The Galaxy S21 is a stunningly beautiful phone lineup. There are three versions of S21. These are:
- Galaxy S21 5G
- Galaxy S21+ 5G
- Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Each of these phones has multiple versions, including a non 5G variant. So far, we have spotted 7 different models of the Galaxy S21 Ultra. These are:
- SM-G998B/DS (International, Dual SIM),
- SM-G998U (USA),
- SM-G998U1 (USA unlocked),
- SM-G998W (Canada),
- SM-G998N (Korea),
- SM-G9980 (China).
Not every version uses a Qualcomm processor. Few of these use Samsung’s Exynos processor.
Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21+ have only four differences. These are:
- Galaxy S21+ has a bigger screen. The S21 has a 6.2-inch display, whereas S21+ has a 6.7-inch screen.
- S21+ has a bigger 4800mAh battery; in contrast, Galaxy S21 has a 4000mAh battery.
- S21 has a plastic back, but the S21+ has a glass back cover.
- The base model of the Galaxy S21+ is $999, and the cost of the S21 is $799.
If you want a Samsung S21 phone, we highly recommend you buy the Galaxy S21 Ultra instead of the S21 5G or S21+.
But, if you are unsure, please compare the Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max and then make your final purchasing decision. It’s because the 128GB 6.7 inch iPhone 12 Pro Max costs $1099, whereas the 128GB 6.8 inch Galaxy S21 Ultra costs $1199.
Here is a complete specs table for Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.
|S21 Ultra 5G features||S21 Ultra 5G Specs|
|Network Support||GSM / HSPA / LTE / 5G / CDMA / EVDO|
|5G Bands||NSA / SA / mmWave / Sub6|
|SIM||1 Nano-SIM ( 1 Nano-SIM or eSIM),or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM and 1 eSIM)|
|Display||6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O.|
|Maximum Display Brightness||1500 nits|
|Front Display Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass Victus|
|Display Resolution||1440 x 3200 pixels (515 PPI density)|
|Screen Refresh Rate||Dynamic 120 Hz.|
|Build||Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass), aluminum frame.|
|OS||Android 11, One UI 3.1|
|Chipset, International Version||Exynos 2100|
|Processor, International Version||Octa-core. 1 at 2.9 GHz, 3 at 2.80 GHz, and 4 at 2.2 GHz.|
|GPU, International Version||Mali-G78 MP14|
|Chipset (USA, China, South Korea)||Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888|
|Processor (USA, China, South Korea)||Octa-core. 1 at 2.84 GHz, 3 at 2.42 GHz, and 4 at 1.80 GHz|
|GPU (USA, China, South Korea)||Adreno 660|
|Internal Memory Size||128GB, 256GB, or 512GB.|
|External SD card?||No SD card slot.|
|RAM||12GB or 16GB ( with 512GB internal storage)|
|S Pen Support||Yes|
|Number of Main Back Camera||4|
|Back Main Camera Configurations||Wide Angle: 108MP Laser AF (f/1.8)Telephoto 1: 10MP AF (f/2.4)Telephoto 2: 10MP AF (f/4.9)Ultra Wide: 12MP AF (f/2.2)|
One wide-angle 108MP 26mm camera, one 10MP 240mm periscope telephoto, one 10MP 70mm telephoto, and one 12MP 13mm ultrawide camera.
|Back Camera Video Recording and Playback||Up to UHD 8K (7680 x 4320). 8K at 24fps, 4k at 30/60fps, 1080p at 30/60/240fps, and 720p at 960fps.|
|Front Camera||26 mm wide-angle 40 MP.|
|Front Camera Video Recording||Up to 4K. 4K at 30/60fps, and 1080p at 30fps.|
|3.5mm headphone jack?||No.|
|USB||Type-C 3.2 reversible connector.|
|FM radio.||Yes. (Snapdragon model only)|
|Fingerprint Sensor?||Yes. Under-display ultrasonic sensor.|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh.|
|Charging Power||25W fast charging.|
|Wireless charging?||Yes. 15W Qi/PMA wireless charging.|
|Supports Reverse Wireless charging?||Yes. 4.5W reverse wireless charging.|
|Waterproof and Dustproof?||Yes. IP68.|
|Wireless emergency alerts (CMAS) capable||Yes.|
|Hearing Aid (HAC) rating||M3, T3.|
|Price||128GB – $1199, 256GB – $1249, $512GB – $1379|
Should you buy Galaxy S21 Ultra or not? Learning about the pros and cons of S21 Ultra is the perfect way to make a decision. This way, instead of relying on others’ reviews, you be the judge and decide on your future purchase.
Pros of Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G:
These are the advantages of S21 Ultra.
Best Phone from Samsung:
Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best phone Samsung ever made. Period.
Eligible Trade-in Smartphones:
Samsung gives up to $700 trade-in credit for purchasing the Galaxy S21 Ultra. For example, if you own a Galaxy S20 and trade-in to buy the Galaxy S21 Ultra, you will get a $700 discount on your purchasing price. So, you only have to pay $500 out of pocket.
Moreover, Samsung provides the highest trade-in value in the industry, whereas Apple offers an infuriatingly low trade-in rate. For example, for the Galaxy S20, Samsung offers $700 for trade-in, whereas Apple provides only $255.
Here is a list of eligible phones with trade-in value-
- Galaxy Note 20 5G – $700
- Galaxy Note 20 5G Ultra – $700
- Galaxy S20 – $700
- Galaxy S20 Plus – $700
- Galaxy S20 Ultra – $700
- Galaxy Note 10 – $550
- Galaxy Note 10 5G – $550
- Galaxy Note 10 Plus – $550
- Galaxy S10 – $550
- Galaxy S10 5G – $550
- Galaxy S10 Plus – $550
- Galaxy S10e – $550
- Galaxy S20 FE – $550
- Galaxy A71 – $350
- Galaxy Note 9 – $350
- Galaxy S9 – $350
- Galaxy S9 Plus – $350
- Galaxy Note 8 – $250
- Galaxy S8 – $250
- Galaxy S8 Active – $250
- Galaxy S8+ – $250
- Galaxy A51 – $200
- Galaxy A51 5G – $200
- Galaxy S7 – $200
- Galaxy S7 Active – $200
- Galaxy S7 edge – $200
- iPhone 12 – $700
- iPhone 12 Mini – $700
- iPhone 12 Pro – $700
- iPhone 12 Pro Max – $700
- iPhone 11 – $550
- iPhone 11 Pro – $550
- iPhone 11 Pro Max – $550
- iPhone XS – $550
- iPhone XS Max – $550
- iPhone 8 – $350
- iPhone 8 Plus – $350
- iPhone X – $350
- iPhone XR – $350
- iPhone 7 – $250
- iPhone 7 Plus – $250
- iPhone 6S – $200
- iPhone 6S Plus – $200
- iPhone SE – $200
- Pixel 4 – $250
- Pixel 4 XL – $350
- Pixel 3 – $200
- Pixel 3 XL – $200
- Pixel 3a – $200
- Pixel 3a XL – 200
Here is a comparison table of the trade-in price between Samsung and Apple:
|Phones Model||Samsung offered trade-in value||Apple offered trade-in value|
|Galaxy Note 10||$550||$285|
|Galaxy Note 9||$350||$150|
|Galaxy Note 8||$250||$85|
|iPhone 11 Pro Max||$550||$500|
|iPhone 11 Pro||$550||$350|
|iPhone XS Max||$550||$370|
|iPhone 8 Plus||$350||$210|
|Google Pixel 4 XL||$350||$260|
|Google Pixel 4||$350||$215|
|Google Pixel 3 XL||$200||$100|
|Google Pixel 3||$200||$80|
|Google Pixel 3a||$200||$60|
We don’t know about you, but we are laughing looking at the trade-in rate from Apple.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 6.8 inch Dynamic AMOLED screen, and its resolution is 1440 x 3200 pixels (515 PPI density). In contrast, S21 and S21+ only have HD displays. The screen resolution is so high that you won’t be able to distinguish individual pixels. Dynamic AMOLED screens provide vivid colors, and it is far superior over an LCD screen.
Moreover, Galaxy S21 Ultra supports HDR10+ color gamut. It provides a life-like picture with crisp video.
S21 Ultra also has an adaptive refresh rate. The refresh rate will change from 10Hz to 120Hz depending on the application, thus, saves battery power. 120Hz refresh rate is also crucial for an immersive video game experience.
While Galaxy S21 and S21+ is not compatible with S-Pen, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has S-Pen support. They also made this phone backward compatible. So, we can use our old S-Pen from Note devices with this S21 Ultra.
The S21 Ultra comes with two variants of RAM. The 128GB and 256GB version comes with 12GB RAM and 512GB S21 Ultra comes with 16GB RAM.
S21 Ultra Supports MHL:
Most of the Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, supports MHL. MHL is a fantastic piece of technology that many do not know. MHL stands for Mobile High Definition Link. Using the MHL-HDMI cable, you can mirror your phone screen to any projector, TV, or monitor. This feature helps you to give a presentation from the phone or watch a movie on the projector.
On Amazon, if you search “MHL to HDMI,” you will get thousands of results. This cable will help you transfer your phone’s display signal to an HDMI port. Before you buy your MHL to HDMI cable, please make sure which USB your phone supports, whether it is a micro USB, mini USB, or USB type C.
Buy a USB Type C MHL to HDMI cable for your Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, for example, similar to this one. Connect one end of the MHL cable to your phone, connect the other HDMI end to a TV or projector. After configuring your TV or projector to HDMI input, your phone screen will show up on your TV or projector. Now, enjoy movies, gameplay on your TV or projector. Moreover, you can give a presentation on office settings with your S21 Ultra without laptops or computers. Isn’t it great?
S21 Ultra has OTG Support:
OTG stands for on-the-go. As S21 Ultra supports OTG, you can buy various USB-C devices and add useful functionality to your Galaxy S21 Ultra. Here are a few examples.
USB C keyboard:
You can purchase a USB-C keyboard from Amazon and use it to type faster on your phone.
USB C game controller:
If you use a USB C game controller with your S21 Ultra, it will improve your gameplay tremendously. For example, you can purchase this game controller from Amazon.
USB C microSD card reader:
Galaxy S21 Ultra does not have an external SD card slot. However, don’t worry. You can buy a USB C MicroSD card reader and an SD card from Amazon and expand your phone memory on the go. OTG is mind-blowing.
USB C Flash Drive:
If you don’t want to buy a microSD card reader and SD card, you can purchase a USB C Flash Drive instead, similar to this one. Using a flash drive, you can transfer various files, photos, and videos between your S21 Ultra phone and laptop.
USB C HUB:
A portable USB C HUB will allow you to connect a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speaker, hard disk, TV, SD card, projector, etc., with your Galaxy S21 Ultra. Simply put, this type of HUB will transform your phone into a computer.
USB C to USB adapter:
This type of adapter has various uses. Here is one example. If you have a DSLR camera and want to backup pictures from your DSLR camera to your phone, you can do it with a USB C to USB adapter.
Ethernet Cable Connection:
You can use a USB C to Ethernet adapter, for example, like this one to connect the Galaxy S21 Ultra to an ethernet network. This way, you can get the internet on your S21 Ultra phone without WiFi.
Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Free Offers:
Samsung gives the following free offers to every new Galaxy S21 Ultra customer. We appreciate these free offers because even if we purchase a $1400 iPhone, Apple will never give us anything for free.
- YouTube Premium: Free 4-month subscription valued at $48.
- One free Samsung SmartTag valued at $30.
- $100 Galaxy store credit. You can use this credit to buy accessories at the Samsung web store. Here is a list of few Samsung accessories whose price is less than $100.
- Samsung Galaxy SmartTag, price $29.
- 25W Travel Adapter, price $20. (Samsung store)
- Wireless Charger Duo Pad, price $60 (Samsung store)
- Wireless Charger Single Pad, price $40 (Samsung store)
- 20,000 mAh Battery Pack, price $50 (Samsung store)
- Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Clear Cover, price $20 (Samsung store)
- ANC Type-C Headphones, price $100 (Samsung store)
We always buy phones directly from Samsung. The main benefit is that we can purchase anything at a 0% APR loan for 24 or 36 months through the Samsung Financing program.
If you order your Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G from the Samsung online store, you will also get this offer. Samsung will not charge you any interest on your purchase if you pay back within 24 to 36 months. However, Samsung financing has different terms in different countries. So, contact your local Samsung website for more information.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G has 25W fast charging technology. As a result, charging this phone does not take too much time.
However, fast charging degrades the battery quickly compared to slow charging. So, we suggest that if you purchase this phone, slow charge it overnight. It will improve your phone battery life.
S21 Ultra Supports Wireless Charging:
Galaxy S21 Ultra also supports both Qi and PMA 15W fast wireless charging.
Another great feature of Galaxy S21 Ultra is the 4.5W wireless PowerShare or reverse wireless charging. You can wirelessly charge another Qi-certified device by your S21 Ultra. It could be an iPhone, another Samsung phone, or Galaxy Buds.
Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G supports both a nano-SIM and an eSIM. The eSIM allows you to activate a cellular plan from your mobile carrier without using a physical nano-SIM. We can activate eSIM from our primary cellular carrier and install a nano-SIM from another cellular network.
This dual sim support in S21 Ultra is beneficial for business purposes. For example, we can use an eSIM for our primary phone number and use a removable nano-SIM for business purposes. Therefore, whenever we need to switch between business numbers, we can do it instantly.
If you purchase your Galaxy S21 Ultra from Samsung online shop, you have 15 days to return your phone for a full refund. If you are interested in the S21 Ultra, we suggest you buy this phone and use it for one week. If you think it’s not for you, you can return your phone for a full refund. Moreover, you can take advantage of the above mentioned Samsung financing offer while you buy your S21 Ultra.
The S21 Ultra comes with the Dolby Atmos surround sound functionality. With the Dolby Atmos, you can experience moving audio sounds that flow all around you. However, to experience this, you have to use a headphone.
SmartThings, Smart View:
If you have Samsung devices such as a Samsung smart fridge, TV, oven, dishwasher, Air conditioner, Samsung washing machine, Samsung dryer, etc., in your home. In that case, you can control those devices using your Galaxy S21 Ultra with SmartThings and SmartView app. For example, you can wirelessly cast your phone screen onto your Samsung TV through the SmartView app.
This feature helps to find nearby Samsung devices such as Samsung Galaxy SmartTag, Phones, Tablets, Watches, Earbuds, etc.
Samsung Find My Mobile:
Every Samsung phone has a handy feature named “Find My Mobile.” If someone steals your phone or you lose it, with the help of this feature, you can track your Galaxy phone online.
Moreover, you can remotely lock it and delete personal data. You can even use “Find My Mobile” to unlock your phone if you forget your pattern, PIN, or password. To learn more, please visit https://findmymobile.samsung.com/.
Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is a very secure phone. It’s perfect for the “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)” programs. Samsung Knox is integrated into this phone’s hardware and software. This multi-layered Knox security mechanism protects sensitive data from malware threats.
S21 Ultra 5G has “Always On Display”:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a useful feature – “Always On Display (AOD).” Using this feature, you can control music, watch time and date, view the calendar even when the screen is turned off. If enabled, the AOD will appear if you tap on the screen.
Does Always-On Display drain the battery? The answer is no. The Always-On Display does not drain battery because, in an LED, OLED, or Super AMOLED display, the display driver only turns on those pixels (LED) required to show text, image, or graphics related to AOD, while all other pixels (LED) turned off. Hence, It uses very little energy, and in our experiment on our Galaxy S21 Ultra, we found that it only uses 1% battery energy per hour.
To learn more about AOD, please click here – Does Always-On Display drain the battery?
If you order your phone online from the Samsung website, Samsung will ship you this Galaxy S21 Ultra free of charge.
Galaxy S21 Ultra is Water and Dust Resistant:
S21 Ultra 5G is IP68 rated, which means it is waterproof and dust resistant. This phone can stay under 1.5-meter deep water for up to 30 minutes.
Nevertheless, we ask you to be careful before you take your S21 Ultra to the sea beach. It’s because saltwater will damage your phone. Moreover, soapy water will damage the water seal on your phone. So, even though S21 Ultra is water and dustproof, don’t submerge your phone into water intentionally.
The S21 Ultra 5G has DEX support. With this, you can turn your phone into a trackpad for TV or PC, wirelessly connect to a monitor or TV for an enhanced multitasking experience such as browsing the web like a PC.
Link to Windows:
The S21 Ultra 5G also supports the “Link to Windows” feature. You can live-stream your phone’s screen to your PC, interact with your phone using a keyboard and mouse, see notifications, read and reply to messages, and interact with photos with “Link to Windows” functionality.
The Snapdragon Galaxy S21 Ultra has a built-in FM radio. The headphone cable works as the FM radio antenna.
Has a Fingerprint Sensor:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. This sensor is superior to the in-display optical sensor. We also like this type of sensor because the side-mounted or back-mounted sensors are awkward to use, in our opinion.
Galaxy S21 Ultra supports both the millimeter-wave(mmWave) and Sub6 5G bands.
Useful Apps and Features in Galaxy S21 Ultra:
In Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, there are many useful apps. The following features in Galaxy S21 Ultra are beneficial.
Every Samsung phone, including the Galaxy S21 Ultra, has the “Secure Folder” feature. You can use the secure folder to protect your private photos, messages, apps, contacts, files, etc., from being accessed by others. It’s a great way to save and protect sensitive data on your phone.
Scan QR Code:
S21 Ultra 5G has a built-in QR code scanning feature. From the notification panel, you can activate this feature.
In Galaxy S21 Ultra, there are many useful apps. Game Launcher is one of them. You can use the Game Launcher app to record your phone screen and system audio while you play an android game. A third-party screen recorder app can only record the phone screen, not system audio. So, this is very useful for YouTubers.
Built-in Screen Recorder:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra also has a built-in screen recorder app. So, you don’t need to install a 3rd party app to record your phone’s screen.
WiFi Direct Printing:
If you have a printer that supports WiFi, you can print anything from your S21 Ultra 5G phone without a WiFi router.
Galaxy S21 Ultra is perfect for kids. This phone has a parental control feature. While activated from settings, you can restrict access to apps and set their usage times. Moreover, you can also monitor daily usage time and activity history, including the history of frequently used contacts and browsing history. You need a PIN to deactivate “Samsung Kids” once it is enabled. So, don’t worry that your kid will disable it.
Data Usage Monitor:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with a built-in data usage monitor. It is a useful feature to keep track of data usage.
Don’t be surprised to read that many apps use data in the background, even if the phone screen is off. To test in a Samsung phone, Goto Settings -> Connections -> Data Usage -> Data Saver. Now tap on “Allow unrestricted data usage.” Now in the top right corner, click on “⋮” and click on “Sort by allowed apps.” Now click again on “⋮” and “Show system apps.” You will get all the apps that use your phone’s internet data in the background. If necessary, you can turn off data permissions for apps individually by switching the toggle button.
Cons of Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has numerous drawbacks. To become an informed buyer, please continue reading. The price of this phone is $1,200 before tax. So, before making this considerable investment, you deserve to know every drawback of this phone. Here are the main cons of S21 Ultra.
The biggest cons of the S21 Ultra 5G is its price. The 128GB versions cost $1199, whereas iPhone 12 Pro Max costs $1099. If you are a Samsung fan, S21 Ultra is the best phone you can buy now. However, If you are unsure about your purchase, we suggest you check out the 12 Pro Max.
Once, we used to be Apple haters. We used to think that those who use the iPhone do not know better. In our opinion, Samsung was the best phone money can buy.
However, when we first bought the iPhone X, our opinion changed. Nowadays, whenever an android phone and Apple phone have the same price, we always recommend purchasing the iPhone.
Problems with AMOLED Display:
At the start of this article, we said that Galaxy S21 Ultra has an AMOLED screen and praised it. However, the dynamic AMOLED screen has two drawbacks.
- One, AMOLED display loses its sharpness, crispiness, and vividness after a few years. The screen would look dull compared to a newly purchased S21 Ultra 5G phone’s screen.
- Second, the AMOLED display has a screen burn issue. It arises when someone uses a single app extensively — such as Google Maps — for a long time. This extended usage would leave a ghost watermark of the used app imprinted on the screen permanently.
Let’s talk about the processor:
Nowadays, many people claim that Samsung has improved its Exynos processor a lot, and its performance is comparable or sometimes exceeds that of the Qualcomm processor. During the comparison, people indicate the benchmark scores.
However, benchmark scores are not everything. There are several factors also we need to consider while we compare two processors. These are how long a processor can sustain its high performance before choking, how much energy its drawing, how much heat it’s generating, etc.
Over and over again, we have seen that Exynos processor phones generate more heat than Samsung’s Qualcomm processor phones. Even you can verify this test.
If you are in the US, China, and South Korea, you are lucky. You will get a Snapdragon processor-based Galaxy S21 Ultra. However, if you live outside of these countries, your phone will come with a Samsung Exynos processor.
Exynos processor has several issues. Here are a few:
- Exynos processor consumes more battery power to complete the same task.
- Exynos processors have heating issues.
- Exynos processor is weaker compared to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor.
We don’t like the fact that Samsung does not consider each of its customers equally. They think that US customers deserve a better phone, but a customer in India, the Middle East, or Africa deserves an inferior S21 Ultra while everyone pays the same price.
No more MST on Samsung Pay:
The S21 Ultra supports only the Near Field Communication (NFC) payment system. It no longer has the Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST).
The MST was awesome. We could use the Samsung Pay in stores even if they only had old fashioned standard credit card readers.
No S-Pen in the box:
Unfortunately, Galaxy S21 Ultra does not come with an S-Pen in the box. We have to buy the pen from Samsung for $40. The S21 Ultra does not have an S-Pen holder. So, we have to buy a phone case that can hold the S-Pen.
S21 Ultra 5G Battery is Non-Removable:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra battery is non-removable. It is a disadvantage because the removable battery is useful in many scenarios. An old phone loses its battery capacity. So, it charges slowly but discharges rapidly, making the phone unusable for a practical purpose.
Moreover, if Samsung OS detects the battery has become weak, it will slow down the processor to protect the battery from further deterioration. The slow processor will make a Samsung phone laggy. It is why an old Samsung phone lags and hangs.
Replacing the old battery with a new one will solve all these problems. But, the S21 Ultra battery is non-removable. So, when your Galaxy S21 Ultra phone gets old and becomes slow, you have to replace the phone itself.
5G battery consumption:
Samsung claims that even on 5G, S21 Ultra will last for 24 hours. Unfortunately, we found that S21 Ultra does not last the whole day on 5G. It’s because 5G consumes a lot of power.
On the iPhone, iOS automatically switches between 5G and 4G depending on data usage. For example, if we are browsing a website, the iPhone will use a 4G network to save battery power. But when we initiate a large download, the iPhone will switch to 5G, download the file, and switch back to 4G. However, iOS will show the 5G logo all this time even though we are not on the 5G network. It’s a brilliant solution.
However, Samsung S21 Ultra does not have this type of intelligent 5G implementation. It’s similar to GPS. On the iPhone, we don’t need to turn off GPS. Depending on apps, iOS will turn off and turn on GPS. Whereas, Samsung S21 Ultra does not have this type of feature.
No Expandable Storage:
Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G does not have an expandable memory slot. Therefore, we can’t expand the storage capacity. Furthermore, this phone comes only with 128GB, 256GB or 512GB storage options. There is no 1TB version.
As we mentioned earlier, this phone can record 4K and 8K video. A few hours of 8K video will fill up the internal storage. So, even the 512GB internal storage is not enough for 8K video recording.
Samsung Phone Becomes Hot:
Samsung phones overheat quickly. For the last ten years, Samsung failed to fix the phone overheating issue. Samsung acts like this issue does not exist.
If you play any video game, run YouTube, Netflix, or run an app that uses a lot of processing power — such as a video editor — the phone would become so hot that it would be impossible to hold it in hand. When the phone overheats, your phone will become slow and laggy. Furthermore, your Galaxy S21 Ultra can also overheat while you record a 4k or 8k video with the phone cameras.
Though I love Samsung Phones, I’m not too fond of their software. Samsung always ships its phone with a lot of bloatware pre-installed. Galaxy S21 Ultra is not different either. This Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with more than 50 preloaded apps. There are several duplicate apps too.
You may think it’s not a big deal for your S21 Ultra because you have plenty of remaining storage capacity left for you. But the problem with pre-installed bloatware is that those apps have some root permission to access your user data that 3rd party apps don’t have.
Moreover, A pre-installed app can run several processes in the background, which you will never be able to detect. For example, the Facebook app runs several processes in the background that consumes a lot of battery and processing power. It not only limits the battery but also prevents other apps from running smoothly, such as Maps. It is why Google maps crashes if you have Facebook installed.
Pre-installed Microsoft Bloatware:
Samsung preloads every Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G with the following Microsoft apps.
- Office Mobile
- Microsoft One Drive
- Microsoft Outlook
3rd Party Bloatware:
Samsung ships every Galaxy S21 Ultra phone with the following 3rd party Apps. (varies depending on carrier and country)
- Wego Flights & Hotels
Duplicate Apps in Galaxy S21 Ultra:
Samsung is infamous for shipping its phone with duplicate apps. Galaxy S21 Ultra is not an exception, either. The following are similar apps in a Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Duplicate App Store:
- Google Play Store
- Galaxy Store
Duplicate Music App:
- YT Music
- Google Chrome
- Google (Search)
- Samsung Internet
Duplicate Online Storage:
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
Numerous Email Client:
- Samsung Email
- Microsoft Outlook
Duplicate Payment System:
- Google Pay
- Samsung Pay
Unnecessary Pre-installed Apps:
There are apps on Galaxy S21 Ultra, which are not necessary at all times. It could be beneficial for some, but not for all people. Moreover, anyone can download these apps from the App store. So, there’s no point in pre-installing the following apps.
LinkedIn, Booking.com, Facebook, Dictionary, Chat Over Video, Galaxy Friends, Spotify, Wego Flights, Netflix, Samsung Member, Samsung Global Goals, Samsung Notes, Galaxy Wearables, Google Search, Outlook, Play Movie & TV, Duo, YouTube, Google Photos.
If you buy an unlocked Galaxy S21 Ultra, then you are lucky. Because if you buy an S21 Ultra through a carrier, those phones will carry even more bloatware.
For example, an AT&T S21 Ultra has the following AT&T apps pre-installed:
- Advanced Messaging (IPME W2),
- Amazon Shop,
- AT&T Call Protect with Sponsored Business ID,
- AT&T Messages Backup & Sync,
- AT&T Mobile Security,
- AT&T Personal Cloud,
- AT&T Pro Tech,
- AT&T Smart WiFi,
- AT&T TV,
- Bleacher Report,
- Bleacher Report Live,
- Browser Landing Page,
- DC Universe,
- Device Help,
- DIRECTV (DTVe),
- Entertainment Widget,
- Facebook App Installer,
- Facebook App Manager,
- Game of Thrones: Conquest,
- Golf Clash,
- Great Big Story,
- HBO Max,
- Mobile Key,
- Mobile Services Manager,
- Native Visual Voicemail,
- Pluto TV,
- Real-Time Text (RTT),
- Remote support,
- Setup & Transfer,
- The CW Network,
- Video Call (IR94),
- WiFi Calling with FirstNet,
- Wizarding World
We don’t know about you, but we are laughing, looking at the S21 Ultra bloatware list. Compare this with an iPhone, which comes with zero bloatware, zero 3rd party apps, and zero carrier pre-installed apps.
No Extended Software Update:
Apple provides regular software updates to all of its iPhone. They never abandon their phones. But Samsung stops giving any software update after only 24 months of release. So, after only 24 months, you will not receive any OS update for your Galaxy S21 Ultra.
No Headphones in the Box:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra does not come with headphones in the box. Moreover, it does not have any 3.5mm headphone jack port. So, you won’t be able to listen to music and charge your phone unless you use wireless headphones.
No phone charger:
Samsung does not provide any charger with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. You have to buy either a USB C charger or a wireless charger.
In 2020, when Apple announced that they would no longer give a charger in the box, Samsung mocked Apple in various ads. Now, look what Samsung is doing.
It’s hypocritical for Samsung to criticize Apple for the same things they do all the time. Samsung did this before. Samsung used to criticize Apple for not having any external SD card support or for the non-removable battery. But now, Samsung adopted those same things that Apple did years ago.
Moreover, we also mentioned that Samsung would no longer provide headphones. Samsung also criticized Apple for not providing a headphone with the iPhone.
Samsung, if you are reading this, please don’t criticize Apple for the same things you do. It looks petty. We can guarantee that Apple will remove the lighting port on the next iPhone, and Samsung will criticize them for it. However, on the next flagship phone, Samsung will also follow Apple’s footsteps.
Phones 4K or 8K video is awful:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has good cameras and can record 4k and 8k video. However, a 4k/8k video recorded on phones is inferior compared to 4k videos recorded in a DSLR camera.
Moreover, S21 Ultra cameras are gyro-stabilized. Though this gyro-stabilization is useful for taking pictures, it is terrible for capturing video while you walk. The mobile gyro will fail to stabilize the camera on every footstep, especially while recording in 4k or 8k. We have tested it, and we were disappointed.
Samsung is terrible at software. Bixby is the prime example. Most of the time, it does not work. Moreover, Android Assistant is far superior to Bixby. Still, Samsung ships this unnecessary software with every phone.
Long Term Performance:
We all know that Samsung phones don’t last long. A new Galaxy S21 Ultra will operate smoothly. But after only a few years, this S21 Ultra will become very slow and laggy. From our experience, after 48 months, Samsung becomes entirely unusable.
Most of the tech reviewers don’t use phones for a long time. They review more than 20 phones a year, and they don’t use a smartphone continuously for more than a few months.
But as a user, we don’t replace our primary smartphone every few years. Sometimes, we use a phone for more than four years. The problem with the Samsung phone is, they become slow and laggy after 2 to 3 years. It’s disappointing.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Pros vs. Cons Table:
|6.8 inch AMOLED 120Hz 1500 nits display||No S-Pen in the box|
|12GB or 16GB RAM||No external SD card support.|
|512GB internal storage options||No headphone in the box|
|eSIM support||No phone charger in the box|
|IP68 rated Waterproof and Dustproof||Non-removable battery|
|MHL support||Except for the US, China, and South Korea, S21 Ultra comes with the Exynos Processor.|
|OTG support||No extended software updates|
|DEX support||Samsung phones overheats|
|Excellent cameras||No 3.5mm headphone port|
|Qi/PMA wireless charging|
|Reverse wireless charging|
|25W fast charging|
|$100 store credit|
|Highest trade-in value in the industry|
It’s your money, your decision. We know everyone’s personal preferences are different. However, if I were you, I would have bought the iPhone 12 Pro Max instead of the Galaxy S21 Ultra.