I don’t know what i’m doing here: it’s this purple and gold phone that you’re looking at and what’s interesting about. The s21 is that samsung has found a way to drop the price on this phone down to 800, while still keeping a lot of flagship specs, but not all of them. I mean look. Bringing the price down means that samsung has to make some choices about what’s worth, including and where it can save some money and the story with the s21 is whether or not samsung made the right choices on what to keep and where to save. But more importantly, whether samsung’s choices line up with your needs, so let’s just let’s just review the phone find out so right at the top. I do want to get one little review bit out of the way because i’ve got some other stuff. I want to say before we really get into it. If you need a new phone and you like the way that samsung does things you will like this phone and it won’t. Do you wrong? There’S no wtf fails here, and there is one incredible thing in the s21: it has a fast and powerful processor. As for the rest, well it’s good, but not great! You see for the past couple of years now, basically, since mid range phones started getting really good. I’Ve been saying that it’s harder to buy an inexpensive phone than it is to buy a flagship phone with flagship phones like like this s21 ultra here.
If you can afford to pay for this phone, you don’t have to think about what your trade offs are. Everything on this phone is as good as samsung can make it, but with the s21 or really any other, less expensive phone, you have to decide what you care about and what you don’t care about and also on the other side, every company is trying to bring The price on their phones – and so they have to place some bets and on this phone samsung bet on the qualcomm snapdragon 888 processor. Here is what this processor gets. You a very fast phone with decent battery life, that’s kind of the bottom line for most people. You can get a full day, but you can also kill it in a day if you really overdo it. The battery on this small galaxy s21, with its 6.2 inch screen, is 4 000 milliamps and for me, it’s enough to get through a normal day. There is also a plus version of this phone, which has a 6.8 inch screen and a 4 800 milliamp battery. I didn’t get to test the bigger one, but it is a safe bet that it has a slightly better battery life than the regular s21. Oh and by the way, speaking of qualcomm, it has a bigger and faster fingerprint sensor. Now and samsung put it in this phone it’s under the screen, and it is really good. It’S, bigger and faster and i’m really happy it’s in here.
In terms of being a powerful good performing phone, the s21 checks that box with a big old sharpie. It also has a variable refresh rate screen that goes from 48 to 120 hertz. It has 8 gigs of ram which okay but look there’s no lag on the camera or anywhere else, and of course it has 5g, and you know by the way in the us. I think that 5g is starting to get good enough, that i think you should get it if you can now to be clear, do not upgrade just to get 5g, but if you have to upgrade this year, all other things being equal. If a 5g phone is on the table, you should probably opt for it anyway. Samsung’S choice for the most important thing on this phone is the processor. So let’s talk about the things that samsung didn’t choose to prioritize and the first one is glass. I mean there’s, of course, glass on the front of the screen, but the back of this phone is made out of plastic. It does make the phone lighter and cheaper, and you know what yeah go for it. It feels fine, it feels good. I think it looks good and you can get lots of different colors really easily, honestly, with plastic that’s, nice it’s kind of hard to justify asking for glass on the back of most phones plus and maybe more importantly, the s21. Has this new updated design that samsung has come up with where the metal rails blend into the camera bump on the side which is surrounded by metal now, and it makes the camera bump look nicer and makes this whole thing feel just more like an integrated hole And more elegant, but then there’s stuff that has been left out of both the regular s21 and the s21 plus and even the very fancy galaxy s21 ultra.
So, for example, there’s no mst samsung’s system for paying at credit card readers that only has regular old, nfc that’s fine by me, but there’s. Also, no micro, sd card slot for storage expansion, anymore, which i don’t know. You really just need to make sure that you pick the right storage option if you go to buy this thing, so the base galaxy s21 costs 799.99 for 128 gigs of storage to get 256. You just have to spend 50 bucks more and it’s the same with the s21 plus it starts at a thousand dollars and for 50 bucks more, you can double the storage, see i’ve been talking a lot about choices, but the choice of which storage option you should Buy it really seems like an easy one, but as long as we’re talking about prices, remember that samsung phones get pretty heavily discounted by carriers and everybody else all the time and actually pretty fast too. So, honestly, if you’re interested in a galaxy s21 or s1 and plus or even the ultra it’s worth looking for a deal or maybe even waiting for a deal, another choice that samsung made to save money is that the screens are only 1080p. But look this screen still looks great it’s also perfectly flat and not curved on the edges, which i know a lot of people prefer it’s it’s, nice it’s, a nice screen, but it doesn’t work with the s pen like the galaxy s21 ultra can so no stylus For you on the small one that leaves one more set of choices to talk about and it’s, probably the most important choices, it’s the choices on the cameras and with the cameras, samsung basically decided to do nothing other than a little sensor swap on the ultrawide.
This camera system is the exact same thing as we had on the galaxy s20 last year: there’s three cameras a wide and ultra wide and a 3x telephoto, and then the selfie camera on the front is a 10 megapixel sensor. Now look, i know it’s not totally fair, to say that samsung did nothing. They are taking advantage of that qualcomm processor to slightly tweak the way that they process images. There are a gajillion camera features too. You can shoot 4k 60 on all the lenses you can use directors mode which lets you get a little preview of all the lenses and switch between them as you shoot, although it does drop down to 1080p there’s pro modes for both photo and video, so that You can adjust the iso whatever else you want, whenever you want there’s, also space zoom, which lets this thing zoom all the way up to 30x, but don’t. Do it it’s pretty bad anything over. You know. 3 5 10. Here is not really usable but set all those features aside and just look at the photos, and you would have to be the per snicketiest pixel peepers to tell the difference between this year’s galaxy s21 and last year’s galaxy s20, which means that the images and photos That this thing shoots are good. They just don’t keep up with the s21 ultra or the iphone 12.. So what i thought made the most sense to do was to compare it to the pixel 5, which is kind of the same idea as the s21.
In terms of having to make choices, to get some cost savings and when you’re looking at the photos that these two phones take honestly it’s a choice between the pixel’s aesthetics and consistency or samsung’s, technically superior photos and a telephoto lens. Looking at the images, i prefer the pixel’s color choices. I think that samsung still over brightens a little bit. I mean just look at these greens, but samsung just does a little bit better in the details, it’s nicer in night mode, and it has an optical zoom at 3x. The pictures are overall sharper too, which usually works, but sometimes it just goes a little bit too far and also between these two phones. The s21 clearly wins on video, too, okay there’s one final set of choices to talk about. It is the choices that samsung makes with its software now i’ve ranted about this. My galaxy s21 ultra review i’ll link that down below you can go watch that here i’m just going to keep it short. There are ads in samsung apps for no good reason and there are dozens of features in the settings and a bunch of stuff in the quick settings and it’s not immediately obvious what they are or if you should care about them now, i’ve done all the work And like looked into what all the little buttons do and i’ve turned a bunch of them on, and i really get a lot out of this phone it’s really powerful.
But if you haven’t used a samsung phone in a while and you pick this thing up. Just prepare to invest some time to figure out what all of these options and buttons and features do and if you actually want to turn any of them on. So those are all of the choices that samsung made in developing the galaxy s21 and when you put them all together, what you discover is that the s21 is basically a refresh of last year’s galaxy s20 with a faster processor and a different, and i think nicer Design, which means that the biggest choice here is that, instead of making a fan edition low cost version of the galaxy s, flagship phones, samsung just made the galaxy s, phones themselves, the low cost editions and left all the fancy stuff for the ultras. As for samsung’s decision to bring that cost down by prioritizing the processor, above all the other features they could have put in here, it’s – probably the right choice for people who want to have a phone that’s going to last them several years. A fast new processor adds to the longevity of a phone, but the bummer about all that other stuff that they left out means that samsung took a choice away from you. You can’t get samsung’s very best phone without getting samsung’s very biggest phone and what that means is, i don’t think you should rush out to upgrade to the regular galaxy s21.
But if you do need a new phone and you do like the way that samsung does android then yeah. The galaxy s21 is a fine choice thanks so much for watching, like i said, i’ve done a review of the galaxy s21 ultra.