Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Galaxy S21 and S21 + are Samsung’s new, more affordable flagships

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That says a lot about what you need to know about the S21 and S21 +. If you were expecting a flashy and expensive update to last year’s models, this isn’t what these new phones are for. Instead, they’re making smart compromises to make Samsung’s flagship experience more accessible than at any time in the past two years.

Let’s start with the upgrades. In the United States, both phones come with Snapdragon 888 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage to boot. You can not only expect Qualcomm’s first 5nm chip to make the S21 and S21 + faster than Samsung 2020 flagships, but it also comes with other improvements. One of the biggest is that the Snapdragon 888 includes a built-in 5G modem. This is a design feature that almost always leads to improved battery life. The fact that the S21 + has a 4800mAh battery with a slightly larger capacity than its 2020 counterpart won’t hurt either. From a connectivity perspective, the new processor also supports WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. And speaking of Bluetooth, both phones work with the new Galaxy SmartTag Samsung announced today.

So what are these tradeoffs? The only one that current S20 and S20 + owners are likely to notice is each phone’s screen. While the S21 and S21 + both feature screens of the same size as their predecessors (6.2 inches on the S21 and 6.7 inches on the S21 +), Samsung has opted for less dense Full HD + panels. in pixels. Both displays still support a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz to smooth out animations and make the interface more responsive. Plus, they have a new Eye Comfort feature that adjusts the amount of blue light they emit depending on the time of day and the type of content in front of you.

Galaxy S21 Plus Screen


From there, there’s the design that annoyed some Samsung fans when the photos of the S21 line started. make your way online. The camera bump that has been so controversial has a name: it’s the “Contour Cut Camera Housing”. Say what you want with the design, the S21 still has a plastic back, while the S21 + has one in Gorilla Glass Victus. Samsung will sell the S21 in four colorways: Phantom Violet, Phantom Gray, Phantom Pink and Phantom White. Meanwhile, the S21 + will be available in three colors: Phantom Violet, Phantom Silver, and Phantom Black. If you buy either phone directly from the company’s website, you’ll have access to additional colors, including Phantom Gold and Phantom Red.

Aside from the fancy new housings, the S21 and S21 + feature the same camera components as last year’s models. You get a 12-megapixel main camera with a standard f / 1.8 aperture wide-angle lens, two-pixel autofocus, and optical image stabilization (OIS). A 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, f / 2.2 and a 64-megapixel telephoto lens with OIS and 3x hybrid zoom and 30x space zoom complete the main sensor. For selfies, you’ll find a 10-megapixel dual-pixel autofocus camera with an f / 2.2 aperture lens housed inside a display cutout at the top of the screen.

That’s not to say that Samsung installed the same cameras as last year and called it a day. There are improvements to the photo and video experience, but these mainly come in the form of new software features and a more capable image signal processor thanks to the Snapdragon 888 chip of the S21 and S21 +.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus, Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Buds Pro


One of these new features, Director’s View, lets you see a live preview of thumbnails of the three main cameras of the S21 and S21 + when you compose a photo. Another called Vlogger View allows you to record footage with the front and rear cameras simultaneously – no need to manipulate them. Older versions like portrait mode and space zoom have also caught Samsung’s attention. With the latter, Samsung uses AI to minimize the effect of your shaking hands on telephoto shots. And while it won’t affect the look of your photos and videos, a new private sharing feature will help you control who can see them; you will have the option to add an expiration date to the content you share. Samsung says the S21 and S21 + will also give you the option to clean your photos of all location metadata.

Judged against last year’s models and what we usually expect from Samsung’s annual releases, the S21 and S21 + can be a letdown. But here’s the thing: the entry point for an Android flagship can’t be $ 1,000 when a An iPhone at $ 800 exists.

While they may not push the boundaries of what an Android flagship can be (save that for the Galaxy S21 Ultra), they make up for that in the one metric that will matter to the average consumer buying a high-end phone in 2021. At $ 800 and $ 1,000, the S21 and S21 + start at the same price as the iPhone 12 and iPhone. 12 Pro. And in many ways, they compare favorably to Apple’s latest phones. With the S21, you get more storage than the iPhone 12, and both devices come with 120Hz displays, a feature Apple has yet to add to its phones. With both models due to arrive before the end of the month, it won’t be long before we see if Samsung has done enough to repair its 2020 losses.


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