Samsung’s most important flagship model in 2021, helping to reshape the product segment and target users when there are rumors that the Note line will die.
Review Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra was made by XiPaChao after more than 1 month of use, analyzed and mainly based on the author’s opinion of the writer during the experience.
I. OVERVIEW ASSESSMENT
9.14 Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is the second most important flagship of Samsung in 2021, helping to reshape its product segment when there are rumors that the Galaxy Note series is about to be “dead”.
- Beautiful masculine design
- Good grip feeling
- Excellent display
- Multi-purpose camera, 8K video recording available
- Outstanding performance compared to the previous generation
- Durable battery life
- The frame is plated with a glossy finish
- The device heats up quite quickly when playing heavy games
- Only support 25W charging capacity
II. DESIGN: WHEN GALAXY S IS A “NOTE CHEMICAL”, AND THAT’S A GOOD THAT
The first impression when holding the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the greatness in the design and color of the Note line a lot.
On this machine, users will no longer see soft curved lines or brilliant gradient dorsal effects, suitable for both men and women.
Instead, it is a more square design, the feeling of holding the hand firmly and almost directing to the “bearded man”. From there, women should consider Galaxy S21 or S21 + will be more suitable.
The biggest change to mention the camera cluster has now been reworked by Samsung to have a higher aesthetic.
In previous generations, the equipment with high quality sensors, the lens cluster protruding quite a lot compared to the dorsal surface is an acceptable thing.
With the S21 Ultra 5G, Samsung still uses the familiar lens combo, but if only viewed from the outside, the “convexity” of the machine seems to be very little if compared directly with its predecessor S20 Ultra.
In addition, the seamless camera cluster with the frame can be considered the most unique in the Android world up to the present time. This helps the S21 Ultra in particular as well as the entire S21 Series line not to be mixed with the current “familiar to boring” smartphone designs.
III. FEELING TO USE
Although a little smaller than its predecessor, but Galaxy S21 Ultra is still a flagship “big and solid”. From there, the feeling of holding the phone is very solid and will be a bit heavy for female users.
The matte finish glass back is a huge plus, not only helping to limit fingerprints and perspiration but also feels comfortable in the palm of the hand when used for a long time.
Unfortunately, the frame is still made of a glossy shape, less or less synchronously reduces the overall design of the machine.
XiPaChao rated the feeling of using the Galaxy S21 Ultra as the best in Samsung’s S-series ever. The device is still very “big”, but the feeling in the hand is still very good.
If not too “superficial”, users can still use the S21 Ultra normally without the need for a protective case.
There’s nothing too much to say about the display of one of the world’s top display panel manufacturers. Galaxy S21 Ultra owns 6.8 inch screen, OLED panel, 2.5K + resolution with a refresh rate up to 120Hz.
The first plus point will always be display quality: High brightness, flattering colors, wide viewing angles and high definition in each app icon border.
The 120Hz high refresh rate has been around since its predecessor, but is limited to low resolutions. Now, the S21 Ultra has been able to “carry” the 2.5K + screen at 120Hz, which can be seen as an advantage so that it can compete well with other flagships in the same segment.
Users also do not need to worry about battery drain when the screen of the machine supports flexible frequency scanning mode. When users use applications that need smoothness, such as surfing Facebook, playing games.
As for the software that does not require too much flexibility, such as watching YouTube videos, the system will automatically analyze the following: Video HDR will activate the 120Hz screen and normal videos will be 60Hz.
In addition, the HDR10 + image enhancement mode also provides good support for watching videos on major platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube …
The screen of the S21 Ultra has a Wacom coating to identify all the S-Pen series on the Galaxy Note ever. Besides, Samsung also made a new pen for this device with a larger size (Pro version has more Bluetooth connectivity).
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has the most versatile camera cluster according to XiPaChao so far – to put it simply, any lens is useful, not trying to cram it in enough.
The main sensor of the device is manufactured by Samsung itself with the full name ISOCELL HM3 with 108MP resolution. Of course, the user will not use such a large number of dots for anything, instead the manufacturer uses the pixel binning algorithm according to the 9: 1 formula.
From there, the photo will have a default resolution of 12MP, just enough to use but sharpness, color saturation is enhanced.
The lens that comes with this sensor has an f / 1.8 aperture and 24mm equivalent focal length, which is just wide enough to shoot, while leaving no distortion.
In addition, the OIS optical image stabilization system will of course be required on the flagship line of Samsung. Finally, the S21 Ultra is capable of capturing 12-bit color RAW images, making post-production more well-tuned. XiPaChao assessed that shooting RAW images on mobile is only really necessary for professional users, the rest is that Auto shooting is more than enough for all needs.
1. Super wide angle camera
The S21 Ultra’s ultra-wide-angle camera has almost no change from the S20 Ultra or Note 20 Ultra. Specifically, the device uses a 12MP sensor with 13mm focal aperture lens, f / 2.2 aperture. That gives a wide shooting angle of up to 120 degrees.
The plus point on the S21 Ultra is that the ultra-wide-angle camera now supports autofocus, which helps to limit unwanted out-of-focus. Besides, users can also use this lens to get interesting macro shots.
2. Camera Zoom
Unlike its predecessor, S21 Ultra is equipped with two optical zoom lenses: 3X and 10X. XiPaChao rated this as the most positive change and extremely beneficial for users.
If there is only 10X zoom lens, at 2X or 3X magnification, the camera of the machine will crop the main sensor to perform. Of course, the image quality will not be as good as using a dedicated zoom lens.
Since then, the S21 Ultra meets the needs of more users: If you want to zoom enough to use, the 3X lens is the perfect choice. Meanwhile, 10X Zoom lens will be effective in detailing, super telephoto …
The second plus is that both zoom lenses of the S21 Ultra have OIS optical stabilization – something unprecedented on all Android smartphones so far.
3. Laser focus
The final circle in the Galaxy S21 Ultra camera cluster is not a camera, but a laser light that supports fast focus. From there, the Galaxy S21 Ultra will have two focus mechanisms: PDAF (phase detection) and Laser. This helps users to pan the camera quickly and record unexpectedly beautiful moments in life, even in low light conditions.
4. Camera interface
Galaxy S21 Ultra owns an intuitive camera interface, easy to get used to after a few uses. With the new version, when Zoom from 40X or more, on the screen will appear a panoramic viewfinder for users to arrange the composition.
5. Photo quality is bright enough
The 108MP camera on the Galaxy S21 Ultra produces very good pictures on many criteria: High sharpness, wide dynamic range, very flattering colors and exceptionally well controlled noise.
One point to note is that Samsung chose the direction to make the colors vivid and the details are a bit “harsh” to help viewers “enjoy the eye” when reviewing the image on the device. Therefore, some users who love neutrality and like post-production can choose the RAW shooting mode to suit their needs.
HDR mode on the S21 Ultra is called quite “cool” is Smart ISO Pro. Accordingly, the camera will take 1 photo with extremely high ISO and at the same time 1 ISO plate pushes down and stitches together to produce the best photo.
XiPaChao experiences and sees that Smart ISO Pro is clearly more effective than traditional HDR, especially its ability to “eliminate ghosting”. If in the past when taking HDR, the camera would normally take 2 sequential shots, if the subject missed movement (shaking his head, hitting hands) or someone passed by, the photo would have a blur. .
Meanwhile, Galaxy S21 Ultra will take two shots at the same time, from which the image will be sharp and limit the aforementioned disadvantages.
Finally, users can use 108MP photo capture mode. This will bring two characteristics: The image will be extremely detailed, can be zoomed back to “see” small subjects in the image, but will appear more noise due to no interference. AI software cards.
Super wide angle camera
Taking super wide-angle photos with the Galaxy S21 Ultra offers a good experience as the primary lens, it’s just that users should not use it in low light conditions only.
The quality of photos captured according to XiPaChao is good, the image blur is significantly reduced when compared with ultra-wide-angle cameras that do not support autofocus.
Of course, if you zoom the captured image, it will be easy to recognize the detail will not be as high as on the 108MP camera.
In addition, the camera’s camera software also has an automatic mode of correcting the distortion because the characteristic of the wide-angle lens is very good. If you do not intend to create a “unique” composition, XiPaChao thinks that users let the S21 Ultra shoot and correct the distortion automatically.
As mentioned above, users can take advantage of this lens for macro photography. When you bring the camera closer to the subject at a distance of 2cm, the camera software will detect and automatically switch to the super close-up shooting mode.
The quality of macro photos is relatively good, creating fun visual effects when photographing objects such as coins, paper facades, pistils …
At 3X Zoom, images are well processed, high definition but a bit harsh (Samsung seems to like this) and standard colors, not pale.
At 10X Zoom, the colors are a bit faded, but the detail is still high and especially during the focusing process, the frame is less shaking thanks to the OIS system.
It should be noted that at 2X Zoom, it is essentially a cropped image of the 108MP sensor. Photo quality is still good, thank Samsung for a much improved sensor compared to the previous generation.
Galaxy S21 Ultra supports multiple levels of electronic zoom up to 100X. At this level, the captured images are for a fun nature only. However, Samsung has brought an electronic liveview box that makes it easier for users to focus.
Galaxy S21 Ultra is capable of recording impressive video with many modes. Thanks to the power of the Exynos 2100 processor, it can record cinematic 8K 24fps video.
This feature sounds like a marketing ploy from Samsung, but according to the practical experience of XiPaChao, 8K video from Galaxy S21 Ultra is relatively high quality, enough for users to “show off” to friends and family. Note that 8K recording is one thing, but you need an 8K resolution TV to enjoy this “super high definition”.
In most other cases, XiPaChao recommends users to choose 4K recording mode because it will satisfy many factors at the same time such as: High detail, quick switching between lenses, control system. Good noise control.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 4K 60fps video is of good quality. Besides that is a plus point for recording microphone.
In addition, Galaxy S21 Ultra also has a mode “Super stable” when recording video. According to XiPaChao, when activating this mode, the machine will use OIS and electronic anti-vibration EIS.
The quality of anti-shake is quite good, but the video resolution only reaches a maximum of 1080p 60fps
Finally, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has some fun video recording features. XiPaChao has a slow motion test and rated the recording quality as relatively good enough for quick posting on social media.
6. Low light image quality
XiPaChao must have praise for the Galaxy S21 Ultra when its four lenses are useful in low light conditions.
The 108MP camera offers the best image quality with good noise control, high detail and colors that don’t blend together.
Meanwhile, the ultra wide-angle lens does fine too, but due to the smaller aperture lens, the image will not be as bright and there will be a bit more noise.
Camera Zoom is something that very rare Android devices on the market up to now can capture good night.
With the S21 Ultra, the OIS system is the “salvation” for night photography. Images are sharp, no blurring and details are kept at a good level.
XiPaChao “unbelievable” is that the 10X Zoom lens does so well at night. Users can take advantage to capture the full moon is also very “stable”.
In too dark places, the S21 Ultra’s Night Mode will automatically scan the environment and give the right “exposure”. In most cases when testing XiPaChao, it will take about 2-3 seconds to shoot in this mode.
Images are very good and can be used and shared immediately on social networks. Therefore, users should confidently use Night Mode at night for the best image.
Finally, XiPaChao recommends that users should not zoom more than 10X at night because the captured product is difficult to use.
7. Camera Selfie
The front camera of the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a resolution of 40MP with a 26mm focal length lens, f / 2.2 aperture. Of course, in the default mode, the machine’s software will gather 4 pixels into one and produce 10MP photos.
The “selfie” image quality with the Galaxy S21 Ultra must be quite excellent when it brings high detail at the same time, but at the same time, the subject’s face is still beautified just enough, not too “fake”.
XiPaChao evaluates the Galaxy S21 Ultra is also capable of recording 4K video with the front camera very well in many criteria: Stable stabilization, sharp image, precise face-capturing mechanism … From there, the user can use the camera for vlog video instead of mirrorless cameras.
Galaxy S21 Ultra in Vietnam is equipped with Exynos 2100 processor, accompanied by 12GB RAM and 128 / 256GB internal memory.
After a long time of being “criticized” by users, Samsung’s new 5nm processor has actually had a huge breakthrough in performance.
During daily experience, most tasks do not have lag phenomenon, providing a smooth and pleasant experience.
When combined with a 120Hz refresh rate monitor, XiPaChao can affirm that now users should not remember too much about what chip the machine uses anymore. If you bought a Samsung flagship from now on, just turn it on and use it indifferently, that’s fine.
When it comes to gaming, the Galaxy S21 Ultra can “Max Setting” 99.9% of the titles available on the app market, with the exception of Genshin Impact (although it can also be played at the highest configuration settings, it will be available). light lag).
However, XiPaChao realized that when playing games, the back of the device heats up a bit faster, compared to Snapdragon-powered machines. It seems that Samsung needs to optimize more on the software side to improve the heat dissipation performance of the S21 Ultra.
XiPaChao assessed that the Galaxy S21 Ultra with the Exynos 2100 chip will still have a bit of a loss compared to the Snapdragon 888. However, the gap is not too large as before and in the future, Samsung will surely continue to improve the chip line. Her “homegrown”, namely the radiant temperature range.
VII. BATTERY LIFE
Galaxy S21 Ultra is equipped with a battery capacity “super huge” 5000mAh and accompanied by 25W fast charging technology. This brings both happiness and sadness to the writer.
Glad that electronics companies like Samsung are finally getting a big battery on their flagships. Previously, if you wanted 5000mAh or more batteries, users were forced to buy mid-range or low-end smartphones. Meanwhile, a high-end smartphone with a powerful processor (“eats” a lot of electricity), high resolution screen (“eats” a lot of electricity) has only 4000mAh or less battery.
With the S21 Ultra, users can fully use the device for a full day with the brightest screen, turn on all connections, record 8K video, play heavy games without the need for a charger or built-in battery. .
XiPaChao rated the battery life of the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G as the best on Android flagships so far.
However, a little sad Samsung for not “donated” the charger in the box has been, now only supports fast charging standard 25W.
This level of capacity is at a time when it is difficult to call fast charging if not just faster than Apple. In the Android world, many electronics companies have applied fast charging standards of over 50W, such as: Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Vivo …
At 2% battery level, XiPaChao when using the PD charger adapter can fill the S21 Ultra battery in about 90 minutes.
Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G can be considered as the most “refined” flagship model that Samsung has ever created. It has a square design, more practical, unmatched performance and a versatile camera system for all cases.
A few points are still a bit “freaked out” when deciding to own this machine such as: The device is a bit big (for women), the shell heats up a little faster when playing heavy games …
XiPaChao rated the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra as one of the most comprehensive flagships so far. When there are rumors about the Galaxy Note line being “dead”, Samsung will surely focus more on the S series, typically the Galaxy S21 Ultra is “Note” quite a lot, but that is a good thing. .