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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G First Impressions

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We just got our hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G and here are our first impressions of the new flagship smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G First Impressions
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G in Phantom Silver

Samsung kickstarts 2021 by announcing the company's new flagship S21 series of smartphones. We were able to get our hands on all three models and in this article, we will be sharing our first glimpse of the new S21 Ultra 5G. If you are interested in reading about the S21 and S21+, you can read them at this link.

The S21 series comes with the recently announced 5nm Samsung Exynos 2100 5G SoC or the 5nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (in the US, South Korea, and China), 12GB/16GB RAM, 256GB/512GB of storage, 5,000mAh battery, 45W Wired charging, Qi Wireless charging, Wireless Power Share, stereo speakers, and will run on OneUI 3 based Android 11 out of the box.

In the Philippines, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G 12GB/256GB for PHP 69,990 and is up for pre-order from January 15 to 28, 2021.

Let's dive in!

Build Quality/Design

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is made with a metal frame, a glass front panel, and a frosted glass back panel that makes it look and feel premium while reducing fingerprint smudges.

Way better-looking than S20 Ultra's conservative style!

On the top left side of both phones is the quad-rear camera set-up with the LED flash and laser autofocus on the side. Samsung has changed the design and look of the camera module of the S21 series by using making the metal frame extend and continue to the camera module's brushed metal surface.

In the Philippines, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G comes in 12GB/256GB and 16GB/512GB variants.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

In front of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is the massive 6.8-inch curved Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with QHD+ resolution or 2400 X 1440p and adaptive variable 10 to 120Hz refresh rate.  This means that the display will adjust the refresh rate from 10 to 120Hz depending on the user's current usage to save battery.

On the top middle area is a punch hole that houses the 40MP selfie camera with Dual Pixel.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G top and bottom

On top of the phone are antenna lines and two microphone ports while at the bottom of the phone are antenna lines, speaker grill, USB Type-C port, microphone port, and SIM tray.

There is no 3.5mm headphone jack and the SIM tray can only house two nano-SIMs. This is a huge change that we had not seen from Samsung for several years now. To compensate for the lack of a microSD card slot, Samsung is now offering the S21 series with a base model of 256GB and the S21 Ultra 5G is available in the 12GB/512GB variant in the Philippines.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G left and right side

On the left side of the phone are more antenna lines while on the right side are more antenna lines, the power button, and the volume rocker.

Both the power button and volume rocker are made of metal and have a premium feeling tactile feedback.

The S21 Ultra 5G's body measures only 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm and weighs only ay 228 grams.

In the Philippines, the S21 Ultra 5G will come in Phantom Silver and Phantom Black.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G's Camera app

At the back of the S21 Ultra 5G is the quad-camera module that is made up of a 108MP f/1.8 main camera, 12MP f/2.2 120-degree ultra-wide camera, 10MP f/2.4 3x Telephoto, 10MP f/4.9 10x telephoto, Laser AF and LED flash. While in front is the aforementioned is the 40MP selfie camera.

Running the show is Android 11-based One UI 3.1 with the camera app with Photo, Video, Pro, Night, Macro, Portrait, and more. Samsung has rebranded its Live Focus mode to Portrait.

The rear camera can take videos at up to 8K without stabilization and 4k 60fps with stabilization while the front-facing camera can take up to 4K 60fps video.
S Pen compatibility arrives on the S21 Ultra 5G

First S Pen on a Galaxy S flagship

Other features include S Pen compatibility, Wi-Fi 6E, IP68 water, and dust resistance rating, stereo speakers, and Samsung DeX and Ultra-Wide Band.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Specs

Display: 6.8-inch  2.5D curved Gorilla Glass Victus protected Dynamic AMOLED 2X 120Hz screen w/ QHD+ 3200 x 1440 resolution at 516 ppi
CPU: 2.9GHz 5nm EUV Exynos 2100 5G octa-core processor
GPU: Mali-G78 MP14
RAM: 12GB/16GB LPDDR5
ROM: 256GB/512GB UFS 3.1
Back Camera: 108MP f/1.8 w/ Laser AF, OIS + 12MP f/2.2 120-degree ultra-wide-angle + 10MP f/2.4 3x Telephoto w/ Dual Pixel, OIS + 10MP f/4.9 10x telephoto w/ Laser AF, OIS + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 40MP f/2.2 w/ Dual Pixel
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, reverse wireless charging
OS: Android 11 w/ One UI 3.1
Connectivity: WiFi 6E, 5G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.1, UWB, MST, OTG, NFC, dual-band GPS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, pressure, heart rate
Others: Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, face unlock, IP68 water and dust resistance, USB-C, UHQ 32-bit/DSD audio support, AKG stereo speakers, Colors: Phantom Silver, Phantom Black
Dimensions: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm
Weight: 228 g
Price: PHP 69,990 (12GB/128GB), PHP 79,990 (16GB/512GB)

As of the moment

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G with Buds Pro and SmartTags

Our first impressions of the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is great. This handset comes with the beastliest specs among the three new Galaxy S21 phones.

It now comes with a more powerful 5nm SoC with 5G and more memory (starts at 12GB/256GB). The display has been upgraded to a QHD+ that goes up to a 120Hz refresh rate.

And that is just some of the changes inside, the design and build quality is a huge leap from the somewhat basic look of the S20 Ultra. It builds upon the design on the Note20 Ultra 5G and adds another level of elegance with the matte black and the pink and teal tint from the Phantom Silver.

Our only gripe is the removal of the microSD card slot and the box included charging brick while retaining the price of the S20 Ultra at launch.

Again, for those who are interested, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G and the rest of the S21 series will be available for pre-order from January 15 to January 28, 2021.

Stay tuned for our full review.

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