Another year another Samsung phone. The good news is that the Galaxy S21 5G has yet again raised the bar. I honestly had been using the S20 Fan Edition over these last few months. I now plan on putting that phone aside for the time being mainly because the S21 is really that good.
Galaxy S21 Design
The Galaxy S21 boasts a sleek modern design that is both lightweight and minimalistic. Even with a protective case on, the S21 should easily fit in your pocket or bag.
The S21 comes in 4 colors (Phantom Violet, Phantom Pink, Phantom Gray and Phantom White) with the pink, gray and white options being exclusive to the S21. If colors matter to you, the S21 is a better purchase over the S21 Plus or S21 Ultra which have fewer color options.
With these appealing color choices, complementary metal plating and a unique matte finish plastic back, the S21 is a statement piece on its own or with a case.
Galaxy S21 Display Specs & Benefits
The Galaxy S21’s features a next-level 6.2″ FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display with Adaptive Refresh Rate and Eye Comfort Shield – all protected by Gorilla® Glass. These specs make the Galaxy S21 one of the smoothest and brightest displays on the market.
All phones in the S21 series feature a 120Hz display with adjustable refresh rate that adapts to the content you are watching for the best viewing experience. This means that high-quality app graphics and video content are displayed at a higher refresh rate, while a lower refresh rate is used at other times to save battery content.
With a screen size of just over 6 inches and a Full HD screen resolution of 2,400 by 1,080 pixels, your S21 is ready for all the Candy Crush and TikTok videos you can handle.
Galaxy S21 Processor
All phones in the S21 series run on Android 11 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 CPU and 8GB of RAM. This is the most advanced processor Samsung has ever put in a phone, with claims of it being up to 20% faster than previous models.
With the Galaxy S21, you can also opt for either 128GB or 256GB of storage. (An upgrade to the S21 Ultra gets you the option of 512GB.)
These are some impressive laptop-worthy specs packed into a tiny little phone, so if you’ve got the need for speed, the S21 will not disappoint.
Galaxy S21 Camera Specs & Benefits
I would have to say a big reason the Galaxy S21 is worth buying is its incredible camera. The Galaxy S21’s optical zoom lens puts it on par with Apple Pro phones. Capable of shooting 8K video and coming with several new and exciting camera modes, the S21 is a photography-lovers dream. The S21 has made several improvements from the S20 making the S21 better in both low-light situations and night mode.
The 8K Video Snap feature allows users to capture a high-resolution screenshot from any video so you never miss a moment. A unique mode called Single Take AI similarly creates a variety of content options (both photo and video) ready for you to post on social media.
The S21’s Super Steady feature allows you to shoot all the action with all the results of a professional video camera, and the fun new Director’s View feature shows all camera views at once for an immersive and interactive video recording experience.
The Galaxy S21 comes with a whopping FOUR cameras including:
- 10MP front-facing selfie camera
- 12MP ultra-wide camera
- 12MP wide-angle camera
- 64MP telephoto camera
The S21 also features a 30x digital zoom with Zoom Lock stabilization, and an jump up to the S21 Ultra gets you a 100x digital zoom. The S21 Ultra also features an upgraded 40MP selfie camera, upgraded 108MP wide-angle camera, and additional telephoto camera for the most hardcore photo enthusiasts.
Price of Galaxy S21
Retailing for just $799 and subject to a whole host of trade-in and upgrade offers, the Galaxy S21 is priced comparably to the mid-level iPhone 12 of the same size.
Samsung also offers its own discount program offering special pricing for first responders, educators, government employees, and those in the military.
If you don’t need the features of the Galaxy S21 Plus or the S21 Ultra, priced at $999 and $1199 respectively, the S21 is practically a steal.
Comparison of All Galaxy S21 Series Phones
The main upgrades you get with the S21 Plus are a larger size and longer battery life, with most technical specs remaining the same. The S21 Ultra offers users additional zoom capability, better cameras, an even larger battery and slightly larger screen size.
So what is our honest evaluation of the potential drawbacks to the S21 when compared to the S21 Plus or Ultra? The biggest downfall of every small phone is battery life, and the S21 is unfortunately no exception with a 4,000mAh battery that is said to last anywhere from 6 to 10 hours (depending on who is doing the testing).
If you enjoy having a smaller screen and can live without the additional camera features of the S21 Ultra, the S21 basic model is a fine option for you.
2 notable features that some users may be surprised to find missing from all S21 phones are the microSD slot and dedicated headphone jack. In order to use a headset with your Galaxy S21 you will have to go wireless or purchase a USB-C adapter for your tunes. In addition, no charger is included in the box, so hopefully you already have a spare USB-C charger lying around or you’ll need to pick one up at an additional cost. This tends to be standard practice for most new phone models, but if you haven’t upgraded your phone in quite a while this could come as a shock.
Reasons To Buy It
So is the S21 the upgrade you’ve been looking for? Here’s our top reasons why your answer should be yes:
- Reasonable price without any feature loss – As mentioned above, the S21 doesn’t lose any tech specs when compared to the S21 Plus or Ultra, except for a few upgraded camera features on the S21 Ultra.
- Ready for current and future 5G technology – The S21 series is so advanced that when it was first released, it was primed and ready for 5G network advancements that haven’t even happened yet! If you’re looking for the best 5G-equipped smartphone on the market, the Galaxy S21 is where it’s at.
- Designed with security in mind – Like most high-end phones on the market today, the Galaxy S21 comes equipped with a fingerprint sensor and facial recognition technology for enhanced privacy and security. Also included is the Samsung Knox Vault security platform, designed to make your phone as locked down as Fort Knox. If privacy is a concern for you, the Galaxy S21 is an excellent choice.
- Advanced camera features take the cake – With so many new interactive camera features and modes to play around with, the S21 feels more like a $2,000 camera than a phone. Content creators and photography enthusiasts will be thoroughly pleased.
So is Galaxy S21 5G worth buying? The Galaxy S21 is a great compact and technologically advanced phone perfect for all Android users on a budget. If you think you might prefer a larger screen or additional camera upgrades, consider a purchase of the S21 Ultra. Otherwise, the S21 is a great buy for use on both existing and upcoming 5G networks. You can check out the latest pricing on it by clicking here.