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Top reasons not to buy the Galaxy S21 or Galaxy S21+


Last updated: January 20th, 2021 at 20:02 UTC+02:00

Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones bring various improvements over last year’s Galaxy S20 series, including a new and unique design, a faster processor, a variable high refresh rate screen, and a larger fingerprint reader. They have the potential to be the best smartphones of 2021. However, the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ lack a few features that are critical to some users.

Samsung has also stopped bundling some accessories with its new flagship smartphones, which might end up becoming a deal-breaker for some Galaxy fans. Here are the top reasons why you shouldn’t buy the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ and continue holding on to your current Galaxy device.

No storage expansion via microSD card slot

A microSD card slot offers an affordable way to expand the storage on a smartphone. Once you invest in a microSD card, it can be used in other phones, cameras, tablets, and laptops. It is also a good way to transfer data. Samsung was among the few smartphone brands that were offering a microSD card slot on high-end smartphones. Starting with the Galaxy S21 series, Samsung has killed the microSD card slot in its high-end phones. It is likely that the company won’t offer it in its future flagship smartphones.

If you want a smartphone with a microSD card slot of storage expansion, then you should stay away from the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+.

No 3.5mm headphone jack

While truly wireless earphones have improved a lot over the past few years and offer a wide range of features, wired earphones are still preferred by audiophiles and those who hate charging wireless earphones. The Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ also lack a 3.5mm headphone jack. If you like using wired headphones, it is a reason not to buy Samsung’s latest high-end smartphones. The company may start dropping dedicated headphone jacks on mid-range phones in the future.

No MST for Samsung Pay in the US

The South Korean tech giant has also removed an extremely important feature that made Samsung Pay unique. The Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ lack MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) for Samsung Pay in the US. The MST feature emulates a credit card or debit card’s magnetic stripe, allowing users to make contactless mobile payments even through PoS (Point of Sale) machines that don’t support NFC. If you are in the US and heavily rely on Samsung Pay’s MST feature, you should not buy the Galaxy S21 or the Galaxy S21+.

No major camera improvements

While the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s camera brings a major improvement in zooming and macro capabilities over the Galaxy S20 Ultra, the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ use the same camera hardware as their predecessors. They both feature 10MP selfie cameras with dual-pixel autofocus and 4K 60fps video recording, and 12MP+12MP+64MP triple cameras on the rear.

We would have liked Samsung to offer autofocus in the ultrawide camera for macro shooting and a better telephoto camera, but it is what it is. If you are a Galaxy S20 or Galaxy S20+ user expecting a huge camera upgrade with Samsung’s latest flagship phones, don’t buy the Galaxy S21 or the Galaxy S21+. And if you’re using an older Galaxy S phone and can find the S20 or S20+ at a cheap price, you might want to select one of those phones instead, especially since the two will get most of the Galaxy S21’s camera features through software updates and are also eligible for updates till Android 13.

No charger or earphones in the box

After making fun of Apple just four months ago for not bundling a charger with the iPhone 12, Samsung has decided to follow Apple with its latest high-end phones. The company has announced that it will not ship the Galaxy S21 series with a charger or earphones in the box. Now, this isn’t exactly a major reason for not buying a new phone, but you do need to keep in mind that you will have to spend additional money over the price of the phone to get yourself accessories that match the quality of what Samsung has been offering with its flagships all these years.

Plastic back on the Galaxy S21

Last year’s Galaxy S20 featured a Gorilla Glass 6 panel at the rear, saving the phone from scratches. This year, Samsung has downgraded the Galaxy S21 by using plastic on its back and tried to cut manufacturing costs. If you want your phone to feature a glass back for that premium feel, the Galaxy S21 might not be the one for you.

The Galaxy S20 FE exists

We left this one for last because the Galaxy S20 FE is technically an older device, but it’s still a valid reason, especially if you’re looking to save some cash and get a smartphone experience that matches the newer phones in most aspects. The S20 FE has a high refresh rate display, pretty much the same camera hardware capabilities, excellent battery life with super fast charging, fast performance whether you buy the Exynos 990 or Snapdragon 865 variant, and even a microSD slot. It’s got features such as stereo speakers and IP68 water and dust resistance and a promise of three OS updates as well, so it’s very much a flagship even if it’s not as feature-packed as the S21 and S21+.

Phone Galaxy S21Galaxy S21 Plus
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