better and more affordable alternatives in the market that you can consider. If you need one that can charge a USB-C powered laptop, you can consider chargers like the UGreen 65W GaN charger which can be yours for less than RM100. Xiaomi has also recently introduced its compact 65W Gan Charger which retails for RM119 and it comes with a USB-C cable included.

Samsung earphones

If you still need a pair of wired in-ear headphones, the original Type-C earphones are going for RM99. The earphones are tuned by AKG and it comes with a mic along with physical buttons to control your music playback.

In case you missed it, you can redeem an additional free Samsung Type-C earphone with noise cancelling when you pre-order the Galaxy S21 on the official Samsung online store with the promo code SCS21VIP. Just make sure you enter the code before you check out from the store.

Free Wireless Charger for Galaxy S21 pre-order customers

As reported recently, Samsung Malaysia appears to be bundling a free Wireless Charger Trio to anyone that pre-order the Galaxy S21 series from all authorised channels including its online store. The wireless charger which retails for RM399 allows you to charge two Qi wireless devices plus one Galaxy Smart Watch at the same time.

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The wireless charger itself comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable and a 25W USB-PD power adapter. If you need to charge your phone quicker, you can always charge directly with the provided 25W power adapter.

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Alexander Wong