Samsung Galaxy S21 Review – The Tipping Point.
What feels like a brand new strategy and it kind of feels like a tipping point in some ways, good in some ways, not so good, Music? Okay: first, we got ta talk about the design with this phone i’ve used this thing for over a week now – and i still don’t, really know how to feel about how this phone looks on one hand from a distance. It looks incredibly premium. Don’T get me wrong, but up close and while holding it a few things kind of change, so the metal band and camera module. Look like one unified piece of metal all around the phone, but they’re actually separate, and the transition between them isn’t, really the smoothest at the edges and the changing of finishes you’ll be pleased to know the phone doesn’t really rock around in the table too. Much with this design choice for the camera module, but it sure is a design statement and feels quite intentional from samsung. They want you to see this phone in the distance and just know it’s the s21 series, and they definitely did their job pretty well. It’S. Very unique, but beyond that design decision, the phone feels very nice to hold with its smooth shape and subtle corners, and even though the back is plastic and not glass, and it clearly is plastic there’s no doubt about it. It’S a very nice feeling plastic. It has some nice visual depth to it. It hides fingerprints well, but long term with scratches and dings.
I do have some concerns there’s a front and bottom firing, speaker setup. That sounds fantastic for watching youtube videos and i think you’re gon na be really happy with the overall sound coming from this device on a daily basis. You are still getting water resistance, but of course there is no headphone jack on this phone and there are no headphones or three and a half millimeter adapter in the box either and there’s no sd card slot for expandable storage. Now, personally, i’ve only used an sd card a few times on my years using android phones, so i don’t really miss it too much. But i know some people are gon na, be pretty upset about this decision now moving up front, uh wow. So i know some people love their curved glass. Curved screen phones, but hear me out. The flat display on this device is incredible: getting rid of the curved glass really does kind of work here with the super thin bezels, all around minor, chin and tiny front camera hole punch the display looks surreal. It almost looks like it’s floating above the phone like i’ve, never seen bezels this thin before on the sides of the device. The chin does have a bit of size to it versus the side bezels, but it’s, really not too bad there’s. No accidental presses and the phone is quite a bit easier to grip and hold, rather than having to deal with those curved edges on the sides, and that display is beautiful.
It’S 6.2 inches and 1080p, with 120 hertz variable refresh rate colors are stunning and being oled. Of course, the blacks are deep and contribute to great contrast, and this thing gets crazy bright. I was at like 50 outdoors on most days and i realized i’m. Only at 50 – and it was super super bright. The brightness in this display is unmatched, it’s amazing. If you’re coming from a phone with a 2k resolution or if you’re, lucky even higher, you will certainly notice that it’s not really as sharp, especially with high resolution content. But for my testing. This resolution has really not been an issue when i’m watching videos editing photos playing games. Just using the phone 1080p is really not that bad with 120hz. The phone feels incredible too. Everything is super, smooth and crazy, responsive, especially just opening closing apps scrolling around and using those pretty solid gestures, it’s just a great experience, and because it is a variable refresh rate display when you don’t need 120 hertz. It reduces that refresh rate down to save battery life, so that’s good, oh and one more thing with the display. That’S, definitely of note the in display fingerprint scanner might be the best i’ve ever used so far with past samsung phones and their in display fingerprint scanners. They were pretty good, but not amazing, but this year, i’ve not had a single time when the phone didn’t unlock the scanning area is much larger: there’s, better technology, it’s, more reliable and it’s excellent, a huge daily usage improvement for sure.
Okay. So let’s talk about cameras up front is a 10 megapixel. Selfie camera and selfies are good after you turn off the smoothness and filters which are on by default because they are not very good. They kind of make your face. Look, plasticky and just strange Music. The front facing selfie camera shoots: 4k, video up to 60 frames per second and you’re hearing the microphone quality as well right now. It also has one of my favorite features too, which is autofocus, so you can get super close or far away and you’ll always be in focus in the shot, which is excellent for vlogging and just other things where you want auto focus in front facing camera. Now, around back with that, wild camera module you’re getting a 12 megapixel main camera f, 1.8, 12 megapixel, ultrawide, camera f, 2.2 and 64 megapixel telephoto, camera f2, with three times optical zoom. The results kind of speak for themselves. The main camera photos are, of course beautiful. Ultra wide shots have consistent, colors and sharpness that match the main camera with little to no edge distortion. Music, zoom shots of 3x are nice as well, and still maintain sharpness and detail with digital zoom optimizations. You can pretty much zoom into about 10x before it really starts to fall apart, but you’re not going to be printing and framing these 10x zoom shots they’re. Just not great overall, though photos during the day and in optimal conditions, are excellent.
Dynamic range is stellar, depth of field is top notch, colors are accurate and the shutter is very quick across all three cameras Music, but when it gets dark and the conditions are really not so nice, the phone still pulls off some absolute banger photos. The night mode can be turned on manually or in most cases it turns on automatically whenever it gets dark enough outside with the combination of the f, 1.8 aperture and night mode, it’s a perfect match. The night mode works well with all three cameras as well, and i’ve really found some serious improvements here with the night photography on this year’s phone Music. Now for video recording, which i’m pretty excited about the phone shoots. 4K, video up to 60 frames per second and also 8k video at 24 frames per second long story. Short 8k. Video is a cool feature to have, but will i use it? Probably not it doesn’t look anywhere near as good as the 4k video isn’t as smooth has weaker stabilization and focus speed. It has an intense crop as well. I’M gon na stick to 4k, but the option is still there. 4K video here is very nice. It gets better and better year after year, and this year is no exception. Dynamic range and brightness are well balanced, colors are beautiful and well saturated, but not unnatural. Looking at all, sharpness is on point and while walking or just standing still the optical image stabilization does its job very well Music.
Even at night, video is not amazing, but it’s. Mostly okay, don’t expect magic. It is video shot at night time with a small camera sensor, but if you have to take a few clips at night, i think you’ll be pleased Music, so that’s the camera experience on this phone and it is quite versatile with all the different shooting modes and Camera options available and also it shows the video gains that samsung is making here with 4k video recording okay now for performance running the whole show here is a snapdragon, 888 processor or exynos 2100. Depending on your region, mine is the snapdragon version, there’s also 8 gigabytes of ram and up to 256 gigabytes of storage with 128 gigs as the base model. It is non expandable, though, as i mentioned, and those numbers plus 120 hertz translate into a crazy smooth phone experience for my testing, using this phone every single day, scrolling around multitasking playing the occasional game on game pass or native games and pushing the phone as much As i possibly could, i have no complaints, it is a flagship phone and samsung, certainly didn’t skimp on speed. Samsung really hit its stride with one ui a few years back now, with this year, it’s just a whole bunch of refinement and that’s good. Some of the changes here, like gradients, blurred backgrounds and new ui elements, kind of remind me of a combination of miui and some of ios 7’s stylings and i think it’s pretty nice.
These gestures are, of course, 10 out of 10 there’s, a load of customization and multitasking options, as well as just being a samsung phone. There are just a ton of features baked in also you get more years of software updates now, which is pretty good. One feature that didn’t make the cut or was rather cut in most regions is mst payment and this feature, basically let you pay for things at a store’s payment terminal. If they didn’t accept nfc payment, you could still use your phone to pay for things. It was no problem. You can still, of course, use nfc for mobile payments, but i know quite a few samsung fans are going to kind of be disappointed that this very unique feature is kind of just gone and, of course you know i have to mention it. Samsung dex makes an appearance once again this year they haven’t gotten rid of it yet and i’m glad they haven’t, because it’s an incredible, futuristic feature and if you don’t know what it is when you plug in the phone into a monitor or connect to a compatible Tv, the phone displays a desktop style user interface i’m, a huge fan. It still feels like the future. It’S amazing i’ve actually been testing odex on this new portable oled display from pepper jobs, and this thing is crazy. It also has pen support which is kind of wild they’re, not a sponsor or anything, but they send it out for me to actually check out and test out with this phone.
So, if you’re interested link in the description and keeping this phone going is a 4 000 milliamp hour battery inside and the combination of a large battery variable, refresh rate display, efficient processor and other enhancements, you’re gon na get some great battery life coming out of this Phone, as many of you know, i’m, quite a heavy user i’m, always on social apps, watching videos, responding to emails out and about taking photos and really testing at the camera on this phone, as well as using 5g, which just kind of came to canada. Recently, i’ve pushed this battery quite a bit, and i have really no issue hitting a full day of usage ending most days at around 25 to 30 ish percent at around 10, 30 or 11 o’clock at night. Now, depending on how you actually personally use your phone, whether you’re at home or you’re out and about you, can probably get a day and a half or most of a second day with this device, if you’re away from your charger all day, don’t worry about it. A full day of usage is guaranteed pretty much, but for even better battery life. The s21 plus has about 800 million powers more and the s21 ultra has about a thousand milliamp hours more something to keep in mind if battery is a top priority for you. What you may also want to keep in mind is that there’s, actually no charger in the box either just the usbc, cable and that’s it.
So you have to pick up your own usbc wall charger or use your existing one that you already have at home. But if you do buy a charger make sure it definitely supports 25 watt fast charging as that’s. Definitely quite a good feature. You can also wirelessly charge or reverse wirelessly charge, other phones, earbuds or other qi. Wireless charging capable devices like smart watches or toothbrushes, or i don’t know whatever. Okay. So with this phone, the galaxy s21 a lot of things change gone in the days we can get a standard s series, samsung phone. That has all of the main features you expect now to get the biggest battery the biggest sharpest display the most premium build the most cameras, most ram and top specifications. You need to get the s21 ultra to be fair. This phone is, in fact cheaper than the s20s initial launch price, as it starts at 800, us this year or 11, 30, canadian, but it’s almost not really even a fair comparison. This is a completely different approach to a samsung flagship phone and it actually shares more similarities with the s20 fan edition than the previous s20. I think the regular everyday person who actually sees this phone will say: hey. You know what it’s a samsung flagship phone and it’s cheaper i’m gon na take it, especially with all the discount options and other pre order deals. It feels like a really solid deal for the vast majority of people, but at the same time, this phone almost alienates the hardcore samsung fans, people who buy samsung phones because of their base features they include, and now someone wants a few of those basic features.
Like a glass build or the sharpest possible display, the only option from this series costs 1200 u.s or 1650 canadian unlocked. That is, of course, the s21 ultra and, as i mentioned throughout this video, some of those hardcore samsung fan features are just straight up gone with this year’s lineup. Overall, though, if you don’t mind some of the exclusions, you don’t mind the design and build choices and are fine with the price tag, considering other options on the market. You’Re gon na probably love this phone between the speed, versatile camera setup, long battery life and samsung’s huge amount of features it’s a great overall experience not for everyone, but for most people you’re going to enjoy this device. So i want to hear your thoughts on the galaxy s21 it’s kind of been a bit of a controversial phone. So i really want to hear what you think in the comments down below like the video.