The S' series is undoubtedly exciting due to their newfangled design
The smartphone industry is an exceptionally ferocious market, and once you miss on something, the enthusiast and your competitors will drag you down for that. This time Samsung has checked on every possible list to push out the best device they can. The S' series is undoubtedly exciting due to their newfangled design, which looks fresh out of their playbook, unlike their previous series.
The significant change in terms of design is the camera bump. For years, smartphone manufacturers have been trying to cram bigger, better lenses and sensors into our phones. Along with those improvements comes a huge ugly protruding camera bump. Last year's S20 lineup was particularly egregious with that massive squircle bump that just stuck out of that otherwise beautiful glass back. Now, the S21 and S21+ still have a camera array. Instead of jutting out, Samsung has created this seamless piece of aluminium, that melts from the side rails of the phone onto the back, producing a spiffy two-tone design that looks great, especially on that phantom violet model.
As for those three rear cameras, there is a 12 MP wide, 12 MP ultra-wide, and a 64 MP telephoto lens, with a 10 MP front camera in that hole-punch on the front display of the device. Now, if those numbers look familiar to you, it's because these are virtually identical.
Samsung has made improvements to its AI processing and introduced several new camera features. Ones which I'm outright excited about is the mode where you can record from the rear and front cameras at the same time, so you get two camera streams at once, in addition to this, there's a new director's mode, where you can view and choose between the different cameras on the back, along with video recording up to 8k 24fps, there's a lot of streams being piped in at the same time, with that, you'll be able to view and select all in real-time.
It packs a ton of processing capabilities due to its new SOC Exynos 2100 for the global market or the Snapdragon 888 for the North American and European markets, accompanied by 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128 or 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
By settling for two different SOC's, it certainly disappoints. Over the years, we have seen Snapdragon performing better in every aspect from battery life, heating issues to benchmarks. This year is no different too, despite sharing the same 5nm architecture and running higher clock speeds than Snapdragon.
Samsung is getting better in its SOC game with every generation. However, they have a long road to walk on to go neck and neck with Snapdragon and A series of SOCs.
After years, Samsung went back to the board and decided to raise the fallen flat displays, which I'm sure glad about. Those repetitive accidental touches along with the fragile screen because of the whole curved design.
For the S21 it's 1080 x 2400 pixels, with 421 PPI density, S21+ 1080 x 2400 pixels, 394 PPI density both of the display supports refresh rate from 48 to 120Hz, HDR10+, and a peak brightness of 1300 nits.
As far as the display quality is concerned, it's one of the best OLED displays available in the market today, whether in terms of colour reproduction, viewing angles, brightness, etc.
It is protected by Corning's Victus on the front of both of the devices.
Both devices have mediocre charging capabilities featuring a 4000 in S21 and 4800 mAh battery in S21+. Both of them max out charging, over a cable at 25 Watts. Wirelessly, at 15 watts and with reversing charging, it is a measly four and a half Watts.
Contrasted to some Chinese devices out there, these are numbers that are half or less than half of what's available on the market. Nonetheless, I appreciate Samsung's conservative approach here; the last thing Samsung needs is another phone that lights on fire all over the place. If you're the kind of person who keeps your phone for longer than a year or two, you should undoubtedly consider charging at lower rates even if your phone supports crazy 65 Watt charging.
Other notable improvements include a super steady mode in video recording, 1.77 times bigger fingerprint reader for authentication, Wifi-6, Samsung's UI 3.1 built over Android 11 and 5G support.
With this year's S' series Samsung took a couple of steps back too. For starters, S21 back is made out of glasstic, a decorative marketing name used by Samsung for Polycarbonate.
Screen resolution dropped down to 1080p from 1440p
No micro SD expansion slot
Maxing out at 8GB of RAM instead of 12
Ironically, after extensively mocking Apple for removing the charger brick and earphones out of the box, guess who went ahead and did the same.
With a retailing price of Rs 69,999 for the S21, and Rs 81,999 for the S21+, they are certainly not cheap, but they have priced well enough to lure customers. If you are considering picking up a new flagship, I would recommend shortlisting them.
The author is a Tech-Enthusiast & a Blogger.
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