Product: Galaxy S21+ 5G
Key specs: 6.7″ QHD Dynamic AMOLED, Exynos 2100, 4,800mAh battery
I have been using, as my daily driver the Galaxy S21 Plus 5G, the middle child from Samsung’s new lineup of flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones, and hands down this is the best smartphone I’ve ever held, but you’d expect that from a flagship that can cost upwards of $1000, however, this doesn’t mean the phone isn’t flawed. I pulled together a list of the best and not-so-best things I like about this feature-packed beast and hopefully, I can help you better decide if this is the right phone for you.
First things first, let’s just talk about how the phone performed, there are two variants of the Galaxy S2+, one with the latest Snapdragon 888 and the one I have that has Samsung’s own Exynos 2100 chipset. I can confidently say this phone felt like the fastest phone I’ve ever used yet. The Exynos 2100 breezes through simple tasks like opening social media apps to hard tasks like playing demanding games like Ark Survival Evolved and Call Of Duty Mobile, it never ever stuttered and the buttery smooth 120Hz display makes even basic things like scrolling my Twitter and navigating through apps eye candy. However, the device would get hot after a couple of continuous gaming or out in direct sunlight.
I’d honestly even find myself unlocking the phone just to appreciate how smooth everything was, speaking of unlocking, each time, and I mean always, I was surprised at how fast the S21 Plus on-screen fingerprint scanner was. Samsung says they use an upgraded 3D Sonic Sensor which is supposed to be 77pc larger and 50pc faster than on the Galaxy S20. Never did the scanner miss or take more than a second to unlock the phone.
After unlocking the phone you are met by the screen on the S21 ultra which practically has it all it’s a 1080p, (I know) dynamic AMOLED display, can’t be surprised because this is always been Samsung’s forte. The screen refreshes at an incredible 120Hz refresh rate which is LTPO meaning it scales down for power savings. The display also supports HDR 10 plus and it’s one of the brightest screens I’ve ever used plus it’s huge at 6.7 inches, consuming content on this mammoth device is spectacular it’s neither too big that it gets uncomfortable to hold when enjoying your Netflix movie or too small. I don’t like big phones, but this is the perfect size phone for entertainment. (oh and you’ll definitely appreciate the stereo speakers on this phone while gaming or consuming content)
Anyways, enough about the display is time to talk about just how beautiful this phone is. I finally understand MKBHD, I literally fell in love with a new matte black finish. I’ve used a ton of black phones in the past but none of them really hit me like this one, however, in my first impressions I said the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus has a matte glass finish which isn’t a fingerprint magnet, while this is partially true, one minor thing to keep in mind is your oily fingerprints still leave smudges.
The S21 Plus feels extremely premium in hand thanks to its aluminum frame and matte glass back, now that we’re at the back, the new Samsung Flagship sports a triple camera module that melds seamlessly into the frame of the phone in what Samsung calls the contour cut design. Samsung isn’t concerned about hiding the large camera bump, which may be a marketing scheme so that you only immediately think that these phones have fantastic cameras but luckily they do.
This was the best camera on any phone I’ve used, using the S21 plus I was always able to capture pictures just the way I pictured them in my head, and trust me I’ve taken a ton of pictures on these cameras.
From the slideshow above you can see the quality of the photos I took during the day and even at night are amazing. The details on these snaps are extremely crispy, very bright, and detailed. I was extremely satisfied with the quality of the cameras. The selfie camera is also exceptional, it takes decent portraits with a balanced mix of natural details. the camera doesn’t struggle in low light, but if it doesn’t work for you, Samsung has included a dedicated night mode for lowlight selfies.
I was also beyond in love with a few of the Samsung Camera features that aren’t available on other phones. Directors view lets you capture the front and back camera at the same time to create cool block style video, there’s also a single take that lets you snap a photo or recorded video and it’ll auto-generate a ton of other kinds of new pictures videos or even gifs. Portrait video lets you change the background of your subject while recording a video and there are a ton of other awesome modes that can’t fit here. The S21 Plus has just a good enough camera package.
The Galaxy S21 Plus ships with a 4,800 mAh battery, supported by a 25W fast wired charger which is now sold separately (thanks Apple) with the new One UI 3.1, On-battery time is good, you easily get around a day of battery life with a fully charged battery on normal use. Charging time is fast, but not blazing fast like on the Reno5, yes I had to. It takes around two hours for the battery to charge from zero to 100 percent.
The S21 Plus also brings 5G network support, this future-proofs you as 5G services start to roll out worldwide.
Is the phone good? the best! Should you buy it? Yes, from its exquisite design to its sleek performance, the Galaxy S21 Plus is worth every penny, however, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra can do everything the S21 plus can, has a bigger and better screen estate at 6.8-inch, bigger battery, better cameras, and the new S-pen support, you will have to pay a few more thousand shillings, but if not, get the S21 plus.
Ps. Samsung Kenya sent me the phone, there were no strings attached, they gave me no direction on what I’m to say and they haven’t reviewed this review article before I posted it, which is good because I wouldn’t have accepted a review unit if there were. Here are the full Samsung Galaxy S21 Series Specs and Price in Kenya