Review: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G – If you are fans of the Galaxy S series, now is the best time to buy this year’s flagships. In pre-sale, in addition to the smartphone itself, we will receive Buds Pro headphones and SmartTaga , i.e. a key ring with a location. Depending on which version of the memory in the smartphone we choose, we have to pay for the Ultra version from PLN 5,750 to PLN 6,550. The most expensive is a smartphone with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB for the application and files. Is it worth paying so much money for an Android smartphone? The situation for Samsung is favorable, because Huawei is barely breathing, and there are also rumors of the first blockages related to Xiaomi . However, it rules in the premium segment iPhone and it is unlikely that something will change in this situation. The niche for Samsung Ultra is probably quite narrow – it’s probably only customers who openly dislike Apple productsand have almost unlimited funds. There are probably several thousand people in Poland. However, when you belong to this narrow “elite”, you have a chance to use the best Android phone at the moment. It is not without some minor disadvantages, but the list of its advantages is very long.
Additional information: Samsung has decided that journalists cannot present the results of their tests of new smartphones from the Galaxy S series . Until the sales start date, you can only publish your first impressions without detailed benchmarks or comparisons with competitors.
How do we rate design?
Ultra is the largest smartphone, the size of which is similar to the iPhone 12 Ma x . In everyday use, its thickness can be particularly painful. The weight of the device is 227 g. The phone has a huge island with cameras, which means that it does not lie steadily on a flat surface. The design of the rear flap is amazing – it is simple, elegant and … matt. The phone is definitely not neat, light and charming, but I like such powerful machines. Still the screen is slightly curved but clearly Samsungis slowly withdrawing from this patent, which is not particularly liked by customers because it increases the risk of screen breakage in the event of a fall. The huge 6.8 inch display is protected by the latest Gorilla Glass Victus glass. The housing meets the IP68 standard. The fingerprint reader is built into the screen and it works reasonably well, although it lacks the reliability and speed of ordinary readers. It is a pity that Samsung still does not have fully secure FaceID with a 3D scanner.
What do we think about the display?
As usual in the case of Samsung (and not only Korean flagships), you can only talk about displays in superlatives. The screen quality in the new Ultra is amazing. This is a huge 6.8-inch panel made in the technology defined by Samsung Dynamic AMOLED 2x. The screen has an adaptive refresh of 120 Hz. The refresh rate is adjusted in the range 10-120Hz depending on the content displayed. The display brightness is 1500 nits. AMOLED also provides 100% color reproduction and supports HDR10 +. It is probably the first time that the screen in the S series supports the S Pen stylus (this may also be the symbolic end of the Note series ). A very considerable advantage of the screen UltraThere is Always on Display mode which makes it very easy to use the phone. I do not like the screen of this year’s S series only the curvature of the edge of the screen (although it is already slight) and the fingerprint reader, which, although it is getting better, still slightly differs from ordinary readers. The screen is protected by the latest Victus glass – it is said to be the hardest glass currently used in a smartphone. Using the display in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is a real pleasure.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G has a Formula 1 class specification. Here is simply the best without any compromises. There is the newest Exynos 2100 made in 5nm technology. Due to the embargo, we cannot yet provide its results from benchmarks, but we can reveal that the smartphone works completely smoothly and does not heat up. I guess this year there is nothing to regret that the version with Snapdragon 888 did not hit Europe. As for RAM, we have 12 or as much as 16 GB at our disposal! The memory in the most advanced version is 512 GB. There is also 5G NSA and SA, the fastest WiFi 6E, and Ultra Wideband technology used in new gadgets.
How does the operating system work?
Samsung has not been criticized for a long time for its overlay. In Ultra we find One UI in the latest version 3.1 with Android 11. Security fixes were dated January 1 this year. The system is easy to read, runs smoothly, all settings are easy to find. Samsung is slowly withdrawing from promoting its solutions by force, which have not been adopted for many years. Instead of Samsung’s information service, we already have a Google solution on the left desktop (Samsung Free is available as an installed application). Unfortunately, still in Samsung Bixby assistant is promoted. There are also a few duplicate solutions in the system – two browsers, two app stores, there are two applications that support sports gadgets (Galaxy Wearable and Samsung Health). PENUP has been installed to support the stylus. Our version of the system also had the Samsung Pay application installed – unfortunately, none of my cards have been added to it yet. Samsung has already resigned from its own cloud – now we can only use Microsoft’s OneDrive platform.
What kind of photos does he take and what films does he record?
The camera set is the biggest advantage of the new Samsung S21 Ultra . On the back there is a set of cameras: the main one with a 108 MP matrix (F1.8 with OIS), a wide angle of 12MP (F2.2 with AF) and two telephoto lenses with 10 MP sensors and F4.9 and F2.4 brightness. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is equipped with cameras with 3x and 10x optical and OIS magnification. The zooms switch with increasing magnification and also use the “digital zoom”, that is the crop from the full recorded frame. The Ultra also has a laser gauge used in the autofocus. The set also includes a selfie camera with a record-breaking 40 MP (F2.2) matrix.
The wide-angle camera is also responsible for macro photos (it has autofocus). The main matrix by default takes pictures with a size of 12 MP, i.e. combines information about the light from up to 9 pixels. This gives very good results – even just before dark, the photos are sharp and bright (you can even say too bright).
The very quality of the photos from Ultra is really good. Samsung has done its photographic lesson and offers one of the best sets of cameras on the market. Both the usual photos, wide-angle photos, as well as 3 to 10 times magnification, give a lot of satisfaction. The fun of “zoom” is supported by the useful Zoom Lock function. When we zoom the image by 20x or more, the smartphone detects the lack of significant movement for 2-3 seconds and automatically stabilizes the image.
The camera interface is not very readable – there are too many options for a “normal” phone user. It seems that this is not the way, because most users will only use switching between lenses and maybe zooming (and that’s not certain either). Ultra it is a smartphone for photographic “pros”, but there are few of them. It seems that the Korean manufacturer should copy iOS solutions rather than advanced Canon cameras. Such a good example of the excess of form over content is the director mode, in which, while recording, we have a preview of all cameras at the same time, which makes it easier for us to switch between them while recording. I wonder how many users of this smartphone will use it. The increasing power of mobile processors favors the introduction of strange additional features, but in the end it can irritate the client who, instead of taking a quick photo, accidentally clicks on some “photo shoot”.
Each camera can record 4K footage with a frame of 60 fps. The Ultra can also record in 8K quality with 24 frames. Super Steady technology is responsible for great stabilization – unfortunately, it only works with FHD resolution.
Selfie photos from the 40 MP matrix are detailed and well lit. 100X Space Zoom still does not offer acceptable photo quality.
How long does the battery last?
The surprise in the box with the new Samsung is that we will not find a power supply in it. By default, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G should be equipped with a power supply that supports charging with a power of 25W. This is not a power comparable to the fast charging of Chinese manufacturers. Samsung promises to charge to over 50% in 30 minutes. I was charging Uta with a wireless charger from Ikea and it took a long time (several hours). The most important change, however, is that the Ultra no longer has the battery problems known from previous editions of the Galaxy S series. This phone, after 2 days of economical use over the weekend, still had a lot of battery (we cannot provide more precise data due to the embargo until the day of sale). It is known that smartphones and their batteries are helped by the pandemic and the fact that we do not move too much with them, but the positive change is very noticeable. Samsung “battery” finally caught up with the competition.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G – Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is such a dream come true for Android and Galaxy S fans. The Ultra has the best of smartphones, looks very good and has no major flaws. Compared to last year’s edition, it has a more refined processor, design, camera and battery. Wehave two main complaints aboutthis year’s Ultra – there is no one main innovation that would arouse noticeable emotions and has a very high price again (but this was to be expected, in the absence of serious competitors in the premium Android smartphone market.) In the era of the pandemic, smartphone market for PLN 6,000 is not the easiest task, but the S21 seriesis only to drive the sale of the cheapest A- series models in our country, and they are the most important for Samsung now (or at least they should be). The flagship series is an important element of the puzzle, but in richer markets – in Poland it is still only proof that Samsung does not stand out technologically from Chinese competitors and that its smartphones can also impress with technological fountains.
Who is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G for :
- Fans of the flagship Galaxy S series
- People who have so far used the flagship Mate and P series of Huawei
- The richest who do not accept Apple products
- For S10 series users
Who is not Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G for :
- For the thrifty
- For fans of the iOS ecosystem
- For Xiaomi fans
- Not for S20 series users
Advantages of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G :
- Very nice design of the back cover and camera island
- Screen reader works well
- Great screen 6.8 inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x
- Support for eSIM
- 5G support
- Attractive pre-sale promotions
- Tryb AOD
- A good set of cameras (especially the main and 2 telephoto lenses)
- 120 Hz screen refresh (adaptive only)
- very powerful Exynos 2100 processor
- frosted glass on the back of the housing
- autofocus in wide-angle lens
- combining pixels in a 108 MP matrix (the final photo is 12 MP by default)
- good video stabilization in 4K
- 8K recording option
- S Pen and Wacom stylus support
- 5000 mAh battery
- sidebar with shortcuts
- kamera do selfie 40 MP
- good macro shots
- director’s mode
- color versions: black and silver
- Super Steady stabilization
- RAW format support
- WiFi 6E
- Dual SIM
Disadvantages of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G :
- cosmic price
- slight changes compared to the previous edition
- large weight 227 g
- no 3D scanner – FaceID not very secure
- no support for memory cards
- no power adapter included
- no headphones included
- Bixby’s unhelpful assistant
- the screen is still a little curved