Every year, Samsung draws the attention of the entire tech world with the launch of its flagship Galaxy S range. In this case, we have three new models: the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, the Samsung Galaxy S21 + and the Samsung Galaxy S21. I had the analysis of the Samsung Galaxy S21 + , a review that seeks to convey my feelings after having used this terminal as a work and leisure mobile at the over several weeks. It is a top smartphone, with a large 6.7-inch screen, triple camera on the back and a renewed design that I found very attractive. Of course, to get this terminal you have to pay its price of 1,060 euros.
Other strong points of the equipment are the refresh rate of its 120 Hz screen with an automatic system to vary the response according to the use we give the smartphone, ability to record video in 8K resolution to see it in great detail on TVs that have this level of detail or the quality of the selfie camera, capable of focusing very fine even when there is movement behind you. This has been my experience with the Samsung Galaxy S21 + with opinions about the best and worst of the mobile.
My experience with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra after a week of use
SAMSUNG GALAXY S21 +, TECHNICAL SHEET
12 megapixel ultra wide angle with aperture f / 2.2 and 1.4um pixels
12 megapixel wide angle with aperture f / 1.8 and 1.8um pixels
64 megapixel telephoto with f / 2.0 aperture and 0.8um pixels
8 GB of RAM memory
|Samsung Galaxy S21 +|
|Screen||6.7 inches with Dynamic AMOLED X2 technology, FHD + resolution (2,400 x 1080 pixels), 394 dpi density and 48-120Hz refresh rate for the screen|
|Camera takes selfies|
|10 megapixel main sensor with f / 2.2 angular|
|Internal memory||128 GB – 256GB|
|Extension||TO via micro SD cards up to 1 TB|
|Processor and RAM|| Exynos 2100 5nm 64-bit with eight cores |
|Battery|| 4,800 mAh with 25W fast charge |
Enhanced Wireless Charging 15W Fast Wireless Charging
Wireless PowerShare Quick Charge Share
|Operating system||Android 10 under One UI 2.0|
|Connections||WiFi 4 × 4 MIMO, up to 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat20 (up to 2.0Gps download and 150Mbps upload) or 5G sub-6, Bluetooth 5.0, dual-band GPS (GLONASS, Beidou, SBAS and Galileo), NFC and USB Type-C 3.1, proximity sensor, RGB sensor, accelerometer, etc.|
|Design|| Combination of glass and metal with rounded edges |
Finished with Gorilla Glass Victus
Available colors: phantom violet, phantom silver and phantom black; phantom gold and phantom red only available in the Samsung store
IP68 certification, water and dust resistance
|Dimensions||75.6 x 161.5 x 7.8 millimeters and 202 grams|
|Featured Features|| AKG stereo sound |
Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensor, Face Recognition
120Hz screen refresh rate
|Price||From 1,060 euros|
A design that falls in love, but without a charger
At this point, that the design of a mobile will dazzle you is not easy. And not because current mobiles are ugly, quite the contrary. A very high level of fineness has been reached in the finishes of the telephones, both for their materials and for their shapes and colors. That is why it is so difficult to surprise or differentiate yourself from the rest. The Samsung Galaxy S21 + is capable of doing this, thanks to the novel way in which its rear camera module is arranged. As usual, it stands out from the rest of the case, but this time it does so in a metal module. This module integrates very well with the metal sides of the mobile. And, in addition, it does not remain artificial on the case as if it were a glob, but it creates a very attractive sensation and makes you not mind this extra thickness. By the way, it is curious that the flash is outside this module, drilled into the housing right next to it. I imagine it was done this way to keep the harmony of the three sensors perfectly aligned vertically.
The Korean company has also continued working on the colors in its flagship terminal. Above all, with a tone that most of the TechUnwrapped.comteam has found to be a true success. The violet hue, which not only differs from the rest, but also visually creates an even more attractive combination with the metal module of the camera. Unfortunately, I had to try another shade, that of silver (phantom silver). It is not bad at all, but the fact that the marks remain as a layer of dirt that does not attract much attention from a distance, but if you look at it closely, has not convinced me. Other colors in which we can find the Samsung Galaxy S21 + are black, and then two other interesting tones that at the moment can only be found in the store itself from Samsung: gold and red. Regarding the use of materials, glass is used on the front and back (with a matte finish with treatment to reduce fingerprints).
And how about the feeling in hand? More than correct, with a good balance and rounded casing edges for a more comfortable grip. By the way, I like the detail that the Samsung logo on the bottom of the case is embossed. It gives it a funny touch when you run your fingers around. One-handed operations seem comfortable to me for a 6.7-inch panel , but I’m used to large screens by now and my hands are pretty big too. Its weight is 202 grams, which is not bad for the format.
As for the elements on the sides, on the right side we have both the on and off button and the turn the volume up and down. The controversial Bixby button seems to have gone down in history and the left side is completely clean, as is the top. At the bottom are grouped both the nanoSIM card slot as well as the speaker and the Type-C USB port for charging or for connecting headphones with an adapter. Personally and although I use less and less wired headphones, this connector can be missed and I do not like it when functionalities are lost in pursuit of a cleaner aesthetic.
One more year and as usual, the design of the equipment has been carried out taking into account possible accidents with water or sand. It has IP68 certification, which ensures that it will not be damaged if it accidentally falls into water. Of course, keep in mind that you have to dry it well and that this resistance does not take into account the possible damage of corrosive elements such as chlorine in pool water or sea salt. By the way, Samsung has followed in Apple’s wake here by stopping offering a power adapter with the Samsung Galaxy S21 +. The box is prettier and thinner, but it is not entirely understood that the adapter is dispensed with, alluding to the environment but that this is not reflected at all in the price . And is that the Samsung Galaxy S21 + has a starting cost of 1,060 euros, for the 1,010 with which the S20 + started last year.
2X Dynamic AMOLED screen
I already mentioned that you get a big screen with the Samsung Galaxy S21 + . And so much. Its 6.7 inches go a long way. In addition, it should be noted that the front camera is perforated directly in the panel, so that hardly any space is stolen to view videos and movies. This panel has 2X Dynamic AMOLED technology, which is an improved OLED panel from the Korean company. The main novelties compared to previous years of Super AMOLED screens from other years are, on the one hand, a higher brightness (we are talking about a percentage that is not large, about 15%) and greater color precision and compatibility with HDR10 + This certification used by many TVs and which ensures more vivid colors and closer to the original source. But, above all, one of the points that should interest you the most is the reduction in the emission of blue light to almost half. This can cause us to have problems at bedtime and greater visual fatigue. Taking into account the amount of time we spend looking at the mobile screen, it is something to take into account.
In My experience with the Samsung Galaxy S21 + I can say that the panel does not disappoint. For something Samsung is the largest screen manufacturer in the world. The colors are vivid, but without that exaggerated touch that the company was widely criticized for. Both videos and movies are seen with high quality and platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video can be used well. And all this with the refresh rate of 120Hz. Traditional displays update with 60Hz. And l Unlike the real difference, you will notice it when you go through the phone’s menus, since the animations are more fluid. It is also seen in movies or games with a lot of action, although my personal experience is that it will not be as common.
Samsung has incorporated a automatic mode that change the rate from 48Hz to 120Hz according to the use we are giving the mobile. The reason is that a 120Hz screen consumes a lot more battery than a traditional one, so you can notice it a lot in day-to-day use. With this technology we try to make the mobile more efficient and last longer without needing a plug.
Another aspect that you should take into account is that of the resolution. It seems that Samsung has ended up giving its arm to twist and has left the 2K resolution only for the most powerful terminal, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. The Samsung S21 + stays in Full HD + resolution, 2,400 x 1080 pixels. In my opinion, it is more than enough for the size of the panel. But it is striking that this bonus is given up. You cannot finish this section without commenting that the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus. According to the manufacturer, this glass is capable of withstanding falls of up to two meters in height on both hard and rough surfaces. It is not something I intended to test, but it provides peace of mind in the event of accidents (which, sooner or later, usually happen).
Power and memory
The Samsung Galaxy S21 + is Powered by an Exynos 2100 eight-core processor. The most interesting thing is that it is manufactured in a structure of 5 nanometers, which should make it more efficient than the chips of many competitors. However, in practice I have not seen that translated into greater autonomy, as I will explain later. This processor is linked to a memory RAM of 8 GB and an internal memory that can be 128 GB or 256 GB.
On a day-to-day basis, this set is fully compliant, and also combines with the 120Hz screen to give you a more fluid visual performance. I have tried modern games that are more demanding like Fortnite or Asphalt 9 without any cuts or dips during the game. The truth is that at a certain power point it is difficult to find some kind of obstacle when working with the phone or playing games. The performance of the phone when subjected to a battery of tests like GeekBench 5 leaves no doubt either: 3,049 points in multi-core performance and 783 points in single-core performance.
We have tested the internal memory of the Samsung Galaxy S21 + through the A1 SD Bench test battery. The results are clear, with read speeds of up to 1004.58MB / s and write speeds of 510MB / s . They are very high values that ensure that we can carry out heavy file transfers without problem and access the data and files on the phone faster.
Top level cameras
12 megapixel ultra wide angle with aperture f / 2.2 and 1.4um pixels
12 megapixel wide angle with aperture f / 1.8 and 1.8um pixels
64 megapixel telephoto with f / 2.0 aperture and 0.8um pixels
Let’s go with the cameras, one of the key sections in the technical list of any terminal, and more if it is a high-end one. The Samsung Galaxy S21 + opts for a triple sensor system on the back . This consists of a 64-megapixel telephoto sensor with f / 2.0 aperture, a 12-megapixel wide-angle sensor with f / 1.8 aperture and a third 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor with f / 2.2 aperture. The numbers can be misleading, as the main sensor is the 12-megapixel wide-angle. Of course, the first difference with respect to the other two is the amount of information that each pixel captures, with a size of 1.8um. That helps the photos to be much more detailed, as if we had a real sensor of practically 22 megapixels. In addition, its aperture of f / 1.8 means that we can capture more light in night photos and get higher quality photos.
The secondary sensor is the ultra-wide-angle type, also 12 megapixels and with pixels with a size of 1.4um, which is designed so that we can take larger photos. And, finally, we have the telephoto sensor that is the one with the highest resolution: 64 megapixels . What is the reason for this larger size? Simple. To be able to take high-magnification photos with a higher level of detail. In fact, the resulting photos with this sensor are 12 megapixels, so this game of zooming is done taking advantage of the fact that the photos are really large. Actually, if we want a zoom without loss of quality (which is an optical type zoom) the maximum is three increases. From there we go to the hybrid zoom up to 10x, combining artificial intelligence and the lens itself and then a digital zoom up to 30X. It must be said that the results are not very impressive. After testing it in detail, I have the impression that my Huawei P30 responds better in this section despite having more time on the market.
The main camera has left a very good taste in my mouth. Its performance in both light conditions and night scenes is up there with what you would expect from a top-notch camera. One of the points that have convinced me the most is the clarity in the details. For example, when photographing my pet or a person, the detail of the hair is very fine. Yes, it is difficult for this lens to take photos when there is some movement in the person, something that subtracts a quality point from the lens.
What I do like a lot is its treatment of scenes in which there is light contrast. It also has a very interesting function that is to carry out a blur effect on both the wide-angle sensor and the ultra-wide angle sensor , which It can give you a lot of play when taking group photos. When you use photo mode you can have automatic scene identification active. With this, the camera is optimized to respond to what you have in front of you. Artificial intelligence works quite well and you have many different scenes like night, text, pet, food, person, etc.
Regarding the video recording, it is a section that the company has worked hard and it shows. Starting with the power option to record content in 8K at 24 fps . This is an option that you will not use much, but it may interest you if you already have one of the new generation 8K televisions or if you plan to buy one in the coming years. Beyond that point, I have loved its professional video mode, the most comprehensive I have seen to date. For example, when recording sound, since you can choose if you want to record it from all directions, if you want it to focus on recording sound from the front or behind the mobile. In addition to the option of working through an external microphone via USB or Bluetooth. Another interesting point is the zoom, with the option of constantly zooming in or out.
With the quite bombastic name of «Director’s perspective» you have the option to record video in unison from both the front and rear cameras . The camera you choose as secondary will appear in a thumbnail in the upper right. What I liked the most about this way is that you can exchange the sensor of the rear camera that you want to use (ultra wide angle, wide angle or telephoto) just by clicking on its window and seeing in real time what would be recorded in each one of them (only the content of one of the rear lenses is recorded at a time).
Great selfie camera
10 megapixel main sensor with wide f / 2.2 aperture
But, curiously, the section of the cameras that has dazzled me the most about the Samsung Galaxy S21 + is its front camera for selfies. It seems to me that the guys at Samsung have done an excellent job here, both in the response of this sensor to light or night conditions and its finesse. The dreaded beauty effect exists, but it is so well worked that the photos appear natural. I was also surprised by the ability to lock in the lens even though the back of the photo is moving, such as when riding a train. Without a doubt, a success on the part of Samsung. You have a mode to take photos of a single person and another for group selfies, but I have to say that it is a somewhat tricky zoom game, and not through a second wide-angle sensor that could have given it even more versatility to this camera that already meets at a high level.
Somewhat fair autonomy
And we come to what is, for me, the great Achilles heel of the Samsung Galaxy S21 +. This mobile has a 4,800 milliamp battery. On paper, enough to give a lot of war throughout the day, and more considering that we already have a full HD resolution cap on your screen. Of course, the issue of the 120Hz screen also comes in there, which is where the battery can be drained the most. Despite Samsung’s technology to change the response rate value between 48Hz and 120Hz, the battery runs out fast and I’ve been tongue-tied at the end of the day on many occasions. All in all, I have to say that since I received an update from Samsung to improve the performance of the system, the performance of its battery has also improved a lot.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 + is compatible with fast charging technology at a maximum of 25W. Not bad, in less than two hours you have the mobile charged. Sure. The problem is that just before this terminal I was testing one from Oppo with 65W fast charge. And the difference in times and sensations is brutal. With that mobile phone you could have your mobile charged in just over half an hour, and the feeling of going to the bathroom and that when you return it is already half charged is quite impressive. Samsung should put the batteries in this section since it detracts something from the final experience.
By the way What the Samsung S21 + does have is the wireless reversible charging function. That is, you can take advantage of the smartphone’s own battery to charge accessories such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds. A good choice. Although it would have been preferable for the mobile phone to have a little more charge to take advantage of it more often.
5G is finally part of the whole family
At In the field of connections, the good news is that this year we no longer have versions with 4G and others with 5G, something that seems to me to be criticized from last year. Now all models are compatible with these high-speed networks and the same is the Samsung Galaxy S21 + . These networks are increasingly present in Spain and if you live in a big city you can take advantage of them. We also have B luetooth 5.0 to connect to two peripherals at the same time and WiFi AC. As expected, there is no sign of the headphone jack, so if you want to listen to music via cable, you will have to get an adapter or headphones that have a USB C cable.
Price and reviews
If you want to get the Samsung Galaxy S21 +, you will have to invest the not inconsiderable amount of 1,060 euros for its version with 128 GB of internal memory. If you think that you are going to fall short when it comes to saving photos and videos in 8K, you have the option to buy its version with 256 GB for 50 euros more (1,110 euros). Personally, I think it’s something worth considering considering the money you’re already going to pay for it.
In short, a first-rate smartphone with lots of lights and the occasional point that leaves a bitter taste. The feature of the S21 + that I liked the most is its design, with a differential touch with that metal camera module. I have been wanting to try the configuration in violet, which at least in video I found a hoot. But in general we are facing a very nice, light and easy to handle model . What does not convince me so much is that in this effort to give it minimalism, we are also left with a battery that does not withstand a very intensive use of the mobile on a day-to-day basis. Of course, after a system update that reached me in the last days of the test, the performance has improved a lot.
In the cameras section, the photos taken by the main cameras are well defined and low light performance is good . The Space Zoom has not convinced me so much, with up to 30 increases. It seems to me that it has too much noise and that it does not reach the performance of competitive models. I have loved the front camera as much as for the very moderate and natural use of the beauty effect as for its quality and focus. In short, an attractive smartphone but with a price that will take it away from many pockets, and that will make you doubt between this format or already bet on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, with a more cutting-edge camera but a price of 200 euros more high.
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