Following the same template as last year, Samsung launched three Galaxy S21 models, with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus phone, which was the flagship phone just a few years ago, at the center of the range.
While the main difference between the S20 Ultra and S20 Plus was the camera settings, Samsung has made a clearer distinction between the two models this year.
Now the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus are not that high ends with Samsung pushing power users and serious Galaxy enthusiasts to the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Now let’s get started with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus pricing, specs, and features review.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Display Review – 120hz With 2X Dynamic AMOLED
Let’s start with the Galaxy S21 series screen. All three devices in the series get a 2x Dynamic AMOLED display, with a variable refresh rate of 120 Hz, an aspect ratio of 20: 9, and HDR10 + support.
All three devices have an Infinity-O display, which is just Samsung’s marketing term for center punch screens. You also get the latest Gorilla Glass Victus on the front of all three phones for scratch and drop protection. And just like previous Galaxy S models, the Galaxy S21 series also has always-on display functionality.
The main difference between the three phones is the screen size, which ranges from 6.2 “on the regular Galaxy S21 to 6.7” on the Plus and 6.8 “on the Ultra. Also, the Regular and Plus variants have a relatively low -end flat FHD + panel The Galaxy S21 Ultra is where things get a little interesting as the screen has a subtle curve around the edges and a boost for QHD + resolution.
It is also the first time that a Samsung Galaxy flagship has not only QHD + resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, but also 120Hz refresh rate with QHD + resolution as an option. There is also a difference in maximum brightness, with the Ultra shining up to 1500 nits, while the other two are limited to a still respectable 1,300 nits.
SAMSUNG S21 PLUS SPECIFICATIONS
- Weight: 200 gram
- Dimensions: 161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8 mm
- Screen size: 6.7 inches
- Resolution: QHD (1080 x 2400)
- Refresh rate: 120 Hz
- Pixel density: 394ppi
- Chipset: Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100
- RAM: 8 GB
- Storage: 128 GB / 256 GB
- Rear cameras: 12 MP + 64 MP + 12 MP
- Front camera: 10 MP
- Battery: 4800 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Design Review
As the screen size differs between the three phones, the dimensions are likely to be different, as will their weight. The difference in weight is also exacerbated by the change in construction materials.
All three devices have an aluminum middle frame, but the Galaxy S21 has a polycarbonate back, just like the Galaxy Note 20. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus and Ultra get a Gorilla Glass Victus again.
The other obvious design change is the rearview camera module. This year it has a much more exclusive look, with the camera module flowing around the corner instead of being an island.
The chamber hump is still there but has a larger area that extends to a corner. Therefore, phones should have less of a tendency to wobble when placed on a table. The Galaxy S21 Ultra has the largest camera module due to the additional camera hardware.
Overall, the phones look sleek and simple. The Samsung logo on the back is the only mark (along with other required certification marks as required by regional law). The devices have a USB 3.2 Type-C port and a speaker grille on the bottom, and the usual power button and volume control on the left.
If you wait for the headphone jack to return, you will be disappointed because it won’t be this year either. But on the plus side, the whole line is IP68 rated for protection against water and dust.
For biometrics, Samsung has again opted for an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner in the series, omitting the optical in-display and side fingerprint scanners. While neither Samsung nor Qualcomm has directly confirmed the exact hardware, we are confident that the devices will use the second-generation 3D sonic sensor.
Samsung Galaxy S21 + Design colors available
Some colors are also exclusive to Samsung.com. These include Phantom Red and Phantom Gold for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus and Phantom Brown, Phantom Navy, Phantom Titanium for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. These colors are only available in limited quantities and will probably only be available during the reservation period.
SoC, RAM, and Storage Review
Samsung is following the usual pattern of splitting device SoCs for the US and a few other select regions, and the rest of the world. The United States and regions such as Hong Kong and China will get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, while the rest of the world will get the Exynos 2100 SoC. We have special coverage for these SoCs and recommend checking them out for more details.
Like the general lineup issue, the RAM and storage options on the Galaxy S21 Ultra are more over the top (12GB + 128GB, 12GB + 256GB, 16GB + 512GB), while the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus get them more practical amounts. (8 GB + 128 GB, 8 GB + 256 GB) to work. Unfortunately, none of these phones support microSD cards, so pick the right amount of storage for you right away.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Camera Review –
The camera settings are one of the most defining differences between the Galaxy S21 and Samsung S21 Plus on the one hand and the Galaxy S21 Ultra on the other. The Galaxy S21 and Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus have the same camera settings, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra changes things up a bit.
For the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus, you get a triple rear camera consisting of a main camera, a wide-angle camera, and a telephoto camera.
The main camera is a 12 MP f / 1.8 shooter with a 1 / 1.76 ″ sensor that produces images with 1.8 µm pixels. You get Dual Pixel AF and OIS on the main camera.
The secondary camera is a 12 MP f / 2.2 shooter with a 1 / 2.55 ″ sensor that produces images with large 1.4 µm pixels. The field of view is 120 °, which is not the widest, but not a bad option in itself.
The tertiary camera is a 64 MP f / 2.0 telephoto lens with a 1 / 1.76 ″ sensor that produces images with large 0.8 µm pixels. You get PDAF and OIS in this camera and the main use is for taking 3x optical zoom images.
The front camera of both phones is a 10 MP f / 2.2 shooter that produces images with a pixel size of 1.22 µm and has dual-pixel AF.
The camera setup offers one of the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s most remarkable experiences. Only the ultra-wide secondary camera is shared between the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21 Plus. All other cameras are different.
The main camera is a 108 MP f / 1.8 shooter with a large 1 / 1.33 ″ sensor that produces images with large 0.8 µm pixels. The phone then combines nine of these pixels into one pixel (no clustering), giving you an output of 12 MP with large pixels of 2.4 µm.
The other two rear cameras are equipped with telephoto lenses, each project on a 1 / 3.24 ″ sensor with large 1.22 µm pixels. Using two telephoto lenses essentially provides optical zoom at two different levels.
The former is a 10MP f / 2.4 shooter that offers 3x optical zoom, while the latter is a 10MP f / 4.9 shooter that offers 10x optical zoom. Both come with OIS capabilities. In combination with digital zoom, Samsung can offer a seamless optical zoom experience from 1x to 10x, with promising hybrid zoom capabilities up to 100x, marketed as 100x Spatial Zoom.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra can also record 4K video at 60fps on all cameras. If you need even more options, you can click the photos in Pro mode to send them to a 12-bit RAW file.
The front camera of the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a 40 MP, f / 2.2 shooter with 0.7 µm pixels and PDAF.
What Are The New Camera Features?
These new camera software features are part of the Android 11-based One UI 3.1, but are worth mentioning in their own right, as they are quite important to the camera experience of the new Samsung Galaxy S21 series:
- Enhanced 8K Snap: Take 33 MP photos from your 8K video recording
- Vlogger view: Record video with the front and rear camera at the same time.
- Director’s View – Capture video with the front and rear cameras, while retaining the ability to quickly switch between multiple rear cameras while having access to a live preview of all camera outputs.
- Multi-microphone recording: Use paired accessories such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro to record ambient sound while recording with the phone’s microphone.
- Single Shot – New professional video settings such as Highlight Video and Dynamic Slow-Mo have been added.
- Zoom Lock: Minimize handshaking and capture clear zoomed images by locking the focal point in the center of the frame.
Battery And Charging – 4,800mAh
Since the phones differ in physical dimensions and have some other physical differences, they also have different sizes of batteries, ranging from 4,000 mAh in the regular Galaxy S21 to 4,800 mAh in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus and 5,000 mAh in the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Fortunately, the charging options remain the same everywhere (although that may not be a good thing at all). All three phones get 25W USB Power Delivery 3.0 fast charging, 15W wireless charging, and the ability to offer 4.5W reverse wireless charging.
The wired charging solution is certainly not the fastest out there, but it’s universal, so you’ll be very lucky to find a compatible charger that reliably has these modest speeds. We are both relieved and disappointed – relieved by the universality approach, but disappointed that other companies’ proprietary technology is significantly faster.
Users will appreciate the universality, especially since none of the three phones come with a power brick in the box (except in certain regions).
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G And Connectivity
5G is standard in the range, but there is a big difference in certain regions. For example, if you buy the device in the US, you get support for mmWave in addition to 5G sub-6 GHz, while the rest of the world will have to deal with 5G sub-6 GHz. So keep this in mind if you plan to use the phone outside of the region of purchase.
Also, all three phones have Bluetooth 5.1 and NFC, but the Galaxy S21 Ultra supports Wi-Fi 6E, while the other two models have Wi-Fi 6.
Ultra-wideband tracking is a feature present on the Galaxy S21 Ultra and Samsung S21 Plus, but it is missing from the regular variant.
S Pen holder
One of the highlights of this year’s launch is the inclusion of S Pen support. However, only the Galaxy S21 Ultra understands this and there are some caveats. For starters, the S Pen is not part of the packaging and there is no cavity in the device to store the S Pen, so it must be bought separately and stored externally.
Samsung sells separate covers with a recess to store the S Pen. However, you will lose Bluetooth-related functionality on the S Pen, so things like Air Trigger and Remote Shutter won’t work. We think this means you don’t necessarily need an S Pen too; almost any Wacom stylus should work, and we’ll confirm the same if we get the chance.
MST and Samsung Pay support
The Samsung Galaxy S21 series does not come with MST support in regions like the US and Hong Kong, but the phones do support MST in regions like India and Ireland. The phone supports Samsung Pay in all regions assuming the feature was already available in those regions.
One UI 3.1 with Android 11
The Samsung Galaxy S21 series comes with an incremental update to Samsung’s UX skin, One UI, in the form of Android 11-based One UI 3.1. While there aren’t many innovative additions or revisions, there are some notable changes:
Eye comfort protection – Keep your eyes comfortable by limiting blue light and using warmer colors. Using it at night can help you fall asleep more easily.
Cases and accessories
As is the tradition now, Samsung offers many official cases for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21. Their official covers include Smart Covers, a case with an S-Pen, a separate S-Pen, several beautiful cases, including the popular Kvadrat Cover +, and more.
Of course, the Galaxy S21 range is already proving to be popular and many people are taking advantage of the best Galaxy S21 Ultra deals and the best Galaxy S21 deals, which we have put together for you.
In addition to official Samsung cases, there are plenty of third-party cases on the market and we’ve rounded them up for you, including the best slim cases for Galaxy S21 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21; the best resistant covers for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, S21 Plus and the normal Galaxy S21 and the best transparent covers for the S21 Ultra, S21 Plus and the normal model.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Release Date And Price
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus was announced on January 14 alongside the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Ultra at the company’s virtual Unpacked event, and Samsung introduced its 2021 flagship range about a month earlier than in previous years.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus release date was January 29, 2021, in most regions including the US, UK, and Australia. That means you can now buy this phone in all three regions and many other locations around the world.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Price starts at $ 999 / £ 949 / AU $ 1,549 for the 128 GB and 8 GB RAM variant of the phone. There is also a 256 GB / 8 GB version and it costs $ 1,049 / £ 999 / AU $ 1,649
That price is noticeably cheaper than the Galaxy S20 Plus launch price, particularly in the US, which launched for $ 1,199 / £ 999 / AU $ 1,649 in 2020. This is mainly because the company has opted for a Full HD + screen instead of a larger one. resolution QHD panel – we’ll get to that later.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Price in Nigeria
We don’t expect any price changes, which means that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Price in Nigeria will be available for around ₦ 380,000.00 to ₦ 465,000.00. As for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus launch date in Nigeria, it’s safe to say the phone won’t be here until February 2021.
Complete Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G Specs
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE / 5G|
|2G bands||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2 (Dual SIM model only)|
|CDMA 800 / 1900 & TD-SCDMA|
|3G bands||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100|
|4G bands||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 30, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 48, 66, 71 – SM-G996U1|
|Speed||HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (CA), 5G|
|LAUNCH||Announced||2021, January 14|
|Status||Available. Released 2021, January 29|
|BODY||Dimensions||161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8 mm (6.36 x 2.98 x 0.31 in)|
|Weight||200 g (Sub6), 202 g (mmWave) (7.05 oz)|
|Build||Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus), aluminum frame|
|SIM||Single SIM (Nano-SIM and/or eSIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM and/or eSIM, dual stand-by)|
|IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)|
|DISPLAY||Type||Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1300 nits (peak)|
|Size||6.7 inches, 107.8 cm2 (~88.3% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~394 ppi density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass Victus|
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 11, One UI 3.1|
|Chipset||Exynos 2100 (5 nm) – International|
Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 (5 nm) – USA/China
|CPU||Octa-core (1×2.9 GHz Cortex-X1 & 3×2.80 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A55) – International|
Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680) – USA/China
|GPU||Mali-G78 MP14 – International|
Adreno 660 – USA/China
|Internal||128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM|
|MAIN CAMERA||Triple||12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.76″, 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS|
64 MP, f/2.0, 29mm (telephoto), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS, 1.1x optical zoom, 3x hybrid zoom
12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.55″ 1.4µm, Super Steady video
|Features||LED flash, auto-HDR, panorama|
|Video||[email protected], [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/240fps, [email protected], HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS|
|SELFIE CAMERA||Single||10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF|
|Features||Dual video call, Auto-HDR|
|Video||[email protected]/60fps, [email protected]|
|SOUND||Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speakers|
Tuned by AKG
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO|
|Radio||FM radio (Snapdragon model only; market/operator dependent)|
|USB||USB Type-C 3.2, USB On-The-Go|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (under display, ultrasonic), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
|Samsung DeX, Samsung Wireless DeX (desktop experience support)|
Bixby natural language commands and dictation
Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified)
Ultra Wideband (UWB) support
|BATTERY||Type||Li-Ion 4800 mAh, non-removable|
|Charging||Fast charging 25W|
USB Power Delivery 3.0
Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15W
Reverse wireless charging 4.5W
|MISC||Colors||Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Violet, Phantom Pink, Phantom Gold, Phantom Red|
|Models||SM-G996B, SM-G996B/DS, SM-G996U, SM-G996U1, SM-G996W, SM-G996N, SM-G9960|
|SAR||0.65 W/kg (head) 0.95 W/kg (body)|
|SAR EU||0.54 W/kg (head) 1.33 W/kg (body)|
|Price||$ 989.99 / € 1,049.00 / £ 949.00 / ₹ 78,999|
|TESTS||Loudspeaker||-25.8 LUFS (Very good)|
Conclusion – Our Verdict
The Plus model in the Galaxy S range was Samsung’s flagship just a few years ago, but with the introduction of the S20 Ultra last year, it faded into the background. The gap between the models is widening with the S21 series, and it seems like Samsung is pushing discerning users a lot in the direction of the Ultra, just as we saw with the Note 20 series.
The S21 Plus could prove to be a tough phone to recommend, as last year’s S20 Plus has the same camera settings and screen size, but with a higher resolution; the S21 Plus has a better chipset and a bigger battery, but anyone looking for it should check out the S21 Ultra, which improves the game in every way.