If you’re looking for one of the best cameras in the smartphone arena, you’ll find it in Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S21 Ultra
Why invest in something more expensive than the average smartphone if a mid-range phone can deliver similar results? Well, the operative word is similar. The experience, as well as the results are not and will never be the same. Enter: the Galaxy S21 series, composed of the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra. It’s said that the latest series is an enhanced version of 2020’s models but with a lower (but still not your average low) price point.
I had the chance to test-drive the S21 Ultra and let me tell you, the camera system is its biggest asset. In fact, I’m calling it. It might just be the best one out there to date.
The epic multi-camera with AI technology to capture the best possible shot is made up of: the 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, which you can use to shoot sweeping landscapes or your 60 square meter apartment that you probably redecorated for the umpteenth time. Meanwhile, the 108-megapixel camera is for sharp everyday snaps or weekly photo dumps that make our collective routines look interesting. The 10-megapixel telephoto camera (a gem that sets the Ultra apart) is for epic-looking shots at up to 10X the optical zoom. Last but not least, the 40-megapixel front camera to capture all the beauty looks you’re serving in high definition on Instagram.
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But what about video? The Samsung Galaxy series is still one of the best Android phones for capturing videos. The same is true for the S21. Creators have the option to shoot in 4K and 8K, of which I’ve only tried the former. No gripes with the footage as to me it looks great, even with a bit of grain.
At the end of the day, however, the S21 Ultra is a smartphone so expectations are high when it comes to performance. Thankfully, the Ultra delivers on many fronts.
The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset and 120-Hz refresh rate ensure smooth, stutter-free performance, whether you’re playing Genshin Impact or switching quickly between multiple apps for work. The Ultra is also the only phone in the series that offers that refresh rate at a maximum resolution of 3,200 x 1,440 pixel. Meanwhile, its Dynamic AMOLED display is pretty remarkabl, too. Colors are bright and close to accurate, which makes watching your fav Netflix series on your phone surprisingly enjoyable. But, and this just might be me, the S21 Ultra is not as easy to hold or carry given its 6.8-inch large screen and weight.
There are other misses that may or may not be a dealbreaker for some, like battery life and the lack of a MicroSD card slot. Battery life is not bad but it’s also not great, especially if you use the Ultra for work and play. You’ll find that you need to charge the unit before bed almost every night. As for the extra storage, I don’t mind the lack thereof since I back up my photos and files on the cloud.
So if you can live with the aforementioned drawbacks, what you’re looking for is a phone with the best camera system and you have the money to spare, the S21 Ultra might just be the one for you.
Order yours at authorized Samsung stores or via Samsung.com.
Art Matthew Fetalver