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Smartphone Reviews, Samsung Galaxy S21 2021

so it's already somehow been six full months since samsung launched its galaxy s21 series of smartphones which is just further proof that time is completely and frankly i might as well just jump in a coffin right now but hey yo put on a smile and present the video like everything is hunky-dory the galaxy s21 is still my favorite of samsung's fresh 2021 flagship smartphones because it's pleasingly compact and it also doesn't cost a grand but let's face it at 769 quid it ain't exactly pocket change and over the past few months samsung has chucked update after update of the s21 in order to try and improve the experience but we've also seen massive rivals launched from the likes of sony oppo and oneplus while the similarly compact asus zenfone 8 is considerably more affordable at just 600 quid so six months on is samsung's galaxy s 21 smartphone still a strong recommendation or should you look elsewhere for your flagship fix well i've once again had my sim packed inside of this thing been using it off and on for the past half a year here's my in-depth six-month s21 review and for the latest greatest deck please do poke subscribe ending that notifications bell cheers.

Samsung Galaxy S21 review: Design

 now i do still like the look and the feel of the s21 even if it is a little bit girthier than some rivals like the xperia one mark iii little design quirks like the way that that camera chassis doesn't quite blend seamlessly with the engine don't really bother me as much as they originally did and i'm definitely still loving that phantom purple model yeah you don't get as many color choices with the galaxy s21 as you do with the s20 fan edition but let's face it who really needs choice when you've got this gorgeous wii bugger right here and it's still a hell of a lot more colorful than quite a lot of other flagship rivals and in 2021 you certainly won't find many smartphones as compact as the s21 although one-handed use would still be tricky if not for samsung's nifty android additions now one big rival that recently emerged is the azus zenfone 8 which is yet another super spec yet pleasingly compact handset at just 5.9 inches you get a very similar hand feel so to speak i feel that the zenfone 8 is definitely one of the biggest rivals to the s21 certainly for anyone who's looking for a more compact handset that's a bit easier to manage so i will do a little bit of comparison with the two throughout this review in my original s21 review i did gently lament the fact that you have samsung's usual glastic arse around the back end while the display is slathered in gorilla glass victus i was a wee bit worried that that glastic surfacer might pick up some scuffs over time but i gotta say six months on that back end is still in pristine nick and it's actually the gorilla glass victus display that's picked up a few light scratches over the past six months and yeah you can only really notice those scratches when the screen brightness is dialed all the way down they're not particularly troublesome but it is annoying considering how expensive the s21 is and especially considering that victus glass is supposedly tougher than tackling dark souls after 10 pints of belgian strength beer but scratchy screen aside i haven't really got any other issues with that design and the water resistance is definitely handy on those days where you just can't be asked you just want to sink into a nice hot bubbly bath with a good bit of enemy action.

Samsung Galaxy S21
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Samsung Galaxy S21 review: Software and features  

 on the software side of things the samsung galaxy s21 is still rocking one ui version 3.1 although there have been plenty of little updates and especially security updates in the intervening months and most of the updates are to do with uh fixing little issues uh squashing bugs and so i've got to say a couple of them do seem to have actually introduced issues instead before now i've definitely noticed that the camera app is a lot slower than it used to be it's a bit more janky sometimes you just be changing uh modes to you know in night mode or something like that and you'll see some major staggering and stumbling going on sometimes even just swapping between the photo and the video mods could take like a number of seconds by which point you might well have lost whatever it is you're actually trying to take a photo of and apparently samsung has sorted this out in another update which is currently rolling out i haven't actually got it on my smartphone yet but hopefully soon apart from that little quirk the overall experience hasn't really changed up that much at all over the past six months so i won't bang on about it again the fierce unlock still sucks monkey nuts if you're not stood in a brightly lit room but at least it seems to be secure and the in-display fingerprint sensor is one of the better ones out there of course you've got all of the usual samsung editions that are crammed on there and if you do think you'd prefer more stock android experience i would definitely go with the zenfone 8 instead and thankfully still haven't filled up the 128 gigs of storage despite shooting bugger loads of photos and video on this thing although when i do run out there's no micro sd expandability an annoying trait shared with that zenfone 8.

Samsung Galaxy S21 review: Display and audio

 it still doesn't bother me that the display has been downgraded from a quad hd panel as found on previous flagships to a full hd model here that compact size still means you'll enjoy sharp visuals with finer detail packed in there you can choose between vivid or more natural looking colors and the vivid mode makes anime and animation in general really pop the lack of a headphone jack here on the galaxy s21 means that i basically pretty much constantly rely on the bluetooth connectivity whenever i want to enjoy some music or you know i'm watching the chainsaw man trailer on repeat and thankfully no quarrels or quarms there whatsoever i've had no problems with the connectivity at all even when i'm actually venturing outside of the house and mingling with other people something that i definitely didn't do when the s21 first launched because we're on a full-on lockdown special you've got full ldac support for headphones like sony's xm4's crisp clear audio and no jitters at all when you're strutting your way through crowded areas just an unsettling sense of utter disgust deep in the pit of your tummy.

Samsung Galaxy S21
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Samsung Galaxy S21 review: Performance and battery life

 now back in time before i first got my mitts on the galaxy s21 i was gonna cautiously optimistic about samsung's fresh new exynos 2100 chipset which powers this thing and by cautiously optimistic i mean i was basically praying it wasn't a sack of arse juice and thankfully overall on the performance front no real issues from that exodus chipset the galaxy s21 does run pretty smoothly most of the time but the game and chops certainly aren't as strong as those snapdragon rivals try playing a really demanding resource hogan title like gentian impact for instance on those top detail settings and you'll definitely notice that the s21 stumbles and staggers under that weight there are clear frame rate drops even when there's not too much going on on screen although thankfully at least the galaxy s21 doesn't seem to properly heat up like some smartphones even if you're gaming for an hour or more so at least there's no extra throttling on top of that as for samsung's game boost feature well it has already updated at all in the separating months actually pulling out that menu is still more awkward than a bus full of hormonal teenagers but it is worth the effort as it is a well stocked toolset ,

Samsung Galaxy S21
Tech Spurt

as for the battery life well that is still a bit of a mixed bag here on the more compact galaxy s21 model thankfully the likes of skyping and video calls seem to drain that battery at a slower rate than when i originally reviewed it so maybe that's the result of a subsequent update but unfortunately you'll still tend to only get around five hours of screen on time before you are running on drags and a couple of times i've had to top it up in the evenings before i eventually crawl into bread bed i don't move myself into a giant sandwich at nighttime that would be weird and to be fair i had similar battery issues with the izu's zenfone 8 again quite often before i crawled into bed having to top it up which is a real shame i guess because you've got a more compact chassis not such a huge battery but also still super powered premium specs as for that 25 watt fast charging well that's starting to look more and more lethargic with every rival that launches even the sony xperia one mark iii which isn't particularly quick it's got 30 watt charging and what's an even bigger kick in the dick is the fact you don't even get an adapter bundled with the s20 ones you will have to fish out an old one or stump up a bit of extra cash for a new one i tended to just stick to the wireless charging which worked absolutely fine i found that i'd stick it on the pad and it would trickle charge up until about the point where i usually got up in the morning anyway so hopefully touch wood over the long term that battery life won't get even worse .

Samsung Galaxy S21 review: Cameras

and last up the camera and despite many recent updates promising camera improvements i've got to say i haven't really noticed any difference in the photo video quality since my original review and for the most part you know that's absolutely fine because the galaxy s21 still rocks one of the best flagship smartphone cameras out there it's not as consistent as the pixel 5 show and it's not quite as malleable as the xperia wall mark 3 for instance but it does churn out good looking photos more often than not with very few duds chucked into the mix and there are tons of bonus camera features to play around with if that's your bag the 12 megapixel primary lens still grabs natural looking photos across all kinds of scenarios only really struggling in very strong or very low light and when things do get dark you can switch that night mode which definitely doesn't work miracles but it kind of helps to brighten up a shot without flaring out those light sources you've got an ultra wide lens which does distort the edges slightly unlike some rivals such as the fine x3 pro while also bulk and the color reproduction as well but that pullback viewpoint can be very useful indeed and photos still look good and that 64 megapixel so called telephoto lens allows you to get closer to the action without startling your subject although you won't want to pinch in past the five times to ten time zoom mark as things will get proper fuzzy no complaints for the video chops here either while you can shoot up to ak resolution footage i generally stuck with 4k for the most part and enjoyed the finer details the respectable color capture and the decent image stabilization you can switch between all three lenses on the fly which isn't too jarring and there's also a director's view mode which can shoot with the front and rear cams simultaneously again if that's your bag also those bonus camera modes where i use the portrait mode a lot i like the pro mode as well where you can just tweak individual elements just get very specific kind of shot and also the excellent single take mode as well which is very unique very specific to samsung smartphones it's perfect if you've got kids or hyperactive pets and that 10 meg selfie cam is still proven perfectly capable despite the low megapixel count offering a wider view if you want to capture more geese in the background or a portrait mode if you want to blur those feathery bastards right out but anyway there really isn't much point in me banging on at length about the galaxy s21s camera again because as i say the overall experience hasn't really changed up much at all over the past six months photo and video results basically seem to be exactly the same at least to my knackered old eyes so i've done a full galaxy s 21 camera review already so check that out for all you need to know. 

Samsung Galaxy S21
Tech Spurt

and that right there is my six month thoughts on the galaxy s21 and it's still a mighty fine flagship smartphone i still really enjoy using it on a day-to-day basis mostly because that camera tech is really good in the single take mode is a lot of fun as i say you got youngins or pets screen's really nice performance is good for the most part and i like the compact design as well but there are a few annoyances chucked in there such as the lack of micro sd support the like of a headphone jack is particularly irritating but the primary ball lick is the battery life which unfortunately just isn't quite good enough and it's a another stumbling point for the zenfone 8 as well which i would have no troubles recommending at all if only that battery life was a little bit better so that's my thoughts on the galaxy s21 have you guys been using it as your full-time smartphone be great to hear your thoughts have you been struggling with the battery knife as much as me what about the camera have you noticed that the performance on that has gone a little bit jankier with the updates be great to your thoughts down in the comments below and for more on the latest and greatest sec please do plug subscribe ding that notifications bell have yourselves a fine ass rest of the week cheers everyone love you.

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