The middle phone in the S21 series is the Samsung S21+. It’s not as expensive as the S21 Ultra and not as cheap as the S21.
The cost of a S21+ in Singapore is around S$1498. It’s more expensive than the S21 by $250 and cheaper than the S21 Ultra by $200.
It’s always difficult to push for the mid-priced phone in a series because it lacks the value of the cheapest phone and lacks the features of the most premium phone in the series. This is the major downside of the Samsung S21 +
When compared to the S20+, there aren’t massive additions to the S21+. It’s got a similar screen, similar camera and so on. It’s also a 5G phone like the others in the Samsung S21 series.
The S21+ is a phone that has the worst value to price combination in the S21 series, as Samsung is pushing the premium users to the S21 Ultra and for those who have issues with price, then the S21 is a better offering.
But is there any saving grace? Let’s find out!
Samsung S21+ Specifications
Design & Display of Samsung S21+
The Samsung S21+ actually has the same display as the S20+, in fact a tad lesser quality as it doesn’t have FHD. The resolution is a lot lesser. The 6.7-inch display is the same as the S20+ and nothing has changed there.
The S21+ does not support the use of the S-Pen and that’s a big downside as well. It does have the 120Hz refresh rate, which is a welcome addition.
It’s got AMOLED 2x with HDR 10+ and a peak brightness of 1300 nits. It’s got the strongest display ever seen on a Samsung phone with the Gorilla Glass Victus protecting the front.
The S21+ has a similar design to the S21 and the S21 Ultra. It’s got the camera groove on the back which is a different colour from the rest of the back panel.
It’s got a glass back, which comes in Phantom Silver, Phantom Violet and Phantom Black. The phone is well protected and is water and dust resistant with a IP68 rating (Underwater up to 1.5 metres, up to 30 minutes).
The display also has the fingerprint sensor which is bigger than the past, which is great for user experience. The phone has the Bixby button along with the volume buttons and power buttons.
It does not have a 3.5mm jack which is expected and has a USB-C port. There is a speaker option on the top of the phone as well as the bottom, which gives a surround sound experience.
The back of the S21+ also enables wireless charging and reverse wireless charging.
Under the hood
The one stand out in the S21+ which is considerably better than the S20+ is the Exynos 2100 chipset. The Exynos 2100 is a powerful chipset that rivals the latest Snapdragon 888 which is available in the U.S. versions of the Samsung S21+.
Samsung has been pushing the agenda on the Exynos as it’s their own chipset and hope they compete with the best of the best.
The chipset is powerful and helps with seamless use without any lags and disturbances. In terms of gaming, this chipset holds its own and even the most intensive mobile games are handled with ease.
The S21+ has the latest Android 11 with Samsung’s One UI 3.1 layer on top. Samsung’s interfaces have been unimaginative, but they’ve always worked well without any fuss.
The big changes on this phone is the lack of Samsung’s own messaging app and it defaults to Google’s messaging app and it’s the same with the Google feed which is the default option in place of Samsung’s Daily.
Overall, it’s a powerful phone with some good specs that ensures it runs smoothly.
Samsung S21+ Camera
The Camera on the S21 Plus is the same as the one on the S21 as well. It’s got three cameras on the back. Firstly, a 12 MP wide lens, a 12 MP ultra wide lens and a 64 MP telephoto lens.
Now the telephoto lens can take high quality shots with 3x zoom. The only improvements we see on the camera is because of the Exynos 2100 chipset.
This chipset advances the AI capabilities of the camera and has some software improvements that the hardware cannot provide.
But will it be drastically different? Definitely not. The camera is just one of the few disappointing aspects of the S21+.
Samsung S21+ Battery
The battery on the S21+ is a 4800 mAh unit which is 300 mAh more than its predecessor the S20+. The battery life on the S20+ was amazing and that is the same expectation with the S21+.
It does support fast charging up to 25W. We would have loved to see a 45W compatible charger, but alas that isn’t available.
It can be wirelessly charged at 15W and can reverse charge for 4.5W.
The S21+ is a filler phone from Samsung. There is no doubt that this is a phone that Samsung has put in-between to push people to purchase the Samsung S21 Ultra.
In terms of display and resolution, there is no improvement compared to the S20+. When compared to the S21, the display is a tad bigger, but nothing more.
The resolution is in fact worse than the S20+ which is rather disappointing. Even the cameras on the S21+ are the exact same as the S21, which is the exact same as the S20+.
Considering there are no improvements here, there is no reason as to why people will purchase this phone. One upside is the Exynos 2100 chipset, which is powerful, but this is a standard across all the phones in the S21 series.
The battery is tad bigger than its predecessor and the OS is the latest Android 11 with One UI. Apart from this, it’s very hard to say good things about the S21+ because it is a good $250 more than the S21 with almost the same features.
There is not much expectation for the S21+ to do well as the S21 Ultra and the S21 are going to be the frontrunners.