At this moment, Samsung introduced a new line of flagship Galaxy S21, which includes three new smartphones at once: Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 + and Galaxy S21 Ultra.
In fact, the Galaxy S21 and S21 + are largely identical flagships, but there are still differences: different display diagonal and battery capacity. In this case, the sizes and weights of the devices differ. But the most interesting thing is that the materials of the back wall are slightly different. The Galaxy S21 + uses Victus Gorilla Glass, while the Galaxy S21 uses polycarbonate. At the same time, wireless charging is present both there and there.
Also in the S21 + we noticed support for UWB (Ultra Wide Band), which is used with the new Galaxy SmartTag key fobs, which through the SartThing Find application will allow you to quickly and easily find the device.
By the way, we have been waiting for a solution similar to Galaxy SmartTags from Apple for some time. According to rumors, the company is preparing AirTags, which will just work on UWB technology.
We already spoke about the exterior a little earlier when we talked about the rear wall: the younger model, recall, has polycarbonate, and the older one has Gorilla Glass Victus. It is worth noting that the Galaxy S21 + has a very nice back wall. It is matte and at first we didn’t even believe that it was glass. I must say that we previously saw Gorilla Glass Victus in the Galaxy Note20 Ultra and it also looked like a bronze metal. We see the same glass in the iPhone 12 line. In all cases it looks expensive and cool!
- Samsung Galaxy S21 dimensions: 71.2 x 151.7 x 7.9 mm, 172 grams
- Samsung Galaxy S21 + dimensions: 75.6 x 161.5 x 7.8mm, 202g
By the way, the Galaxy S21 is not small, we even compared the dimensions of the device with the Pixel 5 and made sure that it is noticeably larger in size.
Perhaps the main feature of the smartphone and its business card is the so-called Contour Cut – a visual element that houses the triple camera block of both devices. Samsung designers have made it in such a way that the camera block “flows” from the metal frame of smartphones and does not look like a separate element. It turned out interesting, but keep in mind that the block protrudes from the body quite strongly – by a few millimeters and not all branded cases “hide” the lenses.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 will go on sale in Phantom Purple, Phantom Gray, Phantom Pink, Phantom White.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 + will receive only three color versions: Purple Phantom, Black Phantom and Silver Phantom.
Interestingly, Samsung has prepared another pleasant surprise – the ability to customize. The devices can be ordered on a special website, choosing the color of the back wall and the metal frame with the camera block. Samsung promises that the device will be created and delivered in 3-4 weeks. But the best part is the price will be the same.
Both smartphones received Dynamic AMOLED 2X displays with Full HD + resolution. They operate with an adaptive frequency of 48 to 120 Hz. The Adaptive Frequency allows you to better conserve battery power, while at the same time you can activate the standard 60Hz mode.
The Galaxy S21 has a 6.2-inch display, while the Galaxy S21 + has a half-inch larger display at 6.7 inches. A nice feature is that the screens are flat and without bends.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about new devices is the processor. Before the announcement of the Galaxy S21, Samsung introduced the new Exynos 2100 chip, which is built on a 5nm process technology. It features one powerful 2.9GHz Cortex X1 core, three Cortex A78 cores and four energy efficient Cortex A55 cores. We’ve seen all this in one way or another in Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 – by the way, as always, Exynos awaits us in the global version, and in the American Qualcomm. However, to all appearances, this year the difference will be much smaller and the lag of Exynos will greatly decrease. The only noticeable difference between the two chips is the different GPU accelerator: while Qualcomm uses the Adreno 660, Samsung has installed ARM Mali-G78 graphics.
Another interesting feature is the number of operations per second that artificial intelligence does. So – this number is identical to what we saw in the Snapdragon 888 – 26 TOPS. At the same time, Apple’s new A14 Bionic processor runs at 11 TOPS.
Among the interesting features of the new Exynos 2100 are:
- Support for the AV1 codec, which is likely to become the new standard for the video industry;
- Video decoding at 8K 60 FPS;
- 4K UHD 120 FPS video encoding;
- Supports up to 200MP main camera. And we’ve already seen rumors about the development of such a sensor in the ISOCELL division;
- 4G and 5G support (Sub-6 GHz / mmWave)
- UFS 3.1, UFS 2.1.
Both smartphones received 8 GB of RAM and versions with 128 or 256 GB storage.
The devices run Android 11 out of the box with OneUI 3.1 user interface.
One of the main elements in modern smartphones is the camera. In this case, as we know, the camera unit became an element of the metal frame and received the Contour Cut design. In both cases, we got a triple camera:
- 12MP wide-angle camera with Dual Pixel phase detection autofocus and OIS. The lens aperture is f / 1.8;
- 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with fixed focus and f / 2.2 aperture;
- 64MP zoom camera with 3x optical zoom and OIS. The aperture is f / 2.0.
The resolution of the front camera, which is located in the hole in the center of the display, is 10 megapixels. It is equipped with Dual Pixel phase detection autofocus, and the lens aperture is f / 2.2.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 has a 4000 mAh battery, the same as in the previous generation, but in the S21 + the volume has grown from 4500 to 4800 mAh. The devices support fast wired, wireless and reverse wireless charging. But there is one caveat: the set does not include an AC adapter and wired headphones. Have you doubted?
We had the opportunity to watch the new devices live and had a very pleasant first impression. The Samsung Galaxy S21 once again seems like a true gem in a series that brings flagship capabilities and makes them affordable. There is less battery and display, no support for UWB and SmartTags, but the only compromise seems to be the use of polycarbonate in the back wall. At the same time, from the point of view of tactile sensations, it is just a little different, but we cannot say that the device is perceived worse.
Galaxy S21 + is a smartphone for those who want to get flagship capabilities and still cannot live without a large display. At the same time, this smartphone is not for geeks who want everything – Ultra was invented and created for this, but for advanced users who need a balanced device.
In general, the Galaxy S21 line turned out to be quite bright and distinctive. It’s nice that Samsung has continued to work on the design of the series. On the other hand, in the Galaxy Note20, we already liked the looks and it is not clear why they changed the design language so quickly.
When pre-ordering the Galaxy S21 and S21 + (from January 14 to February 4), the user receives black Galaxy Buds Live and a black Smart Tag as a gift – a keychain for finding pets and various things (keys, suitcases).