The S21 is the cheapest phone in the S21 family.
Here you can read us A big test of the top model Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Below we focus on the Samsung Galaxy S21:
I have to admit that I wasn’t completely related to my Samsung Galaxy S20. I’ve long been bothered about the curved edges in practical use, but on the S20 the curvature is still so discreet that it shouldn’t be an issue in practice.
Now, however, the Samsung Galaxy S21 is here, and the screen is completely flat, with only very fine milling of the edges. I actually call the phone right away in a way that I’ve never had before with the S20. My theory is that it’s more about the narrow bezels around the active screen surface and the tapered metal frame of the phone compared to the S21 which makes the S20 less comfortable. I tried to give my partner S20 and S21 and say which one I thought felt most comfortable to use. The answer was clearly S21, although she couldn’t pinpoint the cause either.
So not only is the screen flat, but it also has slightly more black frames around it, as well as a metallic frame that stands out more. Together, this provides an additional margin of a few millimeters between the screen and the palm of the hand. The metal frame itself is thicker, too, and the entire design of the Samsung Galaxy S21 doesn’t remind us much of my previous favorite from Samsung, the Samsung Galaxy S10e.
The Galaxy S10e has two other features that made me prefer it over the S10 and S20. Second, a screen with a smaller, taller, narrow format. The S21 sticks to the 20: 9 format on the screen and is about an inch higher than the S10e, but I’m less bothered with it than I thought, maybe specifically because the phone fits better in the hand than its predecessor.
The last feature the S10e has is the fingerprint reader on the side. The S20 and S21 have in-display fingerprint readers. I always have issues with screen finger readers especially on Samsung mobile phones, but the one on the Galaxy S21 is a new type that covers more space on the screen. Maybe that was just what I needed, because after two days of use it pretty much worked out without problems. The real issues usually appear over time so I have to come back to that for the full test.
The back of the phone is matte, easy to hold and made of plastic. It feels cheap. On the other hand, both the S10e and S20 that I used and compared them now have been damaged and have broken glass in the upper left corner on the back. I’ve been arguing for a while now that the glass backing is a nuisance to remove and the plastic is more durable, and I support that. As a result of the choice of materials, one can at the same time think that plastic as a material should make the phone cheaper, but the Galaxy S21 is not very cheap. It should also make the phone lighter, but the S21 weighs six grams more than its predecessor.
I think plastic is a better material for a cellphone back than glass, and I also think there are examples of you using plastic without feeling cheap, so this is something that Samsung has to work with in the future.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 is slightly larger in all respects than its predecessor S20, and if you like that format, there is a risk that you think the phone is about to get very big and too heavy. But compared to the S21 Plus and Ultra, it is of course remarkably small and flexible.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 feels fast, and it’s also fast in performance tests. However, at times, it surprises us with some choppy transitions when I have to switch between apps, for example. Pediatrics?
The camera group is similar to that of the predecessor S20. We’ll be discussing more about this, the system and more in our full testing of the Samsung Galaxy S21, which will be released soon.