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Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Smartphone

MSRP 800 USDNEX score 81%

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Photo 0of Samsung Galaxy S21 5G SmartphonePhoto 1of Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Smartphone

Product Overview

Samsung Galaxy S21 is a high-end 5G smartphone that features a 5nm octa-core processors, Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, and three rear-facing cameras.
Compared to the Galaxy S20 from 2020, the Galaxy S21 removes the micro-SD card slot and reduces the resolution of the display. It also uses plastic rear cover.
As a tradeoff, the new 5nm processors promise increased power efficiency as well as speed. Samsung has also endowed the S21 a new, stylish design.
Alongside the Galaxy S21, Samsung also unveiled at Galaxy Unpacked 2021 the large Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra as well as the sleek true wireless headphones, the Galaxy Buds Pro.

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Ratings

What we found**

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

What external reviewers found***

NEX score: 81% (not directly comparable across industries)
Pros
  • Great display
  • Good camera performance
  • Superb battery life
  • Fantastic performance
Cons
  • Slow Wi-Fi
  • One UI 3 is frustrating to use
  • No aptX codec support
  • Slow charging
  • No wireless charging
Read More

Price Comparison (incl. referral links)*

Specifications

Variants:
International
USA / China

Connectivity

Ports
USB-C 3.2
Wireless Connectivity
WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, NFC

Construction

Battery | Capacity
4000 mAh
Camera | Front
10MP Dual Pixel AF, FOV 80°, F2.2, 1.22µm
Camera | Rear | Telephoto
64MP Phase Detection AF, Hybrid Optic 3X, FOV 76°, OIS F2.0, 0.8µm
Camera | Rear | Ultra-Wide
12MP FF, FOV 120° F2.2, 1.4µm
Camera | Rear | Wide
12MP Dual Pixel AF, FOV 79°, OIS, F1.8, 1.8µm
Colors
Cloud Red, Cloud Orange, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud Navy and Cloud White
Material
Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), plastic back, aluminum frame

Dimensions

Size | Depth
7.9 mm
Size | Height
151.7 mm
Size | Width
71.2 mm
Weight
169 g

Display

Aspect Ratio
20:9
Display Diagonal
6.2 inch
Display Type
Dynamic AMOLED 2X (OLED)
Pixel Density
421 ppi
Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Resolution
FHD+, 1080×2400

Function

Audio
UHQ 32-bit &DSD64/128 support; PCM: Up to 32 bits, DSD: DSD64/128
InternationalChipset
Exynos 2100 (5nm)
USA / ChinaChipset
Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 (5nm)
Fast Charging
USB PD 3.0 (PPS) certified Fast Charging
GPS
GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou, A-GPS
InternationalGraphics
Mali-G78 MP14
USA / ChinaGraphics
Adreno 660
HDR
HDR10+ certified
Operating System
Android 11
InternationalProcessor
Octa-core (1x2.9 GHz Cortex-X1 & 3x2.80 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4x2.2 GHz Cortex-A55)
USA / ChinaProcessor
Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4x1.80 GHz Kryo 680)
Security
Ultrasonic Fingerprint, Face recognition
Sensor
Ultrasonic Fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor Proximity sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
SIM
Single or dual Nano SIM, 5G
Variable Framerate
48~120Hz
Weather Resistance
IP68
Wireless Charging
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0

Performance

Memory | Capacity
8 GB
Memory | Type
LPDDR5
Storage
128 or 256 GB UFS 3.X

Production

Debut
2021-01-14 (Galaxy Unpacked 2021)

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3rd-Party Review Videos

External Reviews

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

User Reviews

References

1. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review: Right recipe, wrong ingredients. [digitaltrends]. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cell-phone-reviews/samsung-galaxy-s21-review/. 2021-01-21. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
2. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21+ review: It's gorgeous! But is the beauty just skin deep?. [nextpit]. https://www.nextpit.com/samsung-galaxy-s21-plus-review. 2021-02-01. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
3. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphone review: The most affordable high-end Galaxy. [notebookcheck]. https://www.notebookcheck.net/Samsung-Galaxy-S21-smartphone-review-The-most-affordable-high-end-Galaxy.522690.0.html. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
4. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Review. [pcmag]. https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/samsung-galaxy-s21. 2021-01-23. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
5. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 review: A premium phone that's a great value. [pcworld]. https://www.pcworld.com/article/3605050/samsung-galaxy-s21-review.html. 2021-01-29. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
6. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 review. [techradar]. https://www.techradar.com/reviews/samsung-galaxy-s21-review. 2021-03-01. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
7. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 review. [tomsguide]. https://www.tomsguide.com/reviews/samsung-galaxy-s21. 2021-03-15. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
8. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 Review. [trustedreviews]. https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/samsung-galaxy-s21. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
9. ^ Samsung Galaxy S21 review. [whathifi]. https://www.whathifi.com/reviews/samsung-galaxy-s21. 2021-01-21. Retrieved 2021-03-22.

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