Samsung launched the Galaxy S21 series on 14 January 2021 and after several months we had the opportunity to review the flagship model S21 Ultra 5G model.
At the time of this review, the S21 Ultra 5G is selling at SGD$ 1798 on Samsung official website.
The S21+ 5G model at SGD$1228 and S21 5G model at SGD$978.
All three model support 5G but base on our review, the S21 Ultra 5G is the one to go for because of the added features and performance. We didn’t care much about 5G as the current 4G is already fast enough for daily use. However, if you are one who paid more for a 5G plan, then getting the 5G model smartphone is essential for fast connection.
First let’s talk about the design. The S21 series has all new bold design with contour cut camera design, with striking metal housing. The S21 and S21+ have new eye-catching colours with luxurious haze finish. We liked the S21 Ultra’s premium color options, Phantom Black and Phantom Silver. The review set we had was in Phantom Black, and it must be one of the best black color phone we have seen. The phone is also super heavy (227g) with massive camera housing, a bit top heavy so we would recommend having protective phone case for your daily use.
Now let’s look at the features. This phone has Intelligent Display and Pro-Grade Camera, two of the most important feature when shopping for a smartphone nowadays. S21 Ultra has 6.8 inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x QHD+ display, industry’s best display available by Samsung. It gives you best viewing experience and super smooth scrolling on its edge to edge display. You get more vivid and clearer look of your content on the phone. The display auto adjust from 10-120Hz and optimises power consumption based on the content you’re viewing. The peak brightness is 1500nit which is almost unheard of before the S21 Ultra launch. Eye Comfort Shield helps reduce eye fatigue by auto adjusting the display’s blue light based on your usage patterns.
100X zoom (While at 100X Zoom the image is a bit blur but consider the fact this is captured from a compact smartphone and not a DSLR with dedicated Zoom lens, it is still a very useful feature when you want to take a picture of a distance object)
Next, let’s look at the camera. It has a Quad cameras system plus a front camera system. These are the 108MP Wide camera, 12MP Ultra wide camera, 10M Telephoto (3x) and 10M Telephoto (10x), Max zoom up to 100X. The front camera is 40MP for high resolution selfie. It can capture 4K 60 fps filming on all cameras.
There are all-new video innovations which includes Live Thumbnails to allow preview of Live Thumbnails to switch angles, zoom, go wide, or close in seamlessly without losing any action. The Vlogger View video mode allows you to capture both front and back view at the sametime, it gives you a “picture in picture” recording. The enhances Single Take model is also very useful as it lets you shoot photos and video simultaneously, giving you more options to choose from. With 5X more AI processing than previously available, and new pro-style video features like Highlight Video and Dynamic Slow-Mo, you will get incredible pictures and video clips in just one take. Just by pressing one button, several photos and videos are taken which allows you to select the optimum one for use or editing later. You will never miss a moment as you do not need to switch from photo mode to video mode, or from wide angle lens to telephoto lens. We find this feature super useful. There is also a Super Steady mode when capturing video but you will need to select FHD 60fps for using this mode to get super smooth video. There is the most advanced Night Mode due to S21 Ultra’s Bright Night Sensor which can capture low-light photography.
One other feature we loved is the Cinematic 8K Snap, which lets you grab your special moment from an 8K video recording and convert to hi-res photo. Yes, 8K video, and in our test, the video is super sharp, we notice the extra sharpness compare to 4K video. The disadvantage is the large file size when taking 8K video but the quality is very good. Other recording features includes Multi-Mic Recording. The pro-grade camera also produces better portriat photo, and natural Bokeh. The 100X zoom is legendary and we tested it by zooming onto buildings miles away. The improved Zoom Lock helps stabilize the image.
The power of S Pen comes to the Galaxy S21 Ultra, now you can use the S Pen on the S21 Ultra. It support the latest Wi-Fi 6E and Dual Bluetooth technology. The battery capacity is 5,000 mAh and with fast charging, you get more than 50% charge in just 30mins.
In summary, this Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is packed with useful features, with big improvement on Camera system, Screen quality, CPU power, Responsive touch screen and 5G connection. Plus the added S Pen function, this really makes it one of the best Android photo to go for.