Samsung refreshes the Galaxy S21 & S21+ with improved performance, display, and camera

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,778   +695
Staff member
In brief: The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ are two peas in a pod. Aside from their slight difference in size and price, both flagship phones feature the same performance provided by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. They each feature "pro-grade cameras" with innovative AI-assisted image processing and 5G support starting at $799.99.

Samsung showed off its newest Galaxy-branded products on Thursday. The Korean electronics giant unveiled its Tile-like tracking fob the Galaxy SmartTag and its next-generation Galaxy Buds, but stars of the show were its flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+, as well as the premium Galaxy S21 Ultra.

As one would expect, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 have many of the same features with subtle differences. Both have a "Dynamic" AMOLED FHD+ display with a variable 120Hz refresh rate (48-120Hz). The difference being that the standard S21 has a 6.2-inch screen, while the S21+ is 6.7 inches.

Each model has identical 10MP front-facing selfie cams and triple-camera arrays at the rear, which feature "pro-grade enhancements," including 12MP wide- and ultra-wide-angle lenses. The third sensor is a 64MP telephoto. However, users need not worry about camera complexity. Samsung's imaging software handles all the heavy lifting, so even taking 8K video is point and shoot.

Speaking of imaging software, Samsung has focused on making the Galaxy S21 series Vlogger-friendly. Users can capture video from both the front and rear cameras simultaneously. Additionally, with a set of Galaxy Buds, vloggers can record crisp, clear ambient sound and commentary at the same time using multiple mic recording technology.

Both models are powered by a 2.8GHz 5nm Snapdragon 888 octa-core processor with 8GB RAM (LPDDR5) and either 128GB or 256GB internal storage. All phones in the S21 line have 5G support as well. Unfortunately, Samsung chose to drop the expandable storage this time around. It has also stopped bundling phones with charger, but we knew that was coming. Both moves helped to reduce the price to around $800 for the most basic model.

Pricing for the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ starts at $800 and $1,000, respectively. Samsung offers financing plans of $4.17 per month (21 months) for the S21 and $8.34 per month (36 months) for the S21+ with an eligible $700 trade-ins.

Pre-ordering began today, with both phones shipping on January 29. Those making purchases between now and January 28 are eligible for $100 Samsung Credit for the Galaxy S21 and $150 for the S21+. As a bonus, pre-order customers will also receive a free Galaxy SmartTag, Samsung's new tracking fob.

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Mr Majestyk

Posts: 577   +506
Displays on S21 and S21+ are not improved they are downgraded in resolution. In fact the S21 is essentially a S20 FE with SD888. Do we know what glass these phones use for the screen. S20 FE is plagued by screen issues due to using the too thick old Gorilla glass 3. I presume the S21(+) use Gorilla glass 6, but have seen no mention of this.
 

Shaitan

Posts: 85   +80
What the h** is their improved phone?!
- Exynos CPU for EU, so still slower than the flagship
- 500 mAh bigger battery and some better optics. Yeah. BUT:
- Note series: removed. So no Pen.
- screen resolution: lower. Remember when they mocked Apple for doing it?
- headphone jack removed (after mocking Apple for doing it)
- no earbuds (after mocking Apple for doing it)
- NO charger (after mocking - you know)
- SLOWER charger
- NO User Replaceable Battery (for years already)
- NO MicroSD card for two of the models
I HATE Apple. They are the ugly face of the greed. But Samsung? Samsung are WORSE.
I will NEVER, EVER, EVER buy another Samsung phone again.
 

Shaitan

Posts: 85   +80
Displays on S21 and S21+ are not improved they are downgraded in resolution. In fact the S21 is essentially a S20 FE with SD888. Do we know what glass these phones use for the screen. S20 FE is plagued by screen issues due to using the too thick old Gorilla glass 3. I presume the S21(+) use Gorilla glass 6, but have seen no mention of this.
Samsung are lying, greedy, copycat Apple nowadays.
#neversamsung.
I'd rather bite the bullet and use Apple. Which I despise.
 

ilovelinux

Posts: 27   +78
What the h** is their improved phone?!
- Exynos CPU for EU, so still slower than the flagship
- 500 mAh bigger battery and some better optics. Yeah. BUT:
- Note series: removed. So no Pen.
- screen resolution: lower. Remember when they mocked Apple for doing it?
- headphone jack removed (after mocking Apple for doing it)
- no earbuds (after mocking Apple for doing it)
- NO charger (after mocking - you know)
- SLOWER charger
- NO User Replaceable Battery (for years already)
- NO MicroSD card for two of the models
I HATE Apple. They are the ugly face of the greed. But Samsung? Samsung are WORSE.
I will NEVER, EVER, EVER buy another Samsung phone again.
Japanese were/are known for innovation, Chinese are known for copying. South Korea chooses a bit of both.
 

poohbear

Posts: 579   +494
Japanese were/are known for innovation, Chinese are known for copying. South Korea chooses a bit of both.
It really depends on how old you are. The Japanese were notorious for copying American products back in the 60s-70s, but that's all water under the bridge now. Koreans were notorious for copying in the 90s and 2000s, but that's also all water under the bridge. The Chinese are the new kids on the block, but I'm sure in 30 years...that'll be water under the bridge too.
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,418   +693
It really depends on how old you are. The Japanese were notorious for copying American products back in the 60s-70s, but that's all water under the bridge now. Koreans were notorious for copying in the 90s and 2000s, but that's also all water under the bridge. The Chinese are the new kids on the block, but I'm sure in 30 years...that'll be water under the bridge too.
All runner ups always did. England, Germany, hundreds of years ago did exactly the same.
Funny, but I think back then they did not honor patents at all.
And today we got patent trolls...