If you’re still planning or considering to purchase a Samsung Galaxy S21 in Malaysia, then let’s spend some time to read my first impression on the device. While this is not a full review, I will tell you what is the main highlights on the phone that has attracted my attention.
Right out of the box, you will only get the Galaxy S21 device, sim ejector, USB Type-C to Type-C cable, manual guide and warranty card. The phone itself has been installed with a screen protector. While there is no charger provided on the S21 series, you still can use any charger with USB Type-C cable or any wireless charger to charge it. If you’re still using any slow charger plug, make sure to get a brand new 25W charger plug because the device support fast charging up to 25W.
The Galaxy S21 has an all-new design that certainly feels premium. On the back of the Galaxy S21, Samsung uses ‘Glasstic’ (plastic back cover with glass-like surface) which certainly feels more really good to hold on thanks to the curved corners. Colours on the back cover also appeared to be matte which really helps with reducing the fingerprint smudges appearance. I noticed the Phantom Pink on the device will have a colour shift when certain light angle is being reflected and I absolutely like it because it gives a unique character to the colour. I also felt the sides of the S21 in rose gold colour added a premium feel to the device.
Onto the display, the AMOLED flat display just delivered an amazing viewing experience and it’s really bright even at 30% during my 3 days of using the device. Thanks to the 120hz adaptive fast refresh rate, scrolling on the device just feels buttery smooth and fast. The display has been applied a screen protector so you can use the device with a peace of mind too. The S21 is using a stereo speaker setup and audio quality is loud and crisp for video or music consumption.
In terms of performance, the Exynos 2100 with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage (only one variant is available in Malaysia market) is fast and capable to handle any task. I would also be glad to confirmed that Samsung has greatly improved the thermal performance on the device. It has largely stayed cool when opening multiple apps. However, do take note the device still can get warm when location is turned on or intensive gaming with max setting. One UI 3.1 on S21 is still easy to navigate through even for new Samsung device user. Also with One UI 3.1, you can now get Google Discovery for all your latest news feed which I feel is better news reading experience. The 4,000mah battery can last you whole day but it will be largely depending on usage too.
The rear camera of the S21 has a new contour cut out design which gives the smartphone a premium look. The camera bump is protected with metal and it look slimmer. The triple camera setup consist of a 12MP main cam, 12MP ultra wide angle cam and 64MP (3X Hybrid Zoom) Telephoto cam. The front camera is a 10MP. More details on the camera on the full review but my first impression on the photo quality is great on all three camera and front camera. There is also recent software update which helps improved the camera performance so I won’t be sharing the sample for now.
For videos, the S21 can shoot up to 8K 24fps. But the latest video feature I love on the S21 is Director’s View. It is a perfect way for vlogger to optimize their video direction by offering picture-in-picture, split mode and single while offer quick preview on all three rear camera. One more thing, although not many outlet reported it, the S21 is capable of recording HDR10+ videos but it is still in beta testing. HDR10+ videos is only supported by YouTube at the moment so you need to save HDR10+ video to SDR video at the Gallery to use at other apps.
For now, I’m really satisfied with the improvements made by Samsung for the Galaxy S21 for my first impression. From One UI 3.1 to the cameras, you’ll noticed every part of the device has actually improved. One major credit I would give to Samsung is the thermal performance on the Exynos 2100. It was significantly much better when compared directly to last year’s Exynos 990, on performance and thermal. I shall stop until here but do check out my unboxing and first impression video as well. So stay tuned for the full review on Galaxy S21 that will be coming up next week.
*The Galaxy S21 is prepared by Samsung for content purposes. Samsung has no final approval on the first impression article and all the abovementioned are based on the writer’s usage of 3 days period.