Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, a huge mobile in size and performance, although with three inexplicable shortcomings

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, a huge mobile in size and performance, although with three inexplicable shortcomings

Samsung updates its ‘premium’ mobile portfolio with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, a phone that aspires to captivate all eyes. It is powerful, it includes all the best of Samsung in hardware and also in software: the S21 Ultra is destined to become one of the mobiles of 2021. And we have just started it.

The renewal of one of the most iconic ranges of Android is official: after months of leaks we already know the S21 family in full. And, as usual, there is a model that stands out on its own merits: the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Excels in hardware capabilities, aspires to excel in multimedia capture and, something not inconsiderable, it also stands out in size and weight. Let’s see what Samsung’s new ‘big guy’ looks like.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra data sheet

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra


6.8 “Dynamic AMOLED 2x
120 Hz


Exynos 2100


12/16 GB


128/256/512 GB

Rear camera

108 MP f / 1.0
Ultra wide angle 12 MP f / 2.2
Tele 10 MP f / 2.4
Tele 10 MP f / 4.9
AF ToF laser

Frontal camera

40 MP f / 2.2


5,000 mAh
Fast charge 25 W
15W wireless charging
Wireless PowerShare


Android + One UI


WiFi 6 and 6E
UBW tracking

Dimensions and weight

165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm 228
228 grams


AKG stereo speakers, IP68, S Pen support


1,249 euros

Large, heavy and with a curved screen

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Following the trend of the latest ‘Ultra’ versions, this new phone is large, its weight is also more than noticeable: 228 grams are many grams. Of course, it is not too thick, at least if the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is not observed in the area where the camera module is located. The lenses make these cameras protrude several millimeters.

The design follows the lines of Samsung in regards to the front and sides. Large screen diagonal (6.8 inches), Excellent quality Dynamic AMOLED panel with WQHD + resolution, 120 Hz refresh rate, high efficiency level that is enhanced by the tiny hole for the front camera and curved edges for display that hug the aluminum frame. The edges do not have an exaggerated curve, but it is still noticeable.

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The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has an ultrasonic fingerprint reader under the panel; according to the brand much improved with respect to the previous models (it is almost twice as large). The volume and power buttons are located on the left side, on the lower edge we find the USB C and the dual SIM tray. With a big drawback: the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra lacks space for SD cards.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The rear face is the one that marks the most charisma of the phone: there is no doubt that the marked photographic module will attract attention, both for better and for worse. Rectangular, with three huge lenses on the left side of the rectangle, a secondary camera on the right, laser focus, and an LED flash. As we said, said module protrudes a few millimeters from the body of the phone. And in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is where this thickness is most noticeable, also the module is much larger. To house more components, as is obvious due to dominating the rest of the range.

Samsung Exynos 2100 and with more than enough memory

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

As we already assumed after the Exynos 2100All Samsung Galaxy S21s feature the new processor to maximize the included features. This should be one of the keys also of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: maximum power in the use of applications, great graphic capabilities in games and multitasking as fast as it is versatile. We’ll see if the Exynos 2100 lives up to the Snapdragon 888.

One of the bad news is that the Samsung Galaxy S21, including the Ultra, lack an SD card with which to expand the space of the phone. Of course, this space is generous as standard: the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra starts with 128 GB; with option to 256 or 512 GB. In addition, 12 GB RAM memory is the default amount; with an option to 16 GB, a figure that seems exaggerated today.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has an option to 16 GB of RAM, an exaggerated figure currently in Android

How could it be otherwise, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is compatible with 5G mobile networks (SA and NSA), includes WiFi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, offers dual band GPS, boasts AKG stereo speakers, is dust and water resistant (IP68) and it is also highly protected thanks to its double-sided glass Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.

High-level photographic capabilities

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

It’s no surprise: the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra comes in strong in terms of multimedia capture: quad rear camera, single front camera (plus ToF), it has laser autofocus, offers mechanical stabilization and records at a maximum of 8K. Samsung has evolved the capture section from the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra to get a much more professional, complete and versatile camera.

The 108 megapixel main sensor dominates the photographic set offering high brightness, OIS and a great level of detail thanks to its combination of pixels. This chamber is joined by a 12 megapixel sensor with ultra wide angle lens and two cameras with telephoto lens and OIS, both 10 megapixels: one has a 3x zoom and the other 10x zoom. Samsung ensures that Galaxy S21 Ultra achieves 100x zoom combining the optical with the digital. Also included is a ToF camera.

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The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra improves the encoding of the 108 megapixel sensor by expanding it to 12 bits (in previous models it was 10 bits). With this sensor you can record in 8K; enabling 4K recording with all cameras, including ultra wide angle.

Apart from the hardware Samsung has included new features in its camera application. This is still one of the most complete on Android, both in automatic mode (the S21 extend the automatic functions) and in manual or ‘PRO’ mode. Samsung allows ultra-resolution captures of 8K videos, includes an enhanced professional video recording mode, single capture adds slow motion clips, portrait mode offers higher quality blur, and spatial zoom (up to 100x) is also software enhanced.

With 5,000 mAh battery and no charger

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra may not be a break in terms of hardware, but there is no doubt that, along with the rest of the S21 family, they mark a before and after in the manufacturer’s catalog: new mobiles come without charger in the box. As much as Samsung laughed in the end it’s over following Apple’s strategy.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra case to house the S Pen

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra supports 25 W fast charging, something ridiculous if we compare it with the competition. You have to buy the charger separately and also the headphones: Samsung stops delivering the high-end AKG USB C that it included in its more ‘premium’ models. A bad decision that is not accompanied by a drop in price (even if it represents a supposed improvement for the environment).

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The phone software is the usual brand: One UI, in this case updated to 3.1. It also includes Android 11 As standard, it offers the usual Samsung applications, includes Bixby and its routines, endless improvements, gestures and also customization options. Also, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra it is the only one of the family that has compatibility with the S Pen: this is sold separately and in two versions, with and without Bluetooth. The S Pen of the Note is valid to use the control by touching the screen of the S21 Ultra, but the air gestures do not work since can’t connect via bluetooth.

Price and availability of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is already official and has the output for most markets, including Spanish. It can be reserved from today on the Samsung website and will be available for delivery on January 29. The starting price will be 1,249 euros for the 12/128 GB model. At the moment we do not know the price of the rest.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, a huge mobile in size and performance, although with three inexplicable shortcomings

was originally published in

Xataka Android

Ivan Linares


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