Samsung has branded the S21 and S21 Ultra as “epic”. It’s a word that has crept in to modern language with a newly-evolved meaning something like “way cool”, maybe “monumental” or “heroic”.
Perhaps as “epic” as 2021 itself, as the world tries to claw its way back to some kind of post-pandemic dystopian normalcy.
The design of the S21 has a brave new-world order look. Two-tone styling with a camera bump that is noticeably bigger and robotic-looking. Think Fritz Lang’s German expressionist film Metropolis (1927) which took its design inspiration from the Art Deco, Bauhaus and Futurism art/architecture movements of the time.
The colours being offered include “phantom violet”, “phantom grey” and “phantom pink” – which could be a throw to another German Expressionist film, Phantom (1922).
That’s it for the trickery. Everything else is about improving and building on the previous S20 model.
On the front of the phone is Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus – the toughest Gorilla glass yet, which was originally used on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It’s now available through the entire range.
The camera hardware on the S21 is exactly the same as the S20. On the back are three cameras: a wide, ultrawide and telephoto.
The rear camera set-up has a 64-megapixel telephoto camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera and 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera. On the front is a 10-megapixel selfie camera.
The major camera upgrades come with the S21 Ultra. This model has four rear cameras: a main 108-megapixel wide sensor and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, plus two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses — one with 3x zoom and one with 10x zoom.
S21 Ultra boasts a fast Bright Night sensor and pixel binning technology, which makes your photos more detailed.
For selfies there is now an option for Bright or Natural.
Samsung has also added a fun new video feature called Director’s View. While you record, there are thumbnail previews of live feeds coming from all the other cameras.
There is a side-by-side format for vlogging or a stacked format if you’re shooting vertically. This lets you record yourself with the selfie camera and show what you’re seeing or reacting to using any of the rear cameras you choose.
Powering the S21 range is the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip along with 8GB of RAM / 256GB storage and 12GB of RAM / 256GB storage for the Ultra.
Spec Comparison: Samsung Galaxy 21 v/s Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
|Galaxy S21||Galaxy S21 Ultra|
|Display size, resolution||6.2-inch Flat FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Display (2,400×1,080 pixels),||6.8-inch Edge WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X (3,200×1,440 pixels)|
|Pixel density||421 ppi||515 ppi|
|Dimensions||71.2×151.7×7.9 mm||75.6×165.1×8.9 mm|
|Weight||6.03 oz (171g)||8.07 oz (229g)|
|Mobile software||Android 11||Android 11|
|Camera||64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)||108-megapixel (wide-angle), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (telephoto), 10-megapixel (telephoto)|
|Processor||Snapdragon 888 or 64-bit octa-core processor 2.8GHz (max 2.4GHz+1.8GHz)||Snapdragon 888 or 64-bit octa-core processor (max 2.4GHz+1.8GHz)|
|Battery||4,000 mAh||5,000 mAh|
|Special features||IP68 rating, 5G-enabled, 30x Space Zoom, 10W wireless charging||IP68 rating, 5G-enabled, 100x Space Zoom, 10W wireless charging, 10x optical zoom; S Pen support|
PGK 5899 (incl. free Galaxy ear buds)