Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung’s new trio of Galaxy S21 flagships arrived one month earlier than expected in an apparent attempt to gain a competitive edge. We are already four weeks into the new Year and already have our first glimpse at the 2021 flagship handsets. There is also promising news from the start line. If the Samsung Galaxy S21 is any indication of the future, then it’s very promising indeed.
This is the entry-level model of three Galaxy S21 phones that were launched in January. It’s not the most expensive and has many of the same high end features as the other two models. Although there are some cutbacks, you can still live with most of the features, despite Samsung’s claims. Follow us in continue to know every thing about this gadget.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: What you need know
The specs comparison on Samsung’s website is difficult to convince you to spend more than necessary. Since the Galaxy S21 is not much different from the other phones in the range, it’s hard to believe that Samsung will charge more. Although it isn’t obvious in the flesh, the back is made from plastic and not metal. It also lacks the 108MP sensor of the S21 Ultra. The stylus S Pen is an additional purchase.
The specs list shows that the Galaxy S21 is a flagship smartphone in 2021. It has a 6.2in 120Hz LCD display with minimal bezels, triple rear cameras array, and runs Android 11. The Galaxy S21 is also the first smartphone to feature Samsung’s Exynos2100 processor. This promises higher speeds and better efficiency than the previous flagship chips.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: Price and Competition
It’s possible you have seen it in the review at the top: The Galaxy S21 is actually less expensive at launch than the Galaxy S20 last year. Samsung’s S-series flagship model is now PS769 cheaper than last year’s model. While this may not sound like a lot, it is a welcome development for those who are more careful with their finances.
The 128GB model is priced at PS54 per month on EE. There is no upfront cost and you get 40GB of data. You also get a pair of true wireless Galaxy Buds Live earbuds for free.
The Galaxy S21 Plus is a good option if you have more disposable income. However, for an additional PS180, you get a slightly bigger screen (6.7in) as well as a larger battery (4,800mAh instead of 4,000mAh). Although the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the most expensive, you will have to shell out a painful PS1,149 to get a WQHD+ screen with 108MP camera and 12GB RAM. Ouch.
The iPhone 12 is the most prominent competitor. It has a wide range of high-end smartphones. The Galaxy S21’s main rival is the iPhone 12. It starts at PS799 for the 64GB model, while the 128GB version costs PS849.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: Design and Key Features
The Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra all have a new design in 2021. The “Contour cut” rear camera housing, which is vertically aligned, fits neatly into handset’s top left. It has curved corners that blend in with the phone’s metallic frame. This gives the phone a unique look that helps it stand out among the iPhone copycats.
The Galaxy S21’s back has a matte finish. There is also a new two-tone “Phantom Violet”, which you can see in the images. Although the rear panel of the phone is made from plastic, it feels premium with the frosted coating.
The rest of the stuff is standard: the volume rocker, power button and dual-SIM tray are at the bottom near the USB-C charging port. The Galaxy S21 has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. It can be submerged in water up to 1.5m for 30 minutes.
The Galaxy S21 has an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is located in the bottom of the screen. This sensor is, according to Samsung, 1.7x bigger than the previous Samsung phones. The phone can be unlocked in a flash, even if you don’t want to take off your gloves in winter. However, the Galaxy S21 supports face unlocking, which is unfortunately not possible if you are wearing a mask.
The Galaxy S21 has everything. It supports 5G connections, just like the Note 20 (you don’t need to pay more), and Wi-Fi 6 as well as Bluetooth 5. The phone supports wireless charging at 15W and wireless PowerShare. This allows you to charge compatible devices like the Galaxy Buds 3 or Galaxy Watch 3 simply by placing them on its back.
It doesn’t have a microSD slot. This means that you only get the 128GB and 256GB onboard storage. This is disappointing, even though the storage provided should be sufficient for most people.
The removal of the charger is something I find difficult to accept. The Galaxy S21 is shipped with a USB-C to USBC charging cable. This is a complete turnaround from Apple, which mocked Apple’s decision three months ago to take its own charger out of the Note 20 launch.
Samsung did this because it was smart. It claims that most consumers have charging plugs already and don’t need to buy a new one for every upgrade. But, it seems that most previous Samsung owners have only USB-A and USB-C plugs. This means they will need to purchase a new charger on Samsung’s website to be able to use the new cable. This is just a new way for Samsung to make money.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: Display
The Galaxy S21’s screen measures 6.2in diagonally and has the same FHD+ resolution (2,400×1,080) resolution. Samsung’s Dynamic MOLED 2x panel is used in the Galaxy S21. This means that it can support a maximum refresh rate 120Hz for supported games and applications.
The Galaxy S21’s sRGB color accuracy was impressive in testing. It had an average Delta E value of 2.08 and covered 95.8% when using the “Natural” setting. Peak brightness was 652cd/m2 using the auto-brightness settings. HDR content displayed at a maximum luminance (1,100cd/m2) gave me an average of 1,100cd/m2. The Galaxy S21’s screen looks amazing no matter what you do.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: Performance and Battery Life
The Galaxy S21’s internals are powered by the Exynos 2100 in the UK, while the Snapdragon 808 is used in the US. The Exynos 2100 is Samsung’s first mobile chipet, and follows the lead of Huawei and Apple at the end of last year. It has a clock speed of 2.9GHz. The Galaxy S21 comes with 8GB of RAM.
What does this mean in terms of performance? The good news? The Samsung Galaxy S21 has a 50% faster multi-core processor speed than the Galaxy S20. This is compared to last year’s Galaxy S20 using the Geekbench 5. Although it is slightly slower than Apple’s A14 Bionic chips (I couldn’t run our usual benchmarking tools using the Huawei Kirin 9000), there’s no shame.
Even better news is in the gaming area. The Galaxy S21’s integrated Mali G78 GPU performed admirably in the GFXBench GL Car Chase benchmark. It achieved a stunning 54fps average frame rate.
Is it possible that all that raw power could have a negative impact on battery life? I have not noticed any problems so far. The Samsung Galaxy S21 performed well in our video rundown test. It played a looped video at 170cd/m2 brightness with flight mode activated. It lasted for 18 hours 56 minutes before it needed to be recharged.
This is a slight 2.5% increase over last year’s model, but it’s still significantly better than the iPhone 12. The Samsung Galaxy S21 lasted for approximately two hours in identical conditions.
Samsung Galaxy S21 review: Cameras
Perhaps eagle-eyed readers have noticed that the Galaxy S21’s camera hardware looks almost identical to its predecessor. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing.
This means that you get a main 12MP camera (f/1.8), backed by a 12-MP (f/2.2), ultra-wide unit, and a 64MP(f/2.0) zoom. There is also a 10MP selfie camera (f/2.2), embedded in a holepunch slot at the top.
There are still some differences in the software. Galaxy S21 has a variety of new shooting modes. These include “8K Video Snap”, which allows for still images from 8K video recordings, and “Director’s View”, that displays live views of all three lenses during recording.
The “Vlogger View” setting, which captures video simultaneously from both the front and back cameras, is similar to Nokia’s Bothie mode. “Single Take 2.0” captures footage from all cameras simultaneously. It also includes a dynamic slow motion option that records multiple slowed down clips in one frame. Virtual lighting is now available in portrait mode. A new zoom lock feature has also been added to the 30x “Space Zoom” which neutralizes shaky hands at longer zoom lengths.
The Galaxy S21’s three cameras perform flawlessly in all lighting conditions. The main camera’s images in well-lit environments look amazing. They have a remarkable dynamic range, lots of detail, and bold colours that seem to jump off the screen.