The Samsung Galaxy S21 is an odd handset on paper, but having spent a week using it we’ve found it to be a highly capable phone that’s a pleasure to use, despite a couple of specs being dropped from previous handsets, notably the Galaxy S20 from 2020.
The second is that the company is also putting a bigger focus on its Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra – and unlike the Galaxy S20 Ultra in 2020, it’s a handset we’d readily recommend to those who are desperate to try the company’s latest innovations, and happy to pay for them.
That makes the S21 a significantly less exciting Galaxy S phone than we’re used to seeing, but make no mistake: the Galaxy S21 is still a fantastic handset choice, albeit with a few tweaked specs compared to the Galaxy S20 – and that price drop is likely to attract a lot more people to the S series.
If you want a larger screen but similar specs, there’s also the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus. That is a remarkably similar phone to this, and the big differences are the phone’s size, its battery capacity and that it has a slightly more premium glass back.
Back to the S21, and the chipset is powerful, the camera software has improved over recent models, and the battery life is strong, giving you a solid day of use from a full charge, alongside effective fast-charging and wireless charging options.
Samsung has opted for a lower-spec screen than the one on the S20, with a Full HD+ 6.2-inch display, but it offers a 120Hz refresh rate for super-smooth scrolling and graphics, plus fantastic colors, and strong brightness levels – and we didn’t notice the lower resolution in most of our testing.
The chipset – we’ve tested the Exynos 2100 version of the phone – is also powerful, delivering some fantastic results in real-world use as well as in benchmarking software.
Conversely, if you’re after the top-end tech that Samsung is selling this year then you’ll want to check out the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. But if you’re after a (much) cheaper alternative to that phone, that shares a lot of the same design language and features, and which works fantastically well for everyday tasks, the Galaxy S21 is just that.
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