The Galaxy S21+ strikes a balancing act between the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. It shares many of its specs and features with the base Galaxy S21 model but has enough differences and extra features to justify the higher price tag.
Customers who prefer the absolute best of what Samsung has to offer should obviously opt for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The Galaxy S21+ is thus a great alternative for those who may be searching for a middle ground and aren’t looking to go all out on a smartphone.
Like the entire series, the Galaxy S21+ gets Samsung’s new Contour Cut metal housing for the rear camera setup. The glass panel at the back offers Gorilla Glass protection for enhanced durability. The device has a metal frame with all of the physical buttons positioned on the right side.
Samsung has introduced new color options for the Galaxy S21+ that are well suited to the design changes that it has made to the device. Overall, it retains the familiar silhouette that one expects from a Galaxy S flagship.
The Galaxy S21+ features Samsung’s Exynos 2100 chipset under the hood in most markets. Select markets will get the handset with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. The base model gets 128GB of onboard storage with a 256GB model on offer. External memory expansion isn’t possible as there’s no microSD card slot. The Galaxy S21+ gets 8GB of RAM.
Keeping the lights on is a 4,800mAh battery which is only slightly larger than the 4,500mAh battery of the Galaxy S20+. It supports 25W fast charging.
There’s a 6.7-inch display with an adaptive refresh rate that can automatically adjust itself between 48Hz – 120Hz depending on the content to save battery life. The display resolution maxes out at FHD+. There’s Gorilla Glass Victus on the front as well for protection.
The Infinity-O cutout in the center houses the front camera. Qualcomm’s latest ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor comes embedded. It has a larger detection area and is faster at picking up the fingerprint as well.
The Galaxy S21+ shares its camera setup with the Galaxy S21. It comes with a 12-megapixel f/1.8 primary sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus and OIS. There’s also a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide camera with 120-degree FOV.
A 64-megapixel f/2.0 camera with OIS provides 3x optical and up to 30x Space Zoom. Selfie duties are handled by a 10-megapixel camera on the front. The handset is capable of recording video at 8K resolution.
Software and new features
Android 11 comes with the Galaxy S21+ out of the box in addition to One UI 3.1. The latest iteration of One UI brings a variety of new features. This includes an updated Single Take mode, several new camera features, Object Eraser and more. Some minor user interface tweaks have been made as well. Since the handset is supported for three major platform upgrades, Android 14 will be its last major update.
Update: Samsung has now started development work on the Android 12 One UI 4.0 update for the Galaxy S21 series.
Release date and price
Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S21+ on January 14, 2021. Pre-orders went live on the same day. The Galaxy S21+ hit shelves on January 29, 2021. Prices start at $999.
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