Let’s start by taking a close look at the design. With the powerful Gorilla Glass Victus – even the Note 20 Ultra – protecting the front and rear of the device, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has an aluminum finish on the sides. The IP68 protection against water and dust guarantees that extra security when using the cell phone.
But let’s talk about what draws the most attention: this new concept of camera module that embraces the metallic side, giving a sense of continuity in the design, and not looking like they simply glued a rectangle on the back.
This module houses four lenses, an autofocus sensor and a flash. The camera’s “hump” is still in evidence here, so it’s nice to use a case to prevent the phone from dangling when you rest on a flat surface.
The design is very elegant and, although the S21 Utra is also available in silver, who is calling attention wherever it goes is this black, or better, Phatom Black. Samsung dedicated an entire presentation video to show how it got into that really beautiful matte tone. Speaking of the practical part of the thing: it keeps the finger marks away from the rear.
Samsung chose to keep the buttons on the right side only, as well as on the Galaxy S20, leaving the left part free. I don’t even know if we still need to mention this in 2021, but no P2 input for headphones, and since there is no headset in the box, you will need to buy a Buds or a USB-C headset separately.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is not a small device, nor a light one, but that is not even his proposal. Those with smaller hands may have difficulty handling the phone using just one of them. But despite that, it has a good grip – albeit slippery.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 6.8-inch OLED screen with a refresh rate that automatically varies between 10 and 120Hz. This means smoother navigation, displaying animations, and also walking and opening applications.
The most interesting novelty is that the maximum rate is no longer limited to 1080p, as is the case with the S20, and can also be used at the maximum screen resolution, which is the WQHD + (3200 x 1440 pixels). That is, you don’t have to choose between high resolution and high refresh rate. However, as expected, battery consumption with the screen at its best drains more battery.
To try to minimize this impact a little, Samsung opts for a variable refresh rate, which adapts automatically according to each content, leaving the 120 Hz for games, for example, and dropping to 10 Hz while consuming static content, such as texts .
The Galaxy S21 Ultra also has a much brighter display, with a maximum brightness of 1,500 nits –
the largest ever seen on a Galaxy screen. The contrast is also better compared to the S20 Ultra (more specifically 50% according to Samsung, but visible during our tests). A feature called “Protection for eye comfort” adjusts the blue light filter to reduce eye fatigue.