Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra long-term review

15 July 2021


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Anonymous, 16 Jul 2021No way I would be using Exynos S21 series. Laughable gaming... moreOh yeah... I bought the S21 Ultra Exynos after most sites claimed that the gap between Exynos and Snapdragon has been bridged.
Gaming was struggling quite a bit. I tried heavy games like Genshin Impact, it was giving 30-35fps at certain stages which is unacceptable as last year's chips like Snapdragon 865 give better performance. It shouldn't struggle on a phone which costs 1250€.

Camera performance especially video was poor. I don't know what was wrong. Samsung used to be the best at video recording. They seem to have fixed it after updates but it's still behind Snapdragon in certain areas of video recording in low light.
Overall image quality wasn't that impressive in low light compared to my wife's mi 10 ultra.

For whatever reasons, it didn't resonate with me, was expecting more from a 1250€ device.
I returned mine after using it for few days. Bought the MI 11 Ultra instead, couldn't be more happier.

  • Mike

I have had my S.21 Ultra for about a month now. I bought it to replace my old S.7 edge which was showing its age and running.low on storage. I'm still 'making friends' with my S
.21 and amazed by all the tricks I have so far discovered it can do, especially the cameras.
I bought a case and an S pen for it, which works very well. I have fairly large hands at don't find using it one-handed a problem, it addition the case flattens out the camera 'bump' so that is flush with the case.
So far, no complaints at all.

walkman8, 16 Jul 2021I'll look into the mentioned flaws as a 5-month s21 Ul... moreXiaomi hurried up?? Half baked software on Mi 11 Ultra??
LOL have you even used the phone??

  • Anonymous

Hemedans, 15 Jul 2021samsung Ui has never been the fastest, but you choose Samsu... moreSecure folder aka second space is already available on Chinese skins for a long time now

  • Anonymous

Hemedans, 16 Jul 2021I will be honest never used MIUI before, but used Lot of BB... moreWhen was the last time you used those Chinese skins? Also on which phones?
That info is super important as most people don't mention these two things before disclosing their experience of a particular Ui

  • Anonymous

DD, 16 Jul 2021Keep dreaming. LolGo and Google which is the no 1 smartphone band and then you keep dreaming as your Apple will soon be no. 3 after Xiaomi takes the no. 2 spot very soon.

  • DD

Anonymous, 16 Jul 2021They have already surpassed Apple long back. They are alrea... moreKeep dreaming. Lol

Anonymous, 16 Jul 2021Chinese skins are featured rich as a well, lot of features ... moreI will be honest never used MIUI before, but used Lot of BBK, Emui and other Chinese Oems, and they don't come close to Samsung solutions.

What features you used which are better and not available in Samsung?

  • Anonymous

DD, 16 Jul 2021All those tanks and armies, still can't reach the leve... moreThey have already surpassed Apple long back. They are already the number one smartphone company in the world

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 16 Jul 2021Awww Huawei boy got salty... Dual PD AF is a lot more clos... moreDon't forget the focus lock that helps at long zoom range.

  • DD

Chackla, 16 Jul 2021Samsung even makes army tanks and weapons btw. Samsung rule... moreAll those tanks and armies, still can't reach the level of Apple. Lol

  • Anonymous

Shui8, 16 Jul 2021So with DPAF its more advanced? Lol. Quality depends on ima... moreAwww Huawei boy got salty...
Dual PD AF is a lot more closer to omni directional AF in focusing speeds in real world compared to regular AF on Huawei's 10x zoom.

Even the images at 30x, Samsung blows Huawei out of the water.

You talk about image processing is better on Samsung? Sure... Even if it wasn't, one can use gcam on S21 Ultra zoom lens and extract even better image quality. You can't do that with Huawei p40 pro.

  • Anonymous

Hemedans, 15 Jul 2021samsung Ui has never been the fastest, but you choose Samsu... moreChinese skins are featured rich as a well, lot of features absent on one ui that are present on Chinese skins

  • Anonymous

Hemedans, 15 Jul 2021most people don't talk about Samsung bloatware because... moreThe problem is that there are some people on this site who can't stop bashing Chinese skins like miui, but they'll praise OneUi instead.
So many people blame miui for not working smoothly on some 50-100$ device, yet they become silent when oxygen OS or one ui struggle on 50-100$ devices

  • Anonymous

Duck of death, 16 Jul 2021Harman Kardon is Samsung. Everything in your Xiaomi is Sam... moreSo what? S21 Ultra still failed to beat mi 11 Ultra for phone of the year despite them having all Samsung

  • JT

I love mine. Had it for 4 months already and no problems whatsoever and the looks of the phone still impress me like day one.

  • Tarso

Well, nice review, I'm divided between him and Mi11 Ultra which I was more atracted, now my attraction increases but I gonna wait for the long term review of Xiaomi's device to finally buy

one month ago I had Mate 40 pro, lack of google services (yeah, I knew it before got it) i sold it.
Now I got this one S21 Ultra so i can truly compare both flagships.
somehow, browsing the phone doing daily stuff Huawei felt more comfortable, no stucks/lags on galaxy, but huawei felt a little bit more nicer, but its like 51% huawei and 49% samsung.
Cameras setup and quality without questions Mate 40 pro wins. To be honest i was expecting more from samsung for daily taking pics and so on...
also both are biggest flaghsips and both are amazing..
oh yes, one more important topic, both having curved screens, but on samsung "curve" do not feel at all, this is so good!!
If Huawei would have google services I think I would keep with it...
but having samsung is also no problems. happy to have it :)

When people will learn to distinguish "good" and "best" which means enormous?

Five cameras is not good - this is best versatility which is enormous. Colors are most vivid but not close to real ones. 100x zoom is amazing but used only to impress for few times in life.
Screen is not good - it is best in class, but too big, useless curves, max brightness to use as lamp
Processor is best! But they can't use it properly to avoid lags of system
Removed all physical accessories: charger, memory slot, headphone port.
Updates of android are fastest! But lack some features.
And all this perfection add weight! It weights as a real brick, phones with 7000mah battery weight less

Best at everything, but not good at anything.

walkman8, 16 Jul 2021I'll look into the mentioned flaws as a 5-month s21 Ul... moreYou can change the default cropped selfie view.

Go to Camera settings > Settings to keep, and enable Selfie angle.

This will keep the angle you last used for the front camera instead of switching back to the cropped angle.