As you may know, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the 2021 flagship smartphone that everyone has been talking about. Regardless of the competition, I still find to be the one of the balanced, or perhaps versatile flagship smartphone you can get. So let’s find out.
Design – A unique identity with a heavier side
The Galaxy S21 Ultra spots a new design language that I find it to be excellent. The new camera bump is less protrude and sits at the top left corner, allowing a unique identity for the S21 Ultra. The black matte finish was excellent to hide most smudges. The device front and back is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, so you can have less worried for those who don’t use any case. The only one weak point of the device is the weight. The moment you pickup the device, you will noticed the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a little bit heavy for one handed use for small hands users.
Performance – Flagship performance, if you don’t chase benchmark numbers
If you don’t chase the benchmark numbers, then Galaxy S21 Ultra with Exynos 2100 chip is a smooth performing flagship smartphone. Every task that is being handled, it ran smoothly thanks to the pairing of 12GB RAM on the device. As for intense mobile gaming, you can set to high settings and immerse yourself to the gaame without a hitch. Though, certain game like Genshin Impact might occurred occasional micro stutters which still required the app developer to optimised the game more better.
I’m even happy to say the thermal performance has improved a lot when compared to previous Galaxy S20 series. You can only feel some warmness (which is still bearable to hold) when you’re intensively gaming and recording videos at long periods.
Display & Audio – Vivid display with high quality speakers for best entertainment device
The S21 Ultra use a 6.8 inches Dynamic AMOLED 2X with 120hz adaptive fast refresh rate technology to offer one of the best vivid and smooth scrolling display you can get from a flagship smartphone today. Every visual you displayed on the AMOLED screen is totally crisp and clear, which is pleasant when scrolling around social media or watch videos. The display also received HDR10+ certification and max brightness peaked at 1500 nits which is good for watching Netflix and YouTube content at outdoor and indoor. The display is also good
The stereo speakers on the Galaxy S21 Ultra is definitely a high quality audio experience. The sounds are loud with good bass making it a wonderful device for entertainment on the go. Even when watching a series, you can hear the actor/performer’s speech so clearly and totally get immersive with it.
Battery – Great battery life, needs faster charging speed
For the battery life, the 5,000 mAh battery is enough to last you the whole day. Even when shooting videos in 4K for a long period, the battery level will still last you till late evening. But one downside about the battery is the charging speed. Don’t get me wrong, the 25W Fast charging is still fast but the competition is offering a faster charging solutions like 100% battery life takes less than an hour, Samsung still need to work on the charging speed. You still have wireless charging and reverse wireless charging feature but again, the competition is offering a much faster wireless charging solution.
Camera (Photo) – Every camera for every occasions
The most interesting feature on the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the camera department. Let’s start with the rear cameras, it has a quad camera setup consist of 108MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide camera, 10MP 3x Zoom telephoto camera and 10MP 10x Zoom telephoto camera. Photo quality on the 108MP main camera looks great with lesser saturation, slight increased of contrast and crisp details during daylight and low light situation. The 12MP ultrawide camera delivers an exceptional photos when you need to get more details of subject or landscape but during low light conditions, it will tend to go a bit noisy and softer details. Both 3x Zoom and 10x Zoom telephoto camera delivers great details when you need to take picture from faraway. Although it can do 100x (digital) Zoom, I find it to be useful to take moon shots only and I would recommend to maintain up to 30x Zoom if you want to share the photos to social media. There is night mode ready if you need takes a lot of low light photos and the result is good.
The 40MP front facing camera can take selfies that are natural looking. Selfie photos definitely look lesser saturated and slightly true to live. The selfie camera can shoot a little bit wide too. Night mode is ready for selfies and highly recommend to use it during low light conditions.
Camera (Video) – Serious 4K cameras with 8K video ready
All the cameras on the S21 Ultra can capture up to 4K 60fps and the main cam maxed out at 8K 24fps. Video quality in 4K is definitely flagship level though like the telephoto lens which don’t have stabilisation might not suit for using without a tripod. You can switch the lens at any moment when recording in 1080p and 4K. I didn’t really tried the 8K recording as I felt not many content creators would want to use the format at moment.
You still have all the video modes like Hyperlapse, Slo-mo and etc. But the one most vloggers would appreciate is the new Director’s View where it records video in 1080p 30fps from one of the rear camera with front camera. You can switch lens but not the 10x Zoom telephoto lens. There are 3 shooting modes: Picture in Picture, Split and Single. Director’s View is great but lacks the settings for adjustment, separate saved video recording files and recording on solely on both rear lens simultaeneously. Check the review video for the samples.
Features and Verdict
In terms of features, Samsung has added Samsung Knox for security purposes, DeX for professionals to use as a remote desktop, and Game Launcher for the mobile gamers to play at the optimal performance for immersive gameplay. All this features is suitable for all kind of users to enjoy using the device and I really appreciate Samsung for creating a balance flagship smartphone for everyone.
So, does the Galaxy S21 Ultra is really a balanced smartphone? I would definitely said yes. You’re getting flagship performance, gorgeous design, a camera system that covers all your needs, and amazing features to go along with it. Because of that, I will give the S21 Ultra a solid 9 out of 10 rating and pricing at RM5299 for the 12GB RAM+256GB internal storage, you’re certainly getting a steal with what Galaxy S21 Ultra can offer. You can get the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra today at all Samsung Flagship store, Authorised Partners, retailers and e-store.
A special thanks to Samsung Malaysia for loaning the device for content purposes. There is no payment involved in the review so Samsung does have any input on the article and video thus no final approval is needed. All the comments on the article and video is solely based on 3 weeks usage by the writer and may differ depending on software updates.