This Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review was written in response to the company’s latest ‘everything’ phone, which had more cameras, better specs and S Pen compatibility. It is the new flagship of the company, with more cameras, beefier specs and even S Pen support, to rival the very popular Note 20 Ultra. The S21 Ultra is the perfect phone for those who are worried about the demise of Note series.
It has been replaced by the Samsung Galaxy S22 U in 2022. Although it is no longer the company’s flagship smartphone, it is still worth the investment.
Samsung’s vision for smartphone excess 2021 includes five cameras with a 108MP sensor and two telephoto cameras. There are also 40MP selfies and 100x zoom. All this is packed into an Android phone that features a 6.8 inch 120Hz Quad HD display, an upgraded in-screen fingerprint scanner, and a surface area that is 1.7x greater than the original.
It was among the first smartphones that we tested in 2021. Samsung has updated its main camera with lasers to fix the autofocus problems on the Galaxy S20 UHT0_. They also upgraded the specs to handle the large 8K video, 108MP photos and 40MP selfies without any hiccups.
The photos look sharp and dynamic, and Samsung’s “tripod lock” software feature keeps the subjects at 30x and 100x zoom levels. This prevents the viewfinder image jumping around. Although it’s easier to achieve the 100x Space Zoom, due to the grainy images and limited light, 30x is still possible.
The S21 Ultra’s optical zoom levels of 10x and 3x were the best – better than any other smartphone telephoto cameras. Comparing the iPhone 12 Pro Max with its 2.5x optical zoom proved it. While Apple’s main camera can capture better photos in low-light situations than Samsung’s, Samsung’s night mode is much more feature-packed and easy to use than Apple.
Speed and photography are only two-thirds the story. The story is one of design beauty and performance. It features a gently curving edge-to-edge display and a smaller rear camera bump. There’s also a mesmerizing matte Phantom Black color option, which draws your eyes in. Other colors are also available. It’s difficult to look away. Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra phone is the most beautiful ever.
The S21 Ultra is a welcome addition to an economy slowdown. While the new look and performance hasn’t resulted in a higher price, Samsung actually made this phone much cheaper. Although we felt the original Ultra phone was too expensive, the S21 Ultra is still very affordable – more than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. But Samsung offers a lot more: a bigger, brighter, more capable screen, 10x optical zoom (vs. 2.5x on iPhone) and stylus support. This is something Apple has not offered on any iPhone.
Samsung might offer more value depending on your priorities.
What’s the catch? The S21 Ultra was Samsung’s vision for excess. But you will have to let go what doesn’t fit in the company’s plan. The microSD card slot is gone, as well as MST (the ability to use Samsung Pay with a credit card machine even though they don’t have NFC). The box doesn’t contain a charger. Samsung, like Apple, cites ewaste as the reason that the power brick isn’t included.
You might be able to get over the absence of a 3.5mm headset jack on Samsung smartphones. We have seen YouTube comments from some extremes stating “no microSD, not sale”. There’s enough good news here to make up for any minor inconveniences. We’re confident that this ‘Ultra’ phone will live up to its name.
While other smartphones have been launched since our original review – such as the iPhone 13 and OnePlus 9 PRO, the Xiaomi Mi11 – the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra remained the pick for the best smartphone until the launch the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
It is also one of the most popular Android phones, and ranks among the top Samsung phones.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Price and Release Date
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra was released on January 29, 2021
- The phone is priced at $1,199/PS1,149/AU$1,849
- If you want more storage, you will pay more.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra specs
Dimensions : 165.1 x 7.5.6 x 8.9mm
Display Size: 6.8 inches
Resolution: 1440 x 3200
Chipset: Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100
Rear camera 108MP +10MP +10MP +12MP
Front camera – 40MP
Pre-installed Software:Android 11
Charging: 25W wired, 15W wireless
The release date for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra was January 29, 2021. It’s currently available in the US and Australia, as well as other countries. The official announcement was made on January 14th, which is a month earlier than usual for the flagship smartphone. Samsung is breaking with trends in 2021.
Although the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s price is significantly lower than that of the S20 Ultra, it will still cost you a lot. For a 128GB version, it starts at $1199 / PS1,149 / AU$1,849.
Despite the fact that this is the listed price, many shops are selling the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra at a lower price. The price will continue to drop over time.
You should keep in mind that the microSD card slot is not available for expanding storage. If you are looking to take lots of 4K 60fps and 8K 24fps videos, the 256GB and 512GB storage options may be more suitable. The latter size also increases the RAM to 16GB.
Are you feeling too rich? Although the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus do not offer ‘Space Zoom’ or S Pen support, or 108MP rear/40MP self-photos, you get the 3x optical zoom, and a sleek design at a much lower price.
- These are the top Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Deals today
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra design & display
- Large phone with 6.8-inch screen and 120Hz refresh rate
- Contour Cut camera is divisive but it looks amazing
- There are many color options
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is a stunning smartphone. We didn’t even bother to cover it while testing. Although it is risky, the matte Phantom Black finish on our review device helped to minimize fingerprints and camera bumps.
Apart from the Vantablack-like Phantom Black, there is also a Phantom Silver color available everywhere. Samsung’s online store has three additional options: Phantom Titanium and Phantom Navy, as well as Phantom Brown.
No matter what color you choose, the matte finish on each one is a big improvement over last year’s S20 series which had a reflective sheen that made them look plasticky and cheap.
Two main colors for the Galaxy S21 Ultra (Image credit to Future)
The Galaxy S21 Ultra and S21 Plus both have smooth Gorilla Glass backs, while the Galaxy S21 has a more rigid polycarbonate (read as plastic) back. The difference can only be seen in side-by-side comparisons.
The S21 Ultra is large where it’s needed to be and minimizes everything you don’t want to see. The large display measures 6.8 inches in length, but the curve of the screen makes it almost impossible to see the bezel. Additionally, the 40MP front camera conceals behind a small punch-hole that is easy to overlook after just a few minutes of watching a video.