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Galaxy S21 Ultra review

This is the Galaxy S 21 Ultra 5g and it proves that sometimes it takes doing something twice to get it right.
Last year’s Galaxy S 20 Ultra seemed like it came out of nowhere. It was a phone all about access. That was by sheer fate launch at the beginning of a global pandemic. But it’s bold behemoth take on the Galaxy S line was undercut by its 14 $100 price and issues with its nearly Domino sized camera system. The Galaxy S 21 Ultra Well, just as bold is a refined second take on the old truck concept. There’s still the 100 timespace soon but it’s easier to use.

There’s still the big for being big sake design but it looks much more appealing. And there’s still a high price but at 12 $100 in the US. It costs $200 less than the S 20 Ultra. Now I wouldn’t call the S 21 ultras design radically different but this is the best black finish I’ve ever seen on a phone. It’s like the stuff that goth dreams are made of. The color is called Phantom black and when you see it in person, you understand why the S 21 also comes in Phantom silver, as well as limited edition Phantom colors of titanium brown and navy which can only be found on Samsung’s website. The camera bump is larger and melts into the sides of the phone which are glossy black, and while the regular s 21 and s 21. Plus look fun in their two tone colors. The all black on the S 21 Ultra looks cool, elegant and badass all at the same time. around the front is one of the most impressive displays I’ve seen. It has a wide Quad HD resolution, a variable refresh rate between 10 and 120 hertz which is determined by what’s on the screen. It’s bright the contrast is gorgeous. The 6.8 inch screen is covered in Gorilla Glass victus as is the back and it has Samsung’s new icomfort Shield, which is basically like the blue light filter mode we’ve seen on previous Samsung phones but it can now automatically change depending on time of day.

Under the screen is a larger ultrasonic fingerprint reader which feels peppy. I had a hard time tell if it was actually faster than the one on the S 20 Ultra. also incorporated into the display is Wakeham, technology, you know the folks that make those black stylists and tablets graphic designers use with their computers. This means there’s S Pen support the first ever on a galaxy as having the option to use an S Pen has been great. I’ve always been tempted by the Galaxy Note line of phones, but I thought the idea of having a stylus and not using it all the time might not justify the cost. So I like the for lack of a better comparison iPad Pro slash Apple Pencil approach here. Meaning you can thoroughly enjoy using the S 21 Ultra without an S Pen. But if you already have one or if you are S Pen curious and you want to buy a new one for $40 there’s a lot you can do like draw take notes, signed documents and more. I really enjoyed editing and making adjustments to photos with the spin. Now I should note that there are will a few considerations. First, the S 21 Ultra doesn’t come with an S Pen. And the phone doesn’t support Bluetooth an S Pen gesture functionality. So for example, it can’t send you a leave behind notification if you well leave it behind and there isn’t a built in place in the ultra to store the S Pen. However, Samsung will be selling cases for the S 21 Ultra that include S Pen storage.

The camera received several significant updates. But let’s just catch up there are four rear cameras a wide and ultra wide and to attract to telephoto cameras. Gone is the time of flight sensor but in its place is laser autofocus. The 108 megapixel sensor on the main camera has better autofocus for both photos and videos. And now there’s a focus enhancer tool that pops up when you’re taking photos to help the phone find focus even faster. It looks like it might be switching to like maybe a slightly wider field of view to do so. I’m not
One has three times magnification and the other 10 times magnification. And there are a number of benefits to this. The first is image quality, you now have two places in your zoom range where the image isn’t being cropped, the other is stability. The two cameras are paired together and help big zooming in even at 100 times zoom, easier and less shaky at 30 times magnification, a guide pops up to help you find what particular spot you’re zoomed in that and now you can lock it so it doesn’t move. And when you lock it, the guide will turn yellow. This works actually pretty well. Obviously you still can’t like move your phone around a lot, but it’s less finicky and less frustrating then the es 20 Ultra. Overall photos are excellent with good detail and dynamic range. There’s 108 megapixel shooting mode, but I found the 12 megapixel photos coming from pixel binning really good in low light. The night mode is outstanding reflections or minimize images look bright, without a bunch of image noise or noise reduction smeary for selfies, there’s the same 40 megapixel camera as the S 20 Ultra. But now you have an option to change the color tone to either bright or natural, which is excellent. Now I’m very excited to put the S 21 Ultra and its cameras against the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the Google Pixel five. But each phone takes a very different approach. It’s cameras and each appeals to different people.

But I promise more soon. some neat additions to the S 21 Ultra are the ability to take raw 12 bit color photos, and a new video feature called director view, which gives you a thumbnail preview of different feeds coming from all the cameras on the phone. As you record, you can switch between these different feeds. There’s even a kind of a longer setup which gives you a side by side video format or a stacked one if you’re shooting vertically. This means you could record yourself with a selfie camera at the same time show what you’re seeing or reacting to with any of the rear cameras and you have the ability to switch between those rear cameras while you record. On paper director’s view seemed like single tape, meaning something I might try once but not really use. I can definitely see people being into this feature. If there is a downside to directors you is that the
Powering the 21 Ultra is the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip along with either 12 gigabytes or 16 gigabytes of RAM. My review unit had 16. In my benchmark test the S 21 Ultra scored better than last year’s s 20 Ultra ended use it handled everything I threw at it even playing Xbox game pass ultimate games, supplying the juice to the phone is a 5000 milliamp hour battery. It’s been easily averaging a day and a half on a single charge. That said, I still have a number of battery tests to put the S 21

Ultra through so kick back to my written review on cnet.com. For updates. Let’s talk about Android 11 and one ui 3.1. Which I like a lot. I can now default to Google pay and Google Discovery News Feed the look for everything from settings to pop up Windows is clean and contemporary. Last 5g Yep, the Galaxy S 21 Ultra has 5g and supports both sub six and millimeter wave meaning you have your choice of us carriers it’s going to work on but you shouldn’t get the ultra just for the 5g. But as carrier 5g networks get better. so will your 5g speeds and connection and then we’ll really have something to talk about. Overall, the S 21 Ultra is quite a major update both in hardware and software features over the past 20 Ultra. And look there is so much more I didn’t have time to get to in this video. So make sure to check out my written review on CNET where I go even more in depth on the ultra and its features. Oh and also make sure to watch my Galaxy S 21 5g review video. But now I’d like to hear from you guys. What do you think of the s 21? ultra? Did you preorder one Huh? What improvements are you looking forward to trying out the most through your thoughts in the comments?

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