Phone Comparisons

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Review

Samsung recently released the Samsung Galaxy S22, but its prior model, the Galaxy S21 Ultra, is still a top option and preferred by many. Let’s break down the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in a detailed review.

By the end, you'll know whether this smartphone is a good pick for you or your family.

Galaxy S21 Ultra Quick Overview

The Galaxy S21 Ultra was one of the best Android phones throughout all of 2021, and it's still a major contender for the title in 2022. It has a big screen, a responsive interface, and a high price tag that unfortunately separates it from budget-friendly phones for first-time shoppers or kids.

Galaxy S21 Ultra Bottom Line

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a powerful and high-quality camera with a phenomenal camera set, S Pen support, and a stellar display that makes viewing media or scrolling through social media content enjoyable and smooth.

What’s the Cost of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra?

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra costs a whopping $1199 to start. For context, that’s more than $100 than an iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Who is the Galaxy S21 Ultra Best For?

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is a good choice for folks looking for a primary phone that can do it all. It's not the best pick for kids or those looking for an affordable, budget-friendly device.

Breaking Down the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in 2022

To determine whether the Galaxy S21 Ultra is right for you, let’s break down its specs and details.

Galaxy S21 Ultra Dimensions

For starters, the Galaxy S21 Ultra features a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with 3200 x 1400 resolution. Refresh rates range from 10 Hz to 120 Hz.

The phone overall is 6.5 x 2.97 x 0.35," and it weighs a little over 8 ounces. Thus, it's a little heavy for comparable phones in the same price range but not so large that you might have difficulty handling it.

Galaxy S21 Ultra Colors

Carriers currently offer the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in just two different colors:

  • Phantom black
  • Phantom silver

These aren’t the flashiest on the market, but you can always supplement your phone with an exterior case.

Galaxy S21 Ultra Battery Life

With a 5000 mAh battery, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra’s battery life clocks in at about 11 ½ hours on average. However, if you use the adaptive power setting, you’ll see closer to 10 hours and seven seconds for faster performance.

Galaxy S21 Ultra Cost

Once more, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is about $1200 from most carriers. You might be able to find it for slightly cheaper use, but new condition phones are far superior. Even though the S22 has already been released, the Galaxy S21 Ultra isn’t significantly cheaper quite yet.

Other Galaxy S21 Ultra Features

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is also one of the best Android phones on the market for its various features. For example, it supports the S Pen (and, in fact, it’s the first Galaxy S series phone to do so).

It also features a pretty good 108 MP camera and a Gorilla Glass back rather than plastic. That means the phone looks and feels solid and phenomenal even if you decide to forgo a secondary case.

The fingerprint sensor makes accessing the phone quick and simple, and its fast-charging rate works well with the 5,000 mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: Pros

Clearly, there’s a lot to like about the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, aside from the fact that it’s ready for 5G. Let’s take a look at its major benefits one by one.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Has a Gorgeous Display

For starters, the display is phenomenal through and through. It's a nearly 7-inch AMOLED display with a whopping 3200 x 1400 P resolution. That means you should be able to watch any media in exceptional color and detail.

It also can go to 120 Hz for its refresh rate. This is partially due to the QualcommSnapdragon 888chipset. Note that this isn't a guarantee; sometimes, the refresh rate can get down to as low as 10 Hz. Still, you should find that surfing social media or watching Netflix is smooth more often than not.

Note that the high performance impacts other elements of this device’s functionality, such as its Bluetoothconnectivity, its wireless charging speed, and more. All in all, it’s a major upgrade to the Galaxy Note 20 and the previous model, the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Of course, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s display is a little better.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Has Solid Battery Life

The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a pretty good battery life for comparable phones in the same price and specification range. 11 ½ hours isn’t the absolute best on the market, but it is enough to let you enjoy your phone or use it for whatever you need without having to worry about running out of power at an inopportune moment.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Has an Incredible Camera

The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s cameras are awesome. It starts with a 108-megapixel wide rear camera, followed by a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 10-megapixel telephoto camera. There's also another 10-megapixel rear telephoto camera plus a laser AF sensor for capturing additional detail and object specificity.

The selfie camera setting is also a nice touch, as are the camera tools and tweakable controls, such as night mode, autofocus, and more.

The front camera is also nothing to sneeze at. It's a 40-megapixel camera, and the entire suite combined allows you to take selfies or photos in practically any light environment without fail.

Samsung Galaxy S21: 3 Cons

That all said, there are a few downsides to keep in mind before pulling the trigger on this pricey phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Has a High Price Tag

First of those is the price tag for the handset, which is high for the rest of the Galaxy S21 series. At $1199, this is definitely no cheap phone and is better for phone shoppers for whom price is no object.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Has a Clunky Build

Secondly, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is not the sleekest or most streamlined phone on the market. For some reason, you can't use the built-in pen as a remote control like you can with phones like the Note 20 Ultra.

Furthermore, the 8-ounce weight is a little noticeable compared to many other phones that are between 6 and 7 ounces on average.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra’s Accessories are Sold Separately

Most of the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s accessories are completely sold separately. That's a major downside, given the initial asking price for the phone itself. This includes the S Pen, the phone charger, and an optional microSD card.

It’s an odd choice given that the phone comes with a USB-C port and compatibility with a variety of devices.

Should You Buy the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra?

At the end of the day, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a phenomenal Android phone from start to finish. While it might be a bit pricey, it provides top-tier performance, great streaming capabilities, an excellent display, and one of the best front and rear camera setups ever. Definitely consider this if you want a top-of-the-line smartphone from last year.

Of course, you’ll also need a great cellular service plan to go with your Samsung Galaxy S21. That means you should use Navi: a one-stop-shop for browsing and selecting from dozens of different phone plans.

Our plan navigator service makes it easy for you to browse through tons of different cellular service plans, so check it out today!


What Is Refresh Rate and Why Is It Important? | Intel

What is the meaning of the “mAh” on my rechargeable batteries? | Panasonic Batteries

What Is An AMOLED Display | HP® Tech Takes

Want the best deal on a new phone or plan?

Find and compare offers from top providers, all in one place.

Search Deals