Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Review (Snapdragon 888) – is it a Downgrade?
So here it is in my hands. This is the qualcomm version with the snapdragon 888. So i have my main sim card in this phone. This has been my daily driver for nearly a week and i’m – absolutely loving this phone. So far now the samsung galaxy s21 5g is 200 cheaper than last year’s s20. But a few things have been taken away to achieve that saving. Some people may even see it as a downgrade from the s20. So in this video i will highlight what has been removed and i’ll also give you my verdict and what i actually think about the s21. So the first major change we’re going to talk about is the build quality so from last year’s, s20s, glass and metal finish. We have here glass and plastic, then we also have that resolution drop from horde, hd plus to full hd, but you’re, still getting that beautiful amoled technology with 120 hertz, refresh rate, which means beautiful display and an even better battery life. Now other major changes are no micro, sd expansion and no charger in the box. So in a nutshell, that is what samsung has removed. They have, of course saved a lot of money on this, but they still gave some back to the people by reducing the price of the phone by 200. Now they could have done an apple and kept the price the same and people would have still upgraded. So kudos to samsung for at is dropping that price down, so let’s dive in a little and discuss those changes.
So, first of all, the build quality is now glastic, so it looks like glass, but it is in fact made from plastic. I was skeptical when i first heard about this and disappointed at the same time, but once you have the phone in your hands, it definitely looks like glass and nearly wants to feel like glass, but somehow samsung has managed to make that look really premium, especially with That new camera bump design. So even though it’s plastic, it is fingerprint proof, although from time to time you will notice, it does pick up smudges slightly now the second saving for samsung, and i would not exactly call this a saving as you’re still getting the same. Advanced screen tech, but with a drop in resolution so last year’s s20. We had quad hd plus at 60 hertz or you could change the resolution to full hd and achieve 120 hertz. Well now, it’s, just full hd, plus with 120 hertz adaptive, and also the display is flat, so no curving around the edge at all, but i still can’t fault. This display it’s, absolutely gorgeous to look at both the s20 and s21 have dynamic. Amoled displays supporting hdr 10 plus you have the same 6.2 inch screen size. You’Ve got gorilla glass 6 in the s20, but the s21 has gorilla glass 7, which is known as victus. Both support always on display and you’re, getting a slightly better peak brightness in the s21, so it’s 1200 nits versus 1300 nits.
So even though it’s only full hd plus, you have the same screen tech just a lower resolution. But the question is: can you tell the difference between the quad, hd plus and full hd plus during general use, and i will also remember the quad hd plus resolution in the s20 – would absolutely drain that battery, so full hd plus is going to give you a Better battery life in the long run, so i actually don’t mind this change. Furthermore, fast charging wireless charging and reverse charging is exactly the same as the s20, so 25 watts of fast charging and during my everyday use, i found it takes around 1 hour 10 minutes to fully charge from zero to a hundred percent and also a thirty minute Charge can get you from zero to sixty percent, so you’ve got no issues here with fast charging and you have a very respectful battery life. I was easily achieving around six hours of onscreen time with the phone lasting an entire day without me needing the charger. So if you are a heavy user, 30 minute quick charge will get you back into the action and the last few major changes that samsung did is no micro sd card, and i am a little surprised by this. As microsd expansion was samsung’s major plus point. So at the bottom, you’ve got a single speaker, type c, charging microphone and your sim tray – and here is the sim tray, and this takes only a single nano sim card.
So you cannot physically add two sim cards, but what you can do is have one e sim and one nano sim card. Now i have here the 128 gig model, so it’s enough space. For me, as long as i regularly back up my gallery, which i’m in a good habit of doing, but if you want 256 gigs it’s going to be around 50 extra, which is not bad for double the storage. Now the real pain in the ass for most people is the fact that there is no usbc earphones or charger in the box, so the s20 also had no headphone jack, but this time we’re not getting a charger or type c headphones. So fortunate. For me, i have a lot of charges lying around and also wireless stands. You can see one in the corner of the screen there, so no big deal for me, but the average consumer definitely didn’t like this one. I personally prefer my bluetooth earbuds and i am currently using the latest soundcore and i love these earbuds. I don’t really like wired headphones with wires dangling around, but each to their own. I suppose so. The s21 is 200 cheaper and after using the phone as my daily driver, those removed features does not feel like a downgrade from the s20 and we’ve gone through all those major changes. But what about the upgrades? Well, you do have a slightly brighter display, not only that you have a powerful chipset, so a choice between the exynos 2100 or the snapdragon 888.
Both are five nanometer chips supporting 5g and you also get wi fi six. The graphics have also been bumped up from the mali g77 to the mali g7a, so a 20, better graphics performance and more overall power efficiency. Now, as i already mentioned, this is the snapdragon 888 and, as you can see, the benchmarks are pretty decent. We’Ve achieved a multi score of 3226 on geekbench and in the anti two benchmark test we achieved 694k. Now the maximum ram supported is eight gigs. It is lp ddr5 ram and the storage starts from one to eight, but the s21 has a slightly faster storage than the s20, so from ufs3, this phone has ufs 3.1 and this does show in the internal disk speed test. So, as you can see, we have achieved: read speeds of 1.3 gigs and write speeds of 316 megabits per second, so very decent internal storage speeds. Now let’s talk about multimedia and streaming. You do have a google widevine level, 1 certification as usual. So that means at least hd video streaming across the board, so netflix is available in hd quality, so that’s 720p max youtube supports 1080p at 60 frames per second with hdr. Prime video also supports full hd and disney plus will give you a maximum of hd video streaming. Now you do have pretty good dual speakers tuned by akg it’s, the same quality or as good as the s20, so one side firing and the other one is on the earpiece.
So you are getting a great overall sound experience. Now the in screen, fingerprint sensor is much faster and you get a slightly bigger sensor than what’s in the s20 and you’re, also getting a very fast face unlock to go with it now, let’s quickly talk about the cameras and look at that beautiful camera bump. That has to be the best looking camera bump we’ve ever seen on a smartphone. I absolutely love the design of the smartphone. Now we have some camera upgrades, which are not so obvious. Both s20 and s21 have triple sensors on the back, so 12 12 and 64 megapixels, but there is a change in the sensors. The s21’s main sensor is actually the sony imax 555. The ultra wide is the sony imax 563 and the 64 megapixel telephoto is the samsung s5 kgw2. So we have two sony sensors in this smartphone and everyone is reporting a much better camera, especially for video capture stabilization and your night shots. The primary sony imax 555 sensor has also been used in the galaxy note: 20. The sony xperia 5.2, the xperia pro and the snapdragon versions of last year’s s20 also had this primary sensor, so yeah really good. Overall, camera experience, i’ve just done a camera test, comparing it to a pixel 4a. If you missed that video, i will link it in the description box below so there you have. It guys is the samsung galaxy s21 a downgrade from the s20, and the answer is not exactly on paper.
It seems to draw questions and making people believe the s20 is better, but after using it myself as my daily driver, i feel i understand what samsung tried to do now. Samsung has had to make some very difficult decisions here with build quality, screen resolution micro, sd card slot and not providing a charger in the box, but they did do a good job of keeping all the other features intact. So you’re still getting ip rating wireless charging. Reverse wireless charging, etc and upgrading that internal storage speed, making the display slightly brighter and a much faster chipset and better graphic performance. Now they could have easily chucked in the snapdragon 765 g and most of us would have still upgraded to this phone. So i definitely appreciate that we’re getting the latest and greatest snapdragon 8 in this phone and in return you are getting that superb performance from that snapdragon chip battery life is also very good. 25 watts fast charging feels more than sufficient for everyday use and it’s certainly safer for the battery. In the long run. Now the samsung galaxy s21 is a great overall package. It feels like one of the most complete all around smartphones i have used lately and the features are vast, especially in the camera department and my main expectation from a flagship smartphone priced over 700 is screen battery and camera. This phone will keep you happy in all three of those departments. The camera is surprisingly good, it’s, the best camera i have used on a samsung device.
So far, now performance of the snapdragon 8 is blazing fast. Everything you do on this smartphone is instant. This phone comes with the latest and greatest tech from 5g wi fi 6 and lots more, and this is what i call a future proof flagship smartphone that you can buy and not worry about upgrading for a good few years. I absolutely love the design and during the launch, just seeing the pictures got me excited and having it. Finally, in my hands, it’s even better in person now i got phantom gray, which is nearly like a space, gray, color and i’m into space gray, so i’ve liked the color i’ve chosen. But if i could have gotten phantom black in the standard s21 model, i would have been over the moon, but i just don’t feel it’s worth forking out an extra 200 for the plus model, especially when i don’t need the bigger screen, but the extra 50 for 256 gigs is a good option if you need it, especially as you don’t have the micro sd expansion. Now i can talk endlessly about this phone, but then this video would get mighty long and maybe boring so i’m going to end it here. If you have any questions, do let me know in the comments and with that being said, thank you.