So be sure to let us know in the comments what you think of the selfie camera so far, what you think of the results i’m getting here for footage and for microphones and we’re just gon na dive straight into the rest of my review, for what i Found from the samsung galaxy s21, the samsung galaxy s21 series has been full of controversial choices from samsung, whether it’s dropping the charger from the box or dropping some of the specs on the standard galaxy s21. There is a lot of controversy around this series. That means the galaxy s21 is no longer the all star device of the series and instead you’ll be looking at the galaxy s 21 ultra. If you want the absolute top end, specs first off we’re, going to start talking about price. The good news here is that the galaxy s21 is cheaper than the galaxy s20 was at launch last year, in fact it’s remarkably cheaper at 799 769 pounds or a thousand two hundred fifty dollars in australia, the galaxy s20, the 5g version, as this new galaxy s21, Is also 5g started at 999 899 pounds or a thousand five hundred dollars in australia that’s a big price drop here from samsung, but you are going to be losing some specs compared to the galaxy s20. So this can be a little bit of a difficult decision. Hopefully, this video makes things a little bit clearer for you, so you can decide what you want to do.
One of samsung’s biggest choices here was to switch from a qhd screen on the galaxy s20 to a full hd screen on the galaxy s21. Now, honestly, in our time using the phone, we haven’t noticed this switch much, but on paper it does look remarkably worse than the galaxy s20 in real life. You probably aren’t going to be noticing this, but if you’ve previously owned the galaxy s20 or a phone with a qhd screen, you may be disappointed to make this jump down. It’S still 120 hertz panel, so you’ve still got that super strong, refresh rate there’s a few different design choices here that samsung has made to make this a generally nicer. Looking phone than the galaxy s20 samsung has switched to a glastic rear, so there’s no longer that glass rear that you found on the galaxy s20 at first. This may not seem as premium but generally we’ve quite enjoyed the design of this phone. It isn’t for everyone, though, and if you want that top end experience, you probably want to be looking at some of the phones that samsung’s released over the last few years, or maybe even the galaxy s21 ultra. Instead, one of the most controversial design decisions that samsung has made with the galaxy s21 is the new contour cut camera. It makes the phone look unique and, unlike anything else on the market, and it won’t be for everyone, because it essentially accentuates the camera, but it is an interesting design decision and it does make these phones easily noticeable in public and four new colors for this range Are phantom grey phantom white phantom pink and phantom violet now we’ve been using the phantom violet phone, and that is a really bold color decision here, but we actually generally quite like it, while the resolution of the display may be lower than on samsung’s previous phones.
We generally didn’t notice that difference when we were using the phone all that much sometimes when you’re watching video, you will notice that drop in resolution, but if you’re generally not that worried about the image you’re gon na be getting from your phone screen. This is still a fantastic panel, it’s 120 hertz refresh rate. The brightness is fantastic and there’s, also a fantastic new fingerprint scanner inside the phone it’s 70 larger than we’ve, seen on other samsung devices in the past, and we have found it to work much faster than those devices as well. This isn’t as accurate and fast as physical fingerprint scanners we’ve seen on phones over the past decade, but it is a genuine great step in the right direction and it makes this feel a lot more futuristic than the galaxy s20. If you own the samsung galaxy s20 you’re gon na recognize these camera specs we’re about to dive into there’s a 12 megapixel main camera, a 12 megapixel ultra wide camera and a 64 megapixel telephoto camera that’s capable of a three times hybrid optical zoom. Now that is exactly the same camera setup as we saw on the galaxy s20. So this is not a major upgrade there. Samsung has improved the software here, though, and there’s a few different tweaks, especially for single, take mode, essentially that’s, the mode where you press the button once and the ai of the camera will experiment with a few different options.
It will now even include slow motion video, so you can essentially press the button on your camera once and you should be able to get something really inventive with whatever you’re filming. We think this is particularly useful when you’re filming pets or young children, but you’re not really sure exactly what they’re going to do. So. You can essentially press that button and whether it’s a video or a camera shot. You can experiment with it on the front of the phone. Is a 10 megapixel front facing selfie camera as with the galaxy s20, we found this to be a generally good selfie camera that’s good for video calls, but probably isn’t gon na blow you out of the water. So aside from the software tweaks here, you probably shouldn’t be upgrading from a galaxy s20 to the galaxy s21 for this camera. You’Re gon na get essentially exactly the same experience, but if you own an older samsung phone such as the galaxy s10 or an older android phone from any other manufacturer or even an iphone, you may find that this switch will be a much bigger camera upgrade. For you, the camera on the galaxy s21 is fantastic, and while it may not be a huge upgrade over 2020’s phone, it will probably still rank among some of the best camera phones on the market. Now we’re going to dive into some of the specs, you can expect under the hood of the galaxy s21.
Now these are essentially two different phones. If you buy in the us or in the rest of the world, if you’re buying in the us, you will get the qualcomm snapdragon 888 chipset, that is the latest from that company, and that has given us fantastic results. On the galaxy s21 ultra, we haven’t experimented with that on the galaxy s21. Yet so we cannot guarantee that with a gigabyte of ram, it is doing as well as it has done on the ultra, but we have had some fantastic results from it on that more expensive phone now in our galaxy s21 we’ve been using the exynos 2 100. So that is a chipset made directly by samsung the exynos 2 100 chipset is a notable difference compared to previous samsung phones that have used the exynos processors. This is much more comparable level to the qualcomm chipset and hopefully, if you’re looking for a top power device, the galaxy s21 will offer that for you this year, you’ll only get eight gigabyte of ram with the galaxy s21, but in our testing that has been more Than enough, if you need more ram, you’ll be looking for the galaxy s21 ultra, which comes with either 12 gigabytes or there’s even an option with 16 gigabytes of ram inside now. One of the problems with the galaxy s21 is: there is only two storage options for this phone: 128 gigabytes and 256 gigabytes. If you need lots of space, you’re, probably going to want to go for the galaxy s21 ultra, which has a 512 gigabyte option.
None of these phones, they come with micro, sd support, which is a bit of a shame. Samsung has offered micro sd support on its flagship phones for years now, and this feels like a real myth that samsung has now dropped this for anyone who wanted to buy the 128 gigabyte option and then upgrade for more storage later along the line, the samsung galaxy S21 comes running android 11 software and you should probably expect at least android 12 to come to it in the future. If not android, 13 and android 14.. We found the software to work well during our testing, but it will look different to google’s pixel line or other android devices that you’ve used, because it has samsung’s one ui skin over the top. But generally this is a non invasive. Skin which we’ve enjoyed using samsung has fully embraced 5g in 2021, and that means that all variants of the galaxy s20 r5g compatible. Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t use 4g connections when you’re using this device. But it does mean that you’re future proofed for when 5g becomes more of the norm battery life on the galaxy s21 isn’t going to blow you away, but it will last you a full day from a single charge. On a few occasions, we did find that when we were using the phone more intensively, we’d have to pump it up during the day, but often the fast charging features and the qi wireless charging were useful in those scenarios.
One of the other controversial elements of the galaxy s21’s launch is the fact the company has dropped the charger from the box. That means, when you buy this phone you’ll have to use a previous charger that you owned, or by your own now samsung has said this is to cut down on e waste. Essentially, this means that they’re not giving you an extra charger on top of the one. You probably already own at home, some have found this frustrating, but you can use any usb c charger with this device, and also wireless chargers will be compatible too. If you do need to buy a charger, all third party options will work as well. You essentially just need a usb c now, should you buy the galaxy s21 as with any phone review, this comes down to your current situation. If you are currently using an older, samsung device, the galaxy s21 will be a fantastic choice for you. If you bought last year’s, galaxy s20 range or even perhaps the galaxy s10 range the year before the upgrades here – probably aren’t, going to blow you away. If you do want the latest and greatest from samsung you’re going to be looking for the galaxy s21 ultra, but that is a much more expensive device and it is much larger as well. If you’re looking for a smaller device in the samsung range, the galaxy s21 is going to suit you. If you don’t have any allegiance to a brand, we would also recommend the galaxy s21, but also the galaxy s20 has some similar specs.
So if you can find that for a lesser price, probably opt for that as well. The galaxy s21, perhaps isn’t the home, run that we’ve come to expect from samsung in the last couple of years, and instead the company has focused its efforts on the galaxy s21. Ultra to really impress those people who want the ultra top end. Spec doesn’t mean that the s21 isn’t out there for some people, though it has a versatile camera that we loved there’s some fantastic power in this handset as well, and also that cheaper price is going to be a really big deal to some people. If you’re, looking for a smaller, cheaper alternative to samsung’s top end line, the galaxy s21 is probably the right phone for you. If you’re still undecided, be sure to check out our full review of the phone on tech radar, as well as our best smartphone guide. To give you a full look at everything from the iphone through to the samsung galaxy s21, thanks for watching my full samsung galaxy s21 review be sure to leave a comment if you’re on youtube and please head to techradar.com for any other questions.