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Samsung Galaxy S21 Review

First Glance

On paper, the Samsung Galaxy S21 appears to be a weird device, but after spending a week with it, we discovered it to be a very competent device that’s a joy to use, following a lot of features being omitted from earlier devices, most prominently the Galaxy S20 circa 2020.

But, why is the Galaxy S21 of Samsung less powerful in terms of specs than the S20? Well, in this Samsung Galaxy S21 Review, we’ll tell you that it has 2 reasons behind it. The 1st reason is that Samsung intended to lower the price of its device — the Galaxy S20 initial price was about 1000 bucks, while the S21’s price is 799 bucks

The 2nd reason is that the firm is placing a greater emphasis on Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Also, unlike with the Galaxy S20 Ultra which came in 2020, it is a smartphone we’d gladly suggest to people eager to explore the firm’s latest advancements and ready to purchase it – feel the difference.


This leaves the Galaxy S21 a far less interesting Galaxy S smartphone than what we’ve been witnessing, although let’s be clear: The Galaxy S21 still is a wonderful smartphone choice, although with some adjusted features relative to the Galaxy S20, also, that price reduction is going to bring a lot of folks towards the S series.

There’s also the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus, which has a bigger screen but identical features. That phone is strikingly identical to this one, with the main variations being the phone’s dimensions, battery life, and a somewhat more expensive glass back.

Returning to the S21, its chipset is efficient, the photography system has developed over prior generations, as well as the battery lifespan is excellent providing a full day of usage from a single charge, as well as efficient fast-charging & wireless recharging features.

With a Full High Definition+ 6.2-inch display, Samsung has chosen a lesser-spec display than the one on the S20, yet this delivers a 120 Hertz rate of refresh enabling extremely satisfying navigation and visuals, excellent colors, and great brightness intensity – as well as we did not even catch the reduced quality across most of the tests.

The processor that we evaluated the Exynos 2100 edition of the device is very strong, producing excellent results in both real-world and benchmarking apps.

You won’t want to pick the Galaxy S21 unless you already have the Samsung Galaxy S20, or get a major bargain on that smartphone – although the new smartphone advances in certain aspects but there’s not so much in between these two handsets, definitely not even enough to spend an extra few hundred dollars.

However, on the other hand, if you are looking for the top-tier technology that Samsung is providing this year, you should look into the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. The Galaxy S21, on the other hand, is indeed a very better bargain to that smartphone that has a majority of the same body design as well as functionality and performs extremely well for everyday duties.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: Price & Release Date

For much of the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, as well as Australia, the Samsung Galaxy S21 was released on Friday, 29th of January, 2021. That implies that in these 3 nations you may easily acquire the handset from a range of dealers, carriers as well as networks.

The Samsung S21 has been formally announced on January 14, 2021, making it the corporation’s first new smartphone innovation to be introduced early this year.

The Galaxy S21 pricing is significantly cheaper in comparison to the S20 upon release, with Samsung eliminating a few features to accomplish this product cost, like lowering the max picture quality and deleting micro-SD functionality.

The pricing of Galaxy S21 begins at $799 bucks for a 128 gigabytes storage version plus an 8 Gigabyte RAM variant. There is a RAM model of 256 gigabytes memory and 8 Gigabyte RAM, which is available for $849 bucks.

At $999 bucks the Galaxy S20 5G variant cost was introduced, thus the new smartphone is a little affordable. You’ll be looking for Galaxy S21 Ultra, which comes loaded with features like sporty QHD+ display as well as customizable storage but also with a much greater base price – so, it all depends on what your preference is.

It should also be noted that all Samsung’s S21 devices are 5G ready in 2021, thus you can’t just buy a 4G edition exclusively. Alternatively, you will receive much more reasonable prices for the Samsung 5G-compatible mobile phones, hence, you may acquire a future-proof selection regardless that the upcoming next-gen connection is not going to be used by you immediately.

Are you searching for a Samsung Galaxy S21 cell phone with higher specifications? The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus begins at $999 bucks while the Galaxy S21 Ultra is awarded as being the most premium $1199 bucks Smartphone in the lineup.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: Design

The appearance is where all the S20 revamps the elements used, the colors as well as the general style of the smartphone, which has changed the overall outlook of Samsung.

Upon getting our hands on it, we noticed that there is a 6.2-inch Full HD AMOLED screen on this smartphone, something we will surely discuss more deeply in the display part ahead. This is the tiniest sibling of the well-known Galaxy S21 series, and though it isn’t as slim as the new iPhone 12 mini, folks with tiny little hands will have no issue using it.

If you prefer a bigger smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus has the biggest screen in the complete series, or perhaps the Galaxy S21 Ultra has the ultimate largest one. However, each of these smartphones is pricier.

Samsung went to ‘Glasstic’ back with a matte texture that also integrates a new block camera design from the whole glass rear of the Galaxy S20 – a design that was not very exciting at the first glance.

Glasstic is the manufacturer’s term for the technology, and as the title indicates it is midway around glass and plastic. It doesn’t feel like the quality like glass back, but it does not feel like cheap plastic either because of the matte texture.

The same material was used on the Galaxy Note 20, however, the matte surface felt more appropriate here, but it is far less sparkly than that of the glass back of the Galaxy S20, making it less of a fingerprint catcher. A touch of quality polishing is added to the metal borders surrounding it.

Initially, you have four color options:

  1. Phantom Gray
  2. Phantom White
  3. Phantom Pink
  4. Phantom Violet

In our opinion, Violet is the color that stands out the most.

The manufacturer has created a distinctive camera array for S21 devices from any other device on the shelf. Samsung has named this as its Contour Cut Camera, and that it is the most minimally contentious – while we feel that it seems bold and that’s something that we have become accustomed to while using the phone. The camera array in gold on the Phantom Violet version is notably phenomenal as well as feels sleeker than on the Galaxy S20 so that the back of the phone is not that much insight.

The sleek sides of the phone have very little chance to be broken down, the lower part contains a:

  1. SIM tray
  2. A USB-C port
  3. Speaker grille

On the right side we have:

  1. The power button
  2. A rocker volume

However, the Bixby Button featured on the company’s previous devices has not been returned. By pushing the power button for a long time, you may access the Samsung help.

One of the unpleasant things is that the Galaxy S21 is changed to a fully flat display. For several generations, Samsung has been using displays that curve elegantly in the left and right corps, but for the Galaxy S21, it has been dropped.

It’s not likely that you’ll notice anything unless you become used to these corners of curved size, but you’ll have to note that Samsung has preserved the curved edge display for something like the premium S21 Ultra as is the case with other lost features.

Altogether, the Samsung Galaxy S21 seems a luxurious smartphone, even though if you possess the Samsung Galaxy S20 or the Galaxy S21 Ultra you are unlikely to feel as top-end.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: Display

The reduction of the screen is probably the most interesting move for the Galaxy S21 that Samsung is making, with the firm downgrading to the lesser Full HD+ screen of the 2020 Galaxy S20 Quad HD display.

Samsung did this to ensure that the value of your new phone remains low and we do not think you could see the gap if you have never had a phone which has a QHD screen — all the clips we had seen on the S21 full HD+ display are of adequately excellent quality.

Since you already have a Samsung Galaxy S20, this choice is probably not impressive, and if you seek the greatest Samsung display tech, you’re going to choose the Galaxy S21 Ultra that preserves the QHD display.

Has Samsung acted correctly here? We think, yeah, mostly. It will not be acceptable to everybody, but Samsung is essentially authorized to lower the prices of the Galaxy S21, and it will not be significantly disruptive to most people’s daily mobile use.

The Galaxy S21 screen provides a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hertz that is default and function adaptable to your needs. For instance, if you’re playing a mobile game, the screen will stay at 120 Hertz, while the rate to save energy is reduced when you’re enjoying an audiobook.

Samsung’s fingerprint scanner on S21 phones has also improved significantly over prior phones. The detector itself is seventy percent bigger, making it simpler to touch, much faster; this is not as rapid as other smartphones can get with a rear fingerprint sensor, but that’s one of the better sensors we tried.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: Camera

The hardware of the Galaxy S21 camera didn’t evolve from the smartphone last year, as the major increase in Samsung’s detector occurred between both the Galaxy S10 and the S20. This time, the software is what it’s all about and Samsung is discovering a way to reduce the size of the cameras.

It was the same back array having the triple-lens:

  1. 12 MegaPixel main camera
  2. A 12 MegaPixel ultra-wide
  3. A 64 Megapixel telephoto (with 3x optical zoom)

Just as with the Galaxy S20, all 3 lenses can take fantastic shots, while the Galaxy S21 receives some software updates to further enhance the scenario.

You probably don’t have a Galaxy S20, but anyone with the Galaxy S10 even before would experience a lot of improvements. Single Shot – Samsung’s camera feature, which allows the collection of a range of photographs and films by all 3 cameras via one click of the shutter, continues to be a feature of Samsung’s smartphones, owing to the launch of a fresh slow-motion option.

If, for instance, you take pictures of unpredictable animals or fast-moving toddlers, then your Single Take will probably enhance your odds of acquiring certain usable photos or videos.

Also the camera with 3x optical zoom as well as up to 30x digital zoom is remarkable. The findings are unlike the results of the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s two telephoto cams; however, this is a nice feature to experiment with.

We discovered images shot at 10 times and well below of distant objects of suitable quality as well as optimal usage. Everything else higher is quite grainy and thus the picture soon deteriorates.

The 10MP front camera for taking selfies of the smartphone is less spectacular, however, during the review, it was quite decent. In these days of lock-downs, the globe is becoming more contact-full through video calls, so we discovered that this camera was ready for the challenge and offered us some amazing results.

The Director’s View feature is another major update for a Galaxy S21. It allows you to film with both front and back cameras simultaneously. The concept here is that vloggers may film reaction clips from themselves and split them up along the primary clip.

It works nicely and is the same as we have seen in prior years on HMD Global Nokia phones. We don’t understand how many more people will truly utilize this function except vloggers, and it’s another interesting improvement that invites you to explore.

For videos, you have 8K with 24 frames per second. This delivers the highest resolution as well as clarity, however, we felt it to be somewhat too good for us. In addition, there are 4K with 30 as well as 60 frames per second, Full High Definition mode with thirty, sixty as well as 240 frames per second.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: Specs

The Galaxy S21 smartphones will be the first to feature the next series of CPUs, some of which are Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 (USA) or Samsung’s proprietary Exynos 2100.

We just tested S21 with Exynos 2100, and, yes, it appears to be a significant improvement compared with prior Samsung processor versions. Earlier, in many areas, the Exynos version tended to be lagging behind Qualcomm’s powered phones.

Given below are the specs of the Samsung Galaxy S21.

  • Battery: 4,000mAh 
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100
  • Dimensions: 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm
  • Display size: 6.2-inch
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Pixel density: 421ppi
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Rear cameras: 12MP + 64MP + 12MP
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Resolution: FHD+ (2400×1080)
  • Storage: 128GB / 256GB
  • Weight: 169g

The S21 is powered by Android 11 and Samsung’s One UI 3.0 overlay, which is one of our absolute top software interfaces. However, keep in mind that even if Google provides the patch in August, it might be almost a year when you see Android 12 on this smartphone since Samsung is notoriously sluggish to push up fresh versions of Software.

The programming on this device works smoothly, and you will get accessibility to a slew of additional Samsung services in addition to the standard Android apps you’d assume from a contemporary cellphone.

In 2021 Samsung also had a complete 5G pack, as well as all Galaxy S21 models becoming 5G-compatible. Also, even though you are not in a region that supports 5G, it indicates that you are prepared for future use when 5G access is more commonly accessible.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: Battery Life

The S21 is simple to charge thanks to the manufacturer’s 25 Watt fast – charging technology, which is accessible through the device’s USB-C connection. Also, its Qi wireless charging enabled, which we found to perform well throughout our tests.

Reverse wireless charge-up is also available, allowing you to use your handset power to charge items like Qi-compatible Bluetooth earbuds, although we discovered this to be sluggish, and it is a function you’d certainly just use in some kind of an emergency.

This year, functionality with Samsung’s 45W adapters, which functioned with the S20 generation, is lacking. According to Samsung, it has optimized the 25 Watt charging capacity of its latest phones, therefore 45 Watt charging was not a substantial advantage.

The second point to mention is that there’s no charger included in the package for the Galaxy S21. Matching Apple’s footsteps, Samsung did not provide an adapter with its flagship devices to decrease e-waste.

The theory behind it is that if you are purchasing a new Smartphone, you have a suitable USB-C adapter that will function perfectly. If you require a recharge, you must buy an adapter, nevertheless, although Samsung has reduced it to $19 in the US for its charger, it is still rather costly in other regions, and you’ll need to be careful of this.

Final Thoughts

The Galaxy S21 is not the king of the Samsung S-series from 2021, as it was as usual during the last 10 years, however, it surely is a robust mobile option, with an amazing camera. If you are looking for the greatest of the greatest, consider the Galaxy S21 Ultra; however, if you’d like a device less expensive than the Galaxy S20, the Galaxy S21 is indeed a blast to operate. The Galaxy S21 delivers exceptional speed therefore if you’d like a handset that can manage a lot of activities simultaneously in split-screen mode or while playing games, this is most probably your best solution.

The good

  • → Cheaper than the Galaxy S20
  • → Fantastic, versatile camera
  • → Powerful and capable phone

The bad

  • → No charger in the box
  • → No microSD support
  • → The screen isn’t the best

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