The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is the new smartphone flagship from Samsung. In the practical test, it must show whether the high standard is justified. […]
Samsung is sending its first flagship series into the race earlier than usual, which follows the manufacturer’s new name: The Galaxy S21 are the successors to the S20 series. Again there are three versions: S21, S21 + and the top model S21 Ultra that we could try out. With a minimum price of 1,249 euros for the smallest memory configuration, it is 100 euros cheaper than its predecessor, but Samsung and Apple now save the charging plug and headset in the narrower packaging.
For the first time, Samsung has also done without the memory card slot in the S series, but the device has 128, 256 or 512 GB, depending on the purchase price. For this it is possible to use two physical SIM cards, alternatively an eSIM can be used to supplement the main card. All S21 models are 5G-capable, and the new WLAN standard 6E is also supported.
The Ultra is the only model in the series to have a back made of matt glass instead of plastic, which makes it appear high-quality. The rectangular camera unit in the upper left corner protrudes almost two millimeters from the housing, which is annoying when the phone is placed on surfaces. In addition, the smartphone is so big that it cannot be operated with one hand, and the weight of 227 grams is steep.
In return, there is also a first-class Amoled display with a full 6.8 inches diagonal and a top resolution of 3,200 x 1,440 pixels. The 40-megapixel front cam is placed in a small hole in the top center, the attractive fingerprint sensor under the glass in the lower area. For the first time in the S series, the display can also be operated with a pen, but the S-Pen is not included and cannot be charged on the case, as with the Note models.
The extremely bright screen has a repetition rate of up to 120 Hz, whereby the smartphone recognizes the current demand and scales accordingly between 10 and 120 Hz between reading e-books and complex games – this also saves the battery.
The other hardware should also be suitable for gamers: Depending on the version, a full 12 or 16 GB of RAM are available, and the stereo speakers ensure good sound. An in-house product is used again as the processor, the new Exynos 2100. In the Antutu benchmark, it achieved over 610,000 points, which makes the S21 one of the fastest smartphones currently available.
The battery with 5,000 mAh offers good runtimes, and the smartphone easily lasted a day in the test, even with more intensive use. If you still have the corresponding charger or buy it for 35 euros, the battery can be half filled with 25 watts in around half an hour. Wireless charging with 15 watts is also on board.
The cameras can do that
In terms of cameras, the Ultra in the S21 series is better equipped than the other two models: The main lens offers a resolution of 108 megapixels and an aperture with a large opening of f / 1.8. It is supported by a lens for wide-angle shots and two telephoto lenses. The latter allow a three-fold optical zoom and the Samsung dubbed “Space Zoom” up to 100-fold digital magnification. In practice, however, this is quite pointless, as it is hardly possible to capture a motif. But with up to 20x digital magnification the results are astonishingly good.
Basically, the images are very sharp and color-fast, even in poor light conditions the level is still good and also a little better than the predecessor. The single-take function is practical, with which the smartphone takes photos of a subject for 15 seconds and the AI then selects the best pictures. The video quality is also first class, with 4K resolution up to 60 frames per second, with 8K it is still 24. Movements are effectively compensated by the image stabilization.
* Boris Boden heads the test editorial team for the magazines Telecom Handel and com !, he is also deputy editor-in-chief of Telecom Handel. He has been dealing with cell phones, smartphones and tablets for many years. No device is safe from his urge to try technical toys.