Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: impressive and expensive flagship

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: impressive and expensive flagship-1

All signs are pointing right now that 2021 will be a turning point for Samsung smartphones. All Samsung equipment is widely represented in the [todo] online store . At the end of the year, Reuters quoted several anonymous sources as claiming that there will be no new Galaxy Note this year, and a Samsung official actually confirmed this to a Korean news agency. We’ve also seen Samsung announce plans to make its bright new foldable phones more “affordable”, which is in line with earlier reports that resources that would have been allocated to the Note go to those foldable devices instead. Times change.

All of this means that the new Galaxy S21 Ultra is more important than usual – it may be the only “traditional” premium smartphone in Samsung’s lineup for the entire year 2021. for the most part, this is what the company did.

On Board

On board the new flagship from Samsung, the S21 Ultra smartphone is the fastest hardware for Android phones, almost in no way inferior to the iPhone 12 Pro, perhaps in size.

CPU Octa-core Snapdragon 888
RAM / storage 12GB + 128GB, 12GB + 256GB, 16GB + 512GB
MicroSD support Not
Display 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display
Screen resolution 1440 x 3200 (20: 9)
Main cameras 108MP f / 1.8 wide-angle camera with OIS, 12MP f / 2.2 ultra-wide camera (120 field of view), 10MP f / 2.4 telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, 10MP f / 4.9 telephoto lens with 10x optical zoom, laser autofocus
Front-camera 40MP f / 2.2 camera
OS Android 11 with One UI 3
Battery 5,000mAh
Charging USB-C, wireless fast
Dimensions (edit) 161.5 × 75.6 × 8.9mm
Weight 229gr
Fingerprint scanner Yes, in display
Water resistant IP68
NFC there is
Headphone port Not
5G support Yes, sub-6 and mmWave
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What should you consider when making the decision to buy the Galaxy S21 Ultra? The first is color: in addition to the familiar Phantom Silver and Phantom Black variants, Samsung’s website features navy blue, titanium and brown models. The next question will be about how much memory is needed. Here are yours: 12GB RAM and 128GB storage: $ 1,200 12GB RAM and 256GB storage: $ 1,250 16GB RAM and 512GB storage: $ 1,380 It is worth noting two things: firstly, none of them have the ability to expand memory, however, for most people this is not necessary. Second, the starting price is a whopping $ 200 less than the same model last year. If you look at the old S20 Ultra reviews, you won’t find one that doesn’t discuss the cost too much. Samsung has clearly taken the right step here and the price cuts are certainly welcome, but let’s be clear: this is still a very expensive smartphone. It’s just that the Galaxy S21 Ultra isn’t as obscenely expensive as last year’s model. [cut away img] The Galaxy S21 Ultra is just as big and powerful as last year’s high-end S20, but Samsung says it has benefited from the largest redesign in Galaxy history. Aside from the weird Galaxy S5, the company tends to prioritize the resurfacing of previous generations over radical visual changes. However, to be honest: Samsung’s main change is what it did with the massive Ultra camera array. Instead of putting all four cameras and the laser autofocus module in a gaudy wad like it did last year, Samsung has moved them all a little to the left and expanded the metal frame around the sensors. One of the accessories I use most often is a Bluetooth game controller that telescopically “hugs” a smartphone, and it just can’t fit in this block. Samsung’s new aesthetic heralds a new visual line for its high-end smartphones, but it’s important to note that this doesn’t change the Ultra’s design fundamentals. This is a polite way of saying that the S21 Ultra is still huge. There are some minor differences in weight – fractions of a millimeter here, a few grams there – but the S21 Ultra is still about the same size and shape as last year’s S20 Ultra, so it will be too big for many people. Keep this in mind when buying, it is definitely worth holding on to before spending money on it. Essentially, the Ultra weighs the same as the iPhone 12 Pro Max, but is much easier to handle due to its tall and narrow aspect ratio. By the way, the high price is slightly justified by the fact that this is one of the most beautiful screens ever seen in a smartphone. Screens are Samsung’s biggest selling point, just like camera sensors are for Sony. The colors are rich, the viewing angles are great, and the maximum brightness is higher than ever, so the phone never crashes when shooting outdoors. Like the Note 20 Ultra, Samsung uses a variable refresh rate display: it drops to 10Hz when you’re just looking at photos, and to 120Hz when you browse Twitter or play compatible games. For the first time, it is possible to run this screen at a full 3200 × 1440 pixel resolution and a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz at the same time. This extra pixel density can be useful sometimes – say when you’re trying to see all the detail in one of the camera’s 108MP photos. Generally, you should just leave this screen at Full HD. The difference in resolution is not as important as the smooth movement on the screen, and this will significantly save battery power.

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A smartphone packed with hardware like the Ultra should deliver excellent performance, and that’s exactly what we got from Qualcomm’s new 5nm Snapdragon 888 chipset. It sets the bar high for the rest of the 2021 smartphones – more than enough performance to support all your apps and graphics. the intense games are going beautifully.

This is not surprising when benchmarks point to noticeable performance gains over last year’s Snapdragon 865, which was already more than fast enough for most people. Moreover, manufacturers have long passed the time when people use their high-end smartphones to the limit of their capabilities, but that will not stop them.

Benchmarks show how comfortable the S21 Ultra feels – between that extra processing power, a 120Hz display, and some Ultra software tweaks. It looks like the fastest responsive phone at this time. (We’ll see soon if other premium smartphones can replicate this feat.) And beyond that, the ability to play high-quality mobile ports of great computer technology demos like Bright Memory is always impressive.

Beyond performance, there have been some notable changes to the Galaxy S this year. Firstly, the Ultra comes with Samsung OneUI 3 running Android 11, which comes with ample customization.

In addition to less intrusive messaging and a cleaner approach to notifications, the S21 Ultra also includes Google’s excellent Discover Feed instead of Samsung Daily’s lousy adware. You also get Samsung Free as a possible replacement for Discover, and while it’s not as useful as a Google feed, it does offer niceties like free video streaming. It’s problematic to try the Samsung Private Share app, which allows you to securely share and control access to files. The problem is that this feature only works as long as your intended recipient also has a Galaxy phone running the Private Share app.

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And, of course, the S Pen. We’ve seen Samsung slowly release versions of its proprietary stylus for laptops and tablets over the years, but never until now has this been implemented for smartphones other than the Note. As mentioned earlier, this is likely because there is a good chance that we really won’t get the Galaxy Note this year – or someday, if Reuters reports come true. [cut away img] At first, it seems odd to use one of these styluses on a non-Note phone. There’s a little more lag here, so you’ll see your strokes pulling up on the tip of the S Pen. And while the Wacom S21 Ultra digitizer means you can still press the S Pen to access shortcuts, there’s no way to do any of the remote control tricks that made the Note 20 Ultra so enjoyable to use. (To do this, you may have to wait until Samsung’s S Pen Pro goes on sale later this year.) Don’t get me wrong: You can still take notes and draw portraits with the S21 Ultra, it just lacks elegance. and the technical grace that the Galaxy Note was known for.

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It is clear that there are many more things going on inside this phone than usual, what about its battery? So far, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has seemed on par with devices like the Note 20 Ultra. With the screen set to Full HD after a day of continuous use, with five to six hours of screen on and enough power the next morning. For many, the Ultra will be a multi-day phone. Just know, it is quite possible to discharge your phone in a day without much effort, especially if you run the screen at maximum resolution. A little better was expected as the S21 Ultra has a 5,000mAh battery and the Snapdragon 888 has a built-in modem instead of a separate module. Overall, battery life is good, but there are no significant breakthroughs.

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Even more Cameras

One of the main reasons the Ultra is so expensive is its cameras. You’ll get five of them this year: a 40MP front-facing camera for overly detailed selfies, plus a 108MP wide-angle camera, a 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera, and a pair of 10MP telephoto lenses: one with 3x zoom. optical zoom range and another 10x optical range. Throw in laser autofocus to fix the issues we saw with last year’s S20 Ultra, and we’ve got one of the smartest camera settings Samsung has ever made.


This 108MP wide-angle camera will do most of the basic work. This is partly due to Samsung’s ridiculous sensor and the way it treats the nine smaller pixels of the sensor as one large by default, but also due to Samsung’s approach to colors. They’re really sharp, especially when you’re looking at photos on your phone, to the point that they usually look better than they actually are. The Galaxy S21 Ultra takes more beautiful photos than life, but compared to the iPhone 12 Pro Max from Apple and its Smart HDR, which makes the picture darker and more contrasting, the images taken by Samsung are still closer to reality.

7.5 Total Score

Battery Life
Value for Money
  • Excellent telephoto cameras
  • Superb display
  • Solid battery life
  • Very good performance
  • Ads in some first-party apps
  • Expensive
  • Heats up under stress
  • Heavy and bulky
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