I have been using the Android Smartphones since the Google G1 was launched and as my brother was working for Google at that point in time, I have this smartphone with me in my own Tech Museum and used it extensively when I was in London in 2010-11. During the same time, Samsung launched its Galaxy Series of Android devices with S1 and S2 launching during those years and one of my close friends showed me the one he bought and I was really impressed by the lightweight body and the features of the smartphone. Since then, it has been my dream to own one of the Galaxy S series of smartphones but the closest I came was to use them from time to time from S6 and S7 for reviews and S8+ I got to use for around 6-7 months as my company ordered one for me when I was working for them at an important position.
Recently, during COVID-19 times, Samsung launched another range of new products names the Galaxy S21 series and for the first time in my life, I got a sealed smartphone to unbox ever in my life. This is definitely a dream come true after the chaos as I could not see the devices due to not being able to complete the COVID test on time to reach the Samsung Experience Zone after launch. I received the amazing Galaxy S21 5G smartphone in Phantom Violet colour and to my amazement, the colour keeps changing when you try to take pictures of the body of the smartphone depending on the light and reflection that's why it's called Phantom. The smartphone came with a 256GB version but the storage available for consumers is 225GB and the rest is taken up by the internal pre-installed apps.
Coming to the S21 Series of 3 smartphones, S21 is the first model and the others being S21+ and S21 Ultra with more hardware and processing power along with better cameras in terms of megapixels. Generally, I always go with the top segment smartphone if I have to buy it for myself but as this was given to review, I thought of trying the same and give a break to myself from using the top of niche smartphones. This is for the first time, I felt that the features like adaptive display and Director's view and 8k video capabilities were provided to S21 also which was not the case earlier. Samsung has done a commendable job to bring all these advertised features to all the devices this time. The phone feels a little small in the hands but has some of the great powerful features for any content creator whatsoever. I don't think I need to talk about the single-take feature which will divide your video into a series of 10 photos and 4 videos that will be ready to be shared on any social media platform. Moreover now in the S21 smartphone, Single-take you can control the shot timings from 5 to 15 seconds along with the type of shot to be captured. The options available are filtered videos, filtered photos, speed effect clips, portraits, wide/cropped shots and highlight videos all in one take from start to finish. I am sure millennials have found a great way to use this particular feature in Samsung Galaxy devices.
Galaxy S21 has a body that is minted like it's coming from a single metal as the camera bump has been merged into the side metals which really gives the smartphone an identifiable look around the world of smartphones and people will recognize the phone for sure. The second thing I observed is the SIM tray which has the option to put 2 SIMs back to back format which I have never seen in any smartphones so far. Earlier, Samsung used to have 2 consequent slots for 2 SIMs or 1 SIM and another for an SD card but this one is unique and comes without SD card support. One more thing you will observe is that the back panel of the body catches your fingerprints easily so you would definitely need a regular cleaning or put up a Samsung Case Cover. Initially, all the original covers are very expensive but you can buy them from various other case manufacturers for a little less price.
Galaxy S21 Camera is something I totally loved as it has that clarity and ease of software along with some of the greatest features Samsung smartphones are known for. I can vouch that it was much nicer than the Note 20 smartphone in terms of software and fluidity with which the whole camera systems stabilize as well as auto-focusses. The triple camera system these days is kind of mandatory in all kinds and range of smartphones but the way Samsung does it in its Galaxy S series is unmatched. People have started shooting magazine covers and even Netflix documentaries using the capabilities of these Samsung devices especially the Samsung Galaxy Ultra range of products - be it Galaxy Note 20 Ultra or Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The quality of the camera is amazingly great as you could see from the photos and videos posted on my Instagram channel. The overall power it gives and the comfort of clicking your life as you go are what Samsung Mobiles deliberately killed their own Samsung point and shoot camera and mirrorless camera market. I do still own one of the Samsung NX300 mirrorless cameras but never used it and still lying around as one of memory from the first win I had with Samsung in South Africa from Mission Samsung Challenge in 2014-15. The camera will perform a lot better with something of DJI Osmo Mobile 4 which I intend to buy soon as and when I get the same on discount. This will help me shoot the B-roll for my youtube channel and general day-to-day Tik-Tok videos. I am saying this because the S21 5G comes equipped with 8K 24fps video recording which will take the highest resolution possible in a smartphone so far. This basically means that you have the power of any big lens DSLR video for your Youtube channel. A 30-second video shot on 8K 24fps takes around 300MB of space whereas the same clip takes around 90MB when shot in FHD Auto mode. Using the super steady mode, you don't need any gimbal for the S21 smartphone as you can shoot super smooth videos at 60fps.
The display on Galaxy S21 is amazingly beautiful, not only the screen can produce the right colours but makes it easy on the eyes with the Eye Comfort Shield. I have binge-watched a lot of web series from Netflix on the phone and the audio performance is good too as it is really loud and even other people sitting around can hear too if watching from the same screen. Another great thing is the connectivity with your other Samsung devices in your ecosystem using the SmartThings App. I can now easily switch off my Samsung TV and reduce the volume and increase the volume. I just need to be on the same wifi network to use and control all my Samsung devices using the Galaxy S21. It gives me the power to control the time my kids spend on the TV as I can switch it off, but switch on is not part of the SmartThings app.
The package now only contains the Galaxy S21, type-C charging cable and some necessary booklets along with a SIM ejector pin. The overall package is almost 60-70% of the one from the earlier Galaxy series of smartphones. It's easy to transport more and more of them across the world and store more in the retail market too. If you don't have a charger from your previous device, you can invest in a good one from Samsung or any other recognised brand for accessories manufacturers. The best part is the Samsung ecosystem as when you connect your Galaxy BudsPro with the device, a graphical box comes up showing the battery in the earbuds as well as the charger body of the audio products. You can also reverse charge your Galaxy BudsPro too for some quick charge or your Samsung Smartwatch or any other compatible smartphone. You can set up to what level of the battery the same should be done so that you don't need to worry about losing your own battery. Super-fast charging is another feature that will charge your device really quick to 100% battery in about 90 minutes using a 25W charger. Fast Wireless charging is also improved if you have the wireless charger available with you.
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G is only 171grams in weight with a 4000mAh battery which is sufficient enough to last a complete working day. The 256GB internal storage is enough to take care of all your videos and photos. The selfie camera is 10MP with a triple camera setup on the rear body. The model has 12MP Ultrawide and 12MP Wide-angle camera along with a 64MP Telephoto camera. The space zoom is 30x in this particular model in case you want to reach out to far distant objects in your photographs. It has IP68 water and dust resistance rating and has Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. You definitely need to take care of this device and save it from all the falls and drops. You can use a Samsung case to take care of the same. The smartphone features 8GB RAM which really helps the 5nm processor to perform the smartphone at its full capacity with ease. S21 5G brings the super amazing speed of the 5G network in your hands and lets you download your favourite shows in no time.
Along with the numerous features which the Samsung Galaxy smartphones come, S21 5g has a 6.2'' Infinity-O display which is dynamic AMOLED 2x the previous versions. For the first time, the super smooth120hz refresh rate display comes to the first of the models as compared to the more expansive S21+ and S21 Ultra. The smartphone can adjust from 48-120hz refresh rate based on the content you are watching. The screen never disappoints your day or night as the picture clarity is superb even when you are watching videos the contrast ratio is great. Moreover, using Eye Comfort Shield mode, you can significantly reduce blue light in the dark so that you can watch your favourite shows for a longer period of time or play mobile games. You can also switch on Dark Mode to reduce the white and it can save a little bit of battery when running low on the same. I loved seeing through all the photos and videos captured on the device. The colours are vibrant and you will fall in love with your own photos which you can then share on Instagram and other social media platforms.
Samsung DeX is now wireless and you can easily connect your TV or monitor or PC to your smartphone. My ages-old (6 years old to be specific) Samsung UHD TV is no longer compatible with wireless DeX but it works fine on my laptop. Quick Share, Nearby Share and Music share are the features where you can easily share files and songs with your family and friends. Screen recorder comes as a standard feature too where you can control the sound settings too to capture no sound, media sounds or media sounds and mic sound too. The best part is something that will take your Galaxy S21 away from you but it has become a necessity in WFH mode and that's called FOCUS mode where it will disable all the apps till you want to concentrate on your work or home projects. Though you can take calls, check messages (SMS), update apps in the play store, check out the clock, check secure folder content and finally change some settings. And you will see that these are some of the features we are not using mostly as my whole time is spent on social media apps and is so much beneficial for me to concentrate on the job at hand. Also, digital wellbeing, if switched on, will give you a lot of inputs into how you are using your S21 smartphones from most-used apps to notifications received to the number of times you have unlocked the device. You can set your screen time goal where the phone will restrict if you cross the same. Volume Monitor is also now introduced which will show you headphones audio level so that you can take care of your ears.
In the end, I can continue to fill in the pages on my blog post but will never be able to finish discussing the features inside the Samsung S21 5G smartphone. I have fallen in love with this small nifty device and totally using the same to the best of its capacity. You can wait and watch as the new smartphones are getting launched on 11-August-2021 from the Galaxy Series with much more advanced features and if you are looking for deals, then the whole range prices of the S21 series will be reduced once the new ones are launched in South African markets.