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16th Mar 2021

Hands on with the Samsung S21 Ultra

Rory Cashin

If you use your phone for taking photos and making videos more than anything else, then this might be the one for you.

If you’re anything like us, then you’re already looking at your contract for your current phone, logistically working out how much longer is left before you need to re-up, and what your next phone purchase should be.

Also, if you’re anything like us, then one of the primary uses for your phone is to take the best photos and videos imaginable, the kinda of no-editing-necessary pics and vids that will light up everyone else’s Insta-feeds with your obvious photographic talents.

If they both sound like you, then continue reading our review of the Samsung S21 Ultra…


Gorgeous. Simply… gorgeous. But also, initially, alarmingly heavy. There is heftiness to this phone that lets you know immediately there this A LOT going on inside. The back of the phone has a beautiful Phantom Titanium finish that gives a sleek-but-not-reflective cover. The epic 6.8-inch display feels a little overwhelming at the beginning, especially when you become sure you’ll need to text two-handed, but somehow it all works out just fine. Yes, it is a BIG phone, but it never feels excessive.


You will immediately spot the hive of five cameras tucked away in the back corner of the phone, and without getting too far down into the nitty-gritty, the camera on this phone is insanely good. Literally holding the camera app open on this phone side-by-side with my own high-end phone camera app, the difference was immediate and obvious. The Samsung’s camera picks up so much more natural light, and delves deeper into detail on pretty much every level.


A lot of the features weigh back into that impressive camera, which includes 8K video recording, a 108MP wide-angle camera, 10MP telephoto camera, and loads more.

There is also the increased-speed processor, which promises much faster reactions to commands and being capable of handling more simultaneous actions than before. We never noticed even a moment of lag during usage, so it is obvious they’ve pushed this phone to the edge in terms of tech abilities.

The phone also possesses a lot of in-built memory, so you’ll be able to hold on to a lot more of your photos, videos, and games on the device itself, should you want to.


The phone arrived only with a USB-C cable, and no plug or USB adaptor, so unless you’ve got a USB-C capable plug or (as was my case) a PS5 with a USB-C port, you’ll need to buy additional items just to charge your phone. Once you’ve that sorted, you’ll get your phone up to at least 50% charge after just 30 minutes of charging, and a full battery will last over 24 hours of active use. The phone itself can also be used as a wireless charge for your headphones, watch, or a second phone, if needs be.


Yeah, the big question. If you get the top-of-the-range S21 Ultra, then you’re looking at €1,299. The lower-range S21 version starts at €879 on the Samsung Store, so even that is a sold chunk of change. If you’re looking to get a phone with a camera that effectively blows the competition out of the water, then we can’t recommend this enough.

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