We tested the Samsung Galaxy S21, S21 + and S21 Ultra

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On Thursday (14), Samsung announced its new premium smartphones: Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 + and Galaxy S21 Ultra. With the scenario created by the coronavirus pandemic, the manufacturer anticipated the launch of the models for January – generally, the event takes place in February.

Bringing the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) event closer was also a strategy to show that the South Korean is even investing in the promotion of its complete product ecosystem, which includes TVs, wearables and many others that are not only cell phones.

The Galaxy S21 features a new design in the camera module, which now rises to the side, as if it were hugging the device. All of them are also prepared for 5G networks, have IP68 protection against water and dust, but do not come with a charger or headset from the box. Samsung claims to have used the same USB-C charging standard since 2017, so consumers theoretically already have one at home.

We had the opportunity to see the devices up close – with all the necessary security measures – and brought the main highlights.

Galaxy S21 and S21 +

Starting with the Galaxy S21 and S21 +, both have a 2x Dynamic Amoled display, with a refresh rate ranging from 48 Hz to 120 Hz. This variation is done automatically via artificial intelligence according to the type of content being played, helping in battery optimization.

The main visual difference between the two models is in the size of the screen, being that of the Galaxy S21 of 6.2 inches and that of the S21 + of 6.7 inches. The “little brother” will be available in four colors: pink, violet, gray and white. The Plus version in violet, black and silver.

An internal detail that differentiates the two devices is the presence of the ultra-wideband (UWB) sensor, present only in the S21 + (and also in the Ultra). The battery of the Galaxy S21, on the other hand, follows the same as its predecessor, with 4 thousand mAh, but the Plus version received an upgrade, going from 4.5 thousand mAh last year to 4.8 thousand mAh on the S21 +. Both have 8 GB of RAM and 128 or 256 GB of internal storage.

Moving on to the camera set, we don’t see any major changes compared to the previous year’s hardware. The two new models feature three sensors at the rear: a 12 MP ultrawide with f / 2.2 aperture, a 12 MP wide with optical image stabilization (OIS) and f / 1.8 aperture, and a 64 MP telephoto lens with 3x zoom and f / 2.0 aperture. The space zoom can reach up to 30x, but no Time of Flight sensor here, but a laser focus. The front camera has 10 MP and f / 2.2 aperture.

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It is possible to record in 8K and extract 33 MP photos from the video, in addition the super-stabilization feature allows the creation of videos in the style of an action camera with 60 frames per second.

Galaxy S21 Ultra

Moving on to the big brother of the family, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 6.8-inch AMOLED screen, which automatically varies between 10 Hz and 120 Hz in the refresh rate. However, the big highlight here is the support for S Pen, which has always been an exclusivity of the Note line.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is compatible with any S Pen ever launched by Samsung, from the first Note to tablets. It does not come in the box, but can be purchased separately or with a cover that brings the pen attached. The S21 Ultra does not have the hole to store the S Pen in the device, as it happens in the Note, so these special cases are the best alternative. The features are the same as those already known in the Galaxy Note line, which include notes, augmented reality games in the photos, among others.

The battery remains with 5,000 mAh, but the Ultra will be available in versions with 12 and 16 GB of RAM, with 128, 256 or 512 GB of internal storage.

Moving on to the imaging part, the S21 Ultra has four rear cameras: two zoom cameras with 10 MP each (one with 3x zoom and the other with 10x), a main camera with 108 MP and an ultrawide with 12 MP. The fifth hole in the rear is the laser spotlight. The front camera is 40 MP.

Another highlight is the presence of the 12 bit HDR, which promises 60x more colors in the reproduction of images, which means more nuances than in previous models. It is also possible to make 4K videos at 60 fps with all four rear and front cameras. According to Samsung, the space zoom of up to 100x has been improved thanks to the presence of two telephoto lenses, now offering more stability and sharpness in the images.

The camera software has also been improved on all models of the Galaxy S21 family, with a new option that allows you to record simultaneously with the rear and front cameras. You can follow all the images at the same time with the “picture a picture” feature, viewing live thumbnails of what all the rear cameras are recording.

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