Samsung has finally let the cat out of the bag. The South Koreans presented their new flagships at their “Unpacked Event”. One thing was particularly pleasing: Compared to their predecessors, the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra are not only supposed to be more powerful, but also cheaper. However, this also seems to result in small weaknesses in Samsung’s new flagships. We want to take a closer look at the information.
Faster RRP than the predecessor devices
The price starts at 849 Euros. This is how much the Samsung Galaxy S21 costs in its basic configuration. It comes with 128 GB of storage space. You can get the device with twice the storage for a fair surcharge of 50 Euros. Apple‘s competition could certainly take a leaf out of this customer-friendly price policy. If the Galaxy S21 is too small for you, you might be happy with the Galaxy S21+. It starts at 1,049 Euros. The upgrade from 128 GB to 256 GB costs an additional 50 Euros (~$510) here as well. You will probably get an uncompromising flagship smartphone with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Accordingly, it also has a much higher RRP of between €1,249 and €1,429. However, you also have the option of a proud 512 GB of internal storage. The prices of the S21 generation can definitely be called fair. Especially when you compare them with those of the predecessors. Last year’s Galaxy S20 cost an impressive 999 Euros for the basic version at market launch. You had to pay 1,099 Euros for the S20+ and at least 1,349 Euros for the S20 Ultra. As customers, we can definitely be happy about this trend.
Two different processors in the Galaxy S21
The exciting thing about Samsung’s S-Class is the use of two different processors. Which processor is used does not at all depend on the respective variant of the device. Geographical conditions rather play a big role here. The manufacturer uses a Snapdragon 888 from Qualcomm for the devices that are launched in the US. The situation is different in Germany. The devices sold in Germany are equipped with Samsung’s Exynos 2100. It is manufactured in the modern 5 nanometer process. The powerful processor is based on an ARM Cortex X1 core. This is supposed to help the processor achieve a maximum clock rate of up to 2.9 GHz. The Exynos 2100 might sound good on the spec sheet. However, a performance gap between Samsung’s processor and the Snapdragon was already noticeable in the predecessor devices. We hope that the octa-core chip with 64-bit architecture is on par with Qualcomm’s counterpart this time.
No surprise: The display should be super
If Samsung can do anything, it is build extremely good smartphone displays. The manufacturer has proven this with every device in its S-Class and the specs sound promising this time as well. The Galaxy S21 is the smallest of the three devices with a 6.2-inch Super AMOLED screen. A resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels should ensure a razor-sharp picture. The devices offer a refresh rate of 120 Hz so that the picture is rendered smoothly. The S21+ offers the same resolution on its 6.7-inch screen. What will please clumsy cell phone users is the flat design.
Unlike its predecessors, Samsung now does without curved edges and installs the screens flat. This should ensure comparatively low repair costs. The Galaxy S21 Ultra has the largest screen with 6.8 inches. A resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels should ensure an even sharper picture than in the other devices. However, it is questionable whether this is visible at first glance. Of course, the top model also offers a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz. However, the design of the display is a bit different here. Thus, the Ultra model stands out from the two smaller versions with curved display edges.
The right camera for everyone
Samsung does not let itself down when it comes to the camera this year either. However, the Koreans have revised the design of last year’s camera module. The module no longer protrudes too conspicuously from the back of the S21 models, but rather merges smoothly with the rest of the case. Users who do not want to compromise on the camera should take a closer look at the top model. After all, Samsung provides the Galaxy S21 Ultra with four cameras. The main camera with 108 megapixels plays the leading role. It is joined by two telephoto lenses that each offer 10 megapixels and a 3x and a 10x zoom. The camera package is rounded off by an ultra-wide-angle lens that resolves with 12 megapixels. Strictly speaking, the Galaxy S21 Ultra actually has five cameras. The last one is the front-mounted selfie camera, which can resolve with a proud 40 megapixels.
This is where the biggest difference between the individual models becomes clear. After all, the cameras from the Galaxy S21 and S21+ can by no means keep up with those of the top model. This is already evident in the main camera. It only has a comparatively weak 12 megapixels. On the other hand, the ultra-wide-angle lens is identical to the Ultra. Samsung only gives the S21 and S21+ one telephoto lens instead of two. It has a resolution of 64 megapixels and offers a 3x zoom. Of course, the two smaller models also have a front-facing camera. However, it has a much weaker resolution of 10 megapixels. All models should provide sufficient picture quality. However, the Ultra is probably best suited for photo enthusiasts. However, moving pictures should not be a problem for the three models. Samsung even wants to deliver promising high-resolution pictures. The Koreans talk about 8K recordings being possible for all three models. However, those who do this on a regular basis should keep an eye on their memory, especially in the 128 GB version.
Lots of technology under the hood and top model with pen support
Also exciting is that the Galaxy S21 Ultra supports Samsung’s S Pen. Thus, it is the Korean manufacturer’s first smartphone that can be operated with a pen, apart from the Note. However, unlike the Note, the smartphone itself does not have a dedicated storage compartment. Instead, the pen can be stored in a case. Apart from the camera and pen support, Samsung remains true to itself – in a positive sense. The manufacturer installs state-of-the-art components in all three devices, which should provide a lot of power in the flagships. The two smaller models of the S21 series offer 8 GB of RAM. If this is not enough, you can go for 12 GB or even 16 GB RAM in the S21 Ultra.
As mentioned at the beginning, the two smaller devices are available in 128 GB or 256 GB storage variants. The Ultra model will also be available with 512 GB. Also on board is blazing-fast Wi-Fi 6, 5G support, and Bluetooth 5.2. Samsung also promises dual-SIM and eSIM. In addition, a fingerprint sensor based on ultrasonic technology is hidden under the display. In combination with the powerful processor, the devices should offer the user a fast Android experience. With so much power, you also need a decent battery. Samsung installs a 4,000 mAh battery in the S21, a 4,800 mAh in the S21+ and a 5,000 mAh in the S21 Ultra. Should the battery ever run out of power, the smartphone can optionally be charged via USB-C cable (with 25 watts) or without cable via Qi (max. 15 watts).
Three small points of criticism
However, the slight price drop is not by chance. After all, Samsung is not a benefactor, but also just a company that wants to earn money. Accordingly, some corners had to be cut for a lower price. This starts with the non-existing option of a memory expansion. None of the three smartphones offers the option of inserting microSD cards. Samsung could have at least offered additional storage options with up to 1 TB for purchase here instead. Samsung also follows Apple’s example and does not include a charger. If you want to buy the original Samsung power adapter, you will have to pay a hefty 35 Euros. The third point concerns the Galaxy S21’s choice of materials. While the S21+ and S21 Ultra rely on a back made of elegant glass, the cheapest model only uses polycarbonate in a matte design.
Galaxy Buds Pro: Customized headphones
Parallel to the release of the new devices, Samsung is also launching matching headphones. The Galaxy Buds Pro are in-ear headphones that offer a counterpart to Apple’s AirPods. The 229 euro headphones are supposed to offer a great sound in addition to Active Noise Cancelling. An 11 mm woofer and a 6.5 mm tweeter are supposed to ensure that. To be prepared for phone calls and video calls, the headphones also offer three microphones.
In addition to the headphones, Samsung also presented a practical Bluetooth tracker. The so-called SmartTag should be especially interesting for all those who like to misplace something. For example, the practical tracker can be attached to house or car keys.
Pre-orders are now possible
Samsung fans can pre-order their S21 device now. The delivery of the devices is then expected to start this month. The Koreans are again offering attractive pre-order bonuses for this year’s generation. For example, those who pre-order the S21 or S21+ will get both the Galaxy Buds Live and the practical SmartTag for free on top. Those who pre-order the S21 Ultra will even get the brand-new Galaxy Buds Pro and SmartTag on top.