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First impression Samsung Galaxy S21: cheaper and more beautiful?

With the Galaxy S21 series, Samsung gives its high-end smartphones its own face with a new design. For example, there is no longer a ‘camera island’ in the middle at the back: the cameras are now in the top corner, where the camera module merges into the edge. With this design, the S21 devices look slightly different from those of the competition.

On a technical level, there are mainly small improvements, but Samsung has also reduced the introductory prices, remarkably enough. The Galaxy S21 is on sale from 849 euros (128 GB). That is 150 euros cheaper than predecessor S20 at the introduction.

Plastic back

The S21 has a plastic back, while the predecessor S20 had a glass back. The back of the S21 + and S21 Ultra is still made of glass. The three new Samsung phones in the Netherlands work with the new Exynos 2100 chip, which would be up to 20 percent faster than the chip in the S20.

The S21 has a 6.2 inch AMOLED screen, the S21 + has a 6.7 inch screen (both 1080×2400) and the Ultra version is the largest with a 6.8 inch screen (1440×3200). All screens have a dynamic refresh rate, up to 120 Hz.

S21 Ultra

The S21 Ultra now supports operation with the Samsung stylus S Pen, which previously only the Galaxy Note smartphones had. The S Pen is not included and cannot be stored in the phone itself: you have to buy a special case for that.

The Ultra has more RAM: 12 or 16 GB. The Ultra also has a version with more storage (512 GB), while the other two models have a choice of 128 or 256 GB storage. The Ultra also has the largest battery of the three.

The cameras of the S21 and S21 + are not much different from those of last year’s S20. You can now shoot 8K videos with the main camera. The night mode has been upgraded: you can extend the shutter speed for example. The S21 Ultra has four instead of three cameras. The new main camera offers 108 megapixels and has laser autofocus. The Ultra also has two zoom lenses with 3x and 10x optical zoom. The digital ‘Space Zoom’ can again zoom in up to 100x.

No charger and earplugs in box

The box of the new telephones no longer contains earplugs and no charging plug. Samsung has left it out, just like Apple with the iPhone 12, because many consumers already have the right charging accessories.

The Galaxy S21 phones support 5G in the Netherlands and are for sale from January 29. The S21 is available in white, anthracite, purple and pink. The S21 + is available in matte black, matte green / silver, purple and pink, the S21 Ultra in black or silver.

No microSD tickets

In addition to the 128 GB version (849 euros), the S21 is also available with 256 GB storage for 899 euros. The Plus version costs 1049 euros (128 GB) or 1099 euros (256 GB). The S21 Ultra costs EUR 1249 (128 GB, 12 GB RAM), EUR 1299 (256 GB, 12 GB RAM) or EUR 1429 (512 GB, 16 GB RAM). The storage capacity cannot be expanded with microSD cards.

Check out our first impression.


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