Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 1 MONTH Review – Best Phone in the World!? | The Tech Chap

Published on February 15, 2021
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Hey guys i’m tom the tech chat but i’ve had the s21 ultra in my pocket for a little over a month now i fully switched to it it’s my everyday phone and i’ve really put this thing through its paces with camera tests battery rundowns i’ve even had a couple of extra phones shipped in for my big x-mas vs snapdragon video and so after all that while it’s not perfect i reckon the s21 ultra is probably the best phone in the world right now even if the ceo of huawei seems to disagree so i hope you guys enjoy this video it’s basically everything you need to know about the s21 ultra as i’ve been testing it for the past month and if you do want to see more from me then a thumbs up and a sub would be awesome okay let’s get this whole snapdragon versus exynos thing out of the way first because as you guys know for the past couple of years samsung’s own exynos chips have been pretty rubbish in fact i’ve got the note 20 ultra and also the s20 ultra here with me and in the uk and europe and india and some other countries these came with the exynos 990 which was around 10 to 20 slower than the equivalent snapdragon gave you an hour less battery life the camera was a little bit iffy so considering we were paying the same price we felt a little bit screwed over but this time things are different and we have as close to parity as i think we’ve ever had with samsung phones which is still a crazy thing that we have to talk about because what are the phone you know imagine the iphone being slightly faster in the us than it is in europe it’s just not something you see elsewhere but in this constant battle between the chips yeah these are as close as we’ve ever had but they’re still not exactly the same there are some differences and depending on the particular phone you have it seems people are getting different results now for my pretty extensive testing i found the exynos 2100 model to be as fast if not actually faster than the snapdragon 88 battery life can still vary but there’s not really more than say five percent difference so it’s not a big deal although i did notice some camera differences in the snapdragon’s favor but what we may also be seeing is a bit of a silicon lottery which is something we’re pretty familiar with in the pc world where not all chips are made equal however minor differences aside it is certainly a big step up from last year where we were genuinely getting a bad deal with the exos models so i’m pleased to say that it’s not really something most of us need to worry about anymore and given how much samsung has caught up i’m pretty keen to see what they can do next year especially if it comes with a rumored amd graphics but putting that aside as you would expect though these chips paired with 12 gigs of ram or 16 gigs on the 512 storage option is well incredibly fast most of the time it’ll max out even the most demanding games at 120fps although i do still like to unlock the dev options scroll down and then speed up the animation times to make everything feel a little bit snappier so we’ve dived right into all the nerdy stuff but what’s it actually been like to use well one of the advantages of the ultra over the rest of the s21 lineup is you get this quad hd resolution as well as the adaptive refresh rate and you can have them at the same time now having quad hd isn’t a massive deal i think you can just about tell the difference with the high res if you’re looking for it but even when i was using the note 20 ultra at full hd before this i never had an issue or thought it didn’t look sharp enough so all together the ultra has pretty much the best screen on any phone right now peaking at a whopping 1500 nits that quad hd and 120 hertz combination and just simply the quality of the amoled panel that samsung’s using now since i am stuck at home in what seems like this never ending lockdown here in the uk i’m not as worried about battery life in my day-to-day as i might normally be so i’m pretty comfortable to keep this at wqhd and have that adaptive refresh at the same time so i’m getting the best of both worlds and the screen just looks absolutely stunning although i think when things return to normal if i was going to go out on a shoot for a day i’d probably switch back to fullhd to save a bit of battery because so far in my experience having full hd leaves me with about 35 left by 11pm versus about 23 when i have quad hd of course this is very anecdotal and it will slightly vary between the different models as well uh but on average i’d say i’m getting about eight to ten percent less battery when i have the high resolution and actually in my big battery test with the phone set to full hd it lasted a good deal longer than both my note 20 ultra and the s20 ultra so having this new more efficient chip the adaptive refresh which can go between 10 and 120 hertz plus the big five thousand million power battery means this phone will easily get you a day and a half of use or from my experience around seven and a half hours of screen on time at full hd so it has a nice screen but actually one little bonus new feature which i really appreciate is when you swipe right to go left at the home screen we now get this option for google discover which means i never ever have to look at samsung’s op day or what they uh refreshed it to be called samsung free ever again because every time i used to have to do this it would pause and load and just be kind of rubbish but now i’ve got my google news feed which is just so much slicker and i’m sure this will be coming to older phones as well through updates but right now at least it is a nice little bonus with the s21 another handy upgrade is the ultra now supports the s pen or at least it sort of does initially i borrowed the pen from my note 20 ultra which does work albeit with a slightly slower response time and no bluetooth support so i went out and bought this which is the proper s21 ultra pen for about 34 pounds which is basically the same as one of their tablet pens but while it does work well it still doesn’t have any bluetooth or air gesture support and confusingly you’ll actually need to wait for the s pen pro which is coming out later in the year and presumably will also have a faster response time either way though it is pretty cool we’re getting pen support on this but you’ll probably want one of the fancy cases to store it in as well because obviously we are losing the convenience of being able to store it in the phone like we do on the note but just as samsung adds new features they also take them away and i think one of the biggest disappointments with the whole s21 range is the fact that we’ve lost micro sd card support which i know isn’t the end of the world for a lot of people but for some it was a real selling point the fact that you could just pop in up to a one terabyte micro sd card in these guys so you could have up to one and a half terabytes of storage which maybe meant you could go for a slightly cheaper internal storage model and then top it up yourself and especially for these do-it-all phones that cater to productivity with their wireless deck support s-pen and of course the big file sizes you get from shooting up to 8k video so sadly no micro sd or even charger or headphones in the box although base storage on the s21 is 128 gigs but what i would recommend is paying the 50 pounds extra to get 256. now as the true nerd that i am i am also pretty excited that the ultra supports the latest wi-fi 6e standard but the downside is you do also need a 6e compatible router or router for my american friends which i don’t have at the moment they’re just starting to come out and are quite expensive but when i do get one then well i’ll look forward to having slightly more reliable wi-fi on this so those are definitely smaller upgrades but i think one of the biggest improvements here is with the camera now the problem is tech reviewers and youtubers like myself i guess are always exposed to the latest and greatest tech we change our phones every five minutes it seems so in my world something like the s20 ultra or the note feels like a million years ago but the truth is if you are thinking about upgrading to this chances are you have maybe an s10 or an s9 or maybe something even older and so coming from those phones i think the camera on this would be a massive step up because to be honest even coming from the note 20 ultra which came out six months ago the extra 10 times telephoto zoom the better dynamic range and the improved white balance particularly in low light and actually even the new ultra wide that doubles as a pretty decent macro lens all add up to be quite a nice upgrade although i would say that the 100 time zoom on the ultra while a touch better than before is still pretty ridiculous in fact i found it’s best just to take a 30 times zoom photo which still looks good and then maybe crop into 100 times yourself afterwards and a recent samsung video explains that their new iso cell sensor has this smart iso pro technology marketing buzzwords for why we’re getting much improved hdr performance this may be a touch controversial but i think i’d say that this overall has the best camera on any phone right now before you grab your pitchforks and head to the comments i’d argue the flexibility you get with this from the macro to a usable photo at 30 or 50 times zoom and the overall quality of portraits 4k and even 8k video selfies and the extras like single take where you can just press it once and it takes one of well everything all the directors mode video options but all together i don’t think there’s another phone that offers this level of versatility and also quality in one package in my opinion at least last question to you guys though which color do you prefer phantom black or phantom silver i thought i was going to find the black one a little bit boring looking but actually now i’ve used it for a while i think i go for this one but what about you oh and also i’ve noticed that neither of these play nicely with pop sockets they don’t really stick to the texture very well so i definitely recommend getting a case and i’ll leave a link to the one i’ve been using in the description below so i reckon by now i’ve probably made about a billion also videos on the s21 ultra you’re probably sick to death of it but this has been a bit of a sort of a roundup of everything i’ve talked about so far just as my background youtube video goes to adverts i should probably get youtube premium for that not ideal but i am still really happy that i switched this it is my hsa daily driver my everyday phone and i do still maintain that right now at least i think if you can afford it this is the best phone in the world my only caveat to that would be if you’re in the apple ecosystem if you’re using icloud and airdrop and facetime a lot then yeah the iphone 12 pro max would be a better option for you but for enthusiast android users definitely recommend the s20 on ultra although i am very excited to see how this will compare with the upcoming oneplus 9 and also the xiaomi mi 11 pro so stay tuned because those phones are coming soon and i will be doing full comparisons but what do you think of the s21 ultra would you be tempted to upgrade thank you so much for watching guys and if you do want to see more from me then hit that subscribe button ding that bell all those youtuber cliches and i’ll catch you next time right here on the tech chat.
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