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Samsung Galaxy S21 in review: A more powerful and slightly improved version of the Galaxy S20

The Galaxy S21 is the successor to the Galaxy S20 and is available at a much lower price.
The Galaxy S21 is the successor to the Galaxy S20 and is available at a much lower price.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 succeeds the Galaxy S20 and proves to be a worthy successor to the high-end smartphone in our review: There are some upgrades, a fresh design, and a lower entry price.
Manuel Masiero (translated by Stephanie Chamberlain), 🇩🇪 🇫🇷 ...
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Samsung has updated its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S20. The smallest variant, which is just as big as the predecessor at 6.2 inches, goes by the name of Galaxy S21 and is available at an MSRP of 849 Euros (~$1,029). It comes with 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of UFS 3.1 storage, and the octa-core Exynos 2100 SoC including the ARM Mali-G78 MP14 graphics unit. This makes the 5G-capable Galaxy S21 considerably cheaper than the Galaxy S20 at that time, which cost at least 999 Euros (~$1,212) in the 5G variant.

Back cover made of plastic instead of glass

However, the lower price also comes with a compromise: On the one hand, Samsung has given the Galaxy S21 a much more modern design than the Galaxy S20. On the other hand, the back cover is no longer made of glass but of plastic instead. The matte polycarbonate back not only looks good, but it also offers fingers a slight resistance due to its subtle texture, which makes the smartphone feel more secure in the hand than an all-glass device.

High system speed with the Exynos 2100

Although the Galaxy S21 is the smallest of the new Galaxy S smartphones, it performs just as well as its two more expensive counterparts, the Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra, because all three high-end smartphones use the same in-house octa-core SoC in the form of Samsung's Exynos 2100. Only the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a small performance advantage with its 12 GB of RAM, since the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ are "only" equipped with 8 GB each. However, this doesn't have any negative impact on the system speed as our review showed. In other regions, such as North America, the Galaxy S21 series is offered with the Snapdragon 888, which offers a performance comparable to the Exynos 2100.

You can read all the test results of the Samsung Galaxy S21 in our detailed review.

Telephoto, wide-angle, and ultra wide-angle lenses: The camera setup of the Galaxy S21 is exactly the same as that of the Galaxy S20.
Telephoto, wide-angle, and ultra wide-angle lenses: The camera setup of the Galaxy S21 is exactly the same as that of the Galaxy S20.
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Manuel Masiero
Editor of the original article: Manuel Masiero - Senior Tech Writer - 151 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
My fascination for computers started with the C64. Since then, I’ve put everything that comes my way in terms of hardware through its paces. From the C64 to the Amiga 500 and the first PC with an 8088 CPU, my list of projects has grown increasingly longer. For more than 20 years now I have also turned my hobby into my profession and have been active in the mobile section of Notebookcheck since 2021. Before that, I worked as a hardware editor for IDG Media (tecChannel.de) and VNU Business Publications (PC professional), among others.
Stephanie Chamberlain
Translator: Stephanie Chamberlain - Translator - 364 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2020
I've been fascinated with technology ever since I got my very first Android smartphone, which was quite a while ago. The power packed into such a small footprint still amazes me. Learning to program made my understanding of technology deeper, and at the same time, it expanded my interest to the area of desktop computers and laptops. All this led me to enjoy reading and watching reviews of new devices, and that's how I stumbled upon Notebookcheck. I immediately found their reviews to be very comprehensive, and luckily, I've even had the chance of translating them since 2019. When it comes to the huge field of technology, I'm currently also interested in specializing in Java programming.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Samsung Galaxy S21 in review: A more powerful and slightly improved version of the Galaxy S20
Manuel Masiero, 2021-02-21 (Update: 2021-02-19)