Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Review: The Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra have gone up for pre-orders. Here’s what you need to know.
Samsung on Thursday unveiled three new smartphones including the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra. The recently unveiled phones sport new designs, with a metal-framed rear camera module and enhanced camera features.
Carrying a $1,199 price tag, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will set you back $200 less than the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Moreover, it packs Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 888 chip for faster performance. Still, the S21 retails for $100 more than Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max, meaning, it has a lot to prove. Let’s check out more details about the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Release date and price
The Galaxy S21 Ultra went up for pre-order starting Jan. 14 at 11 a.m. ET, and it is slated to release on Jan. 29. Carrier, as well as unlocked versions of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, will be up for grabs.
Design and colors
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra comes in limited colors, if you are buying through a carrier, with only Phantom Black and Phantom Silver as your options. The sophisticated matte look help resist fingerprints. You can get Phantom Navy, Phantom Titanium, and Phantom Brown color options for the S21 Ultra from Samsung’s official online store.
The screen fingerprint sensor is now 1.7x larger, making it a bit easier to unlock the device. Weighing in at 8.08 ounces (229 grams), and measuring 6.5 x 2.97 x 0.35 inches (165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm), the S21 Ultra is larger and heavier than its predecessor, and thicker than the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
It sports a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display, which is bright, and vibrant. The phone allows you to do the sharp QHD resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate at the same time so you can have smooth scrolling and gameplay experience without dropping down the pixels.
To save battery life, you can bring the refresh rate scales down to 10Hz. Moreover, the S21 Ultra is bright outdoors, going all the way up to 1,500 nits, while the S20 Ultra maxed out at 1,200 nits. The company says the S21 Ultra has a 3 million: 1 contrast ratio, which is 50 percent higher than the S20 Ultra.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra houses a main 108MP wide sensor along with a 12MP ultra-wide camera, which has a laser autofocus sensor.
The 108MP main camera is capable of capturing 12-bit HDR photos, with 64 times richer color data and over three times the dynamic range of its precursor. Aside from that, there is a 12-bit RAW file option in Pro mode.
Samsung has improved the Portrait mode on the S21 by adopting AI that enables better separation of subject from the background. The most notable camera feature is the phone’s two telephoto lenses – one that has 3x zoom and one that comes with 10x optical zoom.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is likely to perform better than the other phones in the series in low light due to a faster Bright Night sensor and 12MP Nona-binning technology that minimizes noise reduction. On top of that, the phone can record 8K video up to 30 fps, with all of its cameras capable of capturing 4K video at up to 60 fps.
Director’s View is one of the coolest upgrades. There’s a new vlogger mode as well, allowing you to simultaneously use the front and back cameras for recording videos. Other software upgrade includes Single Take 2.0.
Ultra S Pen
The Galaxy S device for the first time ever supports the S Pen, and the S21 Ultra enables that with a Wacom digitizer built into the display. The S-Pen allows you to draw, sketch and take notes, just like you can on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and Galaxy Note 20.
It is worth mentioning here that the S Pen is sold separately and it costs $40.
5G, Wi-Fi 6E and UWB
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra supports the latest wireless standards, including 5G. The Qualcomm X60 modem used in the device is capable of carrier aggregation, which delivers higher peak speeds and improved power efficiency. It also supports support Wi-Fi 6E and has UWB (ultra-wideband).
Software and Galaxy SmartTags
Much to the relief of those who keep losing stuff, you can use Samsung’s new Galaxy SmartTags in combination with SmartThings Find app to track down everything from your bag to your keys. You can use the app to find other Samsung devices such as your phones, earbuds, tablets, and smartwatches.
Battery and charging
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is backed by a 5,000 mAh battery, just like the S20 Ultra. Since the 5nm processor inside the phone is more efficient, the phone is likely to last longer on a charge. Watch this space for more reviews.