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Samsung Galaxy S21 Review Rundown

SamsungPublished on 22 Mar 2021Last Edited on 14 Nov 2021Written by Dr Jiulin Teng w/ Neosummarizer*
Rundown of external reviews is now integrated to the product page in the External Reviews section.
We will no longer publish Rundowns separately.
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Overview

Neoscore* 0%
Pros**
  • Great performance
  • Good battery life
  • Fast SoC
  • Good cameras
Cons**
  • S-Pen not supported on Galaxy S21+

Summary

The S21 shares the light, slim, and IP68-certified case as well as the 20:9 display aspect ratio with its predecessor, the Galaxy S20, which also measures 6.2-inches. Samsung used the same material on the Galaxy Note 20, but it's much less shiny than the matte glass on the Samsung S21. All in all, the Samsung GalaxyS21 feels like a premium device, although it's unlikely to feel as top-end as the Samsung Galaxy S20.
This rundown provides our analysis on 8 third-party reviews. The sentiment scores, summaries, and key takeaways that we select are based on these reviews and may differ from the original publication.

Rundown

digitaltrends[1]

Sentiment Score[*] 68%
Reviewers from digitaltrends have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S21 is a fine phone, it just isn't one that's particularly desirable or exciting. You can argue about the decision to use a plastic back, or remove the SD card slot, but even with those two decisions, there's nothing wrong with the S21. Samsung doesn't skimp on specs, the display is excellent, and the nice-to-have features are all here.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Great display
  • Good battery life
  • Good cameras
Cons[**]
  • Plastic back isn’t as good as last year’s S21
  • Camera quality is still not great

nextpit[2]

Sentiment Score[*] 77%
Reviewers from nextpit have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S21+'s camera delivers a good performance, but it probably still lags behind the S21 Ultra. It is probably left further behind the likes of the Mate 40 Pro(+), the Huawei P40(+) and also the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The new fingerprint sensor does a very good job, as I've mentioned.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Bright 120 Hertz display
  • Long battery life
  • Good camera performance
Cons[**]
  • Slow charging
  • No aptX codec support
  • Slow Wi-Fi

notebookcheck[3]

Sentiment Score[*] 76%
Reviewers from notebookcheck have found the following[***]:
With its high-end hardware, the Galaxy S21 is naturally able to run modern games smoothly. However, the smartphone has to put the brakes on the SoC repeatedly, so it can't use its high performance on a long-term basis. Wireless connectivity is possible via Bluetooth 5.0, which supports the SBC, AAC, aptX, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs. With its 4,000 mAh battery, the phone has the smallest battery in the S21 lineup.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Bright 120 Hz display
  • Fast SoC
  • Good battery life
Cons[**]
  • No microSD slot
  • No 3.5 mm audio jack

pcmag[4]

Sentiment Score[*] 79%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S21, like its siblings, has the new Qualcomm X60 modem. These are the first Samsung phones to support C-band, the new 5G airwaves wireless carriers just spent more than $80 billion for. At this moment, the S21 performs just like the S20 series and the iPhone 12 on the US 5G networks.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Small and light
  • Good battery life
  • Long-lasting battery
Cons[**]
  • No headphone jack
  • No wireless charging

pcworld[5]

Sentiment Score[*] 82%
Reviewers from pcworld have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S21 ships with One UI 3.1 based on Android 11, making it the earliest phone Samsung has shipped with the latest version of Android. It has the same 12MP wide and ultrawide lenses and a 30X hybrid optical Space Zoom telephoto lens. Like Apple and Google, Samsung has done work behind the scenes to boost the quality.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Beautiful, high-contrast display
  • Good battery life
  • Excellent cameras
Cons[**]
  • No microSD card slot
  • Mediocre cameras

techradar[6]

Sentiment Score[*] 83%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following[***]:
The Samsung Galaxy S21 runs Android 11 with Samsung's One UI 3.0 skin. It may be nearly a year before you see Android 12 on this phone, even if Google releases the update in August. Recharging the S21 is easy, using the company's 25W fast-charging tech via the phone's USB-C port. It's also compatible with Qi wireless charging, but we found that to be slow.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Fantastic performance
  • Good battery life
Cons[**]
  • No microSD support
  • No 5G in 2021

tomsguide[7]

Sentiment Score[*] 81%
Reviewers from tomsguide have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a fantastic display and powerful cameras. Fast charging is on offer over the USB-C PD standard, juicing up the battery to 55% in 30 minutes in our testing. The lack of any hardware upgrades for the cameras was a little disappointing, but then they still produce flagship-grade results.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Fantastic display
  • Great cameras
  • Great battery life
Cons[**]
  • One UI is a mess
  • No hardware upgrades

trustedreviews[8]

Sentiment Score[*] 92%
Reviewers from trustedreviews have found the following[***]:
The 12MP ultra wide camera is one of the best I've reviewed. It's capable of capturing large amounts of detail, with very little blurring at the edges and nice colours. There’s a good 10MP selfie camera that produces far more realistic and natural images than previous Samsung attempts. You can shoot video at 8K 24fps if you want to show off the power of the internals, or you can drop down to 4K60/30 for something more manageable.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Superb battery life
  • Great ultra-wide camera
  • Great value for money
Cons[**]
  • No wireless charging
  • No headphone jack

whathifi[9]

Sentiment Score[*] 91%
Reviewers from whathifi have found the following[***]:
The Samsung Galaxy S21 shuffles the S series along nicely with camera enhancements, aesthetic improvements and some modest functionality boosts. It sacrifices some screen spec, premium build and accessories in order to a lower price, but there is still an excellent balance between performance and value. The S21’s luscious colour capture makes the Sonys' seem washed out in comparison, while the Samsung takes the spoils when it comes to sharpness and clarity.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Top-notch performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Excellent camera performance
Cons[**]
  • No IP68 rating
  • No wireless charging

References

1. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review: Right recipe, wrong ingredients. digitaltrends. 2021-01-21 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
4. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Review. pcmag. 2021-01-23 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
5. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 review: A premium phone that's a great value. pcworld. 2021-01-29 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
6. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 review. techradar. 2021-03-01 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
7. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 review. tomsguide. 2021-03-15 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
8. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Review. trustedreviews. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
9. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 review. whathifi. 2021-01-21 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
*. Neoscore is our sentiment analyzer based on natural language processing (NLP). Scaled in the range of 0 to 100, Neoscore eliminates scoring biases from each publisher; it likely differs from the publisher\'s own rating, if available, as a result.
**. Neoanalyzer is our summarizer based on NLP. It identifies key takeaways from each third-party review. The takeaways that it produces likely differ from the publisher\'s own bullets points, if available, as a result.
***. Neosummarizer is based on NLP. It extracts summaries from third-party reviews. It likely that these summaries differ from the publisher\'s own, if available.
****. This page contains affiliate links to third-party merchants such as Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten. When you make a purchase using the supplied links, we will receive a commission.

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