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Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely Evaluation: The Android flagship to beat

Samsung has been the one smartphone model that appears to be unaffected by provide chain points that delayed the launch cycles of lots of its rivals. Like clockwork, Samsung launched the Galaxy S21 series in January, a lot forward of the normal timeline for Galaxy S-series units, which is someday in February.

 Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Review: The Android flagship to beat

The S21 Extremely visually differentiates itself from the opposite S21 variants launched this 12 months. Picture: Tech2/Nimish Sawant

With the Samsung Galaxy S21 collection, we have now three variants:

  • Galaxy S21 ranging from Rs 69,999
  • Galaxy S21+ ranging from Rs 81,999
  • Galaxy S21 Extremely ranging from Rs 1,05,999 (our take a look at mannequin)

Samsung launched the Extremely collection final 12 months as its top-of-the-line variant for the S and Be aware collection. The S21 Extremely visually differentiates itself from the opposite S21 variants launched this 12 months. It seems to be like Samsung has reserved one of the best options for this variant, at the price of the S21 and S21+. However will the Rs 1 lakh-plus worth level be interesting to new patrons? That’s the query I’ll attempt to reply in my evaluation. However first, let’s get the key specs out of the best way and begin off with the digicam part.


Show: 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 120 Hz, 1440 x 3200 pixels at 515 PPI

Chipset: Exynos 2100 (1x 2.9 GHz Cortex X1 + 3x 2.8 GHz Cortex A78 + 4x 2.2 GHz Cortex A55)

Graphics: Mali G78 MP14

RAM + Storage in GB: 12 + 128; 12 + 256 (Below Take a look at); 16 + 512

Expandable storage: None

Major Digicam: 108 MP with 1/1.33-inch sensor, f/1.8 aperture with OIS

Secondary cameras: 10 MP periscope telephoto at f/4.9 aperture and 10x optical zoom + 10 MP telephoto at f/2.4 and 3x optical zoom + 12 MP Ultrawide at f/2.2

Selfie Digicam: 40 MP with f/2.2 aperture

Battery: 5,000 mAh

Software program: Android 11 with OneUI 3.1

Colors: Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Titanium, Phantom Navy, Phantom Brown

Sensible digicam setup, however low gentle efficiency wants enchancment

The cameras are going to be a deciding issue for Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely patrons. If you need the brief model – the Galaxy S21 Extremely cameras greater than ship on their promise. Learn on for the bits that don’t shine.

Image: Tech2/Nimish Sawant

The cameras are going to be a deciding issue for Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely patrons. Picture: Tech2/Nimish Sawant

Like final 12 months, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely comes with a 108 MP main digicam which sports activities a brand new sensor providing nonapixel binning to ship a 12 MP picture, except you particularly choose 108 MP mode to shoot on the native decision. The first digicam has an f/1.8 aperture and a sensor measurement of 1/1.33-inch. It’s ably supported by a ten MP periscope telephoto digicam which provides 10x optical zoom, and a 12 MP ultrawide digicam with an f/2.2 aperture. The S21 Extremely additionally comes with a further 10 MP telephoto digicam which may shoot 3x optically zoomed photos. The ultrawide digicam may function a macro digicam in case your object focussing distance is just a few centimetres. On the entrance, there’s a 40 MP selfie digicam with f/2.2 aperture. There’s even a devoted laser AF on the rear facet, which actually helps in locking focus sooner. All in all, the digicam part of the S21 Extremely is packed to the gills. There are not any ineffective digicam specs similar to a depth sensor or devoted 2 MP macro cameras and so forth. Each digicam has a selected goal which it serves with aplomb.

I’m not even going to trouble speaking about daylight pictures, as there’s little to complain about there. You’ll be able to check out the various daylight images shot on the first digicam to get an thought. Photographs come out full of element, excessive dynamic vary and the 3x and 10x optical zooms produce good photos. Any zoom vary other than 3x and 10x will end in digitally-zoomed photos the place softness will probably be noticeable. I discovered photos as much as 30x zoom have been fairly usable, however something larger than that ought to solely be employed in emergencies.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
One in every of my gripes with the “100x Area Zoom” in final 12 months’s S20 Extremely was that it was a ache to make use of for the poor picture high quality you ultimately acquired. Whereas the 100x hybrid zoom nonetheless makes you tear your hair out in relation to getting the digicam to lock on to your topic steadily, I used to be fairly impressed with how properly it was capable of seize the moon. There’s a focus lock mechanism this time round, which helps you compose your body at 100x zoom by locking on to the main focus after you see the yellow indicator within the prime proper nook. Simply maintain regular for a few seconds whenever you see that yellow indicator to get a reasonably usable picture. Right here’s a pattern of the zoom vary provided; actually a conversation-starter. (Listed here are the hyperlinks for the unique samples: Ultrawide and 100x Space Zoom for the shot under)

Zoom range. Image: Tech2/Nimish Sawant

Zoom vary. Picture: Tech2/Nimish Sawant

Photographs shot in low gentle conditions endure from over-aggressive noise discount algorithms, supplying you with comparatively softer photos, particularly whenever you use any zoom functionality. Switching to “Evening Mode” actually helps, however I observed that compensation for hand shake wasn’t one of the best. That is notably noticeable when some exposures are near 5-secs lengthy. It is a bummer, because the “Evening mode” photographs come out properly however if you’re even a lot as respiratory, it should trigger some shake within the closing output. We have now seen many smartphones prior to now tackling this properly, particularly Huawei P20 Professional, whose use of AI processing after capturing an extended publicity shot was glorious. However again then, we didn’t should cope with 108 MP sensors. One thing’s gotta give.

S21 Ultra Photos (97)

The S21 Extremely with the Evening Mode offers good images in difficult lighting conditions similar to these, however it is advisable be rock regular.

There are a gazillion options within the digicam app to mess around with, similar to “Single Take” – which takes a bunch of images and movies with only one click on; “AR Doodle”; “RAW Mode”; “Portrait” modes for each stills and movies; “Hyperlapse”; “SuperSloMo” and rather more. With all this speak of RAW modes, a comparability with the iPhone 12 Professional is anticipated, however we’ll do a separate story on that within the close to future; for now, we’ll simply concentrate on the S21 Extremely digicam efficiency.

 ProVideo interface. Image: Nimish Sawant

ProVideo interface. Picture: Nimish Sawant

Selfies got here out properly and there wasn’t any pointless face-brightening or different gimmicks. The portrait mode is a hit or miss, although. Low gentle selfies weren’t spectacular, as there was a noticeable lack of pores and skin texture. The entrance digicam can be able to capturing 4K 60 FPS movies, however these will probably be with none picture stabilisation.

S21 Ultra Photos (9)

Selfies usually come out properly.

The video efficiency on the S21 Extremely is spectacular in daylight and nightfall conditions. Publish sundown, the video footage begins getting progressively softer with many cases of noticeable focus searching. The S21 Extremely is able to capturing FHD, 4K at 60 FPS, however the ‘SuperSteady’ picture stabilisation is simply provided for FHD at 60 FPS – yet one more technology the place you will want to make use of a gimbal for capturing regular 4K 60 FPS footage; Apple has been doing stabilised 4k 60 fps because the iPhone X. Strolling and capturing at 4K will result in jarring footage and whereas the ‘SuperSteady’ stabilised footage is sort of good, there’s noticeable softness within the closing output. It’s also possible to shoot 8K video at 24 FPS, however it severely crops the body. For sure, you will want to make use of the cellphone with a gimbal or have it on a tripod when capturing 8K video, as even the slightest shake interprets to the footage. When you can shoot at 4K 60 FPS on all cameras, you may’t swap between the lenses except you’re capturing at 4K 30 FPS or beneath. One mode I actually liked whereas capturing was the “Director’s view”, which prompts each the entrance digicam and any of the three rear cameras so that you can shoot as you’re strolling round. I see vloggers utilizing this characteristic loads, because it enables you to be a part of the body. It’s good to see these sorts of video options being provided natively, and one not needing to obtain costly apps to do that.  

S21UltraVid (10)

Director’s View enables you to use the entrance digicam in addition to any one of many three rear cameras concurrently.

The microphone high quality on the S21 Extremely is pretty impressive and it has this characteristic referred to as “Zoom-in Mic”, focuses the microphone in keeping with the digicam zoom to offer higher high quality audio.

Wonderful Show: One space the place no different Android system can contact Samsung

The Galaxy S21 Extremely continues Samsung’s custom in relation to providing glorious shows. The 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O show has a local decision of 1440×3200 pixels, which interprets to a dense 515 PPI pixel density. It helps a 120 Hz refresh charge for not simply the FHD+ decision, but in addition the native decision – which is admittedly spectacular. The S21 Extremely has a variable refresh charge based mostly on what’s being seen on the display screen, and this lets the cellphone show function from a low of 10 Hz to the best finish of 120 Hz. The show is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.

Image: Tech2/Nimish Sawant

The 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O show has a local decision of 1440×3200 pixels, which interprets to a dense 515 PPI pixel density. Picture: Tech2/Nimish Sawant

It’s rated for a peak brightness of 1500 nits, which is simply seen when it’s taking part in again HDR10+ content material throughout fashionable streaming platforms similar to YouTube, Netflix and Prime Video. The show provides “Vivid mode” the place you additionally get the chance to tweak the display screen temperature and “Pure mode”, which has comparatively muted colors. With most decision and excessive density, it’s a pleasure to learn on this show. I completed a serious a part of an e-book I used to be studying on my Kindle on the S21 Extremely. Nevertheless, holding the cellphone for lengthy intervals did result in hand fatigue, as this can be a heavy system. Brightness ranges on the cellphone have been glorious even when utilizing the system outside. I confronted no points whereas composing images in vivid situations – I by no means needed to squint to see what’s on the show.

Taking part in video games similar to Alto’s Journey and Name of Obligation Cellular on this show was pure pleasure. Many motion pictures have been additionally loved on the cellphone. The Dynamic AMOLED ensures that the distinction is nice, blacks are deep and the show provides nice dynamic vary. Samsung has added an “Eye Consolation Protect” possibility within the show to offer added blue gentle filtering, so that there’s much less pressure in your eyes. On the entire, there’s barely something to complain about on the show entrance.

Construct High quality is nice, with an unconventional digicam module design

One of the noticeable issues in regards to the earlier technology Galaxy S20 Extremely was its large digicam module. It made the smartphone look bigger on prime of the already large measurement of the cellphone. The Galaxy S21 Extremely additionally has a big digicam module, however it has been built-in on the cellphone in a way more attention-grabbing method. Referred to as the “contour-cut” digicam module, the highest and left hand facet of the digicam module looks as if it’s an extension of the shiny body. There’s an inverted L-shaped protrusion on the again, which is exclusive in digicam module design.

The subsequent factor that will get your consideration is the matte black end which Samsung has referred to as “Phantom Black”, and it seems to be beautiful. Fortunately, the again isn’t a smudge magnet and the one areas the place fingerprints are noticeable are across the shiny body. Samsung has dropped the devoted Bixby button (about time) so the left hand edge is clear, besides for 2 antenna cuts. The highest portion is clear, with simply the mic. The quantity rocker and energy/standby buttons are on the right-hand facet and on the base, you will have the USB Kind-C charging/information switch port, twin SIM card slot and a speaker grille. The digicam module on the again has 4 cameras, a flash unit and a laser autofocus module, none of which jut out past the module.

The entrance portion is a 6.8-inch slab of AMOLED show protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, with a selfie digicam situated within the centre. Samsung has finished a fantastic job of concealing the earpiece speaker. The show curves ever so barely across the edges. Given the 6.8-inch diagonal show measurement, overlook utilizing it one-handed. The S21 Extremely feels heavy at 227 grams, however is 8.9 mm thick, which isn’t too chubby for telephones. As at all times, it comes with IP68 water and dirt resistance. All in all, that is one handsome Samsung flagship, which has glorious construct high quality.

Efficiency and OS

As is the case with most of Samsung’s flagship telephones, the India-market Galaxy S21 Extremely comes with Samsung’s Exynos 2100 SoC and never the Snapdragon 888 which is seen within the North American fashions. The S21 Extremely I’m testing sports activities 12 GB RAM and 256 GB of UFS 3.1 storage. In contrast to yesteryear S-series flagships, Samsung has ditched the microSD card slot on this one.

PC Mark

PC Mark

The general efficiency is top-notch and at no level did the cellphone decelerate. The one difficulty I confronted when it comes to velocity was once I was switching between portrait and panorama orientations when the digicam was on. I observed that the panorama orientation caught round even within the portrait mode, rendering the digicam unusable and required waking up the smartphone once more. This is a matter which might be mounted in a future software program replace, because it looks as if a software program glitch. However in any other case, video games, apps and heavy web sites ran with none hitches. The 120 Hz show on the utmost decision was additionally fairly clean, and I by no means observed any occasion the place the scrolling wasn’t buttery.

Geekbench Single core

Geekbench Single core

The ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is super-quick when it really works, and is actually much more responsive than the Galaxy S20 Extremely, which required many makes an attempt for the cellphone to unlock. But when your finger is moist, the S21 Extremely gained’t unlock that shortly. Name high quality on the S21 Extremely is superb, and I need to reiterate how splendidly hid the earpiece speaker is and even so, doesn’t have an effect on audio high quality. The stereo speaker high quality is nice as properly; I noticed a few motion pictures with simply the audio system, and it was a fantastic expertise.

Geekbench Multi core

Geekbench Multi core

The cellphone does are likely to warmth up whereas taking part in high-end video games for longer than 20 minutes, in addition to whereas utilizing sure digicam modes similar to 8K video recording, 108 MP digicam mode or whereas zooming. It by no means acquired unbearably sizzling, and in case you depart the cellphone be for just a few seconds with out doing something, the warmth ranges come down.

With the S21 Extremely, you get the OneUI 3.1 person interface atop Android 11. On most fronts, the OS is polished, however Samsung additionally tends to throw a gazillion options at you. Even one thing so simple as the fast notification bar is full of as many as 19 icons. The Settings menu of the S21 Extremely supplies you a lot choices to tweak the cellphone the best way you prefer it. I wouldn’t maintain it towards Samsung, however for an everyday person, that may get a bit overwhelming. Some options similar to the choice of locking as much as three apps in RAM are useful. Additionally, you will discover some bloat within the type of Samsung’s system apps however fortunately, they are often uninstalled. There are the Microsoft group of apps similar to Workplace, OneDrive, Outlook and LinkedIN that are preloaded, however that is actually of worth to many potential patrons of this system.

Probably the most stunning factor to see was promoting on Samsung’s system apps similar to Climate and Recreation Launcher. Why Samsung would suppose that that is acceptable on a six-figure smartphone is past me.

Why would Samsung have ads in its native apps on its flagship device?

Why would Samsung have advertisements in its native apps on its flagship system?

Battery Life impresses, however you’ll have to purchase a charger individually

Ever because the Galaxy Be aware 7 fiasco, Samsung has been conservative in regards to the batteries in its smartphones. The S21 Extremely comes with a 5,000 mAh battery, which is nice. However there is no such thing as a charger within the field of the S21 Extremely. In any case that mocking Samsung did when Apple introduced its iPhone 12 series without any chargers, Samsung went forward and did precisely that. It seems to be like everybody will now attempt to present how “environmentally-friendly” they’re by not bundling a charger. So you’ll have to both purchase a Samsung charger or use those you will have. Samsung says the S21 helps as much as 25W quick charging, USB PD 3.0 and wi-fi charging is rated at 15W quick Qi customary.  

Samsung S21 Ultra Battery Life

Samsung S21 Extremely Battery Life

As Samsung provides numerous modes to configure the show settings, these are the settings on which I used the system: Vivid mode, Darkish Mode, Adaptive refresh charge, 3200×1440 pixels. With common utilization which concerned messaging over three apps, two electronic mail accounts on sync, calling, capturing 20-30 images/movies a day, gaming for 20 minutes, video and audio streaming for a few hours, I used to be capable of extract simply over a day of battery. On weekends, when my use was decrease than regular, I might go over two days. However on days once I needed to put the cellphone by its paces from 9 am, I observed that I needed to put the cellphone on cost by bedtime (round 12am). General, no complaints with the battery life.

Since Samsung doesn’t bundle its personal charger, how briskly the cellphone will cost is determined by which charger you will have. I used the USB PD charger bundled with my Pixel 3A XL, and it took round 80 minutes to cost the S21 Extremely absolutely. I used the OnePlus Sprint Charger as soon as, and it took round 70 minutes to totally cost the S21 Extremely. The charging tempo slows down noticeably from 90 % onwards. These utilizing advisable chargers from Samsung could expertise a sooner charging time.

Verdict and Value in India

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely is unquestionably advisable for these of you who’ve been utilizing flagships from three generations in the past and don’t thoughts the six-figure pricing. These with the S20 / Be aware 20 Ultras needn’t trouble – the S21 Extremely isn’t an earth-shattering improve.

Whereas globally, Samsung’s costs have been decrease than the S20 Extremely at its launch, that wasn’t the case in India as a result of numerous taxes and duties. It’s nonetheless priced decrease than Apple’s iPhone 12 Professional collection, not that Apple patrons would contemplate Android flagships.

The S21 Extremely provides all of the belongings you would anticipate from an Android flagship, after which some. The design, digicam stack, fabulous show, nice battery life are spectacular. There may be undoubtedly scope for enchancment with low gentle pictures and video recording, however these are the one drawbacks on this in any other case flawless cellphone. It helps 5G, for these , and in addition helps the S-Pen.

Lengthy story brief, so far as Android flagships are involved, the S21 Extremely would be the cellphone to beat for all the pieces that follows within the close to future.


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