In my Samsung 21+ review, I will talk about how well the phone is designed, how it performs what are its pros and cons as well. Samsung is on a roll this year. The Korean giant launched the S21 series at the start of 2021. It included the base S21, S21+ and the S21 Ultra.
We’ve already reviewed the flagship Samsung smartphone on our channel, and today, we’re talking about the middle-child of the series, S21+. It is the phone which on paper offers a decent combination of price and features. But how is it in real-life performance?
Samsung S21+ Review: Design And Construction
The Samsung Galaxy S21+ takes design features from both its siblings. It comes with a triple camera setup similar to S21 but comes in an aluminium chassis similar to the S21 Ultra.
Its metal chassis looks quite thin and feels light while holding despite housing a big 4,800 mAh battery.
The Galaxy S21+ looks like a bigger S21 due to a larger 6.7-inch screen. Its sides are surrounded by a glossy metallic finish that houses multiple 5G antenna bands. The back has a matte finish but still attracts some fingerprints. The glossy side strip, however, has to be cleaned every 10 minutes.
I’d suggest putting a clear case on it because it’d be a shame to hide the smartphone’s signature phantom violet colour. Speaking of colours, it comes in two more options, including phantom black and phantom silver. In the front, you’ll find a punch-hole camera which lends the S21+ a fantastic screen-to-body ratio of 88.63%. For reference, the OnePlus 7 Pro, a full-screen phone with a pop-up camera, has an 88.1% screen-to-body ratio.
Another major change in the design of S21+ is the removal of curved edges. The screen on all three Samsung flagship devices is now flat, making it easy to install screen protectors on them.
In terms of I/O, the Samsung Galaxy S21+ has two speakers, one in the earpiece and another near the USB-type C port. The Samsung smartphone has a dual sim slot, and on its sides, there’s a power switch and a volume button.
Samsung S21+ Review: Internals And Features
Samsung is famous for its amazing looking displays. They supply these displays to different manufacturers in the market. For instance, Apple uses Samsung-made screens for its iPhone 12 smartphones.
Therefore it’d be stupid to think that Samsung would put low-resolution display’s in their flagship smartphones. But it is exactly what they did. The Samsung Galaxy S21+ uses a 1080p screen which is a downgrade from last year. Before any of you take out your pitchfork, let me tell you that the screen works absolutely fine.
The 1080p display features a 120hz refresh rate, has great colour reproduction and is bright enough to read under direct sunlight. Furthermore, the refresh rate is dynamic, meaning when you’re using the smartphone, its refresh rate becomes 120hz, but the moment it’s not in use, the refresh rate drops to as low as 10hz.
This technique massively helps in conserving battery life. With the 120hz dynamic refresh rate ON, I finished my day with at least 35-40% battery despite heavy usage. The lower resolution further helps in conserving the battery. Overall, its a great display, and I am glad Samsung made this change in their S21 series of smartphones.
Another cool feature from Samsung is the Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. It makes unlocking the phone very fast, and Samsung claims that it is quite secure as well. I don’t have any way of testing that claim, though, so I’d take Samsung’s word for it. However, for safety measures, try to pair your fingerprint with a Passcode lock.
All the S21 series smartphones use the latest Exynos 2100 SoC. In the US, Samsung ships this phone with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC. For the uninitiated, SoC refers to System-on-Chip, a single block that houses the CPU, GPU, and other computing structures.
The issue here is that Exynos 2100 still performs worse than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 in CPU and GPU performance. Don’t get me wrong, my S21+ handles daily tasks easily but stutters in heavy gaming.
It performs well in games like Call of Duty Mobile and other arena shooters. However, when it comes to running open-world games which require a lot of CPU power, the Exynos 2100 struggles quite a bit. I played Minecraft on my S21+, and the game stuttered the entire time, indicating a CPU bottleneck.
Thankfully the camera scores a huge win for the Samsung Galaxy S21+. At the rear, there’s a 12 MP wide, another 12 MP ultrawide and a 64 MP Telephoto lens. Images from the wide and the ultrawide lens look detailed and quite sharp. The camera does not lose any quality when switching between these two. The colour reproduction is very natural. There is a small level of AI processing, but you can guess the exact shape, texture and colour of the object just by looking at its photo on the device.
Video stabilisation on this device is pretty good. There is an additional ultra-stable mode, but it works only when in ultra-wide or zoom mode. There is an 8k video recording mode, but it only records in 24 FPS and introduces a “crop-zoom.” However, the camera can record in 4k 60 FPS quiet well.
The selfie camera uses a 10 MP lens which is pretty good. It captures a good amount of detail and does not smooth out the skin, which I personally like. The night mode on the S21+ is also decent enough and it gets the job done.
Samsung S21+ Review: Verdict
For the price tag of Rs. 85,000, Samsung Galaxy S21+ has a great camera, superb build quality and an impressive design, its gaming performance is decent but the Exynos 2100 does a great job at providing performance and efficiency. All these features make the S21+ a solid competitor in the premium smartphone market and you should definitely give it a try.