Samsung Galaxy A21 Full Review! A Great Phone With One Big Problem.
Published on July 18, 2020
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What’s going on guys my name is wade with tech daily and in this video i’ll be giving you my full review on the samsung galaxy a21 now if you read the title and assumed i’m here to clickbait you or prolong the video for no reason don’t worry i’m gonna get into the problem with this phone in like 30 seconds let me just finish up the intro here and we’ll get right into it in general i think the a21 is a solid phone it’s going to be one of the most widely available budget devices here in the u.s with countless wireless networks and prepaid carriers starting to offer it and i fully expect a lot of people to buy it and if you’re interested in the a21 you should buy it especially since it’s going to be offered with discounts and deals even at its full retail price for around 200 right now that’s still a good buy and if you guys are interested in doing some comparison shopping of your own or maybe want to pick up this phone for yourself i’ll have some links down below in the video description to where you can get this phone at its cheapest current prices so check down there so you don’t miss out on any good deals now the thing about the a21 is this while it’s a good phone on its own i don’t think it’s as stellar of a device as the a20 was last year for one reason in particular the display last year’s a20 shipped with a beautiful super amoled screen sure it was a 1560 by 720 resolution panel but i’ll still take that since it was a bright bold colorful oled screen this year the new a21 got an ips lcd screen at basically the same resolution 1600 by 720. not only did the a21 drop the amoled screen it didn’t even get a bump up in resolution that just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and it’s a little insulting that samsung pushed out this new phone with in my opinion a worse display than last year’s model i truly believe the amoled screen on last year’s a20 was one of the main reasons why that phone was so popular to begin with it was a huge selling point on a really reasonably priced device this year samsung basically took a step back and they kind of broke one of the cardinal rules of business don’t start charging people money for something they already had now if you want to get an amoled screen you have to jump up to the a31 a higher priced different tier phone the a21’s display on its own is fine at 6.5 inches it’s a huge panel and for a lot of folks getting a screen size that big is great it’s an awesome viewing experience you’ve got a lot of real estate to work with and in general there’s nothing wrong with the lcd panel itself if you aren’t coming from an a20 you won’t have any complaints but if you are coming from an a20 and this is sort of the whole point it’s a downgrade and frankly it’s one big reason to not upgrade to the a21 this year that’s really tough for me to say because every other new a series phone this year was actually a decent upgrade from the previous year’s model but not in this case now the rest of the phone does have plenty that’s changed new specs new cameras and a few other things that i’ll mention so that’s good at least but it’s just tough for me to get over that screen it’s disappointing and it kind of kills a lot of the value that this a series phone had and by the way this does sort of mean that last year’s a20 is an even better buy this year this is an instance where going with last year’s phone might mean you’re actually getting more so now you know my biggest gripe maybe i’m overreacting but i’d love to know your thoughts in the comments down below too so let me know what you think in the meantime let’s go ahead and talk about everything else that’s going on with this phone physically the a21 is basically on par with the rest of samsung’s budget and mid-range lineup and that’s to say that it’s an all-plastic build though the one color choice all black isn’t as flashy or as colorful as the shiny rainbow finish from some other phones but there’s nothing wrong with simplicity the build is fine samsung is pretty much mastered utilizing plastic while still ensuring the phone it doesn’t feel cheap and the biggest consideration with this device really just has to do with its size like i mentioned already at six and a half inches this is a big phone it’s actually the biggest in the entire a series lineup just by sheer body size it’s a slim tall phone with that 20 by nine aspect ratio which means it’s a bit of a stretch to reach every corner it won’t fit everyone’s fingers but at the same time getting a huge screen anyway for this price is probably going to be a positive for most people this year samsung moved the camera cutout to the corner with their infinity o setup and kept a big bottom chin down below not the best in terms of maximizing space but overall the phone does look modern while still referencing the fact that it is a budget device taking a look around at everything else the a21 isn’t missing anything important which is great we’ve got expandable storage via a micro sd card slot on the side the same familiar button placements down below there’s the headphone jack usbc charging port and single speaker which is good enough it sounds the same as about any other single speaker setup and across the back there’s obviously a bunch of camera lenses which i’ll get into in a second as well as the physical fingerprint sensor you guys know with phones at this price point i like the rear mounted fingerprint sensor it’s simple it’s fast it’s easy to find and most importantly secure and for budget phones like this one there’s just no need to move to an in-display reader the a21 also utilizes face unlock 2 which works fine i tend to pair up both unlocking methods when i use this phone and i quickly get into the device one way or another there’s no issues here now when it does come to specs and performance this is actually where a lot of people sort of criticized the a21 they weren’t really happy with what’s inside with this phone but honestly in my experience i found the phone performs better than i expected the a21 is actually powered by the mediatek helio p35 processor three gigabytes of ram and 32 gigabytes of built-in storage with like i said the option to add an sd card for more now here are the geekbench and antutu benchmark scores so you can get an idea of what we’re working with but in real world use the a21 is a solid device a year or two ago going with a mediatek processor especially in the samsung space was kind of unheard of and likely would have been a bad choice these chipsets had not so good of a reputation this year though in a bunch of 20 20 phones actually the mediatek processors have performed a lot better and i’d go as far as to say that any criticism you might have had for them isn’t as warranted nowadays this is a phone that for most everyday tasks feels fast and i’d argue the truly limiting factor isn’t the processor itself more the ram options that you get three gigs i don’t think is enough nowadays four should be the minimum with the option to go beyond that if you want to pay more but it’s a bummer because there’s no other configuration options to choose from you can’t pay any extra to get any more and you notice the low ram when you start to flip back and forth in the apps things just aren’t running in the background nothing stays current really everything always has to be reloaded and you also feel that ram limitations when gaming not as much in game i’ll get to that in a second but mostly when you first launch these graphics heavy apps they take a minute or two to get to the main screen which isn’t ideal you certainly need to have a little bit of patience but once you’re finally in you do get a pretty good gaming experience sure there’s a frame drop from time to time but everything is very playable this is a phone you can confidently game with and enjoy pretty much any titles you want and that’s awesome for a device at this price point in my time using the phone there wasn’t anything this phone couldn’t handle but i will say this in 2020 you can get a lot of phone for not a lot of money and if you’re the kind of person who pushes their device kind of hard or expects a lot out of it in day-to-day use you may actually be better off jumping up to the a31 or even the a21s where you can get a slightly better processor and a bunch more ram even a couple year old flagship device might be a better option for you just evaluate your phone usage and daily needs and decide from there for most people the a21 is going to be more than fine but for a certain group of power users who need more each day out of their phone there are better options out there now actually one thing this phone does quite well is last throughout the day the a21 packs a good sized 4 000 milliamp battery and paired with a less power hungry screen and more budget-friendly specs you can get a lot of life out of this thing beyond a day’s use under normal circumstances i think that’s expected with a phone like this most phones in this price range usually do offer solid battery life and the a21 is no exception paired with a 15 watt fast charger too you can quickly charge up this phone as well but in my time using this the past couple of weeks i had no complaints with longevity finally let’s talk about those camera lenses and fortunately unlike the screen samsung actually spent a lot of time and attention bringing some good upgrades here the a21 now offers a quad lens setup and you get everything you need a 16 megapixel main lens 8 megapixel ultra wide 2 megapixel macro and 2 megapixel depth sensor with the software features there’s not a ton that’s missing there’s no night mode unfortunately but beyond that there’s still plenty to work with obviously you can utilize that wide angle which i do use pretty often the macro lens isn’t terribly useful but it’s there at least the depth sensor helps you’ve got hdr panorama a few other little additions in 1080p video and the real world results look pretty good you do miss out on some detail you don’t have that crazy high megapixel count that some of the other a series phones do have but in general there’s nothing wrong with the pictures even the selfies look pretty good actually with a 13 megapixel front camera and over the last year especially i totally recognize how much effort samsung has put into their cameras on these budget and mid-range phones not too long ago these 200 devices had just awful single lens camera setups that no one wanted to use and now they are suddenly very respectable setups with a lot of potential you can still do better though like i said another 50 to 100 dollars might get you the a21s or a31 and that could be worth it if you truly value your pictures and videos but what you end up getting with the a21 on its own is still plenty in my opinion so here are my final thoughts on the a21 unfortunately if you’re coming from last year’s a20 i don’t necessarily think you should jump into the a21 while you do get some upgrades the thing you look at most the display got worse and that’s a huge bummer if you’re coming from any other device i do think the a21 is a decent phone it obviously has a lot to offer and considering how widely available it’s going to be and the kinds of deals you’ll likely be able to get on it it’s certainly worth considering but like i said if the screen is the thing that’s most important to you maybe look into the a20 as well that’s still a good buy and i might just end up sticking with it all things considered so there you go that’s what i think about the new samsung galaxy a21 what do you guys think is this phone worth getting or would you just prefer something else let me know in the comments down below i’d love to know your thoughts of course but hopefully you guys did enjoy this video be sure to follow tech daily on twitter and subscribe to the tech daily youtube channel if you haven’t already and i’ll see you guys later.