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Yes. The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G isn’t just a refinement of the S Range of Galaxy phones that came before it but a redesign, too. The handset comes with a brand-new Exynos 2100 chipset, which promises a major boost to AI tasks and an enhancement of 5G capabilities, a new camera array and a 120Hz screen that’s fantastic for movies and the like. Samsung is calling the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G “the ultimate flagship experience” and it has the specs to back this.
At the heart of the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G is its Exynos 2100 chip. Samsung’s Exynos chips have been given a bit of a hard time in the past, with Qualcomm’s variants surpassing them in most areas but Samsung is promising this new chip offers 30% improvement in performance and this is a chip that has been built specifically for 5G.
Couple this with an 120Hz 6.2-inch screen, 8GB RAM, a triple camera array featuring a 64MP telephoto lens, up to 8K shooting (of which you can take stills) and a 4,000mAh battery, and what you have is a very capable flagship.
6.2-inch FHD+ screen (Dynamic OLED 2X)
151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm
Exynos 2100 chip
Up to 256GB storage
Triple rear camera: 12MP (wide), 64MP (telephoto),12MP (ultrawide)
Front camera: 10MP
Ultra high-res photos from 8k footage
Super-steady 60fps recording
The first difference you will notice between the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G and the S20 is the design. Samsung has improved on the cameras for the S21 5G and has made it stand out on the back of the device, encasing it in a new contour cut-out that Samsung reckons will create a new standard in the mobile phone world. These cameras are key to the improvements made to the S21 5G. It is calling its new camera Pro Grade and is making sure that the lenses offer the best picture quality available, offering the ability to take stills out of 8K video, a better Space Zoom to get closer to subjects and other AI enhancements. The new screen is Samsung’s smoothest yet and it has been given a Eye Comfort Shield to adjust blue light levels.
Its new Exynos 2100 chip has been built for 5G and it offers AI improvements, including how the battery is used in the phone. This optimisation should give the handset a better battery life over the S20. Add to this a better fingerprint scanner and a phone that is faster than its predecessor by up to 30% and what you have is a solid upgrade.
Samsung has given the cameras on the Galaxy S21 5G a brand-new contour cut-out so they stand out on the phone. The good news is that their specs also standout, too. It’s a triple-lens affair on the back with Samsung offering 2x 12MP sensors and one 64MP. Interestingly, a ToF sensor is not included (something that was on the S20) but Samsung has made a number of imaging improvements. These include: AI enhancements, the ability to take stills from 8K video, super-steady 60fps recording, Vlogger View (captures video from both front and rear camera) and an improved portrait mode.
Other camera features include:
12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide)
64 MP, f/2.0, 28mm (telephoto)
12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide)
Improved Single Take (5x more AI processing)
Improved Space Zoom (30x)
Portrait mode (uses AI matting and virtual lighting and depth)
10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide)
Video up to 8K/30fps
Super-steady 60fps recording
Highlight Reel can stitch together the best clips in a moment
Vlogger View - capture video from both front and rear camera
Live Thumbnails lets you preview and change the camera lens
All-new director’s view (preview shots on the go)
The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G has the best chipset Samsung has ever developed which means a faster phone and one that makes use of numerous AI enhancements. The new look of the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G is striking and the tech inside the phone is best in class.
If you go purely on specs, then the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G doesn’t look like much of a step up from the S20 but dig into this and you can see that improvements have been made to all aspects of the phone, most notably the camera and the speed of the thing.
While the battery is 4,000mAh (average for a phone of this size), Samsung is using AI enhancements to make sure that the battery is optimised the best it can be. Because of this, Samsung is promising a phone that will last the day, even when you have put it through the most arduous of tasks. There is also super-fast charging on board for those who want to juice up their phone in the quickest time possible.
The fingerprint scanner on the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G has been improved. It is 1.7x larger and faster and more accurate than previous iterations.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G is a brand-new phone so you can expect the contracts available to be of a premium. There are SIM-free options available, but you have to spend a lot of money upfront. The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G costs from £769. If you decide to take out a contract with a mobile service provider, this is what you should think about:
Minutes and texts: With flagship handsets, mobile networks will provide unlimited texts more minutes than the average person needs. This is always worth double checking, though.
Data: Data allowance is one of the biggest things to look out for in a new mobile contract. Most contracts will come with a hefty amount of data allowance, but it’s worth looking back on what you have used in the past before you consider any allowance that isn’t unlimited. This is especially pertinent when you are using 5G, which allows for a greater amount of content to be downloaded in a shorter amount of time.
Length of contract: It’s true that longer contracts often offer a lower monthly rate (this is because you can pay off your handset over a longer period of time). But it is worth noting that this will mean that you are tied in for longer and will likely have to pay more up front if you want to upgrade before your contract ends. Given that the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G is a flagship phone that won’t be superseded for a while and will keep its value for a good while, you may want to think about a longer contract.
As with the Samsung Galaxy S20, the storage space with the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G begins at 128GB. There is also a 256GB option but that is it - there is no expandable storage available.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G is a colourful phone, available in Phantom Gray, Phantom White, Phantom Violet and Phantom Pink.
As of January 2021, the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G is available at the following price points:
Last updated: 14 January 2021