Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Review

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

With the advent of a new year, Samsung is going all out in the market with its latest flagship phone Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. It has all the top specs you can ever want from an android phone. S21 Ultra has pushed the smartphone limits and has set a bar high for other manufacturers to beat

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Its specifications really blow us away:

  • Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
  • 120 Hz Fluid Refresh Rate
  • 1440 x 3200 resolution
  • 16 GB of Ram
  • Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100 Octa-Core chipset
  • Quad Camera with Dual telephoto Lenses
  • 5000 mAh Battery with 25W Fast wired Charging

With these specs on the table, it is hard to decline the superiority of this mobile. But does it live to its expectation? We tested this device from top to bottom, so you don’t have to. Read on to find whether it provides value for your money or not.

First Impressions

The very first thing we look at this mobile when purchasing is its price. $1199 in the US, £ 1,329.00 in the UK, ₹ 116,999 in India, and roughly Rs 257,075 in Pakistan are some bold figures and well justifiable for the performance it gives.

First Look – Phone Build

After getting the phone right out of the box, this phone is gorgeous. The back design is amazing with a beautiful camera module, way better than the last year’s s20 Ultra. We appreciate the Samsung idea of adding frosted glass in the back panel, but unfortunately, frosted glass is prone to scratches even with simple coins. But at the end of the day, we all are going to put a case in the back.

First Look – Display

The display of this device is fantastic. It is brighter and has a better contrast ratio than the Ultra S20 and now has a 120Hz resolution of QHD+, which the Ultra S20 has struggled to do. The on-screen fingerprint sensor is really quick and instantly lets you enter your phone.

No Charger in The Box

The huge bummer is that this year, Samsung did not include a charger in the box, but to justify this loss, Samsung also introduced a pre-order bundle to get S21 Ultra with Galaxy Buds Pro.

Deep Evaluation

Now that we have described how the unboxing experience was, let’s dive into the technicalities and how it holds ups to the latest flagship phones.

Design

  • Contour Cut camera is a unique design.
  • Many varieties of colors

Samsung’s S21 Ultra is an amazing phone. The construction of the cut-out-shape camera blends with the hump of the camera into the glass back, but still, this is a massive device, and you will have to use two hands to operate this.

The S21 Ultra is 0.35″ thicker and 8.08 ounces heavier than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Unlike the flat standard Galaxy S21, the display is slightly curved, but not distressingly so. There are no miss clicks, and it gives you an ergonomic design to hold your phone in.

The 1.7x bigger fingerprint sensor is one of my favorite interface improvements. It makes unlocking the phone faster, and the S21 Ultra didn’t ask to click the sensor again like the previous Samsung phones, i.e., s10 and S20.

Colors

The Galaxy S21 Ultra comes in just two colors from carriers:

  • Phantom Black
  • Phantom Silver

Samsung.com is offering exclusive S21 Ultra colors, though, including:

  • Phantom Navy
  • Phantom Titanium
  • Phantom Brown

But these are limited and will run out of stock; these are for early birds only. These new colors are very youthful and represent the care Samsung has for their loyal customers.

The Display

  • Big 6.8″ screen with an amazing refreshing rate of 120Hz
  • 1440P QHD Display
  • Dynamic Amoled Screen Panel

The phone display is the most vital part of our mobile phones, and this year, Samsung crushes all the competition for its display. The 6.8-inch Galaxy S21 Ultra Dynamic AMOLED screen is indeed one of the best on a smartphone.

It is vivid, colorful, and does not make you pick between the highest resolution and refresh rate like the previous Galaxy S20 Ultra. You get not only perfectly smooth scrolling and gameplay but also 120Hz and quad HD resolution simultaneously.

Good news, since it can attain a peak brightness rated at 1,500 nits, the S21 Ultra display is easy to read outside. Samsung claims the S21 Ultra has a 3 million:  1 contrast ratio, a 50% better than the S20 Ultra, a huge leap from the previous generation. And there is an “Eye Comfort Shield” designed to reduce blue light emission that prevents eye exhaustion.

Cameras

  • An extremely powerful 108 MP main sensor camera
  • Two 10MP telephoto shooter and 12MP ultra-wide quad camera
  • 40MP Selfie Camera with great performance

Cameras are the major concerns for customers looking for a new mobile, and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra doesn’t disappoint. A wide “108 megapixel” main and an ultra-wide “12 megapixel” camera are provided, which is complemented with a laser autofocus sensor.

The 108MP main camera can take 12-bit HDR images with 64 times richer colors and more than 3X the dynamic range compared to S20 Ultra. Moreover, in Pro mode, there is a 12-bit RAW file option. Samsung says the portrait mode on the S21 has been improved too by using “AI” to distinguish subjects from backgrounds more effectively.

The S21 Ultra has a major bokeh impact on the subjects too. With a faster Bright Night sensor and 12MP non-binning processing to minimize noise reduction, the Galaxy S21 Ultra also performs very well in low light.

Video

  • 8K 30 fps video support
  • 8k snap lets you snap pictures from the video
  • Director’s view enables you to have multiple angles in one video

The Galaxy S21 Ultra captures 8K 30 fps videos and can take 4k videos from all of the cameras with up to 60 fps. These videos are so crisp that you can pause them and take a screenshot from the 8k snap feature, and the picture will still look stunning.  Yet the director’s view is the coolest camera update.

The vlogger mode is fresh and can be used for video capture with front and back cameras. And when you’re filming footage, you can see live photos of each camera so that you can make a quick switch between Telephoto Lens, Wide lens, Ultra Wide Lens, and even the Selfie Lens.

The video portrait mode is amazing and surprisingly great, blurring out all the background and perfectly highlighting the subject.

Performance

  • Includes Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 elsewhere
  • 12GB of RAM starts, but one alternative has 16GB.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the first phone complemented by 12GB or 16GB of Ram with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor.

And it’s the fastest Android phone. The S21 Ultra did not flash when we ran the most highly demanding games on the platform, i.e., PubG, Genshin Impact, and Grimvalor. Its performance doesn’t disappoint; the S21 Ultra was 3,440 on the Geekbench 5 test and 1,123 on the single-core test; Making it the fastest Android phone yet.

It even renders video on all the editing software with incredible speed. In the Adobe Premiere Rush app, to transcode a 4K video to 1080p, the S21 Ultra took 1 minute and 2 seconds. This is amazing, as this is lightning-fast speed.

Battery Life and Charging

  • A whole day of use with a full 5000mAh battery charge
  • In 120Hz and QHD mode, battery life is not great.
  • The S21 Ultra box includes no charger.

If we were finding a smartphone that will last a whole day and doesn’t compromise performance, then look no further. The S21 Ultra has lasted for 11 hours and 25 minutes on our web browsing battery test over 5G. This more than any flagship phone yet, even beating iPhone 12 Pro Max in its amazing timing. This test was done on a 60Hz display. On 144 Hz adaptive mode, the Samsung Galaxy S21 lasted for 10 hours and 7 minutes. 

For most people, 20 Watts charging seems to be insufficient as other manufacturers are putting 60 Watts charging on the shelf. Well, fear not the technology used by Samsung is far superior to anyone else in the market and efficient as well. So efficient that it allows the S21 Ultra to get a 50% Charge in just 30 minutes with a 20 watts charger.

Charging life isn’t an issue here, a disappointment is the lack of the charge included in the box. This a good way to go green, but it also means that people have to get a new charger if they don’t have one. Which pretty sad to see as it means you need to shell out more money not.

S Pen Support

  • First in the S Series to collaborate with a stylus 
  • It doesn’t fit inside the phone and is a separate accessory

The Galaxy S device supports the S Pen for the first time, and the S21 Ultra does this because of the inclusion of a Wacom digitizer inside the display. The optional S pen allows you to sketch, draw and note like you can on Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra. It is also convenient to sign documents quickly.  

Be mindful that the SPen is sold individually – it costs $40 – so if you wish to store the pen on the go while it is not being used, you would have to spring for a suitable case. Two SPen cases are priced at a whopping $69.99. But we can expect local manufacturers to come up with their designs soon. 

In fact, Samsung is designing a second stylus in addition to the S Pen, which is a more widened version of that with the Galaxy Note to strengthen its grip. The S Pen Pro ships at an unrevealed price later this year. The total size is smaller and has Bluetooth connectivity. We can expect some third part stylus as well, which will be awesome.

Final Verdict

From the top features, it’s clear that Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a great phone and beats every other phone in its competition. But should you get it or not, it will highly depend on what you expect from your phone.

Get Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra If….

You Want Epic Camera Zooms

Because of the epic range, Samsung cameras are the most enjoyable to play and have an adventure with. The S21 Ultra packs two telephoto lenses, and the 100x zoom can impress anyone, and superior picture quality is amazing.

You need the most Powerful Android

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra delivers phenomenal performance in every task thrown at it. It runs every game smoothly on high, and it delivers a remarkable performance, even photo editing software.

You Want Some SPen Features

S pen is great to have, especially if you are an illustrator or a digital artist. Even though the S pen doesn’t support air gestures, it’s a great addition and can aid everyone. Sending signatures is just a breeze with this tool.

Don’t Get Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra if…

You’re on a Budget

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is not the most budget-friendly mobile out there. It is very expensive compared to other flagship mobile. So, if budget is your top priority, then looking somewhere else can help you out.

Need more Storage

If you don’t want to pick a cloud storage service to store your TBs of data, then S21 Ultra is not the best phone. Its no SD card support is a really big issue for some folks, but it’s not a compromise on the actual phone’s performance, and investing in cloud storage is not a bad thing in itself.

Conclusion

If you have the budget and storage is something that doesn’t bother you a lot  then why bother waiting. Get your hands on S21 Ultra today and avail the preorder bundle as well. This smartphone is no doubt the best in the market right now and it is hard to see a mobile challenging its reign any time soon.

If you want to know more about mobilephones check other blog posts on our website.