The year is afoot and begins the company’s tech marathon after the company released its latest tech. From the budget users to the big spenders, there is something for everyone. And today, we will be talking about the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Samsung Galaxy S21+ from the big trio. These have always been the budget variant. So, stick to the end.
There is no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the superior technology, but the Galaxy S21 and the S21 Plus have something to offer for budget buyers. These two are €50 cheaper than their 2020 ancestors (if you look at the 5G models).
They effortlessly stand out from the crowd because of the dual-tone paint job and the contour-cut camera. The flat screens are also what distinguishes them from all the other curved displays. They seem like twins considering the hardware but the size makes them stand apart.
Both of them have 1080p+ displays, a downgrade from their Galaxy S20 series, which had 1440p+ resolution. The new ones have an adaptive refresh rate, but it adjusts depending on the content from 60Hz to 120Hz. The ultrasonic fingerprint reader that is 70% larger than the previous-gen is hidden behind the display. You might be thinking if the camera is under the display as well. Rest assured, it isn’t. There is a standard punch hole with a 10MP resolution like before.
Now, the rear cameras. A massive upgrade that stems from the chipsets rather than the units themselves. The chips have the ability to handle three streams simultaneously, which means that you have three live preview cameras at the same time. The primary camera uses a 12MP sensor with large 1.8µm pixels and Dual Pixel AF, which is the same as last year. It sits behind an f/1.8 lens with OIS. Oddly enough, the 12MP Ultra wide-angle (120°) camera does not have autofocusing abilities as the Ultra. A sad thing indeed.
To serve the double duty, you get the 64MP camera. It can make 3x lossless zoom (with autofocus and OIS) and up to 30x “Space Zoom” in photo mode. In video mode, it can record in 8K resolution at the same 24fps as last year. The galaxy S21 5G has a 6.2″ screen, making it a compact flagship among the others out there. It has Gorilla Glass Victus guarding the screen, and the back gets the “Glass” treatment as if this was an A-series phone. And the battery still is 4000mAh, which did not last long enough on the 2020 model. However, this year Samsung is employing two 5nm chipset and the Adjustable Refresh Rate display to reduce power consumption. It’s good to have choices.
The chipsets we are talking about are the Snapdragon 888 and the Exynos 2100, of course, dividing the world into zones of exclusive availability. There are no more 4G-only versions. For Exynos-land, the good news is that the two chips are fabbed at the same foundries and use many of the same ARM-designed parts.
The 21+ 5G is larger with a 6.7″ screen. Only a tenth smaller than the Ultra’s screen, and as it is flat, it might look larger side by side. Also, the Plus has a back panel made of actual glass and a battery upgrade to boot-the 4800mAh capacity is 300 mAh than last year. In case of charging, all 3 S21 models are the same, which can go up to 25W with a suitable USB Power Delivery charger (which you have to supply yourself, there’s little besides a USB-C cable in the box), and the wireless charging is rated at 15W going in and 9W going out. One other advantage the S21+ has is the Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) support, which its vanilla sibling lacks. This allows faster local phone-to-phone data transfers and is equipped with direction sensing capabilities used with tracking tags.
Other than that, the phones are pretty much the same. They have the same memory options too. 8GB RAM is the standard and only choice. It’s not like you need 12GB of RAM (Build a PC instead), but even the S10 had 8GB. You get 128GB as standard or can get the 256GB option for storage. They also don’t have the MicroSD slot. Again, not many people need more than 256GB, but there is no advantage in removing the slot.
Let’s talk about money. The S21 and S21+ begin at €850/£770 and €1,050/£950 accordingly. They are on pre-order till January 29, when they begin to enter the stores. If you order before that, you will receive a Galaxy Buds Live and a Samsung SmartTag for free. A sweet deal indeed.
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