If you want the best of the best, then, you will have to put a lot of money on the table and grab the new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. However, the question is this: is the Galaxy S21 Ultra worth a high amount, and can its new camera really impress me?
We will answer these questions based on the tests we performed on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: design and workmanship
You notice one thing as soon as you pick up the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. The smartphone weighs a lot. The cell phone weighs a proud 227 grams. Compared to the normal Galaxy S21, which weighs only 169 grams, this is an enormous difference.
The cell phone simply feels more massive and solid thanks to the glass back and the larger display. The transitions between the materials are not as fluid as in the small model. The camera clearly protrudes from the housing and the back does not merge so perfectly into the frame.
The design is just gorgeous. It is not for nothing that Samsung used a lot of time during the presentation to introduce the choice of colors. It’s just a completely black cell phone.
Even the entire camera unit is in matte black. A unique and incredibly high-quality look, on which not even fingerprints can be seen. Samsung has undoubtedly delivered its masterpiece here. The quality of workmanship and design are of the highest quality.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: display and speakers
Samsung has given the Galaxy S21 Ultra a completely new display. It is not only rounded on the sides but also brighter and has a higher resolution than the other two S21 models.
The presentation is first class. It is easy to read in every situation and the curvature of the pages is no longer so pronounced, hence reducing the occurrence of incorrect enteries.
The enormous brightness also allows it to be used in direct sunlight. The combination with a 5,000 mAh battery, variable refresh rate of the panel, and the economical Exynos 2100 processor ensures very long runtimes.
The larger fingerprint sensor, which works very reliably, is built into the screen of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. The position is very well chosen.
The recognition rate is actually unchanged compared to its predecessor, but overall unlocking through the larger sensor works better.
The stereo speakers of the Galaxy S21 Ultra are very pleasing. Due to the firmer case of the smartphone, the music also sounds a bit more voluminous than with the normal Galaxy S21 with a plastic back. The volume is sufficient to fill a room with sound.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: There is an S Pen
Samsung breaks a tradition with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. It is the first cell phone with an S Pen that is not part of the Note series. But you have to buy the pen in addition. Since no one was made available to us, we could not test the function.
In contrast to the Note series, the stylus cannot of course be pushed into the housing, but it can be accommodated in a case. If you only want to use the S Pen now and then, you will find the perfect solution here.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: performance and software
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is equipped with the new Exynos 2100 processor. Our model has 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage. That is 4 GB of RAM more than the normal Galaxy S21, which you won’t notice in normal everyday life.
There is also a version with 128 GB and 512 GB of internal storage. The latter has 16 GB of RAM onboard. The performance is excellent with all S21 models. In combination with the 120 Hertz display, you get an absolutely smooth user experience. Not only in normal use, but also in games.
You don’t have to say anything great about the software. It runs Android 11 with One UI 3.1 on the phone. Samsung manages from version to version to make the interface more user-friendly.
In the meantime, the company no longer relies so desperately on its own services. You can see Google directly if you swipe to the right on the home screen. Bixby used to be hidden there. A slow, but long-term positive development. Otherwise, you get a heavily adapted Android with countless functions.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: camera
A 108 MP sensor of the latest generation works in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. There is also a super wide angle with 12 MP and two telephoto lenses with 10 MP each. While the normal photos in everyday life hardly make a really visible difference compared to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the zoom capabilities have been greatly improved. While up to now you should have stopped at a 30x magnification, the S21 Ultra can now also deliver a good result at 50 or 100 times magnification.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: battery life
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a runtime artist. Although I used the full resolution and the 120 Hertz mode permanently, I never had to worry about running out of energy.
However, it always depends on whether you have been outdoors a lot or not. If you use the mobile phone a lot in the WLAN, then the energy consumption is of course somewhat lower than in the 4G or 5G network.
It’s just a shame that Samsung does not include a power adapter at such a high price. The cell phone can be charged by cable or wirelessly. Since I have set up Qi charging stations everywhere, this is not a problem for me in everyday life.
However, if you are completely new to the Galaxy S21, you will be surprised why there is no power adapter for a cell phone that costs $1,249.
Samsung has delivered its masterpiece: the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Everything that bothered us in the Galaxy S20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra has been improved here.
The new display is a dream and even supports a pen. The performance and battery life are first-class. The camera now delivers excellent results in almost every situation. Especially the improvements in the maximum zoom are a world of difference to the previous generation. The completely black look is also pleasing and fortunately, it is not a fingerprint magnet.
It remains incomprehensible why Samsung removed the microSD slot from the Galaxy S21 Ultra. You can now have a maximum of 512 GB of internal storage. More is just not possible.
We don’t like the fact that headphones and the power adapter are left out considering the price at the moment, but it will become standard for better or worse. If you have no problems with the high weight, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is currently the best and most versatile Android smartphone on the market.
- 120 Hertz display with full resolution
- Battery life
- Update policy
- Fast charging function
- microSD slot is missing
- 3.5 mm jack socket is missing
- Power adapter and headphones are not included
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: rating
- Processing, feel and design: 9/10
- Display: 10/10
- Cameras: 9/10
- Software: 8/10
- Performance: 9/10
- Telephony and audio: 8/10
- Memory: 9/10
- Battery and everyday life: 9/10
Overall: 8.9 / 10