Palms on: Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus evaluate
Following the identical template as final 12 months, Samsung has launched three Galaxy S21 fashions, with the Plus handset, which was the flagship gadget simply a few years in the past, sitting in the course of the vary.
Whereas the primary distinction between the S20 Extremely and S20 Plus was the digital camera setup, this 12 months Samsung has created a clearer distinction between the 2 fashions, with Samsung pushing energy customers and critical Galaxy fanatics in direction of the Extremely.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus launch date and value
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus was introduced on January 14 alongside the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Extremely throughout the firm’s digital Unpacked occasion, with Samsung unveiling its 2021 flagship vary a month or so sooner than in earlier years.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus launch date is about for January 29 2021 in most areas, together with the US, UK and Australia.
The Galaxy S21 Plus value begins at $999 / £949 / AU$1,549 for the 128GB and 8GB of RAM variant of the telephone. There’s additionally a 256GB / 8GB model, however we’ve but to get confirmed costs for that.
That value is notably cheaper than the Galaxy S20 Plus launch value, notably within the US – that telephone launched for $1,199 / £999 / AU$1,649 in 2020. That is principally as a result of the corporate has opted for Full HD+ show relatively than a higher-resolution QHD panel – we’ll dive into that extra under.
Design and show
Wanting on the entrance of the Galaxy S21 Plus, not an entire lot has modified in comparison with final 12 months’s S20 Plus. The brand new mannequin is just a little wider and heavier, however you don’t actually really feel that in your hand; it’s effectively balanced, and as we’d count on, the S21 Plus feels each inch like a premium telephone.
Flip it over and the new-look digital camera block merges into the physique – appears a lot nicer in actual life than in leaked footage we’ve seen. The S21 Plus shall be obtainable in Phantom Black, Phantom Silver and Phantom Violet. All fashions have a glass again with a matte end that does a very good job of preserving fingerprint smudges to a minimal.
The amount keys and the facility/Bixby buttons are each situated on the fitting aspect, with the underside of the telephone housing the SIM tray, the USB Sort-C port and a speaker. There’s an extra speaker on the highest of the unit, whereas the glass again permits wi-fi charging and reverse wi-fi charging.
The S21 Plus has the identical 6.7-inch sized display screen because the Galaxy S20 Plus. Nevertheless, for some purpose, Samsung has decreased the utmost decision on the S21 Plus which is now restricted to Full HD+ relatively than QHD. One other key distinction between the show on the S21 Plus and the S21 Extremely is that the previous doesn’t help the S-Pen. Fortunately, the display screen on the brand new telephone does nonetheless help a 120Hz most refresh charge.
The in-screen fingerprint sensor on the S21 Plus and the opposite S21 handsets is bigger than the one on the S20 telephones, and Samsung claims it’s additionally sooner, so unlocking your telephone needs to be simpler.
Digicam and battery
The Galaxy S21 Plus digital camera array contains a 12MP large lens, a 12MP ultra-wide lens and a 64MP telephoto lens that’s able to 3x hybrid zoom. If all that sounds acquainted, it’s as a result of these are the precise digital camera specs we noticed on the Galaxy S20 Plus final 12 months.
The brand new Exynos 2100 chipset’s ISP and improved AI capabilities will possible assist to provide higher picture high quality, however whether or not that additionally means a greater/sooner digital camera expertise total is one thing we’ll solely discover out once we put the S21 Plus via our full evaluate course of.
With regards to video, Samsung has launched a brand new Director’s View mode, which allows you to seize video from a number of cameras concurrently – for instance, you should utilize the back and front cameras to seize reactions in addition to your important video.
Samsung has elevated the battery capability of the S21 Plus to 4,800mAh from 4,500mAh on the S20 Plus, and mixed with the extra power-efficient processor we’re hopeful that this can imply the S21 Plus has higher battery life than its predecessor, though we didn’t have a lot to complain about by way of the S20 Plus’s battery efficiency.
Efficiency and software program
Quite a bit is driving on Samsung’s Exynos 2100 processor, the chip that’s powering the S21 lineup exterior of the US, together with the S21 Plus that we examined. Within the US the telephones may have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, and with Galaxy telephones operating on Samsung’s personal chips having performed second fiddle up to now to fashions utilizing Qualcomm processors by way of efficiency and battery life, Samsung is hyping up the Exyon 2100 this 12 months.
The telephone definitely felt extraordinarily zippy and clean throughout our hands-on time with it, however that’s not essentially the most dependable measure of efficiency. We’ll have to attend till we get the telephone in for a full evaluate to see what advances Samsung has revamped its last-generation chip, and the way it compares to the Snapdragon model of the S21.
The Galaxy S21 vary is 5G all the best way. Samsung can be removing separate 4G-only and 5G fashions this 12 months, one thing which by no means actually made sense to us – why would anybody select a 4G-only solely model of a flagship telephone when a future-proofed 5G can be obtainable, even when it prices a bit extra?
The Galaxy S21 is operating Android 11 with Samsung’s OneUI 3.1 overlay. The 2 huge modifications we noticed have been the inclusion of Google feed as an alternative of Samsung each day, and Google Messages for texting as an alternative of Samsung’s messaging app. Apparently, the Samsung messaging app was additionally current on the telephone, however wasn’t set because the default and wasn’t on the house display screen. We’re glad to see Google feed, as Samsung’s model was very underwhelming.
The Plus mannequin in Samsung’s 2021 Galaxy S lineup appears like a barely odd inclusion. . Whereas the S21 Extremely clearly excels in each approach, the S21 Plus appears like a telephone that Samsung has deliberately restricted, short-changing it by way of key options. Sure, it has the brand new Exynos 2100 chipset in some areas, and an even bigger battery, however the display screen decision is decrease than on final 12 months’s S20 Plus, and the digital camera setup stays the identical as that telephone’s.
All of this makes us really feel that the S21 Plus isn’t the replace that many followers have been hoping for. We don’t need to soar the gun, and we’ll wait till we’ve put the telephone via our full evaluate course of earlier than making a definitive judgment. What is evident at this stage, although, is that the S21 Extremely is the clear selection for these in search of Samsung’s high handset in 2021.