Samsung’s new flagship has just been launched, and here are the key points you should know about the Galaxy S21 series before you buy.
Samsung will seek to rival the iPhone 12 with its latest family of flagship phones, but are they up to the test? Here are five things you should know about the Samsung Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra.
Is the S21 Ultra the new screen queen?
Last year the Galaxy S20 Ultra boasted a WQHD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate – but you had to be careful to read the small print because these two technologies couldn’t function at the same time; you had to turn down the resolution if you wanted the phone to run at its highest refresh rate.
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But now the Galaxy S21 Ultra display can multi-task so you’ll have a ravishing resolution along with super smooth scrolling at the same time. This screen could yet prove to be the very best in the business.
It’s no wonder that Recombu readers had voted the screen as their most highly anticipated feature from the new series.
Pixel count is king
Some of the best camera phones in the business don’t actually have eye-popping pixel counts. Both the latest iPhones, along with the Pixel 5, are fairly modest in this regard, but both can produce incredibly detailed, well-lit images.
Samsung has won the numbers game; the main camera on the Galaxy S21 Ultra offers 108-megapixels, while even the front selfie camera packs 40-megapixels. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. After the fanfare of the Galaxy S20’s cameras last year, we actually felt a little disappointed how the snappers performed in reality, particularly with the dodgy autofocus and underwhelming Space Zoom feature. Here’s to hoping there’s a method behind the megapixels this time around.
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The S-Pen has joined the S series
In a world of soullessly similar smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy Note series was fairly unique in that it sported a stylus for precise use of the touchscreen. As Samsung’s phablet range became a mere footnote in history, we feared that the S-Pen had gone the same way but fear not, because it’s back in business with the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
However, a couple of things to note; the S-Pen is not included in the box (you have to buy it separately), and there’s no way to store it in the phone, so it’s not the most convenient accessory.
No charging plug or headphones
The S-Pen isn’t the only hidden extra cost that you might encounter when you take your S21 out of its suspiciously lightweight box for the first time. Following in the footsteps of Apple, you won’t find any complementary earphones or even a charging brick supplied in the box with the new smartphones.
The supplied accessory is just the bare bones of what you’d expect; one USB-C to USB-C cable. It’s likely that you have already got compatible hardware to deal with this shortcoming, but much like the industry-wide loss of the 3.5mm headphone jack, it’s another added inconvenience.
But there is a welcome price cut
Maybe it’s because of the aforementioned stinginess, but fortunately the S21 range will buck the trend of ever-increasing prices and offer a slight reduction over its predecessors.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 has a starting price of £769, compared to the £799 launch price of the Samsung Galaxy S20. Ok, so that still might not be the no-brainer bargain you dreamt of, but a small saving is the least we deserve after a year like the one we’ve all endured.