Samsung Galaxy S21 Review: The Price of Entry
This is a beast of a phone, so make sure you check out that review after you watch this one, but today it’s all about its little brother here. This is the galaxy s21 and coming in at 799 dollars. I think this is going to be the one that’s going to be the people’s choice for the new galaxy s21 lineup. So let’s talk about this phone because there are some similarities with this and it’s bigger brother, the s21 ultra, and one of those is going to be the fact that this is one of the first phones to run samsung’s, one ui 3.1 software, and so with this Software, you get a notification panel that actually doesn’t annoy me, because all of the notifications are smartly grouped together and even your media apps that you have open you can swipe between the widgets right here. I wish it didn’t swipe them away when you go too far to one side but that’s, a minor gripe and then also too on your lock screen. You do have more widgets to be able to access, so you don’t have to unlock your phone to get to some of the important information that you might be looking for, and you now have the option to add. The google discover page to your home screen. So now, when you swipe over, you can find this information created by google or you can just swap all of that out for live tv in this same location, which is kind of crazy.
Because samsung has this samsung tv plus, which is compatible with the latest galaxy devices, and so this means that in one swipe you can have access to a bunch of different live programming. Um right here on your phone, so yeah one of those things you just don’t, see on every single phone and max wine back on twitter posted that samsung dex now does work wirelessly with your pc or your mac after you install the dex software. So there were ways you could do this. You know with a couple of different workarounds, but now it’s very seamless, a couple presses of a couple of buttons and then now you have decks running on your computers with no cables and even the volume controls have a nice look to them and ease of use To control, so you can access all of your different volume options for your notifications, your phone calls and stuff right here. So this is a very little kind of tweak, but it really adds to the whole experience of one ui currently being my favorite adaptation of android right now to use on the phone it’s very sleek, customizable yeah, good job. Now, in the hardware and design department, you do have some similarities as well, so you have this contour cut design where the camera module blends into the metal frame of the phone, so it’s, a very unique look, and in these days of smartphones, coming out almost every Single day, i haven’t seen one that looked like this, so that’s a good job with the design and then with the regular s21s.
I would say that it has more playful colors, like the s101 ultra colors, look really good, but they’re, more kind of like solid and plain looking, but you have this purple finish that you can choose with this s21 that actually for purple, which i typically wouldn’t choose For my phone looks great, and then you have that gold trim going around the phone, it just really makes a nice color combination, and then also one thing you should know is that on the s21 ultra you do have gorilla glass on the back. That has that matte finish, but on the regular s21 it is going to be a plastic bat, but both of them feel very similar. And personally, i really don’t care about the actual material on the back of the phone. I just care how it feels and because both feel very similar, i’m cool with that, and you also do have the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner on the front. So this is going to be bigger and faster than last year’s s20 series, and so you have a bigger surface area, so you’re less likely to miss the mark and have to redo your fingerprint and it’s. Also, just like a step faster than the s20 series and in all of the new s21 phones, this year, samsung said, look we’re getting rid of the micro sd card slot. So now in here you only have the sim card tray. So what this means is that when you go to buy this phone, make sure you choose wisely between the 128 and 256 gigabyte options, and so those are most of these similarities between these two phones.
But now let’s talk about the differences and what has led me to using this s21 more often than not over the ultra and i’m gon na kick things off with the number one reason and that’s, because this phone is just smaller than the ultra. So the ultra is a beast of a phone, but it is big. So look, i have big hands, but i found myself still preferring this regular s21, because not only do i feel very confident when i’m holding it with one hand but it’s easier to get in my pocket. It doesn’t take up too much space and we are just using it for one handed use walking around and stuff. I feel more comfortable with this foam and with this smaller size. That also means that you do have a smaller display on this s21. So it comes in at 6.2, inches versus the 6.8 inches on the s21 ultra. But the good thing is that both of these can run at 120 hertz refresh rate, and both of these are variable refresh rates, but on the ultra it can go from 10 to 120 hertz, and on this s21 it can go from 48 to 120 hertz. So the wider range on the ultra means that it’s going to be better for overall battery life, because, if it’s not doing something that needs all of that high refresh rate, it can go down to a lower level and that can help just preserve the battery.
Over the course of your day and speaking of batteries, so on the ultra, you have a 5 000 milliamp hour battery, but on the s21 that goes down to 4 000, but i have to say that the battery life on this thing has been fine. I can get through an entire day, you’re not going to be thinking about it, it’s, just when you are trying to get that day and a half of use, and that ultra is definitely going to be more suited for that. But i find with this s21 again for daily use, i think most people will be very satisfied with it and two more quick things with the display. So on the s21 you have a flat display, so you’re less likely to have accidental touches when you’re, just holding it in your hand, versus on that slightly curved display on the s21 ultra so flat display to me, in my opinion, is better than curve. So i’ll take that any day, but you do have s pen support, but only on the s21 ultra so they’re bringing over this functionality from the galaxy note series. But you cannot do this on the s21 and so sticking with this everyday use theme here. Let’S talk about the cameras, so look when you just take both of these phones out of your pocket, real quick! When you see something interesting, you open up that camera app and you press that shutter button you’re going to get very similar results with these two phones.
So you’re going to get the samsung look to these photos where they pump up the saturation and they make things a little bit brighter than sometimes they need to be and compared to like the iphone 12 pro. I found myself on these phones having to dial back that little brightness slider a little bit as i take photos and also videos, as you’ll, see here in a little bit. So look it’s not a big deal, but i will say that samsung photos do have a particular look to them that some people might not like. I personally do, but i do feel across the board. They’Ve done a great job at being able to capture a lot of details in your photos, especially if you choose to use the higher megapixel options that these phones do have. But the differences start to come in when you start to play around with the camera. App. A little bit more as far as zooming in and stuff, so on this s21 you have one single telephoto camera that does come in at 64 megapixels, but it only goes up to three times zoom, where on the s21 ultra, you have not only one three times: Zoom telephoto camera, but you also have an additional ten time: zoom telephoto camera. So you can see the differences here between three times and then, when you go up to ten times, because this s21 does have to really start taking advantage of digital zoom.
When you get up to 10 times and more and you start to see that loss in quality and then when you go up to the s21’s maximum zoom of 30 times, you see it starts to fall apart compared to the 30 times zoom on the s21 ultra And then the ultra starts to show off because it can go up to that hundred times, space zoom, where it can get you like, just ridiculously close to a subject, even though the quality starts to fall off there but again 30 times. Zoom is really that good sweet spot and if you find yourself in those situations where you like to use zoom a lot, maybe you’re at one of your kids games and you’re sitting in the stands and they’re on the field. And you want to zoom in and still get a really good photo that ultra comes into play and both of these phones do have this new zoom lock feature, which means that when you get towards that maximum zoom ranges you’ll see that the phone can actually go Into like overdrive, when it comes to stabilization, because at these zoom ranges, any type of movement can throw off the quality of your photos. So this is one of those essential features. Now, when it comes to portrait mode photos, they both look really good and they both do have some software options to allow you to change the background for your portrait mode photos. You can do like this backdrop feature and also you have some different lighting conditions that you can play around with, and i did notice that portrait mode has been better at either cutting me or the object that i’m taking a photo of better from that blurred background.
So when you’re looking around the outline of myself, you’re, not really seeing a lot of little spots, where it’s in focus or out of focus like it’s, a really smooth, cutout so that’s, something that i think samsung has been working on. And then, when it comes to ultra wide photos again, they both look very similar. And now, when it comes to nighttime photos, though, the ultra starts to separate itself a little bit more because it does have that laser autofocus, which is going to be able to help you get a really nice sharp and clear picture in low light conditions and jumping Back to the ultra wide cameras, real quick on the ultra, you do have the ability to get up and close and take macro photos, but you don’t have that on the regular s21 and when it comes to video. Taking. I really like the 4k video that you can take on all of the s21 phones this year, so on this s21 you can take 4k video up to 60 frames per second with the front facing camera and also the wide angle, camera and the ultra white camera. On the back, but you can’t do the same thing with the telephoto camera, whereas on the ultra, you can take that 4k. 60. Video on all of the cameras on that phone and the video quality gives me the same vibes as i talked about before, with the photo quality, sometimes a little bit too bright and also a little bit too saturated.
But still a really good look and i will say that sometimes you will find the focus is hunting a little bit when it comes to autofocus. So if you are like moving around a certain subject, it might be popping in and out it’s not as bad as it was last year. But i still noticed that from time to time, but generally the smooth stabilization that you get even outside of their dedicated super steady mode kind of makes up for any other lapses in the video quality so yeah. This is definitely up there with the iphone 12 pro when it comes to overall video quality, and i think typically you’ll find that it gets some really good results, and that even goes for 8k video that you can take on these phones and that’s, where i kind Of noticed a little bit of difference as far as like performance, when i started recording an ak video on the s21, i did see that just using my screen as a viewfinder that it was kind of choppy, but on the s21 ultra it’s a little bit smoother And that’s really the only time i saw any type of performance difference between these two phones and that may be just in the difference of the ram where you have eight gigabytes of ram on the s21 and you can get either 12 or 16 gigabytes on the Ultra but that’s really the only time i really felt a performance difference between the two, because both of these phones do have that snapdragon 888.
That does most of the heavy lifting for everyday tasks, but yeah. If you need that little extra push, that ultra has you covered and all of these s21s do share the better camera software enhancements this year, like the better single take mode which, at one press of the shutter button, takes photos and videos at the same time, but It’S going to be adding some, you know slow motion, video to some of those clips and adding different filters, and then now you can go after the fact and choose which one you want to use and then also you have that object, eraser tool when you take A photo – and you go to edit it, which is one of my favorite features, because you can quickly remove a person or an animal or an object from your photo in just a couple of taps. But right now i know some of you might be thinking that this is more of a versus video instead of a galaxy, s21 review and you’re. Not that far off, because my whole point of this video is to show you that 799 versus 11.99, as far as their starting price points, you’re not missing too much when it comes to everyday use. Now again, if i know i’m going on vacation or i’m just going to a really cool location that i want to take a lot of photos and videos with the ultra is definitely going to be my choice.
You just have more flexibility with the cameras. You have more options with that zoom, but for everyday use, because of this smaller size is more compact and you still get really good performance. You still get a great display and you still have cameras that can still take those good photos when you just want to. Like a point and shoot an experience, the s21 just kind of fits me for my everyday life right now, but if i was traveling as much as i typically do, pre covet the ultra might be my go to choice. But you know when i look at the price to performance ratio between these two, the s21 is definitely going to be my people’s champ for right now with the galaxy series of phones. Until we see what samsung might do with the galaxy s 21 fe later this year, if they do release that, but for right now best bang for your buck. Galaxy phone is the s21. But what do you think leave your comment down below and let me know what you think about this phone and which one would you choose out of these two and also remember: there is a galaxy s21 plus that sits right there in the middle of these phones. But that shares more of the characteristics of the s21, but it just has a bigger 6.7 inch screen and also a bigger battery as well, but for the most part it’s very similar to this one.