The Samsung Galaxy S21, S21 + and S21 Ultra have been formalized with great fanfare. Here is everything you need to know about these three new smartphones which offer some improvements compared to the previous generation, without upsetting the range.
« We were just ready“. This is what a Samsung official tells us to explain the advanced presentation of the Galaxy S21, S21 + and S21 Ultra. Unsurprisingly, the South Korean giant has officially lifted the veil on its new high-end smartphones.
All in all, this is mostly a smooth evolution of the previous generation: no major changes to report or very significant novelties. The three Galaxy S21s take the formula launched last year by their manufacturer and add some elements to it to make it more interesting.
Note also that we have already been able to discover the three smartphones before their presentation. You can find our first impressions:
You can also watch our presentation video below.
A module that rolls up and a matt back
Design side, the front offers something quite classic with a screen marked by a punch centered at the top. The Galaxy S21 and S21 + opt for a flat panel while the S21 Ultra prefers the curved style.
It is rather the aesthetics of the rear photo module that catches the eye. The protruding rectangle on the upper left corner is made of aluminum and sees its side roll up on the edge of the smartphone. Samsung does not justify this integration by a particular technical constraint: it is purely a question of design.
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a much larger module than the other two models due to the presence of a higher number of sensors. Another important detail to note: the back of this model, larger, heavier and more expensive, is in matt glass. The S20 + is entitled to the same treatment while the classic S20 is equipped with a plastic coating, but also polished to imitate the satin touch of the other two smartphones.
Smartphones all have a USB-C port, but no jacks or microSD drawers are in sight. The IP68 certification attests to the tightness of the three terminals.
Regarding the screen, Samsung persists and signs with the adaptive 120 Hz mode introduced on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. We find this function on each of the official smartphones. The AMOLED quality is also there.
For the rest, here is what you need to know about slabs:
- Galaxy S21 : 6.2 inches, up to Full HD +;
- Galaxy S21+ : 6.7 inches, up to Full HD +;
- Galaxy S21 Ultra : 6.8 inches, up to WQHD + (even at 120 Hz).
A brand new Exynos 2100, but no charger
Each smartphone is equipped with an Exynos 2100, the high-end chip engraved in 5 nm recently presented by Samsung and which looks quite promising, even if doubts remain in terms of energy efficiency.
Also count 8 GB of RAM on the Galaxy S21 and S21 + against 12 or 16 GB on the S21 Ultra depending on the version chosen. The battery capacities are respectively 4000, 4800 and 5000 mAh. Please note, the charger is not delivered in the box: Samsung is following in Apple’s footsteps by showing its desire to limit its environmental impact. It also allows the builder to save on manufacturing and transport costs.
So you will receive a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box – as well as headphones in France – and you can charge each smartphone up to 25 W or wirelessly. Reverse wireless charging is also available.
The photo improves without changing much
On the photo and video side, Samsung is bringing some new features to improve the user experience, the S range having always been very focused on this area. However, these are not major changes compared to last year.
The hardware configuration, for example, is very much inspired by the S20, but Samsung explains that it has integrated second generation sensors allowing colorimetry or night mode management.
On the Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21 +, the configuration in question looks like this:
- a main sensor of 12 megapixels (f / 1.8);
- a 64-megapixel (f / 2.0) sensor, for full-frame photos, 8K video and x3 lossless zoom depending on the brand;
- a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle (f / 2.2), 120 degrees.
On the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, here is what we find:
- a main 108 megapixel (f / 1.8) sensor, also used for 8K video;
- 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle (f / 2.2), 120 degrees;
- 10 megapixel x3 telephoto lens (f / 2.4);
- 10-megapixel x10 telephoto lens (f / 4.9);
- ToF sensor.
This more sophisticated model also benefits from a digital zoom of up to x100 and the possibility of capturing images in 12-bit RAW.
4K 60 fps video is unlocked on all sensors while super stabilized mode now works with recordings at 60 frames per second. A Zoom Lock mode freezes the image when you zoom in a lot and stop moving your hand, resulting in a sharper image at the end.
In addition, a director mode is also emerging. With it, the user can shoot while previewing what the video will look like if they switch to another sensor. This therefore makes it possible to better anticipate changes in shooting.
For selfies, the front sensor of the S21 Ultra has a definition of 40 megapixels against 10 megapixels for the two smaller smartphones.
The S Pen on the Galaxy S21 Ultra
All of these new devices run natively on Android 11 with the One UI 3.1 interface. On the Galaxy S21 Ultra, this is notably accompanied by compatibility with the S Pen – either that of a Samsung tablet, or that of an old Note, or a new stylus purchased separately. The latency time is 9 ms, but the Bluetooth functions for Air Gestures are not accessible.
No storage case is present on the smartphone to store the S Pen. It will be necessary to purchase separately a shell intended for this purpose.
Samsung Galaxy S21, S21 + and S21 Ultra pricing, availability and pre-orders
These three smartphones will be available from January 29 in France. The Galaxy S21 will be offered at the recommended price of 859 euros in its version with 128 GB of storage. Count 909 euros for the variation with 256 GB of storage.
The Galaxy S21 +, it will be sold at 1059 and 1109 euros depending on the version chosen.
Finally, the Galaxy S21 Ultra comes in three models with 128, 256, and 512 GB of storage – with 16 GB of RAM for the latter. The prices here are respectively 1259, 1309 and 1439 euros.
Pre-order offers are also available between January 14 and 28, 2021. For any pre-order of a Galaxy S21 or S21 +, you will receive a Galaxy SmartTag (Bluetooth tracker) and a pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds Live wireless headphones.
As for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, you will also receive the Galaxy SmartTag, but this time accompanied by the new Galaxy Buds Pro.