Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review, latest Price in Pakistan and full specs
The first 2021 top-of-the-range smartphone to arrive in the editorial office is Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and it is probably also the one that will be the reference for the next releases on the high-end . Samsung has taken up the S20 Ultra project and has filed in all compartments to smooth the corners and enhance the quality of the hardware, the result is a convincing product from almost all points of view , with some minor sins of which you can easily forget.
However, the protagonist of today’s review is not the only new Galaxy launched on the market in recent days, together with him also Samsung Galaxy S21 and Samsung Galaxy S21 + , we will soon offer you a review of both , while you can already consult that of the true wireless headphones Buds Pro , reachable at this link:
WELL INSPIRED DESIGN
Not everyone liked the Galaxy S of last year, the simple design, the pastel colors were not able to break through, the S20 Ultra was then much criticized for the strong contrast of the rear “tile” containing the optical group.
Samsung then applied and came up with a decidedly more refined design, managing to almost hide the optical group in the frame, then adding glossy and matte finishes in different points to create an interesting game of reflections. The stylistic imprint is shared between the three S21 models, with only the base model (S21) distinguished by a polycarbonate back cover.
The device we tested is instead in black, the back cover in frosted glass, same finish but on the metal for the optical group while the aluminum edge is glossy. Bad, it conveys quality just by seeing it. On the other hand, on the other hand, it is not so original and roughly shares the design of the latest Samsungs arrived on the market, the frames are very thin and the large display surface is interrupted only by a very small hole for the front camera in a central position, to finish the edges are just curved.
Clearly he did not skimp on the build quality, the assemblies are impeccable and the IP68 certification against water and dust is present.
The dimensions are important, albeit slightly lower than the predecessor, the weight is also felt in the hand, especially when combined with the ugly cover with housing for S-Pen sold separately (together with S-Pen, 70 Euro). However, the compatibility with the S-Pen is one of the novelties that we most appreciated and that manages to make sense of the 6.8-inch display.
The display of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra alone is worth the price of the ticket, with a peak of brightness that reaches 1600 nits it is the brightest screen (outdoors and in HDR) mounted on a smartphone but the records do not end there. In particular it stands out from all the others thanks to the VRR technology up to 120 Hz for controlling the refresh rate.
Unlike what happens in the norm with high refresh rate displays where the user can set the frequency to 60 or 90/120 Hz, on the S21 Ultra the frequency varies dynamically and instantly from 120 to 10 Hz thanks to the control driver of the panel and does not impose waivers on the exploitable resolution. As we have seen in the review , Note 20 Ultra comes close numerically but can only vary the frequency between 48 and 120 Hz and only with the display resolution reduced to FullHD.
The S21 Ultra can therefore remain at 120 Hz even in WQHD when conditions allow it (depending on the brightness) and when it’s worth it, the user doesn’t have to worry about anything. The appropriate refresh rate for what you are viewing is chosen autonomously, for example 120 Hz in scrolling or while animations are being performed but immediately 60 Hz when the image is static or in video playback, and then drops down to 10 Hz for example in the visualization of the always on display.
Numbers aside, an excellent display remains in the chromatic reproduction and quality perceived by the user. It is always clearly legible, bright but without tiring the eyes, also thanks to a new blue light filter and software functionality that adapts the white balance throughout the day making the colors gradually warmer.
All the multimedia contents are clearly enjoyable , as well as the screen, the merit is of a pair of well-calibrated and powerful stereo speakers, just lower for the presence of bass only to the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
In all this the only real renunciation is in the DC Dimming which is not yet present, an aspect that probably cannot be implemented without major limitations together with the VRR display.
Very few smudges in the S21 Ultra data sheet, precisely only one and that is the charging speed. By removing the tooth immediately, you get 25 Watts via cable and 15 Watts wireless (present reverse charging), values that clash with what some brands can offer, even on low-end products.
Together with Apple and Sony, Samsung has remained one of the few houses not to provide faster recharges, it being understood, however, that Galaxy S21 Ultra can recharge by 50% in half an hour which certainly cannot be defined as “slow recharge”. Rather, it is perplexing that there is no charger in the box, a clear inspiration to Apple that is not needed and a missed opportunity for Samsung to offer something different to its users.
THE NEW SAMSUNG EXYNOS 2100: PERFORMANCE AND AUTONOMY
Big news for the 2021 models is the new Samsung Exynos 2100 processor . Once again Samsung has decided to market two versions of its flagship smartphones, including the S21 Ultra: the one destined for the European market with Samsung’s homemade SoC, the Exynos and the one for the USA with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 888 processor. .
Unlike the last few years in which Qualcomm processors have proved superior , the conditions for this Exynos were much better , so much so as to suggest that finally there had been that long-awaited change of pace. With Galaxy S21 Ultra we were able to test the power of the new SoC directly and things went pretty well.
TECHNICAL COMPARISON EXYNOS 2100 VS SNAPDRAGON 888
Immediately S21 Ultra proved to be snappy and responsive , no lag or indecision in animations, loading screens and opening the heaviest apps. Impeccable multitasking and gaming always up to expectations. Without a doubt from a power standpoint there has been a big step forward and this is definitely the fastest Samsung smartphone we’ve ever tested.
As for consumption, here too there is no lack of good news , with Galaxy S21 Ultra you can always arrive in the evening even with the screen at 120 Hz and maximum resolution , the 5000 mAh battery manages to make at least 20% more compared to the same module mounted on the S20 Ultra, all with a fairly linear behavior and free of those sudden drains that have characterized past generations of Exynos processors.
More in detail, there is 6 hours of active display , the values drop a little with AOD activated and in dual SIM configuration. Overall, however, it can be said that the autonomy of Galaxy S21 Ultra is in line with expectations for a product of this type .
IT’S NOT ALL PERFECT
It would take a little more time to concretely and definitively evaluate the goodness of the new processor, so we will return to the subject in a few weeks and after a long-term test. There have been improvements but it is difficult to understand where the processor arrives and where the software puts a piece of it , or why not, the new VRR screen that certainly consumes less.
In some circumstances, especially in prolonged gaming and taking pictures, we felt some overheating of the S21 Ultra . Nothing to worry about but it should be reported. Over the course of one night, the smartphone lost almost 10% of charge apparently for no reason.
These are clues that suggest there is still room for some adjustment , on the other hand the product has just come out and can simply improve with updates as it was for the predecessors.
USABILITY AND SOFTWARE
The test period spent with the Galaxy S21 Ultra has allowed us to see that everything works perfectly, and God forbid you will say, true but sometimes surprises are not lacking and the fact that there is nothing to report is still good news .
There’s a ton of next-generation technology on board, from WiFi 6e to full 5G support with SA / NSA modems and mmWave antennas. In this sense the S21 Ultra is certainly a product that will be ready to face the years to come without aging prematurely, that’s what all the top of the range should be and Samsung has done a precise job this time.
Therefore good reception at all times, remarkable audio both on call and hands-free and VolTE supported without problems. In Italy the support is physical Dual SIM + eSIM and therefore very complete and there are no sacrifices to be made even in the selection of networks within the settings.
Here, too, Samsung has made a slight but effective filing compared to last year’s model: the main sensor remains at 108 MP but has been renewed ( here an insight into ISOCELL HM3), the ultra wide sensor is new, finally with AF and usable also for macros, the sensor on the periscopic telephoto lens now from 10 MP and OIS optics with 10X magnification has changed, the same sensor has finally been used for an additional camera with 3X magnification and OIS for intermediate focal length photos.
The front camera is confirmed as 40 MP, again with Dual Pixel AF, the novelty is finally represented by the possibility of creating photos in 12-bit RAW (the same depth used by Apple with the ProRaw)
Laser AF sensor
Compared to last year there are no more focusing problems in images taken with the main sensor, in videos as well as in photos. The quality of the shots is overall excellent, the improvements are appreciable in some circumstances, especially during the day with the ultra wide-angle camera and pushing the zoom even beyond 10X . At night there are no big differences with the S20 Ultra net of a more accurate white balance, but the photos are always appreciable with all the sensors. Clearly the periscopic zoom cannot guarantee a lot of brightness due to the F / 4.9 aperture, necessary to be able to make ends meet with the space available and the magnification so high.
Excellent macros made with the ultra wide-angle lens , as well as the stabilized videos in Steady mode, clearly superior in terms of quality compared to the S20 Ultra. Selfies are great , certainly among the best achievable with a smartphone thanks to the excellent mix of photographic hardware (AF makes the difference) and software.
You can make videos up to 8K resolution at 24 fps , otherwise UHD at 60 fps (with 108MP sensor) or in FHD at 60 fps in Steady mode (with ultra wide angle sensor).
In all cases the quality is high, there are great improvements in the management of the autofocus thanks to the presence of a laser sensor and in stabilized mode since the new sensor (Sony IMX 563) with AF is exploited.
There was some discussion about the fact that slow motion videos are natively shot at 480 fps and interpolated via software to get to 960 fps. In fact, however, there are no important qualitative differences compared to the past model.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is offered starting from 1279 Euros for the 12 / 128GB version, 100 Euros less than the S20 Ultra.
Clearly high price but perfectly aligned with the main competitor Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max , also until January 28th a promo is planned that gives the Galaxy Buds Pro (review) with a commercial value of 229 euros.
Overall, our judgment is largely positive, Samsung has managed to maintain the basis of a bold project like that of the S20 Ultra by improving it at 360 degrees and creating one of the best smartphones ever, now it will be up to competitors to hunt down the S21 Ultra.