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Galaxy S21, 2021's newest launch

A major redesign on the Galaxy S Series design ethos.

Phantom Black S21 Ultra (back), Phantom Violet S21 (front)

Back in January 14th, the S21 series launched with Samsung's Unpacked event. They introduced 3 models similar to last year's S20 launch, taking the lead with a base model S21 with its bigger sibling S21+. And finally the BIG BOI up there - the S21 Ultra.

Right of the bat, you can see the beautiful color options available on the entire S21 lineup.

And most importantly, you can check out the very-very cool looking matte finishes on the back of the phones. Kind of like the heavily customized cars with a matte finish. The S21+ and S21 Ultra comes with a Phantom Black color option, be sure to check that out.

Phantom Black color option on the S21 Ultra

Having a matte finish brings in the benefit of it not being a fingerprint magnet, while still being real nice to the touch. Though, if you like a shiny glass surface, it shouldn’t matter much after slapping on the included case onto it.

Snowy white (Phantom White color option)

Here, on the top of the phone, you can see the the signature S21 camera bump. It’s an extension of the metal frame over the camera lenses, creating a strong outer shell to protect the camera housing.

So, if you happen to (unfortunately drop it on the pavement/ or on the road), the chance of shattering the camera outer glass (and rendering the entire camera array dysfunctional due to cracks in the glass) is significantly way less than if it were just a big slab of glass.

Okay! So… What's under the hood?

Now… back to the basics, let’s talk about the specs of this phone. It’s not all groundbreaking cutting edge tech here but stay tuned. For the S21 and S21+, we have 2400 by 1080p FHD+ Super AMOLED displays. And a wide qHD display with 3200 by 1440p on the S21 Ultra. Running at 120Hz and comfortably protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus.

With an increased peak brightness of up to 1300 nits, and with HDR10+ support, watching HDR videos on YouTube just looks soooo great. Feeling tired? Worry not, the built in “Eye care filter” reduces blue light to keep your eyes comfortable.

It’s worth noting that the screens on the S21 models just look so beautifully vivid, even though its only full HD on the S21 and S21+, Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED 2X is working wonders when you watch HDR content. The 120Hz screen also helps to make everything appear super smooth. Having it beside another non Super-AMOLED display phone just puts it to shame when compared to the viewing clarity of the S21.

On the other hand, the S21 series also come with Samsung’s latest and greatest Exynos 2100. Now while in the past you may have heard that its predecessors weren’t quite living up to expectations. I assure you this new processor wouldn’t disappoint you anymore.

Why is that? Samsung went with ARM’s newest core architecture. The Cortex X-1 and A-78 designs for its performance core cluster, running up to a blazing 2.9GHz. Accompanied by 4 power-efficient Cortex A-55 cores, up to 2.2GHz for other less demanding tasks.

As for the memory options, there’s really only one option. For the S21 and the S21+, they come with 8 Gigabytes of LPDDR5 system memory and 256 Gigabytes of storage. Though for the S21 Ultra, you can pick from either 12 or 16GB of system memory, paired with 256 or 512GB of storage.

The storage is now upgraded to the Ultra Fast Storage 3.1 standard, which is rated for about triple the write speeds of the older UFS3.0 standard. Now what all these nerdy numbers mean? It means Samsung is gearing up for the future.