Following the same template as last year, Samsung released three Galaxy S21 models, with the Plus handset, which was the flagship a few years ago, in the middle of the range.
While the main difference between the S20 Ultra and S20 Plus was the camera setup, this year Samsung has created a clearer distinction between the two models, with Samsung pushing power users and serious Galaxy enthusiasts to the Ultra.
Release date and price of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus was announced along with the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Ultra during the company’s Unpacked virtual event on January 14th. Samsung unveiled its flagship range in 2021 about a month earlier than in previous years.
The release date of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus is set for January 29, 2021 in most regions including the US, UK and Australia.
The Galaxy S21 Plus starts at $ 999 / £ 949 / AU $ 1,549 for the 128GB and 8GB RAM variants of the phone. There is also a 256GB / 8GB version, but we don’t have confirmed prices for it yet.
This price is significantly cheaper than the introductory price for the Galaxy S20 Plus, especially in the US – the phone launched in 2020 for $ 1,199 / £ 999 / AU $ 1,649. This is mainly because the company opted for a Full HD + display rather than a higher resolution QHD panel – we’ll get to that in more detail below.
Design and display
Not much has changed on the front of the Galaxy S21 Plus compared to last year’s S20 Plus. The new model is a bit wider and heavier, but you don’t really feel that in your hand. It’s well balanced and as you’d expect, the S21 Plus feels like a premium phone every inch.
Flip it over and the new looking camera block melts into the body – looks a lot nicer in real life than it does in leaked images we’ve seen. The S21 Plus will be available in the colors Phantom Black, Phantom Silver and Phantom Violet. All models have a glass back with a matt surface, with which fingerprint marks can be reduced to a minimum.
The volume buttons and the power / bixby buttons are both on the right. On the bottom of the phone is the SIM tray, the USB Type-C port and a speaker. There is an additional speaker on the top of the device, while the glass back enables wireless charging and wireless reverse charging.
The S21 Plus has the same 6.7-inch screen as the Galaxy S20 Plus. However, for some reason, Samsung has reduced the maximum resolution of the S21 Plus, which is now limited to Full HD + instead of QHD. Another major difference between the display of the S21 Plus and the S21 Ultra is that the former does not support the S-Pen. Thankfully, the new phone’s screen still supports a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz.
The in-screen fingerprint sensor on the S21 Plus and the other S21 phones is larger than that of the S20 phones. Samsung claims it’s faster too, so unlocking your phone should be easier.
Camera and battery
The Galaxy S21 Plus camera array consists of a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 64-megapixel telephoto lens that supports a 3x hybrid zoom. If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because these are exactly the camera specs we saw on the Galaxy S20 Plus last year.
The new Exynos 2100 chipset’s ISP and improved AI capabilities will likely help to achieve better picture quality. However, we will only find out whether this also means a better / faster camera experience overall when we subject the S21 Plus to a full test process.
When it comes to video, Samsung has introduced a new Director view mode that allows you to record video from multiple cameras at the same time. For example, you can use the front and rear cameras to record reactions as well as your main video.
Samsung has increased the battery capacity of the S21 Plus from 4,500 mAh in the S20 Plus to 4,800 mAh. Combined with the more energy efficient processor, we hope that this means the S21 Plus has better battery life than its predecessor. We didn’t have much to complain about when it came to the S20 Plus’s battery performance.
Performance and software
There’s a lot on the Samsung Exynos 2100 processor, the chip that powers the S21 range outside of the US, including the S21 Plus we reviewed. In the US, the phones will be equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. Since Galaxy phones with Samsung’s own chips have played second fiddle to models with Qualcomm processors in terms of performance and battery life in the past, Samsung is relying on the Exyon 2100 this year.
While the phone felt extremely nimble and sleek with it during our hands-on time with it, that’s not the most reliable measure of performance. We’ll have to wait to get the phone for a full review to see what progress Samsung has made over its last generation chip and how it compares to the Snapdragon version of the S21.
The Galaxy S21 range includes 5G. Samsung is also doing without separate 4G models and 5G models this year, which never really made sense for us. Why would anyone go for a 4G-only version of a flagship phone when a future-proof 5G is also available? whether it costs a little more?
The Galaxy S21 runs Android 11 with Samsung’s OneUI 3.1 overlay. The two big changes we saw were the inclusion of Google Feeds instead of Samsung Daily and Google Messages for SMS instead of Samsung’s messaging app. Interestingly, the Samsung messaging app was also present on the phone, but it wasn’t set as the default and didn’t appear on the home screen. We’re excited about the Google feed as the Samsung version was very unconvincing.
The Plus model in Samsung’s 2021 Galaxy S range feels like a bit of an odd shot. . While the S21 Ultra clearly stands out in every way, the S21 Plus feels like a phone that Samsung has deliberately narrowed down and changes it in terms of key features. Yes, it has the new Exynos 2100 chipset and larger battery in some regions, but the screen resolution is lower than last year’s S20 Plus and the camera setup remains the same as on this phone.
All of this makes us feel like the S21 Plus isn’t the update many fans have been hoping for. We don’t want to jump around with the gun and wait until we have fully checked the phone before making a final judgment. However, at this point it is clear that the S21 Ultra is the clear choice for those looking to be Samsung’s top phone in 2021.
Source link : https://www.techradar.com/reviews/samsung-galaxy-s21-plus/