Why choose the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G?
Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is the company's top-of-the-range, in fact Samsung calls it the 'The Ultimate Smartphone'. As well as being 5G capable, it comes with a brand new central processing unit (CPU), facial and fingerprint recognition, a 108 megapixel wide angle camera, and is capable of 8K video recording. This guide will give you the details.
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G compatibility
- Size, battery, design and colours
- Samsung Exynos 2100 Octa-Core CPU
- 8K video camera system
- AMOLED display
- Memory, headphones, charger, and the S Pen
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G compatibility
As the top-of-the-range Samsung phone, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is fully 5G compatible out of the box. Of course, this means that you have to make sure that your network provider also offers 5G coverage. If so, make sure that your current SIM can cope with 5G. It's also a good idea to see if the areas in which you're going to use your Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is covered by 5G. You can usually do this with your network provider's help online using its 'network coverage' page.
Size, battery, design and colours
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is 75.6mm wide, 165.1mm tall, 8.9mm deep and it weighs in at 228 grams. This makes it slightly taller and heavier than its nearest competition, Apple’s iPhone 12 Max Pro smartphone, but not by much.
The fact that the The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G uses the brand new Exynos 2100 Octa(8)-Core CPU, its fastest yet, means that its battery is getting extra work to do. It's good news then that Samsung has gone with the most powerful battery in the S21 range: a powerful 5000mAh.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is also a good looking phone. It has curved glass front and back that uses Gorilla Glass Victus, a tough product with enough strength to stand up to everyday knocks and drops. The biggest change you'll notice from the S20 series, however, is that while the S21 Ultra's rear-facing camera array is raised, it is also integrated into the casing rather than looking as if it has been stuck on.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G currently comes in two colours: Phantom Black, and Phantom Silver. However, Brown, Navy Blue, and Titanium S21 Ultra are expected to join that line-up.
Samsung Exynos 2100 Octa-Core CPU
In terms of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G's central processing unit (CPU) there's some confusion over whether it uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 or Samsung's own Exynos 2100 Octa-Core CPU. In the UK, it's the Exynos 2100 Octa-Core CPU.
As the name suggests this brand new chip – which is at the heart of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G – this has eight 'cores' that do the work. It is a fast 2.9GHz processor that, according to Samsung, provides 10 percent greater performance than its predecessor, with 20 percent lower power consumption.
The Samsung Exynos 2100 works with a separate graphics processor unit (GPU) and also a three-core Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that handles the phones learning and AI possibilities. The Exynos 2100 also allows up to 200 megapixel resolution for the onboard cameras.
8K video camera system
Samsung is making a very big deal about the Galaxy S21 Ultra's cameras saying that the phone delivers the most advanced pro-grade camera system available on the market. The phone also comes with a suit of editing software using its NPU (Neural Processing Unit) to provide AI-powered features to make photos and 8K-quality videos more professional looking.
As for the cameras themselves: the four-camera, rear-facing array comes with ultra-wide, wide and dual tele-lenses and a 108 megapixel pro sensor. These will enable 12-bit HDR photos with 64 times richer colour data for more intense images, and more than three times wider dynamic range. In terms of video, for the first time on any Samsung Galaxy smartphone the Galaxy S21 Ultra provides the ability to shoot 4K video at a rapid and smooth 60 frames per second. When it comes to zoom, there's 100x Space Zoom powered by Samsung’s first-ever Dual-telephoto lens system. The camera features one 3x optical, and one staggeringly long 10x optical zoom, both equipped with Dual Pixel(2PD) auto-focus.
Both front and back cameras make use of the improved Bright Night sensor that is said to be the company's biggest leap yet in low-light photography. The selfie camera (front-facing) is small, pinhole in the centre of the top of the screen. It is a 40 megapixel f/2.2 unit.
Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display
The Samsung Galaxy 21 Ultra comes with a large, 6.8 inch, Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) 2x display. Its resolution goes up to a whopping 120Hz with a 1440p adaptive refresh rate. Being adaptive means that the screen will auto-shift to the optimum screen resolution for the activity or app you're using your Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G for.
The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass in its Victus range. According to the manufacturers this is the most durable glass it's produced to date.
Memory, headphones, charger, and the S Pen
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G comes loaded with three storage configurations: 512GB, 256GB, 128GB. Bear in mind that the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G has no microSD slot, which means there is nowhere for a memory upgrade, so the memory you decide on is the memory you get.
You should also be aware that there is no charger in the box. What the Samsung S21 Ultra does come with is a USB-C socket. This is a widely available standard socket that you can use for charging your phone using a compatible cable and charging brick or suitable plug.
As for headphones, if you don't already own a pair of Bluetooth headphones, you will need to get some because the Samsung S21 Ultra has no headphone socket for standard 3.5mm headphone cables.
The Samsung S21 Ultra is, for the first time in a Samsung phone, compatible with the Samsung 'S' Pen. This stylus has previously been available to people with Samsung Galaxy Notes (and some Galaxy Tabs). You won't get an S Pen in the Samsung S21 Ultra's box however, as you need to purchase one separately.
Frequently asked questions
Is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G phone any good?
Sitting at the top of Samsung's range of Galaxy phones, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G has a very great deal to offer as you would expect from a premium budget phone. The AMOLED display that adapts to the app you're using, the S Pen compatibility, the 8K video capacity as well as a new look and feel all point towards a very good unit indeed. Bear in mind that it doesn't come with a charger or a standard headphone socket, but that this is rapidly becoming standard in the smartphone market.
What colours does the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G come in?
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G was launched with two colours to choose from: Phantom Black, and Phantom Silver. However, Brown, Navy Blue, and Titanium S21 Ultra are expected to join that line-up.
Is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G capable?
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is, as the name suggests, compatible with the 5G network. However, you will need to make sure that not only is your network provider offering 5G but that you current SIM is also 5G-compatible.
Do I get a charging block with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G?
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G doesn't come with a charging block. It does come with an industry-standard USB Type C socket, however. If you're upgrading from an older Galaxy S20, Note, Galaxy A71, Z Fold 2, or Note 10 series phone you can make use of your superfast-charging block. If not, you can buy a new charger separately.
Can I use my wired headphones with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G doesn't come with a standard 3.5mm headphone socket. Instead you get a standard USB-C socket. So, if you already have a USB-C to 3.5mm jack adaptor, then you can still use your wired headphones. However, it could be time to get yourself a set of Bluetooth, wireless headphones.
Can I connect Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G to my TV?
Yes, you can. You'll need a TV that has Chromecast either built-in or available via a Chromecast accessory. Both the TV and your Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G must be on the same wireless network. And you must be using a Chromecast-enabled app on your Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.
Can I get Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G SIM-free?
Yes. Samsung makes sure to be in a wide-range of smartphone suppliers on the high street and online. Getting a SIM-free deal for a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is not difficult to do.
Can I buy refurbished Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G phones?
At the time of writing the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is the very top of Samsung's smartphone range and in high demand. However, this means that you're more likely to be able to get hold of refurbished Galaxy S20s.
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