Samsung Galaxy S21 Review
AllinGadget – The Samsung Galaxy S21 is the entry-level model of Samsung’s new trio of flagships and offers an attractive mix of features for the price. Starting at a more reasonable $800 has a convenient 6.2-inch screen, and doesn’t care about the ridiculous 100x Space Zoom. (Though, you can still get it for the $ 1,200 S21 Ultra).
You won’t get S Pen support, but the S21 still sports a high-end processor and a fast 120Hz screen for smooth animations. Samsung Galaxy S21 is a distillation of what most users want and throws things off that are redundant. But in the land of Android phones priced at $ 800, the S21 faces stiff competition.
Samsung Galaxy S21 specifications
- 6.2-inch Full-HD + 48-120Hz AMOLED display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset or Exynos 2100
- 8 GB RAM
- 128 GB or 256 GB storage
- 4,000mAh battery
- Android 11 and One UI 3.1
- 5G connectivity
Galaxy S21 Design and hardware
The design of the Galaxy S21 is much more attractive than its predecessor S20. Apart from being pretty, the extra bit of metal wrapping around the top left corner significantly improves the old model. Because it is uneven, it still makes the back surface rough, but less visible. Yes, there is still a little shake when you place the S21 on the table, but it’s less noticeable than the Galaxy S20.
The new flagship (S21) is also roughly the same height and thickness but wider. At 171 grams or 0.37 pounds, it’s also 8 grams heavier than its predecessor. This was surprising because we expected the S21’s polycarbonate body to be lighter than the last model’s glass and metal. Despite experiencing material changes, the S21 still feels premium and sturdy.
A 6.2-inch AMOLED panel displays the Galaxy S21 is the same size as its predecessor but has a lower 2,400 x 1,080 resolution. That’s less sharp than the iPhone 12, with a 6.1-inch screen and 2,532 x 1,170 resolution that offers a higher pixel density. But we didn’t see much difference when reading articles and browsing the Instagram feed.
Samsung uses a new ultrasonic fingerprint scanner on the S21’s screen, which is 1.7 times larger than the S20. This is a Qualcomm (Gen 2) 3D sonic sensor. It should recognize two fingers at once, but Samsung doesn’t seem to have implemented that feature. For now, it looks as that unlocking the S21 is a little easier and faster than the S20.
Unlike the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which has a quad-camera setup on the back featuring a 108MP primary sensor and a pair of telephoto lenses, the Galaxy S21 only has three cameras with a 12MP primary sensor, 12MP ultra-wide, and 64MP telephoto. The telephoto also only supports the 3x hybrid optical zoom, compared to the S21 Ultra’s 3x and 10x optical zooms.
The hardware difference means that the S21 only offers up to 30x “Space Zoom”, as Samsung often calls it, not 100x on the Ultra. That’s not a problem because not everyone feels the need to zoom in on the subject up to 100x. The superior lens on the S21 Ultra also offers slightly better quality when you’re between 3x and 10x zoom. On the S21, the image outside of the 10x zoom looks a little blurry.
One improvement that Samsung has made here is that it offers a Zoom Lock feature which helps minimize shake when you are at 20x zoom and above. When you are at that level, a box appears at the top left of the viewfinder and taps on it to set the scene limit. When your handshakes, the view remains steady, and you need to move the phone deliberately to move away from the locked frame.
Performance and Battery Life
The Galaxy S21 comes with Snapdragon 888 and 8GB RAM with 128GB storage in the US. In other countries, you might get a version with the Exynos 2100 chipset, and users around the world have complained about the poor performance and battery life of previous Exynos phones. There is no need to worry too much in America because this is the topmost Qualcomm CPU, and it delivers outstanding performance. Capable of recording screen while playing with various blur modes and portrait lighting and jumping in and out of TV shows without lag.
The Galaxy S21 can last for more than a day, and it can even take up to two days before it needs to be recharging. In our video rundown test with an active adaptive refresh rate, the Galaxy S21 managed 15 hours and 17 minutes with a 4,000 mAh cell. That’s better than the Galaxy S20, which has a clock of more than 12 hours, as well as the OnePlus 8T and Pixel 5, although they both pack bigger batteries.
Of course, the battery life will reduce if you use things like a 5G connection and a higher refresh rate. The Galaxy S21 is also one of the first devices to offer the new WiFi 6E standard that takes advantage of the new spectrum for higher speeds and capacities.
The bottom line
The Samsung Galaxy S21 is a good phone. This smartphone has a powerful processor, a beautiful screen, a capable camera, and a long battery life. The S21 even has some useful software and a pretty new design in eye-catching colors. At $ 800, the Galaxy S21 is more affordable than its siblings (S21 + and S21 Ultra). If you prefer a pure Google experience and want to save $ 100, the Pixel 5 may be good enough for you. But the Galaxy S21 has a more versatile camera setup and a faster processor, making it the best Android phone for the money.
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