Samsung’s newest high-end smartphones, which were launched last week, bring various improvements over their predecessors. The Galaxy S21 devices feature a more attractive design, a faster processor, more software features, higher quality cameras, improved security, and, more importantly, improved battery life.
If you were wondering whether you should pull the trigger and buy one of these devices to upgrade from your older-generation Galaxy device or a smartphone from another brand, here are the top reasons why you should buy the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+.
Unique design with metal camera bump infused into the frame
The standout feature of the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ is their design. Unlike most other smartphones in the market, these new phones feature a unique design on the rear, featuring a metal camera bump instead of a camera island with a glass panel. This camera bump is towards the corner of the device, and it gets curved towards the side of the phone to fuse with the metal frame, offering the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ a unique look.
Samsung is also offering some interesting color choices—Phantom Pink and Phantom Violet—this year, unlike the boring designs of the Galaxy S20 series. Anyone looking at the phone in your hand won’t mistake it for anything other than the Galaxy S21. The new phones also feature Gorilla Glass Victus protection for the screen, which offers higher drop protection (2 meters vs. Gorilla Glass 6’s 1.6 meters) and double the scratch resistance.
Like most Samsung high-end phones, the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ have IP68-certified bodies offering dust and water resistance, something that is still missing from certain high-end phones from other brands and even Samsung’s foldable devices.
Super AMOLED screens with a 120Hz variable refresh rate at native resolution
On paper, the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ look like downgrades, but they actually use a more balanced approach with their screens. The Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ feature 6.2-inch and 6.7-inch Super AMOLED screens, respectively, with Full HD+ resolution and variable refresh rate at up to 120Hz. They are brighter, too, at 1,300 nits.
Despite a drop in resolution from the Galaxy S20 series’ QHD+ to Full HD+, the new screens offer a better experience, thanks to a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate at the native resolution. Previous generation flagship smartphones from Samsung couldn’t do that. Moreover, since the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ can offer a variable refresh rate from 48Hz to 120Hz, they are more power-efficient.
Faster, more power-efficient processors
Samsung has equipped its new flagship smartphone series with 5nm processors: Exynos 2100 in most markets and Snapdragon 888 in China and the US. These chipsets offer faster CPUs, beefier GPUs, faster AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) processing, and higher power efficiency.
The Exynos 2100 offers up to 19% higher single-core CPU performance, up to 30% higher multi-core CPU performance, and up to 40% improved GPU performance when compared to the Exynos 990 processor that was used in Samsung’s 2020 flagship smartphones. The Galaxy S21 series also uses UFS 3.1 storage, which is more reliable and power-efficient than UFS 3.0 storage chips used in previous-generation Galaxy smartphones.
This means that everything you do, including scrolling, using apps, web browsing, gaming, and multitasking, will be snappier and smoother. You can expect similar performance uplift with the Snapdragon 888 versions of the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ have exactly the same camera hardware as last year’s Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+. However, they come with improved tuning and a much faster ISP and NPU, resulting in more optimized cameras. The new phones should offer slightly improved color accuracy, higher dynamic range, better details, and more stable videos.
If you have considerably older phones, you should expect an even bigger improvement in camera quality. The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ feature a 10MP selfie camera with dual-pixel autofocus and 4K 60fps video recording. They have a triple-camera setup at the rear, featuring a 12MP wide-angle camera (F1.8, 1.8µm pixels, dual-pixel autofocus, and OIS), a 12MP ultrawide camera (F2.2 and 1.4µm pixels), and a 64MP telephoto camera with 3x hybrid zoom that goes up to 30x. The rear-facing camera setup can record 4K 60fps and 8K 24fps videos.
Faster and more reliable fingerprint reader
One of the Galaxy S20 series’ disappointments was its finicky, small, and unreliable ultrasonic fingerprint reader. This year, Samsung has used Qualcomm’s second-generation 3D Sonic Sensor, which is physically 77% larger and 50% faster than the first-generation sensor. It means that unlocking the phone or logging into secure apps should be faster and more reliable. It is also more secure than fingerprint readers on other smartphones, and it even works when your fingers are wet.
Longer and more reliable battery life
The Exynos variants of the Galaxy S20 and the Galaxy S20+ were heavily criticized for not offering good battery life and sudden batter percentage drops. However, thanks to the 5nm Exynos 2100 chipset and its new CPU cores, the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ seem to offer longer battery life, at least going by some early reviews. The Snapdragon 888 variants should be similarly efficient.
Android 11 out of the box with One UI 3.1, three OS updates guaranteed
The Galaxy S21 series comes with Android 11 out of the box, and the new smartphones are entitled to three major Android version updates as per Samsung’s new policy. They come with One UI 3.1, which means they have additional features like Google Feed on the leftmost home screen, Private Share, and the ability to remove GPS location data from photos before sharing them.
5G connectivity as standard
This may not be true for every market, but it seems that the Galaxy S21 series comes with 5G connectivity in most countries, even those where the Galaxy Note 20 lineup didn’t have a 5G variant. That means these phones are future-ready, especially since they can connect to all the types of 5G networks there are (or going to be in the future if 5G isn’t yet live in your country).
With all the new hardware features, improved design, faster processing, improved battery reliability, and new software features, the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ are bound to be among the best smartphones of 2021. And that’s why you should upgrade from your older smartphone to the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+.