Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G hands-on: Is it still hot and worth buying?

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G was released in January 2021 with One UI 3.1 based on Android 11. This premium flagship from last year has since received a major update to One UI 4 based on Android 12. Considering its top-end specs, this makes it a very up-to-date smartphone in 2022.

I picked up a unit yesterday and spent some time handling it to see how compelling a device it is today. As is known of Samsung flagships, when you pick this one up, there is no question about the fact that you are holding a high-end device. Every bit of its body screams premium. The display is smooth and bright and clear. And performance is buttery smooth.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

Visually, you will not be able to tell much of a difference between Android 11 and Android 12 on the S21+, because the idea behind the One UI custom user interface is to keep a uniform appearance. Bummer, as I find Android 12 visually appealing. As there is no 5G service available here, I was unable to test it with a 5G network.

In all, Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G feels very much like a smartphone I would still use today in 2022. Let’s have a look at the specifications and answers to some key questions below.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ Specs

  • Display: 6.7″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1300 nits (peak), 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio; Always-on display, Gorilla Glass Victus.
  • Body: Glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus), aluminium frame; IP68 dust/water-resistant (up to 1.5 m for 30 minutes).
  • OS/Software: Android 11, One UI 3.1 (at launch). It has since received the update to One UI 4.1 based on Android 12.
  • Chipset (International): Exynos 2100: Octa-core (1×2.9 GHz Cortex-X1 & 3×2.80 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G78 MP14.
  • Chipset (USA/China): Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 (5 nm): Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680; Adreno 660.
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM + 128 GB ROM / 8 GB RAM + 256 GB (UFS 3.1).
  • Rear camera: 12 MP wide-angle with OIS + 12 MP Ultra wide angle with Super Steady video + 64 MP Telephoto lens with OIS, 1.1x optical zoom, and 3x hybrid zoom. 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+, stereo sound recording, gyro-EIS, video recording.
  • Front camera: 10 MP. 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps video recording.
  • Fingerprint reader: Ultrasonic in-display
  • Battery capacity: 4800mAh;
  • Charging: 25W fast charging. USB Power Delivery 3.0. 15W Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging. 4.5W Reverse wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G Hands-on Photos

Here are a few hands-on photos of the Samsung S21+ 5G for your delight.

Samsung Galaxy S21 locked screen
samsung galaxy s21 plus recent apps
samsung galaxy s21 plus top view

Frequently Asked Questions About Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

What’s the difference between S21 and S21+?

Display size is the most prominent difference between these two smartphones. Another is in battery capacity: the S21 has a 4000mAh battery, while the S21+ has a 4800mAh battery capacity. Lastly, the S21+ has 5G ultra-wideband, which the S21 does not have. Pretty much everything else about the two phones are the same.

Is the Galaxy S21 the same size as the S21 Plus?

No; they are not the same size. The S21+ is bigger than the S21.

What does S21 Plus have that S21 doesn’t?

5G ultra-wideband. Apart from that, the two phones have similar features, with the S21 Plus having some of them in bigger sizes or numbers.

Which is better S21 Plus vs S21 Ultra?

This is a difficult question. Performance and features are similar, but the S21 is smaller. If you want your smartphone compact, the Galaxy S21 is what you want. The S21 Plus is bigger, offers better battery life, and ultra-wideband, if that is important to you.

Is Samsung S21 Plus waterproof?

If you are hoping that Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus is waterproof, you are in luck; it is. It has an IP68 rating, which means that it will survive being submerged in water up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes.

Is Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus worth buying?

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus is a premium flagship with impressive specs and performance. Even a year after launch, it is still a compelling smartphone to spend your money on, especially as the price has now dropped in many places.

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By Mister Mobility

I have been tech blogging since 2003, I have owned and reviewed hundreds of smartphones since my first in 2001.

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