The Galaxy S21 + is arguably an alternative for users who want Samsung’s most advanced smartphone, but don’t like the Ultra series because it feels too big. Yes, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a jumbo and heavy phone. Well, if you are looking for a Samsung flagship to become a daily driver, maybe the Galaxy S21 + is the answer.
In this article, I want to share my experience for about 2 weeks of trying the Samsung Galaxy S21 +. Curious? Come on , just take a look.
Nice and premium design
It may sound exaggerated, but to be honest, the Galaxy S21 + actually seems to me a very good design. Immediately feels premium impression when you hold this phone. One sentence that immediately crossed my mind was: okay, this is what an expensive smartphone should be!
The Galaxy S21 + has a camera housing that Samsung calls contour cut. Samsung changes the glass material to metal which is seamlessly integrated with the casing on the body. That way, the housing looks like an extension of the phone’s body. In essence, Samsung has succeeded in making the rear camera design the main element that will attract anyone’s eye when they first see the Galaxy S21 +
As mentioned above, the material for this smartphone is predominantly metal. The finish feels very smooth when in contact with hands. It might even be too smooth to become a little slippery. The good news, the body is not easily dirty by finger marks.
For me who has quite large hands, the dimensions of the Galaxy S21 + are quite fitting to hold. Even so, operating with one hand is still less than ideal. The thickness is okay, it’s still comfortable to put in your trouser pocket, and it weighs around 200 grams.
This iconic design is claimed to be supported by good durability. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G and Galaxy S21 + 5G use Gorilla Glass Victus as a coating and protector on the front and back of the body. But even so, I personally still highly recommend using a case.
One advantage of the Galaxy S21 + over the Ultra version is the availability of the Phantom Violet color, which is an iconic blend of bright purple and the gold frame on the camera housing. Whereas in my article this time is the color of Phantom Silver.
Please note that the Galaxy S21 + does not have a microSD slot and a 3.5mm audio jack port. So if you have your favorite wired headset, it can be difficult to use. The reason is, apart from not getting the built-in converter in the sales package, I even tried to use the USB-C converter to the 3.5mm jack. The most ideal choice for listening to music is wireless.
It’s no secret that every flagship cellphone made by Samsung is always equipped with a screen with charming quality. The Galaxy S21 + is no different. You will be presented with a 2X Dynamic AMOLED panel measuring 6.7 inches Full HD + with a refresh rate of 120Hz (48-120Hz adaptive).
The brightness level is very good, which is up to 1300 nits. Use in strong sunlight is still comfortable because the content can be seen clearly. In addition, the Galaxy S21 + screen also supports HDR10 +. The saturation and contrast of the colors are a feast for the eyes.
Behind this screen, Samsung also places a fingerprint sensor that is able to read quickly and accurately. Not to forget, Samsung also provides current features such as Always-On Display and Dark Mode. Discussing audio a little, the Galaxy S21 + has stereo speakers that are capable of producing clear and powerful enough sound.
Great camera for photos and videos
The Samsung Galaxy S21 + relies on three cameras on the back consisting of wide-angle 12MP Dual Pixel f / 1.8 OIS, 12MP ultra-wide f / 2.2, and 64MP PDAF telephoto with 3x Hybrid Optic (30x Space Zoom) and OIS. For those who like selfies, there is a 10MP f / 2.2 camera on the front.
As for the shots, I think this is one of the phones with the best photography capabilities I have tried. Daytime photos with abundant sunlight look sharp with more vivid colors. The saturation is also not excessive and the dynamic range is very wide.
The ultra-wide camera offers pretty good photo results. If I remember correctly, the results are sharper than the previous generation. The telephoto camera is also able to maintain detail and color quality if you still use 3x zoom. Check out the ultra-wide, normal, 3x zoom and 10x zoom photos below:
Samsung’s default camera modes such as Single Take are still available. For those who don’t know, this mode allows you to capture moments with one button to produce various photos and videos at once, ranging from black and white photos, “golden” best shots, photos with filters, boomerang-style videos, slow motion videos, and several variations of photos / videos that are generated automatically.
Then, how about low-light? The end result is arguably good, standard flagship cellphones. The effect of noise canceling will still be detected if you look at the night photos in more detail. Most importantly, the atmosphere at night is maintained as original.
Interestingly, Samsung is back with the ability to record video up to 8K resolution. In addition, there is also a Super Steady feature for very stable recording results in moving conditions. The newest feature is Director’s View. As the name implies, this mode allows you to have control like a director. You can view, switch, and quickly select camera shots as needed, from normal angle, vlogger mode, telephoto, wide, to ultra wide.
If you have a Galaxy Buds Pro, you can record ambient sound and your own voice simultaneously using Multiple Mic Recording. You can also choose Pro Video Mode and use Buds Pro as a microphone. With the help of a tripod, you can move away from the camera and record speech, movement, and background sounds in a preserved quality.
Super fast performance
The device that adopts the Android 11 operating system is armed with the Exynos 2100 5nm octa-core chipset, with 8GB LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB or 256GB storage options with UFS 3.1 technology. With such a combination, you don’t need to doubt the performance of the Galaxy S21 +.
For everyday use it feels very smooth and responsive. Playing games was smooth. Titles like PUBG Mobile can be played comfortably on high graphic settings. The frame rate is sufficiently maintained as long as I play in the air-conditioned room. There’s no annoying stuttering yet when the device warms up.
It’s different from Genshin Impact. Even though I can run the game at the highest graphic setting, to maintain the comfort of playing for a long duration, I prefer to set the graphics on Medium. Obviously 60fps mode is active. If you are forced to run on high graphics settings, in just a few minutes the temperature of the cellphone becomes hotter and the frame rate starts to drop.
With a larger size, Samsung can also immerse a larger battery capacity on the Galaxy S21 +, which is 4,800 mAh. For your information, the Galaxy S21 has a 4,000 mAh battery. At first glance, the fast charging technology is still less fast than competing cellphones. In fact it is, it took about 1.5 hours to fully charge. And which is quite unfortunate, in the sales package you don’t get a charger, only a cable.
More fun than the Galaxy S21 Ultra
In my personal opinion, the Galaxy S21 + is a more pleasing flagship than its sibling, the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Although in terms of specifications and features it is still less sophisticated in some sectors (especially the camera and S Pen support), but because the size is more comfortable to hold, to be honest I actually fell in love with the Galaxy S21 +. If I have to choose which one is the best, I will position the Galaxy S21 + in first place compared to the two siblings.
For those interested, the Samsung Galaxy S21 + 8/128 GB is sold for USD $1,102. Meanwhile, the variant with 8/256 GB of memory can be redeemed for USD $1,171.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 + 5G is suitable for:
Professionals who want a flagship device with a premium design and the most advanced features can become the Galaxy S21 + as a daily driver. This smartphone is suitable for supporting productivity and entertainment.
Content creators can choose the Galaxy S21 + as their flagship device to create content anytime and anywhere. The camera’s ability for photos and videos is not in doubt. Moreover, there is an option to record video at 8K resolution.
Selebgrams can rely on the Galaxy S21 + camera to produce good photos or videos and then upload them to social media. With image quality is okay, guaranteed followers will instantly love like !
Socialite mothers are very fitting if they carry the Galaxy S21 + to look more fashionable at every opportunity. Phantom Violet color can be the ideal choice because the color combination is very luxurious and not on the market.
Fans of Netflix and Korean dramas can make the Galaxy S21 + a device to enjoy their favorite movies or series. The screen is sharp and the color presentation is very pleasing to the eye. Suitable for watching any content.
The advantages of the Samsung Galaxy S21 +:
- Stylish design with premium materials and attractive color choices
- The dimensions of the body are just right, comfortable to grip and not easily dirty
- IP68 waterproof certification
- 2X 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate Dynamic AMOLED Display
- The main camera is capable of producing good photos in various conditions
- Ultra-wide sharp camera and supported by Night Mode
- 3x Hybrid Optics quality is able to maintain photo details
- The results of video recording are very good and are supported by Super Steady mode
- Capable of recording up to 8K resolution
- There is a Pro Video mode for manual settings
- Can make the Galaxy Buds Pro as a wireless mic
- Fast performance
- The battery is quite durable for the size of a flagship cellphone
- 5G Ready
Weaknesses of the Samsung Galaxy S21 +:
- The sales package is minimal; no charger and headset (even though the price is getting higher)
- Fast charging technology is not as sophisticated as its competitors
- It would be more interesting if it still provides a microSD slot
- Throttling during heavy work, for example playing Genshin Impact on high graphics settings