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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 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**
  • Gorgeous 120Hz display
  • Long battery life
  • Fast Wi-Fi 6E
  • Good cameras
Cons**
  • Quite expensive

Summary

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra features a large 6.8-inch WQHD+ dynamic AMOLED display with a resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels. The phone is powered by a 5000 mAh battery - similar to the one found in the Galaxy S20 Ultra. It is the first Galaxy S smartphone with support for Samsung's S Pen, which was hitherto limited to Samsung's Note series only.
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

ndtv[1]

Sentiment Score[*] 90%
Reviewers from ndtv have found the following[***]:
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G runs OneUI 3.1, and it worked smoothly with no real hint of lag or slow-downs. This is the latest version of Samsung's custom skin, and is based on Android 11.1. Samsung DeX is present, which I found super useful for transferring files from my laptop to the phone and vice versa, wirelessly. Ads are not something we expect from Samsung, especially in a phone this expensive.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Excellent battery life
  • Super fast charging
  • Excellent camera performance
Cons[**]
  • Chunky design
  • No telephoto camera

androidauthority[2]

Sentiment Score[*] 69%
Reviewers from androidauthority have found the following[***]:
At 227g and 8.9mm thick, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a hefty smartphone. Samsung managed to make the phone 2mm thinner than the S20 Ultra, but it's still not what I'd call ergonomic. 25W wired and 15W wireless charging is somewhat slow by modern standards, although prioritizing low temperatures over brute charging speed is a sensible decision.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gorgeous 120Hz display
  • Foldable 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Good battery life
Cons[**]
  • Lackluster performance
  • No wireless charging

digitaltrends[3]

Sentiment Score[*] 88%
Reviewers from digitaltrends have found the following[***]:
There's no charger included with the Galaxy S21, and while I don't think this is a problem on its own, I have had some issues with charging using third-party chargers. Samsung's staple of delivering a stunning screen continues, and the price is significantly lower than its predecessor. The upsides still definitely outweigh the downsides.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gorgeous screen
  • Excellent camera
  • Excellent battery life
Cons[**]
  • No IP68 water resistance
  • No charger included

gsmarena[4]

Sentiment Score[*] 81%
Reviewers from gsmarena have found the following[***]:
The S21 Ultra is big, thick, heavy, and notably top-heavy. This combo means using it may not be a joyous experience for you, in the literal sense of what it feels to hold, especially for more than a few minutes at a time. One UI is not entirely stutter-free - stutters have been reduced compared to past Samsung flagships, but they're still there.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Big, heavy, and top-heavy
  • Great cameras
  • Great battery life
Cons[**]
  • One UI is a bit complicated
  • No wireless charging

laptopmag[5]

Sentiment Score[*] 96%
Reviewers from laptopmag have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra runs Android 11 with Samsung's One UI 3.1 overlay. While it isn't stock Android, one of the biggest criticisms of Samsung phones was that they received slow updates due to the Android overlay. Samsung is almost irrefutably the best manufacturer outside of Google itself thanks to its consistent timely updates.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gorgeous 120Hz display
  • Great battery life
  • Fast charging
Cons[**]
  • No S Pen support
  • No 120Hz refresh rate

nextpit[6]

Sentiment Score[*] 88%
Reviewers from nextpit have found the following[***]:
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is powered by a 5,000 mAh battery - similar to the one found in the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. The possibilities offered by the telephoto lens duo make it the most versatile camera smartphone to date. Samsung provides you with a slew of software enhancements to capture the best possible shots even without any photographic skills.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Fast charging up to 25 W
  • Excellent camera performance
  • Good battery life
Cons[**]
  • No wireless charging
  • No charger

notebookcheck[7]

Sentiment Score[*] 71%
Reviewers from notebookcheck have found the following[***]:
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a well-made evolution of its predecessor with a great design refresh. The new OLED display is capable of supporting a high resolution and a high adaptive 120 Hz refresh rate at the same time. The two speakers make for a nice and pleasing soundscape as long as you keep the volume down. The upgraded zoom features are definitely a major improvement and helped to solidify our overall positive impressions.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Bright OLED display with 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Long battery life
  • Fast charging
Cons[**]
  • Mediocre cameras
  • No microSD card slot

pcmag[8]

Sentiment Score[*] 93%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is an impressive, high-quality superzoom camera phone. It's still big, heavy, and expensive, and some of its features rely on networks that don't exist yet. The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, at $500 (!) less, will serve 90% of your needs.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • High-quality, high-quality superzoom camera
  • Excellent battery life
  • Fast charging
Cons[**]
  • No third-party apps
  • No wireless charging

techadvisor[9]

Sentiment Score[*] 93%
Reviewers from techadvisor have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is a major improvement on last year's S20 Ultra. New 108Mp lead sensor is supported by a laser autofocus module. Dual telephoto zoom system features dedicated 3x and 10x optically-magnified lenses. Front-facer is also the highest resolution among the S21 range, at 40Mp (up from 10Mp)
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Incredible performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Excellent cameras
Cons[**]
  • No IP rating
  • No wireless charging

techradar[10]

Sentiment Score[*] 90%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S21 series is faster for two reasons: it marks the debut of brand-new chipsets, and the software has been streamlined just a bit. Director's View is a neat idea that you don't get on most phones (the iPhone 12 series requires a third-party app to pull this off). It joins last year's video-focused additions, like zoom-in microphones for better capturing the subject you're zooming into, and an improved Single Take mode for recording video and taking photos at the same time.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Fast Snapdragon 888 processor
  • Fast 120Hz display
Cons[**]
  • No microSD card slot
  • No headphone jack

theverge[11]

Sentiment Score[*] 89%
Reviewers from theverge have found the following[***]:
Samsung's One UI interface is still good for big screens, but there are just so many options in quick settings. Unforgivably, there are still ads built into Samsung's default apps. Bixby, Samsung's digital assistant, is still the default, and it's difficult to switch away from.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gorgeous new design
  • The best camera system in the world
  • Great battery life
  • Great camera system
Cons[**]
  • No headphone jack
  • No 4K video recording

tomsguide[12]

Sentiment Score[*] 92%
Reviewers from tomsguide have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has the highest resolution main camera (108MP vs 64MP for S21 and Plus) It also has the most powerful zooms (100x vs 30x) and the sharpest display (QHD vs 1080p) The screen on the Ultra is more dynamic, as it can scale from 120Hz all the way down to 10Hz. It has the largest battery at 5,000mAh, compared to the S21 (4,000 mAh) and S21 Plus ( 4,800mAh)
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gorgeous 120Hz display
  • Great battery life
  • Fast charging
Cons[**]
  • Lack of microSD slot
  • No microSD card slot

trustedreviews[13]

Sentiment Score[*] 82%
Reviewers from trustedreviews have found the following[***]:
Samsung has packed the S21 Ultra with a giant battery and during my week of testing it has offered impressive performance. Yet, a lot of the software remains frustratingly different from Google’s interpretation of Android. There are multiple apps and drivers required for something as basic as pairing a smartwatch and many things require a Samsung account. Bloatware is a big issue too, with Samsung pre-installing apps from Microsoft, Google and itself – many of which offer the same functionality.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gorgeous display
  • Fast performance
  • Great battery life
Cons[**]
  • Slow charging
  • No wireless charging

References

1. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Review. ndtv. 2021-01-28 Retrieved 2021-10-14.
2. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra revisited: This year's Galaxy Note. androidauthority. 2021-08-28 Retrieved 2021-10-14.
4. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra long-term review. gsmarena. 2021-07-15 Retrieved 2021-07-16.
5. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: Small changes yield big results. laptopmag. 2021-04-17 Retrieved 2021-04-20.
6. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: Slight tweaks aimed at perfection. nextpit. 2021-02-03 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
8. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Review. pcmag. 2021-01-21 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
9. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review. techadvisor. 2021-03-01 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
10. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review. techradar. 2021-01-29 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
11. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: the real deal. theverge. 2021-01-21 Retrieved 2021-04-20.
12. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review. tomsguide. 2021-02-06 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
13. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Review. trustedreviews. 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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