Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: Not The Best But A Solid Choice

Harin - Mar 02, 2021

Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: Not The Best But A Solid Choice

The S21 comes with powerful internals, an impressive camera, and great battery life. Before splurging your money, check out our Samsung Galaxy S21 review.

In the new 2021 S series of Samsung, The Galaxy S21 is surely not a star. Nevertheless, it is still a solid choice with powerful internals, an impressive camera, and great battery life. If the best of the best is what you want, take a look at the S21 Ultra instead. However, if you want something that isn’t as expensive but still carries many premium features, then the S21 is a delight phone to use. Before you splurge your money on this phone, check out our Samsung Galaxy S21 review.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Release Date

Samsung officially released the Galaxy S21 on January 29, 2021, in most parts of the world. Before its release, the phone was unveiled on January 14, 2021. The price of the S21 at launch is significantly lower than that of the S20 with a few specs trimmed including the reduced display resolution and the loss of the microSD support.

Galaxy S21
Samsung Galaxy S21 Review.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Price

Samsung Galaxy S21 price in India starts at Rs 69,999 for the base variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Meanwhile, the variant with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is slightly more expensive at Rs 73,999. The device can be purchased on Samsung’s official store, Flipkart, or Amazon India.

 Samsung Galaxy S21 Design

The design of the S21 is where Samsung has made the most changes with the colors, the materials, and the overall look.

The smartphone comes with a 6.2-inch FullHD_ AMOLED screen. In the Galaxy S21 family, the S21 is the smallest one. While it isn’t as compact as the iPhone 12 mini, users with smaller hands won’t have much trouble using it.

Galaxy S21 2
Samsung Galaxy S21 Review.

If a larger phone is what you want, there is the Galaxy S21 Plus with a bigger screen and the S21 Ultra with the biggest screen. However, both these handsets are pricier.

The Galaxy S21 has a “Glasstic” rear with a matte finish instead of a full glass rear like on the S20. There is a new camera block design as well. Samsung names the material Glasstic itself, which is somewhere in between glass and plastic.

While it doesn’t offer a premium feel like a glass rear, it doesn’t feel cheap like plastic either. It is much less shiny than the Galaxy S20’s glass rear, meaning that it attracts fewer fingerprints. The metal edges curve around the outside, adding a premium touch to it.

There are four colors available: Phantom White, Phantom Gray, Phantom Violet, and Phantom Pink. The Violet one is probably the most standout color.

Galaxy S21 3
Samsung Galaxy S21 Review.

The camera array of the S21 looks different from that of any other phone on the market. The new design is called the Contour Cut Camera. On the Phantom Violet variant, the gold camera array looks particularly good-looking.

On the bottom edge of the phone are a USB-C port, a speaker griller, and a SIM tray. On the right side are the volume rocker and the power button. The Bixby button hasn’t returned yet. You can long-press the power button to summon Samsung’s assistant.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Display

Rather than having a curved screen, the new flagship of Samsung comes with a flat one. There is only one option of the Full HD+ resolution.

Galaxy S21 4
Samsung Galaxy S21 Review.

The S21 lineup has a larger in-screen fingerprint sensor area. It is supposedly faster as well. Compared to the S21 Plus and the S21 Ultra, what you miss in the S21 is the glass back, the Quad HD resolution curved display, and the S Pen.

A 120Hz refresh rate offers smoother scrolling, better video playback as well as more responsive gameplay. The refresh rate is dynamic. It is based on the content that is on the screen. If can drop down to 48Hz to save battery life.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Specs

The Samsung Galaxy S21 is the first device to have the latest generation of chipsets: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 in the US or Samsung’s Exynos 2100.

In Geekbench 5, the phone with the Exynos 2100 scored 3367, which is notably higher than that of the Galaxy S20 (2699).

Galaxy S21 5
Samsung Galaxy S21 Review.

Benchmarking doesn’t prove everything. However, the phone works faster in everyday tasks.

The S21 is available in two variants. Both versions have 8GB of RAM, which is enough for smartphone tasks. The smartphone also has Samsung Dex with which you can turn a monitor into a virtual desktop computer.

All the phones in the S21 lineup don’t have a microSD card slot, meaning if you plan to capture a lot of 108MP photos as well as 4K or 8K videos, it is better to go for the 256GB model.

The S21 has Android 11 with Samsung’s One UI 3.0 skin.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Camera

The camera hardware of the Galaxy S21 hasn’t changed. It is all about software this year with Samsung trying to slim down the camera module.

Galaxy S21 6
Samsung Galaxy S21 Review.

The S21 sports a triple-lens setup with a 12MP main lens, a 12MP ultra-wide lens, and a 64MP telephoto lens offering 3x hybrid optical zoom. All three can take amazing photos. On the front is a 10MP selfie camera with updated portrait and night modes.

The Single Take camera mode has been improved, letting users capture photos and videos simultaneously. It can even do slow-motion videos. With the new Director’s View, vloggers can vlog using the front as well as the rear cameras at the same time. All of the cameras on the phone can record 4K videos at 60fps. The main rear camera can even record 8K videos at 24fps.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Battery

While the battery life of the S21 is solid, it isn’t a significant improvement over the S20. The phone could comfortably last an entire day. Recharging the phone is easy with the 25W fast-charging tech of the company. The Galaxy S21 also supports Qi wireless charging.

Galaxy S21 7
Samsung Galaxy S21 Review.

The phone also has reverse wireless charging, meaning you can charge other devices using your phone’s power.

One thing to note here is that The Galaxy S21 doesn’t have a charger in the box. Samsung has followed the footsteps of Apple by not equipping its new phones with a charger in order to reduce e-waste.

That is our Samsung Galaxy S21 review. We hope that it can help you decide whether to spend your money on the device or not.

>>> Samsung Galaxy S21 And Galaxy S21 Ultra Drop Test: Too Vulnerable!


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