Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G review: Samsung’s best S series for $200 less than last year’s model Review

Samsung shifted its once-a-year Galaxy S collection launch about a month to the still left this year, and supplied the troubles we all faced in 2020, it is nice to see 2021 start out off with some fresh telephones from Samsung with a considerable cost fall. We were despatched a new Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G to evaluate and will be pursuing up this evaluate with far more articles or blog posts considering the fact that there is a good deal to unpack.

Also: Samsung Galaxy S21 5G evaluate: Entry-level flagship drops $two hundred with number of compromises

The Galaxy S21 telephones are the first to launch greatly with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor inside of and 5G help for Sub6, mid-band, and mmWave so buyers are protected across the 5G spectrum with any of the three S21 types out there from Samsung. We see enhancements across the board in the screen, cameras, software, and far more. In addition, the S21 Ultra 5G supports the S Pen and just about everything we see in the Observe collection.

Also: Samsung Galaxy Note’s potential in concern amid Galaxy S21 Ultra launch

The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G provides all you could want in 2021 and sets the bar for Android smartphones this year. The mobile phone is out there for pre-purchase with all types of trade-in and launch provides as properly. If you are thinking of this mobile phone and have an more mature mobile phone sitting all over then now is the time to purchase it considering the fact that Samsung’s trade-in specials adjust appreciably right after the mobile phone launches and the pre-purchase interval expires.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G technical specs

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
  • Main screen: six.eight inches, 3200 x 1440 pixels resolution (515PPI), Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O with adaptive 120Hz refresh rate
  • Working method: Android eleven
  • RAM: 12GB/16GB LPDDR5
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB internal storage options
  • Cameras: 10MP rear f/four.9 telephoto with 10x optical zoom and a second 10MP f/two.four telephoto digital camera with 3x optical zoom, 108MP f/1.eight large-angle digital camera, and 12MP f/two.two extremely-large digital camera (one hundred twenty degrees subject-of-watch). 40MP f/two.two entrance-struggling with digital camera.
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth five. LE, GPS/Galileo/GLONASS/Beidou, NFC, UWB
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Mild Sensor
  • Dust/h2o resistance: IP68 ranking
  • Battery: 5000mAh non-removable with quickly wireless charging. Wi-fi PowerShare is also out there.
  • Proportions: a hundred sixty five.1 x seventy five.six x eight.9mm and 229G
  • Shades: Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Titanium, Phantom Navy, and Phantom Brown

In the previous, buyers had to opt for from a reduced resolution to get pleasure from the best 120Hz refresh rate, but with the S21 Ultra, you can now toggle on the Quad High definition Moreover location and the adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. The screen also provides twenty five% far more brightness than any prior Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

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The screen is manufactured of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on both of those the entrance and back, so we will have to see how toughness exams keep up to the promises.

Also: Samsung’s Galaxy S21 is formal: Launch date, cost, functions, specs, and everything else you need to know


Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra performs with S Pen. 



The most putting new hardware function on the S21 Ultra is the new Contour Slice digital camera housing that extends the steel body out from the right facet and all over the back. The cameras are surrounded by this body piece, providing a instead special digital camera array layout. Like the S20 Ultra from 2020, conditions are very likely to be launched to accommodate this digital camera bump and make the back of the unit flat so it isn’t going to rock when positioned back down on a surface area.

The digital camera on the S20 Ultra was disappointing in some spots but was enhanced by means of software updates. Original test comparison pictures, look at out our embedded graphic gallery, exhibit that effects from the S21 Ultra are clearly far better than the S20 Ultra. With two telephoto cameras, a 108MP digital camera, and improved digital camera software we will deliver a digital camera deep dive posting in the potential as we continue on to test night time manner, portrait manner (Reside Aim renamed), and a great deal far more.

The other considerable hardware enhancement in the S21 Ultra is help for the S Pen expertise. The S21 and S21 Moreover do not have this help while the S21 Ultra includes Wacom technology. I analyzed out this new S Series functionality utilizing S Pens from the Galaxy Tab Active3, Tab S7 Moreover, and Observe ten Moreover. All capabilities of the S Pen, which include monitor off memos, do the job on the S21 Ultra with the exception of Bluetooth Air Actions. There is no way to retailer and cost an S Pen on the S21 Ultra so it is not envisioned that Air Actions would be supported. Samsung will be offering three accessories for the S Pen expertise, which include an S Pen for the S Series. 

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is a lovely piece of hardware with nominal top rated and bottom bezels, no facet bezels, and a little gap-punch centered entrance-struggling with digital camera. The energy/Bixby and volume buttons on the right facet with nothing at all on the still left facet. The sides have a little bit of a flat surface area so the mobile phone feels a little bit like a Observe with much less curve on the edges.

The Tremendous AMOLED screen is of course stunning and I’m positive will get paid the best title of any smartphone screen shortly. Samsung continues to make improvements to its screen, even when it appears there is small to make improvements to considering the fact that Samsung sets the bar for screen technology on smartphones. Higher brightness, enhanced distinction ratio, and Eye Comfort and ease Shield is incorporated in the S21 Ultra.

One more adjust that may perhaps worry company buyers is the lack of help for microSD in any Galaxy S21 product, which include the S21 Ultra. Swappable, expandable storage has constantly been a staple of Samsung smartphones and may perhaps be missed by some. For just $50 far more you can jump from the entry 128GB of storage to 256GB while the jump all the way to 512GB (and accompanying 16GB of RAM) is $180. I never took out my microSD card and $50 additional for 256GB, will not ignore the entry cost is $two hundred much less than previous year’s S20 line, is a realistic tactic. Samsung’s integrated storage is the quickest out there on Android so while some may perhaps lament the conclusion of microSD I’m not concerned with the adjust.

Wi-Fi 6E help is provided in the S21 Ultra, but I was not able to test this out considering the fact that I do not have obtain to a 6E community. It can be excellent to have as it delivers some potential-proofing to Samsung’s hottest flagship smartphone. UWB is also current and provides a little bit of potential-proofing considering the fact that we are just starting off to see purposes for UWB technology.

Also: Samsung Galaxy S21 starts at $799.ninety nine, launches Galaxy S21 Moreover, Galaxy S21 Ultra with digital camera upgrades

Computer software

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G launches with Android eleven and Samsung One particular UI three. The January 1, 2021, Android protection update is current on our evaluate device. We may perhaps acquire far more updates on these evaluation units prior to community availability later on this month.

I have been utilizing One particular three.x on a Galaxy S20 Ultra for a number of weeks and am content with the person interface. One particular detail I am happy to see is the update to the launcher where Google Explore now seems as an option on the much still left house monitor panel. You can however swap to Samsung Totally free, but it is really excellent to see Samsung providing buyers with options. In the previous, I constantly turned off this panel because I failed to locate Samsung’s offering quite persuasive. This is the similar for me with OnePlus and its aged Shelf house monitor panel.

Facebook is set up by default, but instead than just disable it you can now fully uninstall it, and I certainly did as shortly as I fired up the app launcher. We however locate some Samsung applications, this sort of as Internet, Messages, Samsung Notes, Samsung Health and fitness, and a number of others, but you are supplied the option to find these applications in the course of set up so you do not have to set up them all and have far more control in excess of your mobile phone than you did in the previous.

DeX wireless help is offered so you can link the S21 Ultra to a Pc or keep an eye on and get pleasure from a Pc-like expertise powered by the S21 Ultra. We also see great integration with Microsoft Outlook, To-Do, and Teams, which is great for company buyers.

The digital camera software has been enhanced with a new function named Director’s Look at that is designed to assist with collaboration, especially in the course of these instances of social distancing and remote do the job. With Director’s Look at enabled you can rapidly toggle among the diverse rear cameras on the mobile phone while obtaining the option to document oneself facet-by-facet or photograph-in-photograph format so that you can share facts far better with your teams. This appears like a excellent option for my on-website shipyard inspection workforce to share fabrication, installation, and tests experiences with me found in a house business office 1000’s of miles away.

Each day utilization experiences

The two default S21 Ultra colors, Phantom Black and Phantom Silver, are great for business use. The other three colors are exclusives and supply a specialist search with a little bit of aptitude. I’m critically thinking of the Phantom Brown coloration as brown is one particular of my three most loved colors and it looks sharp on the Samsung site. The S21 Ultra will launch on Jan. 29, starting off at $1,199.ninety nine. There are pre-purchase provides and trade-in provides out there, also.

Samsung despatched together the S21 Ultra with the very best specs, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage, so this beast has been able to cope with everything we have thrown at it so much. I have played CPU demanding games, opened up a number of applications and quite a few in split-monitor manner, viewed movies, and far more to see if there were any impacts on performance, but never recognized any reduction at all. The speakers sound great and I have liked Star Wars flicks taking part in with no linked headset.

As I stated before, I have been taking pictures with the S21 Ultra and other telephones, but have to devote far more time with it to move final judgment. So much I like what I am observing, but also get pleasure from the output from the Apple iphone twelve Pro Max. Keep tuned for a potential posting on the cameras of this stunning mobile phone.

I was not striving to carry out any toughness exams, but my daughter established the S21 Ultra down on a e book and because of to the slippery mother nature of the mobile phone it slowly and gradually slid down the e book and then headed down. The e book was on a granite island about 4 ft large so the mobile phone fell down eight inches to yet another granite counter and struck that on the facet (taking out a little chunk of my granite counter) and then yet another three moreover ft monitor down on the hardwood floor. There was no damage to the mobile phone, apart from for a minor scratch on the edge, with far more damage carried out to my counter. It looks like Victus glass is holding up properly.

Samsung reigns supreme when it comes to cellular reception and connect with high-quality. I have only been out and about to a number of spots in excess of the previous week so will continue on to test these capabilities, but callers say I sound crystal very clear and protection has been rock sound with both of those LTE and 5G showing up everywhere you go I have traveled.

It can be been a few of many years considering the fact that I individually thought of a Galaxy S collection for myself considering the fact that I have been having fun with the Observe line and new Z Fold types, but the S21 Ultra 5G gets just about everything right and is lovely. I adore that it is a number of millimeters narrower than the Apple iphone twelve Pro Max and that the zoom cameras deliver one thing special with sound high-quality. The cost is right for the S21 Ultra 5G and I will not know how I am going to resist purchasing my own in the following week.