Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Review: Apex Slab Phone
So this is my full review of the samsung galaxy s21 ultra after using this phone for a whole week. I find the in hand view to be quite nice, it’s slightly too big it’s, not as comfortable in the hand as the smaller s21 plus or the even smaller s21. But as someone who wants a big screen i’m willing to put up with the slight compromises in comfort, this is a much more comfortable in hand, feel than say the iphone 12 pro max, because the phone’s a little bit narrower and the sides are not completely flat. With sharp corners, in fact, i think samsung’s figured out the perfect level curvature for its screen, so the s21 screen is still curved, but it’s relatively subtle, just enough. That still gives a little bit of a visual flourish. In fact, i find the s21’s completely flat panel to be a little bit boring and bland by comparison, but the curves are also not so dramatic that they distort colors on the side. It doesn’t happen here and also you don’t have to worry about actual problem touches because it just it just doesn’t happen. Speaking of the 6.8 inch display. As expected, this is a top notch panel. Without the notch get it, it gets super bright at 1, 500, nits and maxes out at a resolution of 1440 by 3200 and it refreshes up to 120 hertz. Now i think overall, xiaomi’s 120 hertz panel still appears a little bit more fluid to my eyes than the s21 ultras.
I think it’s just because xiaomi’s mini ui software um just has more animations crammed in to that 120 hertz panel, but still the screen. Everything still moves very smoothly. If you jump back to a 60hz panel like an iphone 12 mini, i have here or like an lg wing animation. Just does not look as smooth as they do. On the galaxy s, 21 ultra so there’s a small hole, punch, cutter, housing, a 40 megapixel selfie camera that takes pretty good selfies and the in display fingerprint sensor has been much improved over the last two versions. I was using the s20 ultra and the note 20 ultra. The fingerprint sensor area is now 1.7 times bigger. That means your thumb can find the area a little bit easier. So this model i’m testing is the snapdragon 8 model with 12 gigs of ram. You can get up to 16 gigs of ram if you buy the the most expensive, 512 gig storage variant, but 12 gigs of ram is more than good enough and snapdragon triple a absolutely no issue whatsoever, whether it’s, gaming or filming, using two different cameras or doing Video editing directly on the vonfire power director, so almost everything about this phone’s hardware in terms of construction and components used it’s tip top it’s like absolute best in the industry. This includes all the little things too, so the wi fi modem in here supports wi fi. Six, i believe the first phone in the world to support this newest wi fi technology.
The bluetooth in here is bluetooth, 5.2, that’s also the newest version and where there’s a usb connection or the memory, the ram in here it’s all the latest version possible right now. So you notice that i said almost everything about this hardware’s tip top that’s because i’m a little bit disappointed with the charging speeds there’s a five thousand million hour battery in here, and it only charges wire um with the included cable up to 25 watts or wirelessly. At 15 watts, so that means it will still take over an hour to charge the phone from a zero to 100 and it’s a little bit slow. In my opinion, i’m used to using xiaomi phones or oneplus and opal phones that you just plug in the phone for 25 minutes and it’s completely filled up now. As for battery life it’s interesting, i find that almost every american reviewers say they can get one and a half days with this phone and that’s just has not been what i’ve been getting now. This happens to me all the time i find that every year, when they review the latest iphone or the latest samsung galaxy, their battery life is always a lot higher than what i get, i think, maybe it’s. A combination of maybe hong kong cell towers require switching a lot more often or maybe because i’m, just like that obsessed with my phone, that i use it more than all of them, but there’s no way this phone can go one and a half day.
For me. Basically, i’m still pretty satisfied with the battery life. Overall, though, i would say from a full charge. The phone gives me about four and a half hours to five hours of screen on time and generally can go about like a 14 hour day and finish for about. Like 10 battery life left now, as for cameras, there’s a quad camera system – here you have an ultra wide angle: camera 12, megapixel 108 megapixel main camera with a really large one. Over 1.33 inch sensor, you have a 10 megapixel periscope zoom lens that gets 10 times optical zoom, and then you have here an additional 10 megapixel three times optical telephoto zoom lens that has a 70 millimeter focal length, that’s ideal for portraits uh. This sensor up here. If you’re wondering is a laser autofocus, now all four cameras work very well i’m, particularly impressed by the 108 megapixel sensor because of the huge sensor it can pull in so much light so that even at night you don’t need to use night mode, and i really Like that natural depth of field that you get just from taking a normal picture because of the large sensor, you don’t need to turn on portrait mode and also this 108 megapixel camera doubles as a macro lens and the results look pretty damn good. As for this ten times, periscope zoom lens, it is legit, it is probably the cleanest or second cleanest. Ten time zoom pictures i’ve seen along with the huawei p40 plus, which also has a 10 times zoom lens.
So i would say 10 times photo are perfectly sharp and usable for instagram immediately. I would argue that even 20 times and even 30 times still look really respectable, like you can still post on instagram and you know not have a photo. That looks like it’s very messy. Now you can zoom all up to 100 times and then one of the times i made okay, then you start losing a lot of details. Photos turn a little bit blurry, but just the fact that you can get so far. It can still help you in a pinch like, for example, if i need to read a street sign or menu from really far, but the feature that really blows my mind with what samsung is able to do is zoom lock. So basically, if you zoom beyond 30 times with a periscope zoom lens camera, the phone’s ai will automatically lock onto a subject and then at that point the viewfinder remains stable. It no longer shakes very heavily, which is what you usually get when you zoom in really far with a smartphone camera. This is a game changer and i think huawei will have to catch up in this area which they might with the huawei p50 pro. Who knows now the three times optical telephoto lens? Has a 70 millimeter focal length, that’s ideal for portraits? So that means when you switch to portrait mode now it automatically zooms in almost three times so that’s a little bit tight.
You might have to back up a little bit anytime. You want to take a portrait of someone sitting across from you, but the results are quite clean and i find the depth of field to be relatively convincing. Portraits overall, are pretty solid. Video performance is very good. During the day, you have all these extra features like recording 4k 60 with every camera, or you can record up to 8k resolution with the main camera and just stabilization it’s, very good during the day and as well as dynamic range. So you can see if i shift between bright lights and dimmer areas, the phone adjustes itself quite well. Now, at night stabilization takes a slight hit. You get a little bit more of that micro jitter shakiness that has played android phones for many years in terms of nighttime videos. The iphone 12 pro max still beats the s21 ultra by a little bit. If i do have to complain about the camera it’s that zooming in and out when you’re switching between lenses is still a very janky experience, so let’s see if i’m gon na go into 10x, i jump back out to one you see: it’s, just not a smooth Transition there’s a little bit of a you know, with an iphone zooming it’s, really fluid like you can zoom in and out in and out like that, without any issues now the software here is mostly fine. This phone runs on android 11 with samsung’s one ui 3.
1. On top one ui is mostly clean and very attractive. Looking now much better than touchwiz of years past, i don’t like that. You still have to cycle horizontally to go through the app tray instead of up and down like how google does it, but for the most part, i’m, finding one ui 3.1, except some of samsung’s additional bloat software. So out of the box, the phone tries to get you to use samsung pay and the way to trigger samsung page to swipe up from the bottom of the screen. So, needless to say, this gesture for samsung pay is really annoying and i turn it off immediately. So, in my opinion, the galaxy s21 ultra is the apex slap smartphone right now. This is the most well rounded device there isn’t a single major flaw with this phone. It does everything and nearly the best that a slap smartphone can do right now. However, i do think for 1200, the s21 ultra is still a little bit expensive, because the xiaomi mi 11, which i mentioned earlier, sells in china for just about 650 dollars. So it’s, almost half the price and the xiaomi mi 11 screen is probably almost as good. Maybe like 99 as good as the screen, it runs on the same processor and the main camera is probably just as good as the main camera here too it’s. Also a 108 megapixel sensor where the s21 ultra beats the xiaomi mi 11 it’s focal length that phone doesn’t have a zoom lens at all, so this phone can zoom much better but i’m.
Pretty sure xiaomi is going to release a me11 pro sometime in the next month and that phone will have a zoom lens too, and yeah it’ll be a little bit more expensive, but it’s still gon na be cheaper than this phone. So i can’t say this is the best value, but if you have the money to spend – and you want the best possible phone, this is still it right now, plus there are also a lot of additional samsung features that people might enjoy like, for example, i really Like that, if you have the galaxy but pro or the galaxy buds live, you can connect to your samsung galaxy s21 ultra and record videos using the earbuds as your wireless mic and actually works quite well. Also, like samsung dex, you can connect this wirelessly to a smart tv or a monitor or plug in via usbc and have a whole desktop experience. Oh and i forgot to mention this phone also supports s pen, you have to buy it separately, so i honestly personally, i don’t think it’s worth it because i don’t think a stylus is that necessary. But if you do need to jot notes, often or you like to sketch, you can just pick up an s pen and this phone offers you another usage, experience that, like an iphone or xiaomi mi 11 does not so there’s. Definitely a heck lot to like, with the galaxy s21 ultra so anyway, that’s about it for this review of the galaxy s21 ultra.