Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus review

Read Time:14 Minute, 52 Second
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus review


The Galaxy S21 Plus is a wonderful telephone on its own, but it provides little you can’t afford, other than its bigger screen, with a normal and cheaper Galaxy S21. But you will be very happy with the middle sibling in the S21 family if the screen size is a breaker for you and you’re ready to pay a little more for the extra real estate.


  • Gorgeous new design
  • Great performance
  • Powerful camera


  • No microSD support
  • Expensive
  • No charger in the box

Short Review

Why buy an all-singing, all-dancing Galaxy S21 Ultra when you could go for the cheaper Galaxy S21? It’s a fair question and it is one with a simple answer: purchase the S21 Plus if you do not need all the Ultra cells and whistles (much of it photographic) after a phone with a larger screen and battery than the Galaxy S21.

Samsung has now made Ultra versions of its flagships from Galaxy S the smartphones to purchase if you want to acquire all of the state-of-the-art and the finest technologies that the behemoth of Korea’s electronics can provide, which puts Galaxy S21 Plus in a little uncomfortable situation.

Is the S21 Plus worth the extra $200 / £180 / AU$300 compared to the S21? Maybe, but it depends on what you need.

And, odd as it may sound, certain lower standards with the S21 Plus this year than with the Galaxy S20 Plus last year are really being achieved. While the 6.7″ display on the S21, it is not more QHD+ resolution but the Samsung screen is much larger than the 6.2″ display on the S21. The Full HD+ display is now available with Samsung.

However, we discovered that this is not a big problem, because the greater resolution is not especially visible when we talk about displays of this size. This is still an AMOLED phone, which also provides up to 120Hz of intelligent and dynamic refresh rate.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 series also does not accept a MicroSD card which may turn off anybody who values an option to increase built-in storage for their phone.

On the camera side, nothing has practically changed since last year, but if you upgrade your older phone than one in the Galaxy S20 portfolio this is no easy task. You receive both a 12MP and a 64MP zoom lens, super wide and primary camera.

It is a fantastic camera array and we have classified it as the Galaxy S21, which has the same setup, among our best camera telephones; but for photography, you will not have to upgrade to an S21 Plus if you own theS20 Plus already; and you will see the Galaxy S21 Ultra if you want the absolute best camera telephone from Samsung as well.

In all, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus has the same affordability and functionality as the Galaxy S21, but it has a bigger package. It’s not for people who desire Samsung’s very finest, but you can appreciate this device if you require a bigger screen than the Galaxy S21.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus release date and price

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Plus has unveiled its 2021 flagship a Month before the previous years together with its Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Ultra during the company’s virtual Unpacked event.

In several areas, including the US, UK, and Australia, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus release was January 29, 2021. This implies that in all three nations as well as in other key markets, you may buy this device today.

The official pricing of Galaxy S21 Plus starts for the 128GB and 8GB of the telephone’s model at $999/ £949/AU$1,549. A version of $1.049/€999/$1.649 is also available. The pricing is 256 Gb / 8 GB.

The price is much lower than the starting price of the Galaxy S20 Plus, especially in the USA. In 2020, the debut price of this telephone was 1.199 / 999 / AU$ 1.649. This is mainly because the business decided not to put a higher quality QHD panel on the Full HD+ display – we will delve into it more.

Since its introduction, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus has also shrunk to a price that was approximate $800/€720/AU$1,350 in select retailers by July 2021.

Contracted from the Galaxy S20 series, all Galaxy S21 phones are 5 G-ready, but you have super-fast connectivity when there’s a suitable data plan, but there’s no cheaper 4G-only S21 Plus.


The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus’ design is the most noticeable difference to the S20 Plus last year; the S21 plus features a completely new design language along with the S21 Standard and the S21 Ultra.

The telephone in purple and a camera module in gold finish during this evaluation is, in our opinion, the finest color to exhibit. You may also use the phone in black, white, gray, pink and red.

The screen is an AMOLED 6.7-inch display and is totally flat, thus the edges to the left side and the right side of the screen are not curved, just as in previous generations. Some individuals could miss in terms of design, but we are unable to see or feel that the curving edges on the display can imply fewer accidental presses.

The back of the handset is clad in glass, something that gives the Plus model a slightly more premium feel than the standard S21, the back of which is clad in a glass/plastic hybrid that Samsung imaginatively calls ‘Glasstic’. However, it’s a matte finish like the phone, which makes the phone appear and feel simple and elegant.

This telephone nevertheless feels comfortable in the hand despite its size and weight. Most customers find it simple to access the on/off and volume controls, however, you’re happier with the S21 if you have tiny hands or you prefer smaller handsets generally.

The SIM slot, USB-C port, and laptop grille are on the bottom edge of the device, with the power button and volume buttons on the right side. If you hold down your power key, you don’t shut the phone off, but open Samsung’s Bixby smart assistant (the function is concealed in the drop-down menu).


How essential is the smartphone screen resolution? We raise the issue since Samsung lowered the resolution of the S21 to Full HD+ rather controversially, down from the QHD+ resolution from the S20 Plus of last year.

On a telephone screen, though – even a larger one – most of the time the difference won’t be apparent to most people, and the lower resolution both saves battery life and helps decrease prices.

The pixel density is enough for the screen to look razor-sharp, and while you might notice a difference if you’re coming to this phone from the S20 Plus – perhaps when watching HD movies – this is still a very good screen. 

In particular, we’re fans of the dynamic display refresh rate of up to 120Hz, with the phone intelligently adjusting the refresh rate depending on what you’re doing. If you’re playing a game, for example, the refresh rate maxes out at 120Hz for super-smooth graphics and gameplay, while if you’re just checking a web page or listening to a podcast, the refresh rate is reduced so as not to drain the battery unnecessarily.

Unlike with the aforementioned differences in resolution, if you haven’t used a phone with a 120Hz screen before you’ll certainly notice the difference, and you’ll be impressed. Animations and scrolling are so smooth that it can feel as though you’re scanning the pages of a book or magazine rather than looking at a smartphone screen. 

Another welcome screen upgrade is to the in-display fingerprint scanner, which is 70% larger than on last year’s phones and so easier to find with your digit. However, we found it to be temperamental when it came to actually recognize our print and unlocking the phone, and we often had to key in our pin code to effect entry. 


The camera setup on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus is essentially the same as on last year’s S20 Plus. That’s just fine with us, as the cameras on the S20 Plus are excellent, and this year Samsung has made improvements on the software side. 

Starting with the hardware, you’re once again getting a 12MP main and 12MP ultra-wide cameras, and a 64MP telephoto snapper with 3x hybrid zoom.

That telephoto zoom isn’t going to be as impressive as the S21 Ultra’s dual telephoto shooters that are capable of up to 100x zoom. Instead, this offers up to 30x digital zoom but the results aren’t impressive at its maximum zoom. 

That said, we found that images up to 10x zoom are still usable on social media or when sharing with friends.

The 10MP selfie camera on the front of the phone isn’t as impressive as its rear-facing counterparts, but it does everything you need it to do well. We were able to snap some nice-looking selfies, and just as importantly, in a time when we’re increasingly relying on video calls both for work and social meet-ups, video quality from this camera is good too. 

Another new feature here is Director’s View mode, which allows you to take pictures with the front and rear cameras at the same time. The idea is that bloggers and other content creators can capture reaction shots of themselves at the same time as shooting their primary footage, and edit these together, and we found it worked well.

Another new feature here is Director’s View mode, which allows you to take pictures with the front and rear cameras at the same time. The idea is that bloggers and other content creators can capture reaction shots of themselves at the same time as shooting their primary footage, and edit these together, and we found it worked well.

Those software improvements include some tweaks to Single Take mode, which is a setting Samsung enables you to capture a variety of photos and video using all three cameras at the same time.

This now has a new slow-mo mode, and as before we found Single Take is particularly useful when taking pictures of unpredictable pets as you’ll be greeted with a variety of results from a single press of the camera shutter.

You can also record in 8K resolution at 24 frames per second for video with a very high level of detail, although the footage is a bit too cropped for our taste. More useful are the 4K at 30 or 60fps options, and Full HD at 30, 60 or slow motion at 240fps.

Specs and Performance

The Galaxy S21 phones were among the first phones to launch with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (in the US market) and they were the very first to sport the Exynos 2100 (Samsung’s own chipset, which powers the phones sold in markets outside the US). 

We’ve only tested the Exynos 2100 version of the S21 Plus so far, and it seems to bring a significant jump in performance compared to previous generations of Samsung chips. 

In the past, Exynos processors have tended to be a step or two behind the Qualcomm tech, but that gap seems to have narrowed this year. In Geekbench 5, our Galaxy S21 Plus returned a multi-core score of 3170, and a single-core result of 1035. That’s basically on par with the Exynos-powered standard Galaxy S21, which isn’t surprising, as the two phones share most of their components and features. 

Benchmark tests don’t always tell the full story of course, but like the S21, the S21 Plus feels faster in everyday use than its predecessors, handling demanding jobs such as multitasking and running multiple apps in split-screen mode effortlessly.

The Galaxy S21 Plus is packing 8GB of RAM. If you want more than that you’ll need to opt for the S21 Ultra, which comes with 12GB of RAM in its basic configuration but is also available with 16GB of RAM, but 8GB should be enough for most people.

What’s likely to be more problematic for a lot of potential buyers is the lack of a microSD card slot. Expandable storage is one of the great advantages that Android phones have over Apple’s iPhones but it’s another area where Samsung has cut corners this year.

You’re stuck with the built-in storage, and the cheapest model of the S21 Plus comes with 128GB, which is pretty miserly by modern smartphone standards, and even more so when you don’t have the option to expand on that. You can upgrade to the 256GB model for an extra $50 / £50 / AU$100, but that’s still not a massive amount, especially if you’re going to be shooting a lot of videos.


The Galaxy S21 Plus runs Android 11 with Samsung’s One UI 3.0 interface. We’ve found it to work well, but just be aware that it may take up to a year from launch before you can get Android 12 on this phone, even if Google releases the update in August – Samsung can be a little slow when it comes to rolling out new versions of Android. Though that said, a leak suggests the company might do better this year.

Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus has a 4,800 mAh battery – that’s 800mAh bigger than the battery in the Galaxy S21, and 200mAh smaller than the one in the S21 Ultra. In real terms, that means you’ll get a slightly longer life than the S21, and around the same as the Ultra.

Battery life is a strong point for Samsung, and once again we’re impressed by how much use we can get out of this phone from a full charge. With moderate use, but with the phone constantly on, we managed to keep it going for a little over 48 hours. 

With typical use, you can easily manage a whole day and a whole evening before you need to recharge, and even if you’re a heavy user of power-thirsty applications you can still manage a whole working day. 

We should note, however, that we didn’t notice much difference compared to last year’s S20 Plus, so don’t upgrade expecting to see a big improvement here.

Samsung has followed Apple is choosing not to include a charger in the box, with the thinking being that most people will have a USB-C charger at home. If you don’t have one you’ll need to factor in the extra expense of buying one on top of the price of the phone.

Samsung has dropped the price of its charger to $19 in the US, but in other markets, they’re still pretty expensive so it’s something to be aware of. 

Some people may find this annoying, but on balance we’d say this is a positive step from Samsung in terms of cutting down on e-waste, and most people are likely to have a suitable smartphone charger already.

Support for the 45W chargers that worked with the S20 series has been dropped this year – Samsung says it’s improved the 25W charging capabilities of its new phones, so 45W charging didn’t offer that much more of an advantage.

We haven’t tested that claim specifically, but charging is pretty speedy, and the wireless Qi charging also works well. The S21 Plus can also be used for reverse charging, so you can charge your Galaxy Buds or other Qi-compatible accessories by placing them on the back of the phone. 

Should I buy Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus?

Buy if ….

You think the Galaxy S21 is too small 

Do you like the look of the Galaxy S21 but need a slightly larger screen? If so then the S21 Plus is the phone you’re looking for, with a 6.7-inch display that’s significantly bigger than the 6.2-inch screen on the S21.

You want a new powerful Android

Samsung phones are among the best on the market for a reason, and the S21 Plus is one of the most powerful phones you can buy. If you are going to buy a top phone with Android, this is an excellent choice with its top-end chipset and plenty of RAM.

You have an older Samsung phone

If you currently have a Galaxy S10 or Galaxy S9 phone, the S21 Plus is a compelling upgrade. It’s fast, it’s powerful, and it’s future-proofed thanks to 5G support.  

Dont buy if….

You have an S20 or S20 Plus 

You won’t gain much by substituting the S20 Plus last year with the S21 Plus, and you’re going to receive a downgrade data in some ways – the lower screen and the lack of microSD support Improvements are made, however the S21 does not replace your S20.

You want plenty of storage space 

As mentioned above, the microSD slot has been dropped for the Galaxy S21 range, and if you want 256GB of built-in storage rather than the base offering of 128GB you’ll be spending extra. This isn’t a phone for those who need lots of space.

You want Samsung’s best phone 

If you want the very best that Samsung has to offer in 2021, you want the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The S21 Plus is undoubtedly a big smartphone with impressive specifications, but the S21 Ultra is an absolute beast.

Looking for a cheaper phone: Here

0 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *