Getting started with Samsung Galaxy S21 -

20 Minutes

  • Ahead of its usual schedule, Samsung has just unveiled its new high-end smartphones, the Galaxy S21, S21 + and S21 Ultra that “20 Minutes” has already been able to take in hand.

  • These 5G terminals with three or four photo / video sensors are distinguished by an increased level of performance, as well as their very elegant design.

  • Launched at the end of January, their price is down by at least 50 euros compared to that of the Galaxy S20s launched less than a year ago, a sign that Samsung wants to strike hard in a hyper competitive market.

Barely 2021 started that already here are the S21!

Ahead of its schedule, Samsung unveiled its new 5G Galaxy S21, S21 + and S21 Ultra smartphones on January 14.

Traditionally, these announcements are made on the eve of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona mobile telephony fair scheduled for the end of February (but postponed this year from June 28 to July 1 due to the pandemic).

Justifying this advance of nearly two months by the simple fact of "being ready" (!), Samsung obviously wants to take control of the market.

In the bag of the South Korean manufacturer, three new weight, the Galaxy S21, S21 + and S21 Ultra, flagships of the brand armed to the teeth of technical pretensions, but also, more surprisingly, of falling prices.

A first in the world of premium smartphones, which, until then, had seen their prices go through the roof.

Samsung's Galaxy S21 announced two months ahead of the usual schedule.


A design full of thickness and elegance

The design of the S21 that we were able to take in hand challenges but seduces.

Positioned in line with the border, their aluminum photo block is eye-catching.

Without complex compared to a perfectly assumed thickness, it does not however constrain the beautiful appearance of mobile terminals available in many colors.

We particularly appreciate the matte black, of rare elegance.

The Samsung Galaxy S21's assumed thickness photo block.


Three rear sensors for the S21 and S21 + *, no less than four for the S21 Ultra ** which looks more and more like a real digital camera: it is obviously in the field of the image that Samsung wants to stand out .

It must be said that its competitors do not give it much respite in this area: Oppo, Huawei, Xiaomi, Google, not to mention Apple and more recently Vivo all offer excellent photo and video smartphones.

Even better photo and video quality

To mark its territory of predilection, Samsung promises a better sharpness of the images on the S1 and S21 + (which have a main sensor of 64 megapixels), and on the S21 Ultra which, him, aligns 108 megapixels.

The rear photo module of the Galaxy S21 Ulra with its four sensors.


The S21 Ultra should also benefit from Dual Pixel technology which ensures more responsive focusing, but also a 3x optical zoom and 10x hybrid.

The manufacturer also boasts an improvement in the quality of night photos thanks to more advanced software processing.

Promises that we are impatient to confront with reality, so much is expected from these announcements.

Video up to 8K for budding filmmakers

It is also in video that the new siblings of the S21 want to assert themselves.

Each of the new smartphones can now shoot up to 8K at 24 frames per second.

Something to seduce budding filmmakers.

It is also possible to shoot in 4K with the three smartphones (up to 60 fps), even with the front sensors.

Full HD (at 30, 60 and 120 fps) for slow motion and sports videos can also be called upon.

Samsung's Galaxy S21's Director mode should be of interest to vloggers.


A priori interesting innovation: Samsung is inaugurating a so-called "Director" mode with the S21.

Activated, this allows you to choose three different framing at any time while you are filming, but also to insert your own image into the image.

We can already see the vloggers having a blast filming branded products while showing their happy face on the screen… Moreover, Samsung is improving its “Single Take” mode.

As a reminder, it allows a 10-second click to immortalize a burst of photos and small videos with various filters and automated openings, then to select the images you want to keep.

For this function, the new onboard processor would analyze ten tasks per second, compared to two on the Galaxy S20s.

Players in the viewfinder with 120 Hz

As for their Amoled screen, the S21 (6.2 '' / 5.74 cm in Full HD +), S21 + (6.7 '' / 17.01 cm in Full HD +) and S21 Ultra (8, 8 '' / 17.27 cm in Quad HD +), offer an adaptive 120 Hz display.

What to flatter a niche of users.

Depending on the content viewed, the terminal thus sees the refreshing of its screen more or less increased.

This is obviously practical for video games which require a lot of responsiveness.

The adaptability of this display saves energy.

As a reminder, a classic smartphone offers 60 Hz refresh.

The Galaxy S21 + with the 6.7-inch 120Hz screen.


Little more, the screen of the Galaxy S21 Ultra is compatible with Samsung's S-Pen (sold alone, 39 euros separately, or with cases dedicated to the S21 Ultra at 79 euros and 99 euros).

We note in passing that the curved shape seems definitively abandoned.

The end of chargers in the box

The battery capacity remains: 4000 mAh for the S21, 4800 mAh for the S21 + and 5000 mAh for the S21 Ultra.

Samsung does not announce any equivalent autonomy.

It's up to us to check during a next test.

If they are compatible with 25 W fast charging, the new S21s do not include any charger in their box (it is sold separately for 29 euros).

Under the guise of environmental protection, Apple also gave in to this temptation for its iPhone 12 in the fall of 2020. An argument that can be held at Samsung, if we mention a conventional USB-C charger that many of us have already in their closet.

But if you want a fast charger, you will have to go through the cash register again.

A 256 GB 5G S21 for the price of a 128 GB 4G S20

Let's talk about budget, precisely.

The S21 is launched at 859 euros (128 GB) and 909 euros (256 GB).

The S21 + arrive at 1059 euros (128 GB) and 1109 euros (256 GB).

As for the S21 Ultra, they are displayed at 1,259 euros (128 GB / 12 Gb), 1,309 euros (256 GB / 12 Gb) and 1,439 euros (512 GB / 16 Gb).

In other words, Samsung is lowering the price of the S21 by 50 euros compared to the S20 4G and by 150 euros compared to the S20 5G.

The consumer will find his way there: in the end, the Galaxy S21 5G in 256 GB costs the same price as the S20 4G in 128 GB. An act of philanthropy?

The screens of the S21 definitely abandon the curved edges.


Samsung especially intends to charm users of Galaxy S8 and S9, terminals at the end of their life that will gradually have to be replaced.

And for the seduction operation to be perfect, the manufacturer is counting on prices consistent with the budget that these users spent yesterday for their previous Samsung smartphone.

After shoeing them, Samsung will give them the final blow with many gifts during the S21 pre-order period, until January 28 in the evening: a Bluetooth Smart Tag tag will be offered with each S21 (value: 29 euros) and headphones. True Wireless Buds Live with the S21 and S21 + (value 199 euros).

For pre-orders of the S21 Ultra, the brand new Galaxy Buds Pro headphones are free (value: 229 euros).

Enough to set the pace for 2021 in the smartphone market, which has become hypercompetitive, with a considerable number of players.

In the end, it is the public who should come out the winner.

* Galaxy S21 and S21 +: Rear sensors: 12 megapixels ultra wide-angle (f / 2.0) + 12 megapixels wide-angle (f / 1.8) + 64 megapixels with 3x optical zoom and 8K video (f / 2.0).

Front sensor: 10 megapixels (f / 2.2).

* Galaxy S21 Ultra: Rear sensors: 12 megapixels ultra wide-angle Dual Pixel (f / 2.0) + 108 megapixels (f / 1.8) + 10 megapixels (f / 4.8) + 10 megapixels with 3x f / 2.4 zoom.

Front sensor: 10 megapixels (f / 2.2).


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