One of the more controversial features of the S20 Ultra was Samsung’s Space Zoom feature, which allows you to get super close to distant subjects. In our review, we found that the tool was problematic and deficient, mainly due to the low image quality of over 10x. The company wants to fix some of that with the S21 Ultra by introducing a new dual telephoto lens system that provides “greater clarity for every shot.” One of these offers 3x optical zoom, while the other goes up to 1
Samsung also introduced a software feature called Zoom Lock to help you keep your subject in the frame even when your hands are shaking at high zoom levels. The company also improved its night mode and made it possible to shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second out of all sensors, including the selfie camera in advance.
At 6.8 inches, the S21 Ultras’ screen is a bit smaller than last year’s model (6.9 inches), but you probably won’t notice the difference. What’s more striking is Samsung’s new design with what it calls a Contour Cut Camera housing for the four sensors on the back. Instead of a black rounded rectangle module hanging in the top left corner of the back of the phone, the entire corner differs from the rest of the surface. It looks like someone slipped a protective rectangular cap on the phone.
Unlike the smaller S21 and S21 +, Ultra is only available in Phantom Black and Phantom Silver color options, though Samsung said more colors like Phantom Titanium, Phantom Navy and Phantom Brown will be “available exclusively on Samsung.com” depending on the market . The other flagships also offer extra pink and purple variants, and on them are “contour cut” in eye-catching shades of red. On silver and black devices, the corner sections are more subtle as they are in matching shades with the rest of the body.
In addition to the surface, the S21 Ultra is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 888 chip in the US and the Exynos 2100 in other parts of the world. Those who have used non-US versions of Samsung’s previous flagships have long complained about the performance delta in Exynos models, and this remains a point of frustration for them. Fortunately, Samsung announced this week that the Exynos 2100 will be an ARM-based 5nm system-on-chip that will consume 20 percent less power than its predecessor. If these claims are true, the Exynos models on the S21 may not be as disappointing as previous models.
The S21 Ultra is also one of the first smartphones to support the new WiFi 6E standard for greater bandwidth and faster internet connections. It also has ultra-broadband functionality that allows you to unlock compatible car doors or send messages to UWB-friendly phones nearby. Finally, the S21 Ultra starts with 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and if you want more of each, you can only choose the Phantom Black model. The Silver Edition is stuck with this configuration, while you can go up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage on the black flavor.
If you pre-order the S21 Ultra before January 28, you will receive a free Galaxy Smart Tag and $ 200 Samsung credit. Otherwise, the new flagship will be available via retail and shipping channels as well as unlocked via Samsung on January 29th.