The Galaxy S21 is not like us in the last ten years, the star of Samsung’s S series in 2021, but a decent smartphone choice with an amazing camera, strong internal devices, and excellent battery life. Look at the Galaxy S21 Ultra if you want the best, but if you want a device cheaper than the Galaxy S 20 was launched, with a full host of premium features, the Galaxy S21 will make you happy.
- Fantastic, versatile camera
- Cheaper than the Galaxy S20
- Powerful and capable phone
- No microSD support
- Screen isn’t the best
- No charger in the box
The Samsung Galaxy S21 is odd on the paper devices, but after a week we saw it as a highly able telephone, despite a few features of earlier handsets, especially the Galaxy S20, which was introduced in2020.
Why is there less than the Galaxy S20 in Samsung Galaxy S21? There are two explanations for this. First of all, Samsung wanted the price of its phone to reduce – the S21 started at $799 / £769 / AU$1,249, compared to the $999 / £899 / AU$1,499 Galaxy S20 5G.
The second is that the company is also putting a bigger focus on its Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra – and unlike the Galaxy S20 Ultra in 2020, it’s a handset we’d readily recommend to those who are desperate to try the company’s latest innovations, and happy to pay for them.
So the S21 is somewhat less arousing than we usually see but don’t make a mistake: The Galaxy S21, albeit with a few weakened specifications compared with the Galaxy S20, is still a great choice for the phones – and this price decrease probably will draw more people to the S series.
If you want a larger screen but similar specs, there’s also the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus. That is a remarkably similar phone to this, and the big differences are the phone’s size, its battery capacity, and that it has a slightly more premium glass back.
Returning to the S21 with a powerful chipset, camera software has improved compared to prior models and the battery life is robust, providing you with a day of full charge, effective quick-charger, and wireless charge features.
With a Full HD+ 6.2-inch display, Samsung has chosen a lesser screen than the S20 screen but provides a 120Hz rate for very smooth scrolling and graphics as well as great colors and strong brightness levels – and in most of our tests, we could not see a reduced resolution.
The chipset — we tested the Exynos 2100 phone version – is strong as well, with great results for both real-world and benchmarking applications.
You don’t want to go for the Galaxy S21 if you already have a Samsung Galaxy S20 – but the new phone is gaining in certain areas that it loses, and not much between the two phone’s overall – certainly not sufficient to warrant paying for a few hundred dollars or pounds extra.
Conversely, you’ll want to check out the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra if you’re wanting Samsung’s leading-edge technology this year. But for a (very) cheaper alternative to your phone, which shares a lot of the same design language and functionality and performs great for daily work, the Galaxy S21 is precisely that.
Samsung Galaxy S21 release date and price
- Samsung S21 release date was January 29, 2021
- Samsung S21 price starts at $799 / £769 / AU$1,249
- Want higher specs? You’ll pay $849 / £819 / AU$1,349
The latest release for most of the world, including the US, the UK, and Australia, was Samsung Galaxy S21 on 29 January 2021. This implies that in all three of the nations you may easily acquire the smartphone from a number of salespeople, carriers, and networks.
The Samsung S21, which was the first in one year that we saw the business launch its new smartphone technology, was presented formally on 14 January 2021.
Its price is considerably less than the launch price for the S20 and Samsung may cut a few specifications, such as the reduction of maximum display resolution and microSD support.
The pricing of the $799 / £769 / AU$1,249 Galaxy S21 begins for the 128GB storage capacity of the variant with 8GB of RAM. There is also a version with 256GB and 8GB of RAM, which costs 849$/819$/1349AUD.
While these were the pricing at the launch, several companies have since sold less of the Samsung Galaxy S21. We saw that in July 2021 costs start at only $700 / £620 / AU$1.050 and we may anticipate them to fall further as time goes by.
The price of the Galaxy S20 5G started at $999 / £899 / AU$1,499, making the new phone a little cheaper to start off, even without falling prices. If you’re searching for top-quality specs, the Galaxy S21 Ultra will be looking for sports like a QHD+ and expandable, but with a significantly higher price tag.
Also, note that all Samsung S21 handsets are 5G-enabled in 2021, thus you can’t get a 4G version alone. Rather, Samsung has more competitively expensed its 5G-compatible devices, so you’ll receive a forward-looking alternative even when you don’t want to use a next-generation connection soon.
Want a Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphone somewhat higher? This is a $999/€949/€1.400 Galaxy S21 Plu Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus, which takes the honor, at $1,1199/2$1,149/UA$1,849, as the most expensive phone in the series.
Again those are launch prices – shop around and you’ll probably find less of one of those phones (though still expect to pay more than for the standard Galaxy S21).
- New Contour Cut camera design stands out
- ‘Glasstic’ rear with a matte finish
- Feels premium, but not as high-end as S21 Ultra
The design is where Samsung has made the most obviously noticeable changes over the S20 (which we crowned 2020’s best smartphone), overhauling the materials used, the colors, and the overall look of the device.
There’s a 6.2-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display on this handset, which we’ll dive into more in the display section below. This phone is the smallest member of the Galaxy S21 family, and while it may not be as trim as the iPhone 12 mini, those with smaller hands shouldn’t have too much trouble using it.
If you prefer a bigger phone, Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus has a bigger screen and a bigger screen is provided in the Galaxy S21 Ultra. These two handsets are nonetheless more costly.
Samsung has shifted to a ‘glass’ rear, which has a matte finish and features a new camera block design, from a full glass rear to the Galaxy S20 – a design that was not very interesting in the flesh.
Glasstic is the very name of the firm for the substance, which lies between plastics and glass, as the name implies. It doesn’t feel as high as a glass back, but it doesn’t like cheap plastics because of the matt texture either.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 was equipped with the same material, however, the matte surface seems more appropriate and much less glossy than the glass back of the Galaxy S20. A touch of high shine is added to the metal borders around the outside.
You have four colors at the launch: phantom gray, phantom white, phantom pink, and phantom violet — we feel that Violet is the stand-alone color here.
On the S21 telephones, the manufacturer made the camera array seem different. Samsung calls it his Contour Cut Camera and it’s a split design, to say the least – however, we believe it looks audacious and we used to test the phone throughout our time. The Phantom Violet’s golden camera array is especially nice-looked and felt smaller than on the Galaxy S20, so it’s not all that fantastic from the back of the phone.
The sleek edges of the telephone are extremely little to break up: the lower edge includes a SIM rack, a USB-C port, and a speaker rack, while the power and volume rocker are on the right; the Bixby button, featured on the company’s previous devices, has not returned here, though. Instead, by pressing the power button, you can start Samsung’s assistant.
For some people, the transition to the Galaxy S21 is a totally flat screen. With numerous generations Samsung has been using displays that curve into the left and right corps nicely, however, the feature was discontinued for the Galaxy S21.
You’d probably not notice anything if you’re not used to these curved edges, but it’s worth noting that Samsung has preserved a curved edge display for its premiumS21 Ultra, as is the case with other lost features.
In short, the Samsung Galaxy S21 seems like upgrades, even though if you possess this handset or the Galaxy S21 Ultra you are unlikely to feel as upgraded as the Samsung Galaxy S20.
- Samsung has dropped the resolution to Full HD+ for this phone
- 120Hz refresh rate is great, as is brightness
- Tough to notice switch from QHD, but some will be disappointed
The reduction to the display is probably Samsung’s worst shift on the Galaxy S21, with the firm switching on a Full HD+ screen lower than the 2020 Galaxy S20 Quad HD display.
Samsung has done this to keep the new phone’s cost low and we do not believe that you are going to be able to detect the difference readily unless you have used a phone with a QHD resolution – we found all the films which we saw on the S21 looked good quality on a Full HD + screen.
If the Samsung Galaxy S20 is yours now, however, you’re probably not impressed by that option, then you’ll want the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the QHD display, to be the greatest Samsung screens technology you desire.
Has Samsung decided correctly here? We think, yeah, for the most part. It will not be popular with everyone, but Samsung is vitally enabled to cut its Galaxy S21 series, and it will not be extremely harmful to most people’s daily telephone experience.
The display of the Galaxy S21 has a maximum refreshing rate of 120Hz, which is set default and operates at an adaptive rate – for instance, if you are playing a mobile game, the display will remain with one 120Hz.
In addition, the S21 phone fingerprint scanner was significantly improved by Samsung compared with prior phones. The sensor itself is around 70% bigger, and so it’s simpler to hit and also much faster, although it isn’t as fast as you will find the actual fingerprint scanners on other phones.
- Same camera tech as seen on the Galaxy S20
- Improved software with new modes for Single Take and more
- 10MP front camera doesn’t stun us, but still works well
The hardware of the GalaxyS21 camera didn’t change from the phone last year as the main sensor update of Samsung occurred between the versions of the GalaxyS10and the S20. This year the software’s everything in hand, and the camera module may be reduced by Samsung.
The back array of the same triple-lens is the main camera with a 12MP and the super large 12MP and the telephoto with an optical zoom with a 3x hybrid. As with the Galaxy S20, all three can take outstanding pictures, and some software improvements to improve things further are made with the Galaxy S21.
If you have a Galaxy S20 it is doubtful that you will notice any significant improvements, but Galaxy S10 will see significant improvements earlier.
The Single Take – Samsung camera mode that allows you to shoot a wide variety of pictures and movies utilizing all of the three cameras with one shutter push – remains one key feature of Samsung’s phones owing to a new slow-motion option.
For instance, you will probably find that Single Take optimizes your likelihood of capturing a few useable images and/or clips if you take photos of unpredictable animals or rapidly moving youngsters.
The camera also features a 3x optical zoom and a digital zoom up to 30x. The results will not compare with the results from two Galaxy S21 Ultra telephoto cameras, but it is still interesting to experiment with.
We discovered photographs of 10x far-off things of good clarity and were absolutely useable. Anything that is higher is extremely grainy and quality rapidly deteriorates.
There is less headline recording on the 10MP selfie camera on the front of the phone but this has proved sufficient in our test. In this age of lockdowns, the globe is becoming more and more in contact with video calling, therefore you will discover that this camera is up and it has given us a lot of selfie outcomes.
A new feature for the Galaxy S21 is the View Director, which allows users to shoot simultaneously with the front and back cameras. The concept here is that vloggers may take response photos from themselves and that can be spliced together with their primary images.
It worked nicely and was comparable to the option we have observed in recent years on HMD Global’s Nokia phones. We don’t know how many more people than vloggers will utilize this functionality, but another entertaining improvement is a good way to experiment.
You have the choice of 8K for video, which is available in 24 frames per second and gives the highest level of quality & detail however we have found it to be too much for us. There are also 4K with 30 and 60 frames per second and full HD with 30, 60, and 240FPs. More helpful are also available.
Specs and Performance
- Uses Snapdragon 888 in the US, Exynos 2100 elsewhere
- Exynos is a big step up for Samsung’s chipsets
- No microSD, only options are 128GB or 256GB
The Galaxy S21 phones were the first devices to use either Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 (US) or Samsung’s own Exynos 2100 (just about everywhere else). Those were the latest generation of top-end chipsets when the S21 range launched, and the Exynos is still top of its range as of July 2021, but there’s now a Snapdragon 888 Plus.
We have only been able to test the S21 version of Exynos 2100, which looks to have improved considerably on Samsung’s prior versions. In the past, the Exynos variety in certain places tended to lag behind Qualcomm’s powered phones, but the gap seems to have shrunk in this year.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 returned a multi-core value of 3367 on Geekbench 5. This is particularly better than the Galaxy S20, which returns a score of 2699 with the Exynos 990 processor.
But we have observed that ordinary chores on the phone were quicker than before with the device than capable of managing games, various tasks, and having several applications open on a separate screen. Benchmarking does not show it all.
We’ve yet to test the Samsung Galaxy S21 with a Snapdragon 888 processor from within, however with this chipset within, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has worked well, therefore it would be the same for this device.
In total, the Exynos 2100 edition of the phone is one step further than what we saw from Samsung before and it delivers one of the finest performance experiences right now on an Android phone. We hope to get a comprehensive judgment about the toting version of the Qualcomm Chipset soon.
SAMSUNG S21 SPECS
Dimensions: 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm
Display size: 6.2-inch
Resolution: FHD+ (2400×1080)
Refresh rate: 120Hz
Pixel density: 421ppi
Chipset: Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Rear cameras: 12MP + 64MP + 12MP
Front camera: 10MP
On new S21 chips, you’d like to go for the Galaximum S21 Ultra, which comes either with a 12GB or 16GB range, if you want more than that on a new Samsung smartphone.
In addition, you have the choice of 128GB or 256GB storage for 8GB of RAM. The main news here is that Samsung has eliminated microSD functionality on the S21 so that the built-in storage cannot be expanded.
Instead of supplying internal storage, the business again looks to provide Samsung a cost-saving solution, but it is possible that anybody who wants the most inexpensive device but requires a large capacity will be deceived.
The S21 operates Android 11 with the One UI 3.0 skin of Samsung, one of our favorite software interfaces. Just know that it may have been over a year before Android 12 appears on your phone, even if Google delivers the update in August since Samsung can slowly develop new Android versions.
You have access to a whole host of other additional Samsung services in addition to the regular Android applications that a modern smartphone may anticipate. The available software works nicely on this phone.
Samsung also completely implemented 5G in 2021, and the Galaxy S21 is fully 5G-compatible with every version. Even if you are not in a 5G-ready region, it basically implies you are ready for the future when 5G is more available.
- A 4,000mAh battery inside that lasts the whole day
- 120Hz has a detrimental effect on battery life
- Doesn’t come with a charger in the box
The life of the battery of the Samsung Galaxy S 21 is strong but it is not a changing game over the S20 since a new Exynos 2100 chipset may have led the business to think.
We usually found that the phone was comfortable a day, but on one occasion, we noticed that the device was running out of steam at about 10pm when we used the phone’s GPS signal and other power-hungry functions better.
The S21 may be loaded easily, with a rapid charge of the business 25W via the USB-C connection of the telephone. It is also Qi wireless charging compatible, and we discovered that our tests worked effectively.
Reverse wireless recharge is also available, so you can recharge devices like Qi-compatible wireless headphones using the power of your phone, although we found this to be sluggish and it is probably only in emergencies you would wish to utilize.
Compatibility with 45W loaders from Samsung working with the S20 Series was lacking this year. Samsung informed TechRadar that its latest telephones have optimized the 25W charge capacity, therefore charging 45W wasn’t that important.
Here’s another item to note: The Galaxy S21 doesn’t include a charger within the box. Samsung has not bundled a charger with its New Phones in Apple’s footsteps, as it tries to cut off the electric waste.
It’s like you have a suitable USB-C charger that will function perfectly if you get a new Samsung phone. You will have to buy a charger if you need it. But while Samsung’s charger has dropped to $19 in the US, it’s still quite costly in other regions, so that’s something we should not miss.
Do I have to buy a Galaxy S21 from Samsung?
Do you want a smaller Samsung phone?
The Samsung Galaxy S21 isn’t the tiniest premium phone on the market – it’s probably an honor for the iPhone 12 mini – but for anybody who doesn’t want a great smartphone in their pockets. Its 6.2-inch display may appear big on paper, but it’s far smaller than many Androids.
You need one of the most powerful Android phones
The Galaxy S21 has a great performance and you probably have to have an intelligent phone, which can manage many activities at once in a divided-screen view or during games.
If you’ve got a much older phone
The Galaxy S20 is not a necessary upgrade as it does not clearly enhance the specs and features of the S21, but it is more likely to find a valuable upgrade for you if you have the S10 or lower. It is also suited for those using older handsets from other companies that want a Samsung smartphone to be tried.
Dont buy if…
You own a Samsung Galaxy S20
As said above, if you currently own the Galaxy S20, there is no need to upgrade to this device, because its specs and features are not clearly improved. You would instead like to look towards the S21 Ultra Galaxy or maybe wait for whatever that Samsung next does.
You need lots of storage
With a relatively limited built-in store and no microSD capability, the Samsung GalaxyS21 is constrained. You would better be able to go with virtually any other top Android phone if you require plenty of room on your smartphone for games, music, and video, as most of you can plug in a microSD card.
You want the best of the best
If you want to look at the Galaxy S21 Ultra after the very best in 2021, if your budget can extend up to a substantial price tag, the Samsung Galaxy S21 isn’t the star of the Galaxy S21 family.
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