Samsung has this time been quite early this year with the launch of the S21 lineup. The flagship lineup is one that had been full of leaks and speculation ever since the launch of the Note 20 series. But what is clear is that the group borrows a lot from last year’s S and Note series.
Like the S20, the Samsung Galaxy S21 comes in three models; S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra. As expected, The S21 Ultra is the father of them all bringing in those features that truly define it as a high-end device. However, what is quite different with this lineup is the striking resemblance that the S21 and S21 Plus are almost separating themselves totally from the Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy S21 & S21 Plus
The main bump that these two smartphones bring isn’t necessarily the hardware. It’s actually the prices that seem to have finally dropped with the S21 launching at $799 and the S21 Plus at $999. Of course, the Kenyan market will have the devices selling for a few extra coins.
Unfortunately, these price drops come with a compromise when it comes to actual specifications. While the displays are the same at 6.2 inches for S21 nd 6.7 inches for S21 Plus, the subtly curved edges have been gotten rid of. This might be a bummer for anyone owning the S20 and the S20 Plus but flat panels still do their work.
The resolution has also been dropped from last year’s 3200 x 1400 pixels to 2400 x 1080 pixels on both screens. Luckily, you will still get 120Hz maximum refresh rates even though it is noticeably low. The RAM has also been adjusted from 12GB to 8GB.
The regular Galaxy S21 has its back cover now made of polycarbonate (basically plastic) and not aluminium. There is no doubt that this definitely takes off that premium feel compared to the Galaxy S20.
Nevertheless, it’s not all doom and gloom as the processor has been upgraded to Snapdragon 888. What is saddening is that the Kenyan market will most likely be getting the Exynos versions.
5G is also now an option with both device, with support for mmWave and sub-6GHz networks. As for the batteries, the S21 offer 4,000mAh while the S21 Plus brings in 4,800mAh.
The design imitates Note 20 a lot although the camera modules do offer a different twist that would be explained only by looking at them. Speaking of cameras, both smartphones offer a 12MP wide-angle camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera and a 64MP telephoto lens alongside a 10MP selfie camera.
The software has been bumped up with features like 30x “Space Zoom” mode and a “Director’s View” mode. The latter lets you take videos while easily swapping between lenses.
While the S21 and S21 Plus look more like restrained devices, the S21 Ultra clearly does not hold back and pictures what an upgraded S20 Ultra would look like.
Launched at $1,19, the S21 does offer a lot of similar feature from 2020’s model. This includes a massive display, the 108MP camera and high-end specs. Oh, and the S Pen has finally made the shift to the S series as it will now be compatible with this particular model. This will, however, be an optional accessory that is set to make one dig deeper if you want it.
The 6.8-inch OLED display comes with 3200 x 1440 pixels and a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. Such a screen would definitely take advantage of the refresh rate thanks to the high resolution.
The device also packs 12GB of RAM, 5,000mAH battery and up to 512GB of storage. Like its two smaller siblings, the phone will be powered by the latest Snapdragon 888 processor.
What sets the camera module apart is obviously the 108MP camera that lies alongside a 12MP ultrawide camera and two separate 10MP telephoto lenses. One of the telephoto lenses offers 3x zoom and the other 10x zoom. According to Samsung, this is meant to give users more flexibility in how they approach shots.