The new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is Samsung’s flagship smartphone in the classic sense. In saying this, I also mean the Galaxy Z line, which comes with foldable smartphones is also a flagship, but so far, those are more fashion devices, although they are undoubtedly very cool.

However, by releasing Ultra at the beginning of the year, the company makes it clear where the market will move. Having used the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G for a couple of days, Experts concluded that this direction much better for Samsung. There are several reasons for this as narrated below.

Main characteristics of Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 

samsung galaxy s21 ultra review
  • European version: SoC Exynos 2100, 8 cores (1 × Cortex-X1 @ 2.9 GHz + 3 × Cortex-A78 @ 2.80 GHz + 4 × Cortex-A55 @ 2.2 GHz), GPU Mali-G78 (MP14)
  • US version: SoC Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888, GPU Adreno 660
  • Operating system Android 11, One UI 3.1
  • Dynamic AMOLED 2X touchscreen display, 6.8 ″, 1440 × 3200, 20: 9, 515 ppi, 120 Hz
  • RAM 12/16 GB, ROM 128/256/512 GB
  • No microSD support
  • Nano-SIM support (2 pcs.)
  • HSPA, LTE-A (CA), 5G networks
  • GPS / A-GPS, Glonass, BDS, Galileo
  • Wi-Fi 6E (802.11a / b / g / n / ac / ax), 2.4 / 5/6 GHz, Wi-Fi Direct
  • Bluetooth 5.2, A2DP, LE
  • NFC
  • USB 3.2 Type-C, USB OTG
  • No 3.5mm audio output
  • Cameras 108 MP, 12 MP (wide), 10 MP (zoom 3 ×), 10 MP (zoom 10 ×), video 8K @ 24 fps, 4K @ 30/60 fps
  • Front camera 40 MP
  • Proximity and lighting sensors, magnetic field, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer
  • Under-screen fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)
  • IP68 protection
  • Electronic pen support
  • 5000mAh battery, 25W fast charging, wireless and reverse charging
  • Dimensions 165 x 76 x 8.9 mm
  • Weight 227 g

Design

samsung galaxy s21 ultra review

Despite the massive bulging block of cameras, here it looks exactly what it should be; it is large, although it would be correct to say significant here. Yes, that is right: a significant block of cameras. It combines four cameras, which I will discuss below.

Everything looks neat and pleasant. I especially like how the camera overlaps the side edges.

In addition to the black version, customers will be able to access the Silver Phantom color. But on the Samsung website, you can buy a smartphone in exclusive colors. There are three of them Titanium Phantom, Navy Phantom, and Bronze Phantom. All three custom models have a carbon-look camera block.

The smartphone is large, and you have to be ready for this: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm and weighs 227 grams. I know for sure that there are lovers of large smartphones. The S21 Ultra 5G is made just for them.

Screen

samsung galaxy s21 ultra review

The screen occupies almost the entire front panel – its diagonal is 6.8 inches. And here, of course, the top one: Dynamic AMOLED 2 ×, 1500 nits maximum brightness. The picture looks very juicy and beautiful.

The display resolution is a maximum of 3200 × 1440 pixels. But to save the battery, you can put 2400 × 1080 pixels or even 1600 × 720. The display has two modes of operation: adaptive and standard. In the first case, the animation is rendered at a frequency from 10 to 120 Hz. In the second – up to 60 Hz maximum.

Now there is an opinion that a flagship is not a flagship if it has a 60 Hz screen. But the main problem with such smooth displays is the quickly draining battery. To this end, Samsung calls the smoothness of the screen with increased hertz on adaptive mode. That is, somewhere it will be 120 Hz, but somewhere ten hertz will be enough for the user.

I will be honest: I am not dependent on high hertz. I need a smartphone that can work confidently for a long time. And I do not see the difference between 3200 × 1440 and 2400 × 1080 pixels. Therefore, I put the usual 60 Hz and Full HD + resolution. And during daylight hours, a smartphone with a Dynamic AMOLED screen with a diagonal of 6.8 inches was discharged to 49%. It is a very cool indicator, I think.

Samsung continues to keep its mark by developing its ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint scanners. There are two innovations at once. The first is the area of the scanner: it is increased by 1.7 times. The second is the speed of work. The scanner works just lightning fast!

Processor

samsung galaxy s21 ultra review

The “heart” of the smartphone is the eight-core Exynos 2100 processor. It is a system-on-a-chip built on 5-nm process technology. It consists of three clusters of cores:

  • The performance cluster includes one Cortex-X1 core, the frequency of which reaches 2.9 GHz;
  • The second cluster consists of three Cortex-A78 cores, involved in most of the not the most resource-intensive tasks. Their frequency is up to 2.8 GHz;
  • The last cluster includes four energy-efficient Cortex-A55 cores, the frequency of which reaches up to 2.2 GHz.

I got the 12/256 GB version. In addition to it, you can purchase versions 12/128 and 16/512 GB. There is no possibility to install flashcards in any of the models, only two SIM cards.

Camera

samsung galaxy s21 ultra review

The S21 Ultra has five cameras:

  • The wide-angle has a 108MP sensor, but in most cases, you will get 12MP photos. In the first case, the image pixel size will be 0.8 μm. If the resolution reduces to 12 megapixels, nine pixels will combine into one much larger size: 2.4 μm. The aperture of this lens is f / 1.8; there is a lens optical stub;
  • Ultra-wide captures images with a resolution of 12 megapixels with a pixel size of 1.4 μm. The angle of view is 120 °, the aperture is f / 2.2;
  • The first telephoto lens enables 3x optical zoom relative to a wide-angle lens. Its resolution is 10 megapixels with a pixel size of 1.22 μm. Aperture – f / 2.4. There is optical stabilization;
  • The second telephoto lens zooms in ten times. And it is also optical. The resolution is 10 megapixels; the pixel size is also 1.22 μm. Optical stabilization and f / 4.9 aperture;
  • The front camera received a matrix with a resolution of 40 megapixels, but in most cases, the smartphone will combine four pixels into one larger size, reducing the resolution to 10 megapixels.

Battery

samsung galaxy s21 ultra review

I was initially interested in how the smartphone will show itself in my mode of use. Let me remind you that I set it to 60 Hz and Full HD +. And the big-screen smartphone impressed me a lot:

Power supplies supporting Power Delivery 3.0 up to 25W are suitable for charging. Samsung has been using the USB Type-C port in smartphones since 2017, so there should not be any issues with versatility. There is also fast wireless charging, which has a maximum power of 15W. Also, the smartphone, like the previous generation of “Ultra”, received a reversible charge of 4.5 watts.

Stylus

samsung galaxy s21 ultra review

The S21 Ultra is the first Galaxy S smartphone to feature S Pen support. I have a stylus without Bluetooth. It can only be stowed away in a case, the design of the smartphone differs from the Galaxy Note line. Two versions of the cover will be available for buyers: the Smart Clear Viewbook and the simply open Silicone Cover.

Verdict

I was stunned by the S21 Ultra cameras – the smartphone reveals itself from a pleasant side. To do this, just click on the camera icon, and an amazing world will open in front of you, into which these five very cool cameras are allowed.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra smartphone gives everything a modern user needs: performance, excellent autonomy, and someone will appreciate the stylus, which, by the way, is not always necessary to take with you.  

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