Samsung Galaxy S21+ Full Review

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Samsung once again has launched a new series of Galaxy S phones to the market and this year it’s on the every early of the year. For the second year in a row, Samsung unveils three phones in the same series as part of the spring flagship roster.

After 2 weeks of trying the phone out, we have come out with a more in-depth review of the phone and its performance in this article. Below are some of the highlights that we think might be useful for you to take note of when considering buying the Galaxy S21+.

Great Hand Grip

The front of the Galaxy S21+ remains mostly unchanged from last year with an almost bezel-free display and a selfie camera cutout at the top center. However, the curved glass is gone. Instead, we have flat sides all around with gently rounded corners. As mentioned in our Samsung Galaxy S21+ First Impression article, that is also the main reason that we feel very comfortable when holding the phone.

The first time holding this phone, it’s really sturdy and doesn’t feel cheap nor too heavy despite of it having the metal on the side and glass that are equipped with it. It’s very comfortable to hold because of its curve nature that fits to human hands and palms. With the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus at the front and back, it enables the screen to be more scratch and drop resistant compare to its predecessor.

Screen Performance

The Galaxy S21+ has the same 6.7-inch sized screen with an edge-to-edge Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O display with adaptive 120Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling and viewing as the Galaxy S20+. It automatically adjusts the frame rate based on the content whether you’re swiping through your social feeds or watching shows. However, for some reason, Samsung has reduced the maximum resolution on the S21+ which is now restricted to Full HD+ rather than QHD.

This is done to create a balance between the smoothness and power consumption of the image. The flat display panel also equips with Eye Comfort Shield which automatically adjusts the blue light based on the time of the day, content you’re viewing, and your bedtime that helps us to relieve some of the stress of looking at the screen for a long period of time.

Reliable and Versatile Camera

The Galaxy S21+ offers 10MP  with f/2.2 selfie camera and an array comprises a 12MP wide lens with f/2.2 aperture and a viewing angle of 120°, a 12MP ultra-wide lens with f/1.8 aperture and 1.8 microns pixel size and a 64MP telephoto lens with f/2.0 that’s capable of 30x hybrid zoom which is equipped with OIS on the back camera.

They might not be huge jumps forward from the S20+, but we have to say that we do like the pictures from the S21+ and they’re especially great for social media sharing as they have a real color punch. The ultra-wide camera also produces fantastic photos which enable us to get everything that we want in the picture.

Wide Angle View
Normal View
2x Zoom
4x Zoom
10x Zoom
20x Zoom
30x Zoom

Based on the result that we have got, the Galaxy S21+’s 30x zoom’s photo quality is much more improved compared to its predecessor Galaxy S20+ (even though we don’t encourage to zoom more than 10x for the Galaxy S21+).

This might because of its new Exynos 2100 chipset’s ISP and improved AI capabilities in the Galaxy S21+ that have helped to produce better image quality for it’s zoom photos.

Video Performance

When it comes to video, Samsung has introduced a new Director’s View mode, which enables you to capture video from multiple cameras simultaneously – for example, you can use the front and back cameras to capture reactions as well as your main video.

Director's View

The improved 8K Snap lets its user grab crystal clear images from the 8K video footage that could capture all the live-action and get standout still shots almost immediately when the record button was pressed. With the Super Steady video at an improved 60fps, the footage will be buttery-smooth even in fast-moving or bumpy conditions.

We found the new Zoom Lock minimizes shaky hands and captures clearer images at 30x zoom on Galaxy S21+. The enhanced processing power also helps in getting brighter pictures, even in the dark with lesser noise.

Maybe the biggest camera drawback with the Galaxy S21+is that it cannot shoot videos in 4K as they had replaced the 4K videos with its UHD format videos. Nevertheless, it allows us to shoot videos in 8K format.

Battery Life & RAM Storage

Samsung has increased the battery capacity of the S21+ to 4,800mAh from 4,500mAh on the Galaxy S20+, and combined with the more power-efficient processor it means that the Galaxy S21+ has better battery life than its predecessor and it can be purchased with either 128GB or 256GB of internal storage.

Equipt with Super Fast Charging cable (25w), the Galaxy S21+ could be fully charged from 0% in just 1 hour 35 minutes. It also offers Fast Wireless Charging function and Wireless Powershare where it allows the phone to charge other wireless charging devices.

The Phone Performance

The Galaxy S21+ is equipped with Samsung’s very own Exynos 2100 chipset also enables better quality and faster performance in terms of its procession and scrolling. Paired with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 and 8GB of RAM, it was the most exciting thing about this phone as it was a very big jump in performance compared to its predecessor; Galaxy S20+ which are only equipped with Exynos 990 chipset and Qualcomm Snapdragon 865.

Security

As we are using our smartphones more than ever, we are so used to be doing our financial transactions such as online banking, online payment, Payment, and many more through our phones. Hence the need for high security to protect our sensitive data are more important than ever. One of the best features that Samsung has added in the Galaxy S21 series were Samsung Knox Vault, Samsung’s own proprietary chipset level (SoC) security platform. By adding tamper-resistant secure memory to our secure processor, Samsung Knox Vault enables S21 to add a new layer of protection.

Galaxy S21+ also introduces a new tool to protect and monitor your privacy. You can safely remove location metadata from photos before sharing. With Galaxy S21+’s all-new Private Share function, you can also control who gets access to the content you send, and how long it’s available – so you can share content worry-free.

It also has an Ultra-Wideband radio so you can more easily locate things you’ve attached one of Samsung’s new SmartThings trackers to. (You’ll also be able to use that UW radio to unlock your car this year, according to the company.)

To our surprise, we liked the S21+ a lot more than we thought we would. For once, we appreciate having this perfectly flat glass over the Plus’s 6.7-inch screen. We haven’t spent as much time with the S21+ as we would’ve liked, but believe us when we tell you this is the first big phone we’ve used in a long time where we didn’t have to worry about tapping things we didn’t mean to. That might not sound like a huge deal, but it’s the little, day to day frustrations that tend to wear people down the most over time, and we appreciate the fix.

The Samsung Galaxy S21+ was priced at RM4,299 with 3 colors for selection; Phantom Violet, Phantom Black, and Phantom Silver. It’s available for purchase on Samsung’s official website at http://www.Samsung.com/my.

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