Samsung simply introduced its Galaxy S21 flagship smartphones barely early this yr, with a brand new design, the inclusion of the S-Pen, and a novel market positioning that ought to assist Samsung make much more market beneficial properties.

The Galaxy S21 line options vital elements such because the just lately introduced Snapdragon 888 platform, it nonetheless is a reference handset for absolute efficiency & options with the Galaxy S21 Ultra and for phrases of characteristic/value are their respective segments.

Commonality throughout the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra

The most blatant widespread level is the core applied sciences such because the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and the X60 modem, no less than within the USA market. Keep in thoughts that Samsung sometimes releases some cellphone variants with a Samsung Exynos processor platform and presumably a special modem. Check what applies to your nation.

We have gone over the Snapdragon 888 technical evaluation and benchmark numbers, and we all know that this core know-how makes the S21 collection telephones very potent. This is the most effective efficiency you possibly can anticipate on an Android cellphone right now, in need of having distinctive cooling like in Gaming telephones.

An glorious  {hardware} platform allows new digicam features akin to recording with all cameras directly, which is nice for vlogging, capturing all views of the scenes, and letting Samsung’s cool AI-driven picture assistant work with ever extra knowledge to ship superior outcomes.

These telephones all have Samsung OLED shows that assist a 120Hz variable refresh charge and HDR10+, which is more and more vital as adoption widens for content material streaming and pictures.  Resolutions will differ, however we are going to get to that shortly.

There’s an in-screen ultrasonic fingerprint reader below the show that matches the specs of the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor Gen2. You can anticipate the cellphone to unlock 50% quicker than the earlier technology, with greater accuracy (much less false-negative).


The new Galaxy S21 design is gorgeous and revolutionary, and we love how Samsung has embraced the outsized digicam modules which might be brilliantly built-in. The S20 Ultra digicam module seemed higher than the Note 20 Ultra, however the S21 collection takes the entire thing to a different dimension.

Of course, all three telephones are waterproof (IP68), and their batteries assist comparatively fast-charging and reverse-charging, though not at industry-leading speeds in keeping with the technical specs.

Android 11 is the core working system on high of which the Samsung One UI 3.1 is including a ton of great visible enhancements and performance. I do know that there are totally different tribes in terms of the cellphone consumer interface (UI), however I believe that Samsung did a incredible job with their UI though one can objectively complain in regards to the excessive variety of pre-installed software program.

All three telephones ship and not using a charger within the field, a transfer that Samsung says is for sustainability, which is true. Still, it additionally has the side-effect of serving to scale back the fee by a small quantity, positively impacting the product’s value. That stated, in case you’re upgrading from an older cellphone, your present charger won’t cost on the most velocity supported by the S21 collection.

Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus intention for affordability

Beyond the widespread traits listed above, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus are in a special class than the S21 Ultra, as a result of they’re designed to be (comparatively) inexpensive premium telephones. We’ve seen Samsung pushing the standard/value ratio very excessive in all value segments, and the Galaxy S20 FE (fan version) was the poster little one of that success just lately.

The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus are considerably extra inexpensive than their S20 and S20 Plus counterparts at the moment final yr, by about $200.

As a consequence, the S21 and S21 Plus have 2400×1080 shows as a substitute of 3200×1440. I don’t discover this objectionable as a result of it has been some time since Samsung ships 3200×1440 shows which might be in actual fact, set to 2400×1080 rendering within the settings. Most folks don’t even notice that’s the case. Moving to 1080 was an invisible strategy to scale back the bill-of-material (BoM).

But Samsung retains show efficiency the place it issues essentially the most, with a 120Hz most refresh charge and a 1300 NIT peak brightness. That’s as much as 2X greater brightness than many opponents.


The display’s glass appears flatter, which appears much less luxurious however might simplify the cellphone’s manufacturing and meeting. Again, that reduces the ultimate bills and allows greater manufacturing quantity. Also, the Galaxy S21 again panel is fabricated from plastic as a substitute of glass.

Despite these modifications, customers get an general net-positive from this yr’s fashions due to the general industrial design enhancements. The telephones do look higher, in my view, though the supplies and methods used could also be less complicated.

Buyers who’re specs-focused may discover that the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus have 8GB of RAM as a substitute of 12GB within the S20/S20 Plus. That is a major change on paper, and it might have an effect on you in case you have tons of apps put in. However, I don’t anticipate the typical consumer to note.

The S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus digicam system look so much like final yr’s fashions, and we’ll take a better look a bit later. From the technical knowledge, we anticipate the result to be very comparable for pictures, and Samsung has improved the software program in terms of video or zoom efficiency. The “beautify” characteristic may even be OFF by default (thanks).

Galaxy S21 Ultra: max every little thing up

As standard, the Galaxy S21 Ultra targets customers who need all of it: giant display, giant battery, giant reminiscence, high cameras, and finest connectivity.

For occasion, you get a 3200×1440 6.8-inch show that may obtain 120Hz at full decision. If you utilize your cellphone in a brilliant surroundings, the show can peak at an insane 1500 NITs brightness, which I believe is the brightest display we’ve heard of on a smartphone.


The S21 Ultra ships with no less than 12GB of RAM and as much as 512GB of storage, however we’ve noticed a 16GB RAM mannequin as nicely. You should not have any storage and reminiscence points for all of the apps you obtain over the WiFi 6E community, which solely the S21 Ultra assist, out of the three telephones. 6E represents a brand new class of frequency that was simply launched to WiFi 6.

The S21 Ultra has assist for a stand-alone S-Pen and may principally do every little thing the Note 20 pen can, besides that the pen itself just isn’t built-in into the chassis and must be bought individually with the optionally available case, or not. The rumors of the Galaxy Note’s demise the place significantly exagerated.

All eyes on the Galaxy S21 Ultra world-class digicam system

In the rear, you’ve got a brand new 108 Megapixel sensor with dual-pixel part detection, paired with two optical zoom cameras (3X and 10X) for a larger common zoom high quality throughout focal lengths. Finally, there’s a good Ultrawide angle digicam with a brand new 120-degree lens.

There’s good potential for picture high quality enhancements. We will publish a digicam {hardware} evaluation based mostly on our HW Camera rating, adopted by an IQ Camera picture evaluation. There is a 40MP selfie digicam within the entrance, which appears similar to the S20 Ultra’s.

Our knowledge exhibits that Samsung cameras dominated almost each value factors at T-Mobile USA.

Overall, this digicam system appears performant and well-balanced. Samsung has labored laborious to enhance the auto-focus velocity by integrating a laser and dual-pixel AF know-how, presumably erasing complaints in regards to the unique S20 Ultra AF criticism.

Finally, it’s value noting that the Galaxy S21 Ultra feels a bit extra premium as a result of the again cowl is fabricated from glass and has all of the attainable industrial design delicate touches you possibly can anticipate from the priciest member of the household.


The Galaxy S21 collection appears terribly robust, and it isn’t simply because it’s feature-packed. It is as a result of Samsung has made the S21 and S21 Plus drastically extra inexpensive than their S20-counterparts (by $200+), and we anticipate our worth metrics to objectively show it.

The Galaxy S21 at $799 is especially engaging and ought to be a wonderful contender towards the iPhone 12, for instance.


From a pricing perspective, I believe that anybody who can afford an additional $200 ought to get the Galaxy S21 Ultra ($1199) as a substitute of the Galaxy S21 Plus ($999). In my opinion, the superior digicam energy is value that a lot alone (to me!), however you additionally get extra RAM, show, and so on. Just do it and thank me later.

It is value stating that Samsung has good bundles and reductions in case you pre-order straight from their web site (not an affiliate hyperlink). It’s value trying out in case you have already made up your thoughts. So far, we’ve heard from Verizon and T-Mobile in regards to the Galaxy S21 availability on their networks, however finally, you’ll discover them in every single place, as standard.

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