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Is Samsung Galaxy S21 Worth the Money? Here's What the Reviews Say So Far

February 08, 2021

It is common for Samsung to start the season with big flagships, and in 2021, they have sped up their usual series announcement, therefore the Galaxy S21 smartphones were officially announced almost as soon as the year has begun. The company repeats last year's formula with three phones, the Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

The Galaxy S21 trio arrives earlier than expected, but with the same DNA that we already knew in the previous generation. In the first place, we have the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus, a very similar duo that aims at the high-end status and comes in two sizes. The third model is the clear protagonist of this trio, it comes with the surname 'Ultra', and raises the bar in the technical section, especially in the photographic sense, but also in size.

Now, since the S21 and S21 Plus are incredibly similar in performance, we will combine the reviews of both into simply S21. The S21 Ultra is quite different from the other two and should be reviewed separately.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Reviews

Although the phone was announced only on January 14th, a lot of the big review sites have already had a long time to test the phone and as such have left their reviews in recent days.

So far, it appears that the phone is receiving quite positive reviews, although it does not appear that any publication is giving the phone a perfect score.

Here is a quick summary of some of the scores from the web:

  • Cnet: 8.8/10
  • Android Authority: 4/5
  • Engadget: 88/100
  • Tom's Guide: 4/5
  • Wiring: 8/10

Based on the top sites, the phone appears to be in the 8.5/10 range.

As for what makes the phone stand out, Android Authority largely cited the value of the device, noting that anyone "looking for a phone that delivers the essentials without destroying your bank account, this is the Galaxy to go for.ā€

Cnet had similar thoughts, saying: "The S21 is a significant rethink from Samsung. A company may have tried to push the standard S20 to be too premium, but this time, the company found a good balance in terms of price, features, and design for the S21."

Engadget mentioned an improved overall design compared to the S20, although the review is not yet in love with the design. "I still wouldn't call the S21's design 'inspired', but it's much more attractive than its predecessor," the review says.

As a standout feature, Tom's Guide highlighted the "excellent 120Hz dynamic display" as something that really makes the phone great.

Is Samsung S21 worth it

All in all, it seems that the Galaxy S21 is an excellent phone. It may not be the best Galaxy phone on the market, but it seems like a solid upgrade for existing Galaxy fans.

Reviews for the Galaxy S21 Ultra

The S21 Ultra appears to score slightly higher on the overall review scale than its more affordable counterparts. Here's a quick look at some of the scores:

  • Edge: 8.5/10
  • Cnet: 8.9/10
  • Android Authority: 4.5/5
  • Engadget: 89/100
  • Tom's Guide: 4.5/5
  • Wiring: 8/10

As you can see, most of the websites increased their score by one increment, whatever that may be. For a site like Android Authority or Tom's Guide, that ends up being a bigger problem, as they use a smaller scale. For Cnet and Engadget, they increased the score by a paltry 1/100.

As for why the phone is a winner, Cnet said, "The S21 Ultra is a major upgrade both in terms of hardware and software features over the S20 Ultra. And when you add the factor of a lower price, it all comes together to be a generally sensible upgrade."

Android Authority, who rated the phone half a point below perfect, summed up their thoughts by saying: "The Galaxy S21 Ultra is an excellent combination of great design, ultra-fast performance, a wonderful screen, long battery life, and one of the best camera systems. This is the most versatility you can get in a smartphone today."

Overall, it appears that the Galaxy S21 Ultra is worth the extra money, assuming you have the funds available. Samsung's updates are smart, and that camera system will leave anyone who likes taking photos drooling.

Is Samsung S21 Ultra worth the price

Definitely yes! If you can afford any of the newest Samsung flagship series phones, there is a high chance you can afford the S21 Ultra for a few hundred dollars more. This phone is fantastic, and splashing the cash on it is a no brainer.

What phone should I buy?

Reading the reviews, it seems your budget will be the main factor. Both phones are great, but the Ultra is a bit better. Most reviews say it's worth the extra money for S-Pen compatibility, camera updates, etc. But if you can't afford it, you'll be more than happy with the Galaxy S21 or S21Plus.

Power up your S21 to be as cool as S21 Ultra

There are some users who have opted to buy the i-Blades smart case for their S21 to make it even more powerful. Ā How does it work?

The i-Blades smart case boosts up the storage space from 16 to 128 GB, based on your needs. It also serves as a power bank, juicing up the battery for up to 20 hours non-stop. Plus, since it is a case, it will protect the phone from damage. By adding additional protection, memory, and battery life, your S21 will be the phone that everyone envies. More information here.

Is Samsung S21 worth the price with the i-Blades upgrade?

Yes, yes, and yes!

Final words

The S21 Ultra from the new Samsung Galaxy series seems to be arguably the best smartphone on the market. This time, the standard and Plus models seem to be more affordable than ever before, as the company has opted for less power for a more affordable price.

Buying S21 or S21 Plus will get you great performance and quality for a reasonable price. If you opt to splash some cash, the S21 Ultra should definitely be your number one choice.