">The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best Android phone you can buy right now, It packs in all of the features you could possibly want in a phone, unless you like smaller devices" /> ">The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best Android phone you can buy right now, It packs in all of the features you could possibly want in a phone, unless you like smaller devices" />

Samsung galaxy s21 ultra review

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best Android phone yet with dual zoom lenses, a stellar display and excellent battery life

ByMark Spoonauer27 August 2021

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The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best Android phone you can buy right now. It packs in all of the features you could possibly want in a phone, unless you lượt thích smaller devices.

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For $1,199 — or $100 more than the iPhone 12 Pro Max — you a get dynamic 6.8-inch display and dual telephoto lenses for crazy zoom power. Plus, the S21 Ultra supports the S Pen, a first for the Galaxy S series.

Display: 6.8 inches AMOLED (3200 x 1400); 10 khổng lồ 120HzCPU: Snaprồng 888RAM: 12GB, 16GBStorage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GBRear cameras: 108MP wide (f/1.8), 12MP ultra wide (f/2.2), 10MPhường telephoto (3x zoom, f/2.4), 10MP telephoto (10x zoom, f/4.9), laser AF sensorFront camera: 40MP.. (f/2.2)Video: 8K 30 fps/4K 60 fpsBattery: 5,000 mAhBattery life: 11 hours 25 min (60Hz), 10:07 (adaptive)Wireless: 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, UWBSize: 6.5 x 2.97 x 0.35 inchesWeight: 8.08 ounces

The Galaxy S21 Ultra comes in a sleeker design và offers faster performance from Qualcomm"s SnapLong 888 chip.And, unlượt thích the regular Galaxy S21, you don"t have sầu lớn make nearly as many trade-offs. You get a better main 108MP camera, a glass back (instead of plastic), more RAM, và a higher-res display.

As you"ll see in my Galaxy S21 Ultra Review, there are some trade-offs, including the laông xã of a charger in the box. But overall, this is one of the best phones money can buy for those willing to lớn pay a premium và one of the best Android phones overall.

Editor"s note: We crowned our picked in the Tom"s Guide Awards 2021 for the phones category. The Galaxy S21 Ultra won the best phone thiết kế award và two highly recommended awards.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Đánh Giá cheat sheet

The dynamic display on the Galaxy S21 Ultra delivers a smooth 120Hz refresh rate và sharpest WQHD resolution at the same time. And it"s amazingly bright & colorful to boot.The dual telephoto lenses (3x and 10x optical zoom) get you very cđại bại to your subject, và the new Zoom Lochồng feature keeps things steadier with digital Space Zoom.The S Pen support is nice to have sầu, but you have khổng lồ purchase the stylus and a case to lớn hold it separately.At $1,199, the S21 Ultra isn"t cheap, but it"s $200 less than the S20 Ultra. However, you don"t get a charger in the box or a microSD thẻ slot.The larger fingerprint sensor is welcome, making the S21 Ultra easier khổng lồ unlochồng.The 11.5 hours of battery life is excellent for a 5G phone.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra release date & price

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The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is available right now và you can buy carrier and unlocked versions of the phone.

The Ultra starts at $1,199 & includes 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You can also tăng cấp khổng lồ 256GB of storage & to lớn a Mã Sản Phẩm with 16GB of RAM và 512GB of storage.The 256GB Model costs $1,249 — basically an extra $50 — while you"ll pay $1,379 for a Galaxy S21 Ultra with 512GB of storage.

Over in the U.K, the Galaxy S21 Ultra starts at £1,149 for the 12GB of RAM và 128GB of storage base Mã Sản Phẩm. That price rises khổng lồ £1,199 for the 256GB handset và tops out at £1,329 for the model with 16GB and 512GB of internal storage.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: Design & colors

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The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a monolith of a phone. Yes, the contour cut camera thiết kế blends the camera bump into the glass back, but this is still a massive device you’ll want lớn use with two hands.We"ve sầu recognized as the best designed device in our Tom"s Guide Awards 2021 for phones.

With its 0.35 inch profile và weight of 8.08 ounces, the S21 Ultra is thicker & heavier than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The display is gently curved, unlượt thích the fully flat regular Galaxy S21, but not annoyingly so. I never accidentally tapped something on screen as I did with last year’s Ultra.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra comes in just two colors from carriers: Phantom Blachồng và Phantom Silver. I might go with blachồng because of its slimming effect.Samsung.com is offering exclusive sầu S21 Ultra colors, though, including Phantom Navy, Phantom Titanium và Phantom Brown.Best Buy has an exclusive Navy Blue colorway, also.

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One of my favorite kiến thiết upgrades is the 1.7x larger fingerprint sensor. It makes it easier khổng lồ unlock the phone, & I found that the S21 Ultra didn’t ask me khổng lồ press the sensor again like previous phones.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: Display

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The 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display on the Galaxy S21 Ultra is simply one of the best screens on a phone. It"s bright, vibrant và doesn"t make you choose between the highest resolution & highest refresh rate lượt thích its predecessor.

Yes, you’ll be mesmerized when watching videos on this phablet. The colors are as rich as ever, and the viewing angles nice và wide when bing watching on Netflix.

But the Ultra surpasses the iPhone with its dynamic refresh rate. Not only bởi vì you get super smooth scrolling và gameplay, you now get 120Hz và quad HD resolution at the same time. So you don’t have sầu lớn choose between the highest resolution và highest refresh rates.

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The S21 Ultra is also smart enough khổng lồ automatically dial the refresh rate all the way down to 10Hz to help save on power.

More good news, the S21 Ultra’s display is easy lớn read outdoors, because it can reach a peak rated brightness of 1,500 nits. In our testing, the S21 Ultra averaged 821 nits, which beats the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s 654 nits.

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The S21 Ultra’s screen proved plenty colorful in our lab tests, with the panel producing 81.4% of the demanding DCI-P3 color gamut, compared khổng lồ 84.8% for the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The colors on the iPhone were a bit more accurate, with its screen achieving a Delta-E score of 0.07, compared to 0.35 for the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Samsung says the S21 Ultra has a 3 million:1 contrast ratio, which is 1/2 higher than the S20 Ultra. And there"s an Eye Comfort Shield feature that"s designed khổng lồ reduce eye fatigue by limiting blue light.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: Cameras

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It"s the cameras where the Galaxy S21 Ultra stands out the most against the S21 & S21 Plus. There"s a main 108MPhường wide sensor and 12MP ultra-wide camera, which is complemented by a laser tự động hóa focus sensor.

The Space Zoom is so good it should not fall in the wrong hands. #GalaxyS21Ultra pic.twitter.com/ONJPWtdUZYJanuary 15, 2021

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The Galaxy S21 Ultra will make you feel like a secret agent as you zoom in. While the iPhone 12 Pro Max is stuông chồng at 2.5x optical zoom, the S21 Ultra packs two telephokhổng lồ lenses of 3x and 10x optical zoom.

I was amazed how cthảm bại I got to lớn this sign well across a highway. At 100x the zoom does get shaky but the new Zoom Loông chồng feature can help you get a steadier shot with just a tap.

The 108MPhường. main camera can capture 12-bit HDR photos with 64 times richer color data & more than three times the dynamic range of the Sđôi mươi Ultra. Plus, there"s a 12-bit RAW tệp tin option in Pro mode.

I tested the camera out at a nearby store lớn capture a shot of produce, và the green peppers in the foreground look shiny và delicious. And you can make out a pretty amazing amount of detail when you zoom in.However, by comparison, the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s shot looks even more vibrant.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is also a great partner lớn have when you"re outdoors. Take this photo of towering trees I took at a nearby park. You can make out fine detail in the bark, và the phone does a great job capturing the clouds against the xanh sky even while dealing with all of the shadows in the foreground. I slightly prefer the S21 Ultra’s phokhổng lồ in this case to lớn the iPhone 12 Pro Max, but it’s really cthua kém.

Samsung says it has also improved the Portrait mode on the S21 by leveraging AI lớn better separate the subject from the background. The S21 Ultra delivers a great bokeh effect here. My skin tone is warmer on the iPhone 12 pro Max, but overall the S21 shot looks great.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra also performs quite well in low light, thanks khổng lồ a faster Bright Night sensor and 12MPhường nona-binning giải pháp công nghệ for reducing noise reduction.In this comparison you can make out more of the stones and bushes in the foreground in the S21 Ultra’s pholớn compared to lớn the iPhone 12 Pro Max, although the iPhone’s colors look more natural.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max pulls ahead in this photo of a golden retriever. The S21 Ultra’s pic is overly bright and a bit washed out, while his fur his more golden và natural looking with the iPhone.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: Video

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If you want to take photos & stills at once, the Single Take 2.0 feature on the S21 Ultra is pretty fun. It managed lớn capture my attempt at a reverse layup in slow mo và pick a pretty good photo at the top of the jump.However, the music Samsung chooses sometimes for its auto-generated video clip clips sounds cheesy.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: Performance

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is one of the first phones powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chip, which is complemented by 12GB or 16GB of RAM.

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And this is one fast Android phone. The S21 Ultra didn’t flinch as I sliced through multiple enemies in Grimvalor while delivering console-chất lượng visuals.

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This flagship backs up my experience with impressive benchmark scores. On Geekbench 5, the S21 Ultra notched 3,440 on the multi-core kiểm tra and 1,123 on single-core. That’s behind the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which cleared 4,100 và 1,600, but it’s still the best scores we’ve sầu seen from an Android phone.

The S21 Ultra also fared well on the 3DMark Wild Life graphics benchmark, hitting 34 fps. The iPhone 12 Pro Max averaged 54 fps.

On our đoạn phim editing thử nghiệm using the Adobe Premiere Rush ứng dụng, the Galaxy S21 Ultra took 1 minute & 2 seconds to transcode a 4K đoạn phim to lớn 1080p. That’s faster than the chú ý đôi mươi Ultra’s 1:16 but still well behind the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s 28 seconds.

Unfortunately, while you have a range of storage options lớn choose from for the S21 Ultra — 128, 256 or 512GB — Samsung ditched the microSD thẻ slot. So you can"t expand.

Galaxy S21 Ultra review: Battery life and charging

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If you’re looking for a phone that can last all day, this is it. On our website surfing battery kiểm tra over 5G, the S21 Ultra’s 5,000 mAh endured for 11 hours và 25 minutes. That beats the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s 10:53 and lands the Ultra on our best phone battery life list.

Note that this time is with the standard 60Hz display mode turned on & that you’ll see less battery life with adaptive mode (up khổng lồ 120Hz) engaged. In this mode we saw a runtime of 10 hours và 7 minutes.

The biggest bummer is that you don’t get a charger in the box. Yes, it’s the green thing to lớn vì chưng, but if you haven’t bought a phone in the last couple of years and don’t have USB-C, it will mean more money coming out of your pocket.

Using a 25-watt charger, the S21 Ultra reached 56% in 30 minutes and 31% in 15 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: S Pen

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For the first time ever, a Galaxy S device supports the S Pen, the S21 Ultra makes that happen with a Wacom digitizer built inkhổng lồ the display. The S Pen, which is optional, lets you draw, sketch và take notes, just as you can on the Galaxy lưu ý 20 và chú ý trăng tròn Ultra. It also comes in handy for quickly signing documents.

Just keep in mind that the S Pen is sold separately, & you"ll need to spring for a compatible case if you want khổng lồ store the stylus on the go when it"s not in use. Samsung sells a Silicone Cover with S Pen included for $69.99.

I tried out this case, and it adds bulk to already bulky phone. The S Pen functionality worked pretty well, & you can enjoy features lượt thích Screen Off memo for quickly jotting down notes. However, because Công nghệ Bluetooth isn"t built in, you can"t use the pen as a remote control as you can with the cảnh báo đôi mươi Ultra. So you can"t skip tracks with a button press or control slideshows.

Samsung is developing a second stylus. The S Pen Pro ships later this year for an undisclosed price, which will include Bluetooth connectivity.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: 5G, Wi-Fi 6E và UWB

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The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra supports all of the lachạy thử wireless standards, starting with 5G. The Qualcomm X60 modem inside this device is capable of carrier aggregation, which should result in higher peak speeds while delivering better power efficiency.

The performance was pretty solid in my nechồng of the woods on T-mobile. I saw tải về speeds exceed 160 Mbps. It’s not fantastic, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max mustered only 100 Mbps in the same location when I popped the same SIM card in that phone.

In addition, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is one of the first phones lớn support Wi-Fi 6E, a new standard that delivers faster speeds và more overall bandwidth when you have sầu a compatible Wi-Fi 6E router.

Lastly, the S21 Ultra has UWB (ultra-wideband), which makes it easier lớn nội dung files with other UWB devices, like the Galaxy S21 Plus. And you"ll be able to use this phone as a digital key for select 2022 cars.

Galaxy S21 Ultra review: Software & SmartTags

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If you"re constantly losing stuff —like me —you"ll want khổng lồ kiểm tra out Samsung"s new Galaxy SmartTags. You can use this tag in combination with the SmartThings Find ứng dụng khổng lồ traông chồng down everything from your keys to your bag. You can also use the SmartThings Find tiện ích khổng lồ locate other Samsung devices, including phones, smartwatches, tablets and earbuds.

Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S21 Plus

We have a whole article dedicated to lớn Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S21 Plus vs Galaxy S21 Ultra, as there are many differences. But here are the key things to know. The Galaxy S21 Ultra has the highest resolution main camera (108MP vs 64MP.. for S21 and Plus), the most powerful zooms (100x vs 30x) and the sharpest display (QHD vs 1080p).

In addition, the screen on the Ultra is more dynamic, as it can scale from 120Hz all the way down lớn 10Hz, while the panels on the regular S21 và S21 Plus go down to 48Hz. This helps save on battery life. And the S21 Ultra has the largest battery at 5,000 mAh, compared to lớn the S21 (4,000 mAh) and S21 Plus (4,800 mAh).

Lastly, the S21 Ultra has the most RAM at 12GB khổng lồ 16GB, while the S21 & S21 Plus make due with 8GB. And only the S21 Ultra has a 512GB storage option. See our full Samsung Galaxy S21 đánh giá for more.

Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max

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The biggest competitor for the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Apple"s phone delivers faster performance from its A14 Bionic chip, & you get a strong Ceramic Shield front display that"s designed to be more durable. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is also thinner và lighter.

But the Galaxy S21 Ultra has plenty of advantages over the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Samsung"s phone offers more versatile cameras (especially when it comes lớn zooming), a 120Hz display, an in-screen fingerprint reader & longer battery life. I"d say that"s worth the $100 over Apple"s flagship.

For more, see our in-depth Galaxy S21 Ultra vs iPhone 12 Pro Max face-off.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. Galaxy Z Fold 3

Samsung"s new foldable phones are here. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the new kid on the block from Samsung, showcasing the company"s prowess when it comes to display công nghệ & hardware design. The Fold 3 is a big, powerful phone that Samsung has intended to succeed the venerable Galaxy chú ý line (RIP).

The Z Fold 3 also has S Pen support like the S21 Ultra, though it has fewer cameras. Photography aficionados who prefer Samsung phones will want to stiông xã with the S21 Ultra this year.

Our Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Galaxy S21 Ultra face-off update is in the works, where we"ll pit these two phones against each other to truly see which behemoth is the best option for you. But if you"re tired of the old smartphone thiết kế, then the Galaxy Z Fold 3 (or even Galaxy Z Flip 3) is worth looking at — bearing in mind that it"s quite expensive sầu.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: Verdict

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Samsung has nearly perfected the big-screen phone with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The display is best-in-class, the cameras are much improved và you can even use this thing as a Galaxy chú ý if you want khổng lồ.

Personally, I see the S Pen support as more of a bonus because of the added cost.

There are some things I don’t lượt thích about this flagship. It’s a bit big và heavy, & the laông xã of a charger & microSD thẻ slot both sting. And while the S21 Ultra is fast, it’s still a step behind the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Then again, Samsung’s phone lasts longer on charge & lets you vày more with its cameras.

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Overall, if you’re looking for the pinnacle of Android phones, the S21 Ultra is it.It does, however, face stiff competition from the excellent OnePlus 9 Pro for the title of ultimate Android phone.