Samsung S21: Will It Turn to Be a Winning Move?
When such a big gun as Samsung is in the gadget world introduces a new line including its new flagship phone, it’s quite a news even for normal times, let alone our crazy ones when any bit of non-depressing information is to be cherished. So what is there to cherish about Samsung’s S21 introduced this January at CES?
Some would say that Samsung chose a bit strange way to go about it: in today’s world of light-speedy innovations you’d be hard-pressed to find an example where a smartphone maker would release a new product with lower characteristics than those of its previous one. (Unless, of course, it is a superbudget device whose main attraction is its affordability, which is clearly not the case here). And yet it’s exactly what the S21 amounts to, coming short of S20’s ppi density and having no microSD slot (while still weighing more than the previous model).
But then again, price remains a serious consideration even when it comes to the best and shiniest models (save for that tiny segment of the audience for which money is really no object). So it is truly the matter of balance between the costs and the bells and whistles, where the practicality of the latter also becomes the factor. And we dare say that, in the end of the day, in this respect, the newest Samsung phone is balanced notably better than the S20 was at its launch time. Because the difference between $999 and $799 starting price for the lowest-specced model is much more substantial than that between 163 and 171 grams of weight or even 563 ppi as opposed to 421 (especially when looked at with naked human eye that will also hardly notice any drop in image quality caused by the fall from QHD grace to the “mere” Full HD+).
And at the same time, at the same much lower price, the company managed to actually increase quite a few other specs (if not that drastically in some cases). The power of the new model has been upped from Snapdragon 865 chipset to Snapdragon 888 (in USA) or Exynosos 2100 (abroad), and according to the first tests (including “test rides”), it boosted S21’s speed to the levels S20, with all its high specs, can’t dream to reach. The OS this new S version comes with – the 11th version of Android – is also superior to S20’s 10th one, even if by just one step. The fingerprint scanner has become much speedier and significantly more accessible. Plus, some useful improvements have been made to camera support, such as slow motion feature now added to Single Take shooting mode or the Director’s View allowing for simultaneous front and rear shooting (yes, from two cameras at once), and to the cameras set itself (that being the telephoto, though not the best there is). Finally, as we often point out, the appearance of your device is something not to be sneezed at either, and S21 actually looks – and feels – more impressive than S20, because its rear side is made not just of glass but mixes it with some matte. It is also more compact, despite its bigger weight, which adds to overall smartness, its range of colours now includes violet (Phantom Violet, to be precise), and for those in search of originality the new Contour Cut Camera design may prove just the thing (even if for those of more traditional mindset it might just as well become a turnoff).
Also, there are a lot of important aspects on which S21 doesn’t compromise despite the aforesaid $200 price gap. It still boasts the full 5G capability all through the line. Its cameras keep the same impressive megapixel resolution as the one we saw in S20. Its battery, too, is just as mighty as that of its predecessor (this particular spec remains at the level of 4,000 mAh), so the full day of work on one change is still guaranteed… unless you choose to put in motion all the most power-hungry apps at once – in that case, some tests show, the 120Hz refresh rate does take its toll. But how often does this happen, anyway?
So, after everything is said and done, which conclusion can we draw about this result of Samsung’s “step a bit back in the hopes to reach farther” approach? Well, it’s not an unquestionable win-win product everyone will be yearning to buy, by far. S20 owners most likely would prefer to hold on to their higher-specced treasures they had already splashed on. Quite a few will be put off by the above tech compromises for the sake of lower price (especially by the lack of memory expandability). But the smartphone-buying masses don’t consist of only those who want only the all-around best and the techiest toys the market can offer. Many of us prefer a good thing without bankrupting ourselves on it. And for those who still keep their previous S versions, the newest one could prove just what the doctor ordered, vindicating their choosing to wait until now.
As for the rest, there is always S21 Ultra which boasts everything S21 may lack in the view of more demanding (and rich) among us. But that’s a whole other story.
- Galaxy S Series Phones | S23, S22, S21, S20 – Samsung US
- Sell your pre-owned Samsung smartphone online – iGotOffer
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Unboxing + Galaxy S21 and S21+ [Video]
Video uploaded by Unbox Therapy on January 14, 2021