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Yes. Samsung has started 2021 with a flourish, announcing three new handsets to its line up: the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, S21 Plus 5G and S21 Ultra 5G. The Galaxy S21 Plus is the middle phone in this line-up. It has (nearly) all the same specs of the Galaxy S21 but the key difference is the screen size. At 6.7-inch it is just a smidge under the size of the Samsung Galaxy Ultra 5G.
Samsung has opted to give its 2021 handsets a brand-new chipset, which means that they are the speediest phones Samsung has ever released. While the camera credentials may look similar to that of the Galaxy S20, Samsung has made some significant developments to the software, adding in AI where it can to enhance your pictures.
The look of the S range has changed, too. The camera contour stands out, adding a great unique design.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G comes with a 6.7-inch screen, offering an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. It’s an AMOLED 2X screen that is HDR10+ certified and great for movie watching and the like.
This is a camera that has been given both a camera and power boost. The new 2100 Exynos chip that powers the thing, offering 30% better performance, compared to the S20, and there is also the addition of AI enhancements that are there to make both the camera and battery performance better.
Samsung has opted to keep this give this handset 8GB of RAM, with the option of 128GB and 256GB of storage. Unfortunately there is no expandable storage on board.
6.7-inch FHD+ screen (Dynamic OLED 2X)
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
While many of the specs are the same for these two handsets, the key differences are as follows: The Galaxy S21 Plus 5G has a bigger 6.7-inch display (compared to the S21’s 6.2-inch screen) and a larger battery, which makes this handset more desirable for gamers and movie watchers. The battery used here is 4800mAh, compared to the S21’s 4000mAh.
The new screen means that the size of the S21 Plus is 75.6x161.5x7.8mm, compared to 71.2x151.7x7.9mm (S21). Weight wise, the S21 Plus is 202g, compared to the S21 at 171g.
When it comes to RAM, cameras and everything else the phones are identical.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G has a triple camera array (which is now in its own fancy contour on the rear of the camera) and a 10MP front-facing camera. When it comes to the lenses they are the same that can be found in the Samsung Galaxy S20. Instead of improving on these, Samsung has added a number of AI enhancements for images. These include a better portrait mode, improved zooming and the ability to take 8K images out of any video you shoot on the handset.
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 Plus 5G is a top-spec phone that caters for movie watchers, gamers and those who want a handset with pro-grade features. Samsung has added a number of design changes to the S21 Plus to help it stand out from what is a crowded flagship marketplace and has added in plenty of AI smarts to make sure whatever you are doing on the phone, it steps up to the plate.
If you look at it from a pure specs point of view, not a huge amount has changed between the S21 Plus and the S20 Plus. Samsung has refined its hardware, rather than completely overhauling it (apart from the brand-new chip). That means if you aren’t enamoured with the new look, you may want to look for a discounted S20+ instead.
Because of the larger screen, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G has a larger battery than the S21. It is 4.800mAh (the S21 is 4,000mAh). This should mean all-day life but Samsung is making sure that it really does by adding an adaptive refresh rate to the screen of the handset - this means you only use the full 120Hz when you really have to. This should ease pressure on the battery life of the handset (screens are usually the biggest power suckers on a phone).
Samsung has improved on the fingerprint scanner on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G. The sensor is 37% bigger than previous versions of the scanner. It is ultrasonic and is also backed up with facial recognition. There are also the standard PIN and pattern security options included.
Minutes and texts: The S21 Plus is a flagship handset. This means that mobile networks should provide unlimited texts and more minutes than the average person needs. This is always worth double checking, though, as if a contract is cheap, it’s usually here where you will get stung.
Data: As the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus is a phone with 5G functionality, you will want to make sure that the data allowance in your contract is as high as it can be. Most contracts will come with a decent dollop of data allowance, but this is certainly one area that you should be looking at - and if at all possible, get a contract that offers Unlimited data.
Length of contract: It’s likely that the contract you will get for the S21 Plus is a two-year affair, but you should look into seeing you can get a shorter contract, or at least one that has a good upgrade option built into it. Yes, you will be paying more month to month but by the end you should be paying less.
The storage options on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G are the same as the S21. There are two on offer: a 128GB and 256GB option. There is no expandable storage available but these are sizeable offerings so we wouldn’t worry too much about that.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G is available in a whole host of colours, including Phantom Violet, Phantom Silver and Phantom Black. Oh, and Samsung spent a good 10 minutes talking about how it created its black colour in its press conference, so it is extremely proud of the quality of it!
As of January 2021, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G is available for the following price:
128GB - £949
256GB - £999
Last updated: 22 January 2021