Pre-orders for Samsung’s Galaxy S21 trio went live this Friday. You can check this article for the prices of the three flagships in the US, Europe and India. Keep in mind that pre-orders get freebies and if you don’t want a TWS headset and a smart tag, you can wait a bit after sales start for the prices to drop. Or maybe you’re no going to buy an S21 at all, that’s what we want to ask you today.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G feels is definitely the one that got the most upgrades. It has an improved 108MP sensor, a longer 10x periscope and a 3x telephoto lens for mid-range zoom, plus Samsung enabled 4K 60fps recording on all cameras.
Advanced quad camera on the S21 Ultra • New chipsets promise faster CPU and GPU performance
Some will love the new S Pen support, others won’t care – it’s completely optional, anyway. But everyone will get a bright 6.8” display to enjoy with 1440p+ resolution and an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate (which can go down to 10Hz).
Galaxy S21 Ultra: S Pen support • Brighter 6.8″ 1440p+ display with 120 Hz adaptive refresh rate
There’s no battery upgrade, it stays at 5,000 mAh capacity and even drops the 45W charging support. Samsung dropped the charger too as well as the microSD slot, which will probably irritate many.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G fared the worst of the three – its display is down to 1080p+ resolution, its back is made of “glasstic”, which is mostly a fancy marketing terms for plastic, while the battery capacity remains the same. That said, we have a feeling that it will be more popular than the Plus.
For one, it’s smaller – at 6.2” it’s not exactly compact, but most flagships these days have at least 6.5” displays, some go to 6.7” and higher. And it’s the cheapest of the three, those $100/€100 saved can make a big difference. Also, it’s not like the Plus has better cameras or more storage.
Indeed, the larger Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G has the same triple camera as the S21. The same as the S20, actually, though the new sensors and image processing may improve image quality over the 2020 generation. And this phone does get a battery upgrade, gaining 300 mAh for a total of 4,800 mAh.
You can have only 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB storage on the S21 and S21+. The Ultra is better on both fronts as it starts with 12GB of RAM and the top configuration is 16/512GB.
Galaxy S21 and S21+: different size • same cameras
As for chipsets, there are two versions of each model, one powered by the Snapdragon 888 and one by the Exynos 2100, divided geographically as usual. This year the two chips are pretty close, but we may see a difference in power efficiency and GPU performance.
We’ll naturally review the phones in detail soon, including testing the chipsets, but until then we have only leaked benchmarks to look at. By the way, there are no 4G models this year, only 5G.
You can check out our coverage wrap-up for more details on the phones. We’ve also prepared Pros and Cons lists for the S21 trio and for the S21 vs. S20 models, which can serve as quick reminders about the best (and not that great) features. There’s also a video that covers the key features.