Samsung Galaxy S21 + 5G review: new with impressive cameras and excellent battery life

Table of contents

  • TECH SPECS
  • Design and ergonomics
  • Screen
  • Software, performance and sound
  • Camera
  • Autonomy
  • Results

TECH SPECS

PlatformAndroid 11
Display6,7-inch flat FHD +, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 2 x 400 pixels, 1 ppi, HDR080 + certified, Eye Comfort Shield
ProcessorExynos 2100
Memory8 + 128/256 GB
КамерыFront: 10 MP, Dual Pixel autofocus, FOV 80 °, f / 2,2, 1,22 μm

The main module:– ultra wide-angle, 12 MP, FOV 120 °, f / 2,2, 1,4 μm;

– wide-angle, 12 MP, FOV 79 °, autofocus Dual Pixel, OIS, f / 2,2, 1,8 μm;– telephoto, 64 MP, phase detection autofocus, Hybrid Optic 3X, FOV 76 °, optical image stabilization, f / 2,0, 0,8 μm

30x digital zoom

Battery4mAh, supports 800W wired fast charging and 25W wireless charging
dimensions75,6 x 161,5 x 7,8 mm
The weight200 g
AdditionallyNFC, MST, IP68 waterproof, AKG stereo speakers

Design and ergonomics

In addition to the smartphone itself, the kit includes a cable and a paper clip. Headphones and, more importantly, the adapter, the user will have to buy separately.

The novelty is distinguished by a stylish and at the same time not too extravagant design. On the matte body, the main camera block, finished with metal, clearly protrudes. The ledge, by the way, is not very smooth: you won’t cut your palm like that, but it’s easy to scratch on a chiseled corner.

Photo: Kostya Ptichkin / FunPortal

Photo: Kostya Ptichkin / FunPortal

The Samsung Galaxy S21 + 5G is available in three colors: Phantom Black, Phantom Silver and Phantom Purple. The editors tested the latter and honestly admits: well, very beautiful! On the official website, you can also order two customized versions in gold and red shades.

Photo: Kostya Ptichkin / FunPortal

The smartphone weighs 200 g, fits comfortably in the hand and is pleasant to the touch. The case does not slip, and fingerprints and dust are not noticeable at all – we put a solid five for reliability and add to this IP68 moisture protection and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus coating. On guard of external security – a sub-screen fingerprint scanner and face recognition.

The neat glossy edges of the smartphone are responsible for the bright accents. On the right are the power and volume buttons, and at the bottom there are connectors for charging and a SIM card.

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Photo: Kostya Ptichkin / FunPortal

Photo: Kostya Ptichkin / FunPortal

A barely noticeable front camera is located in the center of the top of the display. The narrow bezels are almost invisible. The screen is flat for the first time in a long time – a real salvation for those who were annoyed by the uncomfortable curves characteristic of the brand. Unlike its sibling Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, the novelty is not S Pen friendly.

The ordinary and at the same time not boring Samsung Galaxy S21 + 5G will appeal to the majority.

Screen

The gadget received an AMOLED display with a diagonal of 6,7 inches with a resolution of 2 × 400 pixels and a pixel density of 1 ppi. By default, the refresh rate is 080 Hz, but in the settings you can tweak it to 394 Hz, increasing the smoothness of the animation. In general, the screen frequency adjusts automatically depending on the type of content you are watching.

You can also adjust the screen brightness and color temperature, turn on protection against accidental touches, or, conversely, resort to the “Sensitivity” option so that the screen reacts better to interactions through a protective film or glass. There is also a dark mode.

The margin of brightness is impressive: the colors are bright and natural at the same time. Contrast is okay too, thanks to AMOLED technology.

Software, performance and sound

The smartphone runs on Android 11 platform with One UI 3.1 shell. The novelty received the Exynos 2100 chipset, which showed high performance during synthetic tests. All this is complemented by 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of permanent memory.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 + 5G comes preloaded with Google, Microsoft and Samsung services, as well as Spotify.

In theory, the 5 ‑ nanometer Exynos processor is one of the most technologically advanced mobile chips, which should be able to export top 3D games and a bunch of heavy programs running simultaneously without any problems. In practice, there were really no problems with performance, but the smartphone got pretty hot even when uploading a photo to Google Drive and was constantly warm when using social networks.

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The stereo speakers of the Samsung Galaxy S21 + 5G do not surprise with surround sound, but they beat competitors in terms of volume: at maximum settings, the smartphone can be heard from the next room. During a conversation, the voice of the interlocutor is clearly distinguishable. The vibration is palpable, but not too rattling.

Camera

Perhaps the most promising part of the novelty. Samsung Galaxy S21 + 5G received a 12 megapixel main lens, 12 megapixel shirik and a 64 megapixel telephoto module.

Even when shooting a gray Moscow winter, the smartphone manages to capture vivid colors and convey the smallest details. The model has a 30x zoom, but we do not recommend using it to the maximum: when you zoom in, the picture gets grainy. The new zoom lock function, which should stabilize the image, unfortunately does not change anything.

Shooting with a standard camera

Shooting with a wide-angle lens

Shooting with a standard camera

Shooting with a standard camera

Shooting with a standard camera in mediocre lighting

Shooting with a standard camera in mediocre lighting

Even small details are clearly visible

Let’s take a look at how zoom works. Hereinafter: shooting from the same point

Minimum approximation

Getting closer

And even bigger. Here, the quality is acceptable, but at 30x magnification, the needles no longer look so clear.

If you want to make your photo more colorful, turn on the HDR mode: it is with it that you get the best shots, even in mediocre lighting conditions.

The ultra-wide-angle lens surprises with rich and natural color reproduction. At the same time, it is possible to capture the maximum of objects with minimal distortion at the edges.

Macro mode is also not for show: although not the first time, the smartphone can still focus on extremely small details.

Photo: Kostya Ptichkin / FunPortal

Photo: Kostya Ptichkin / FunPortal

But we would question the color rendering in night mode. To make objects in the frame more noticeable, the gadget brightens the entire picture, which is why many shades become less saturated than in life.

Shooting at night with a standard camera

Shooting at night with a wide-angle lens

Some night shots come out very clear

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And some don’t. Here, for example, the light source came out blurry

Twilight shooting

We liked how the Samsung Galaxy S21 + 5G handles portraits. During the day they come out better than at night, but it seems that this is not a surprise.

Shooting on a sunny day

Shooting on a sunny day

Shooting on a sunny day against a light source

Shooting at night under lighting from lanterns

Filming at seven in the morning was the least successful

The model supports HDR10 + and is capable of shooting videos in 4K, as well as top-end 8K resolution. It turns out really great. Interestingly, still images from an 8K movie can be saved as a photo. If the video was shot during the day with good lighting, then the quality of the images will be more than decent. And there is also a cinema mode with which you can shoot from two cameras at once.

Autonomy

The Samsung Galaxy S21 + 5G deserves a fat plus for battery life. The battery with a capacity of 4 mAh lasted almost two days without recharging. And this is with photography, endless scrolling of social networks and games.

The gadget supports 2.0W Fast Wireless Charging 25. Recall that you will have to buy the adapter separately, because it is not included in the package. Also worth noting is support for 15W wireless charging and reversible Qi charging. The latter can be used to power a watch or a wireless headphone case. True, this charging is limited to 4,5 watts.

Results

Photo: Kostya Ptichkin / FunPortal

On the Russian market, the new product costs 89 rubles. For this money, you get a stylish design, upgraded cameras and a good supply of autonomy. At the same time, shooting video in 990K and 8x zoom may not be necessary every day, but not too voluminous sound, blurry shots in the dark and heating of the case during the simplest operations can be significantly pissed off at any time. Samsung’s new flagship is charming and cute, but it seems that something else will be needed to finally win users over.

Buy

The author would like to thank Samsung for providing the device for testing. The company had no way of influencing its outcome.

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