If you are all up to date with the latest Samsung Galaxy S21 news, you should know most of the basics. I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus this year. I think Samsung has done an amazing job with the design of the phone with the updated camera module that blends into the metal side frame. It’s not a huge change or anything dramatic, but it’s enough to keep the design interesting and give Samsung’s new phones a distinct look.
But I think the main thing that will grab most people’s attention is the award this year. I don’t think any of us expected Samsung to come up with a new flagship line that costs $ 200 less across the board. Samsung deserves a lot of credit for this and I think it will have a huge impact on smartphone prices throughout the year.
That being said, the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus are far from perfect. While our coverage of the new Galaxy S21 devices highlighted the phones in a positive light, I thought I would highlight 5 reasons why you might not want to buy one of these two phones.
1. Downgraded screens
The first item on the list is important and this is the screen that Samsung has chosen to use on both phones. To keep hardware costs down, these are the first Galaxy S flagship devices to feature FHD + resolution AMOLED panels since the Galaxy S5 was introduced in 2014. In recent years, Samsung has also steadily reduced the curve on edges of its screens. and this year returned to a fully flat screen, significantly increasing the bezels around the edges.
Personally, I have no issues with either of these changes since I set my resolution of the S20 last year to FHD + so that I can take advantage of the 120Hz refresh rate and I prefer definitely flatscreens to those with curved edges, but there are quite a few Samsung fans who can’t get enough of Samsung’s Quad HD + display panels and love curved edges due to the increase the screen / body ratio.
2. Less RAM
The Galaxy S21 and the Plus both come with 8GB of RAM this year. To some this might sound perfectly reasonable, but if you bought any of the Galaxy S20 devices last year, you currently have a phone with 12GB of RAM inside.
Much like the reduction in display quality, this change was necessary to save you $ 200 off the purchase price. While 12GB of RAM really sets the Galaxy S20 devices apart from the competition last year, 8GB of RAM should still provide a great user experience. You just won’t be able to keep a dozen apps in memory at once.
3. Say goodbye to expandable storage
We all knew that day would come eventually, but I was hoping we had a few more generations of Galaxy S smartphones ahead of us before that. None of the Galaxy S21 devices support expandable storage. All you get is 128GB of storage on the base model, but you can pay more to upgrade to 256GB.
If you’re using Google Photos or some other cloud service to back up your photos and videos, you’re fine, but your phone’s internal storage can fill up pretty quickly if you turn on 4K video capture.
MicroSD expandable storage was one of those latest features that set Samsung’s flagship devices apart from the competition. If this change is a big deal for you, you may need to upgrade to a mid-range device to keep this functionality in 2021.
4. Bring your own charger
Samsung should have a hard time making fun of Apple for not including a charger in its 2020 iPhone lineup, and then follow in its footsteps a few months later.
That’s right, just like the iPhone, the new Galaxy S21 range doesn’t come with a charging brick in the box. Samsung didn’t make such a big deal, but you’ll have to use an old charging brick from a previous device or choose a new one, especially if you want to take advantage of the phone’s fast charging capabilities.
At least Samsung did the right thing by offering the phone at a cheaper price this year, so you should technically have a little extra cash to spend on a changer. Additionally, if you pre-order the phone, Samsung will add $ 100 to $ 1,500 in Samsung store credit so that you can purchase a wall charger, wireless charger, and a case or two for the phone at no additional cost.
Samsung Galaxy S21 price, specifications and availability
Personally, I think the choice to remove the loading brick is good because the majority of smartphone users already have a box full of them. Not only does this allow the phone’s retail boxes to be smaller, mix less materials used, and reduce the emissions and cost of transporting the phone as it is shipped across the globe, but it also reduces the number of chargers that will eventually end up in landfills.
5. Second level camera experience
For years, when buying a Samsung Galaxy S smartphone, you’ve always been treated to the best camera experience Samsung has to offer. Everything changed last year with the introduction of the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Even if you pay $ 1000 for the Galaxy S21, you still get the same camera experience as the regular S21 with dual 12MP sensors for the main and ultra-wide cameras, a 64MP telephoto lens paired with 3x zoom and a 10MP front camera.
If you want the best smartphone camera Samsung has to offer, you’ll have to shell out $ 1,300 for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which swaps out a 108MP sensor for the main 9-in-1 camera. Pixel binning, and has dual 10MP zoom cameras with 3x and 10x zoom. The Ultra’s five cameras, including the 40 MP front camera, are also capable of capturing 4k video at 60 fps, allowing you to seamlessly switch between them while recording a single clip.
Now, that’s not to say that regular Galaxy S21 devices will have a below-average camera experience. I honestly think their cameras will be good enough and I’m planning a handful of camera comparisons to see how well they stack up against the competition. But they will definitely be a cut below the best that Samsung has to offer.
Now that I have highlighted the main flaws of the new Galaxy S21 range, I’m curious what you think of the new smartphones. Are you going to wait for another flagship smartphone for 2021 or will you stick with the device you currently use for another year?
Personally, I don’t think any of the drawbacks I’ve listed are a deal breaker in and of themselves, but they certainly add up if they are major features that guide your buying decision. Like for me? I pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy S21. The phone is far from perfect, but I just can’t say no to this price tag and the new design Samsung has rolled out this year.