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  • Cheryl Tan

Samsung Galaxy S21 Series First Impressions: “Note” Worthy

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Samsung Unpacked is always at the start of the year, and of course, it’s here in 2021 as well! Samsung unveiled their latest Galaxy smartphone, the S21 Series, which will have a total of 3 models for you to choose from. The standard Galaxy S21, the slightly bigger S21+ and the flagship, the Galaxy S21 Ultra! A whole new array of cameras, a new processor, tons of new features and more. The specifications for all three are pretty similar, but one comes with more bonus features than the others, and of course, it’s the S21 Ultra.

With one of those new features being a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display which allows users to now have both QHD as well as the 120Hz refresh rate enabled at the same time, Samsung claims the new phone will take productivity and creativity to the next level.

The display is also 35% brighter than the S20 series, and since the S21 Ultra is the flagship model, it also comes with Samsung’s most advanced camera technology packed in the quad-camera array at the back, housed in what Samsung calls the “contour-cut camera housing”.

You get a wide-angle lens, an ultra-wide-angle lens as well as two telephoto lenses with an upgraded 108MP sensor. Photos can be shot in 12-bit RAW as well, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice any detail. The Space Zoom function has also been enhanced in the S21 Ultra, with a “Zoom Lock” feature that helps to stabilise the image when zoomed in using AI-powered stabilisation.

It only activates when you zoom past 20x, but as seen in the video, it definitely helps to make images a bit more detailed when zooming in.

One of our favourite things about the Note series has finally made an appearance in the S21 series, although it’s not as integrated as you might imagine. That’s right, the S21 Ultra now has support for the S Pen, which means people who like to use the pen for notetaking or creative work can now use it on the S21 Ultra as well.

However, the S Pen is sold separately and there’s no way to keep the pen inside the phone like you would with a Galaxy Note phone. Samsung is offering two case-with-pen options so that the pen can be stored with the phone. Alternatively, you can also purchase the pen itself, but you’ll have to figure out another solution to keep the pen.

Not to be outdone though, the Galaxy S21 and S21+ also pack a punch with a triple camera array, the same Exynos 2100 processor and more.

All three of the phones come with the new Samsung Knox Vault, which introduces tamper-resistant secure memory in the phone that works in tandem with the processor that has Samsung Knox security to prevent physical, fault and side-channel attacks.

There’s also a Private Share function that can limit the time photos or videos shared with other people are available for viewing or download. It’s only accessible through an app download though, so that’s an additional hoop to jump through.

New to the S21 series this year is something that Samsung is calling the Director’s View. It allows the user to simultaneously preview the different angles, from the ultra-wide lens to the telephoto zoom lens, and decide which is best. The feature also allows the user to use both the front and rear cameras at the same time, which could be excellent for content creators and vloggers.

We’re definitely excited to try the phone out and give our thoughts in a full review, so stay tuned for that. And one last thing, the S21 series will come in a smaller box this year compared to its predecessors. Why? Well, you figure it out.


Content by Timothy Go, written by Cheryl Tan

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