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PSA: Galaxy S21/S21+ are NOT the camera upgrades you’re looking for


Last updated: January 19th, 2021 at 15:02 UTC+02:00

There are plenty of reasons to upgrade to the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+, but a vastly improved smartphone camera isn’t one of them. In fact, the mobile photography experience offered by the upcoming duo will be pretty much the same as with their immediate predecessors. In the medium- to long-term, at least.

As for the here and now, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ might boast noticeable camera improvements, but only on the software side. See, the two devices use the same camera hardware as the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+.

Is the Galaxy S21(+) camera improved?

And so, while the imaging software shipping on the Galaxy S21 range is improved, that’s just the thing: both the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ will be receiving features like Director’s View and Vlogger View in the immediate future by virtue of packing the same tech.

The only requirement for getting the same capabilities on the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ will be updating them to One UI 3.1. Based on previous product generations, it’s quite possible the functionalities actually get pushed out to last year’s models in the form of a software update a few days after the Galaxy S21 series release. Assuming your Galaxy S20 or Galaxy S20+ already run Samsung’s custom Android 11 implementation, which should already be the case for most.

Should I pay extra for the Galaxy S21 Ultra?

If staying on the cutting edge of mobile photography tech is high on your priority list, you are very likely to deem the Galaxy S21 Ultra worth the extra money – if you can afford it. But upgrading from a Galaxy S20-series device to the Galaxy S21 or Galaxy S21+ just for the camera tech would be an utterly fruitless move.

Keep that in mind while you’re mulling over your options in the run-up to January 29th, which is when the Galaxy S21 family is scheduled to release worldwide.

CameraPhone Galaxy S21Galaxy S21 PlusGalaxy S21 Ultra
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