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Samsung Galaxy S21: A Great Compact Phone For 2021 [Showcase]

Samsung Galaxy S21: A Great Compact Phone For 2021 [Showcase]

It’s a great device if you don’t want a big phone but still want that big phone power.

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For 2021, Samsung has come out with three different variants in the Galaxy S line-up – the S21, S21+ and the S21 Ultra – all of which are 5G-capable.

But moving away from the giant glass sandwich desings of last year, the S21 (non + and non Ultra) is a sleek, compact and pocketable phone with a metal finish and a comfortable plastic back.

The full line-up
Credit: Samsung Malaysia

It’s been a week or so since I started using the latest S21 as my daily driver and here are my thoughts about their newest flagship-ish phone and who should get this device.

A Compact Powerhouse

Coming from someone who owns and uses a Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, which has a 6.8 inch screen, the S21’s smaller size felt really good to use. So much so that I’m contemplating getting a smaller phone the next time round.

If you’re thinking of upgrading right now though, the S21 is the phone to buy if you care about using your phone with one hand. With a screen size of 6.2 inches, it’s a much more compact phone compared to its other siblings, the S21+ (6.8 inches) and the S21 Ultra (6.8 inches).

It runs on the same processor as the bigger S21 Ultra and has the same 120hz refresh rate, and even though the phone is somewhat small, Samsung has put a 4,000 mAh battery inside the S21 which should be able to last you for a day, if you’re doing some web browsing, watching some videos on YouTube and scrolling through social media.

I personally think that the phone was meant for a different type of audience who want the latest specs but still want it to be pocketable. If you’re the type of person who prefers phone to be more human-sized, this might be the one for you.

The S21 comes in four colours – Phantom Violet, Phantom Gray, Phantom White and Phantom Pink
Credit: Samsung

If you want a phone with a capable camera

It might not have fancy cameras like the S21 Ultra’s 108 megapixel sensor, but the S21 is still a capable phone with a triple camera setup similar to the S21+ and it can even shoot 8k videos.

After some testing, I’ve noticed that the 64 megapixel sensor should be the go-to option if you just want to use it to point-and-shoot but Samsung does allow users to tweak with the settings if you want to fiddle around with the ISO and shutter speeds.

The only downside of using the 64MP camera is the size of the photos which might take up a lot of storage in your phone and you can’t upgrade the on-board memory using an SD card.

In terms of the pictures, they do have a bit of punchy contrast to them which is great if you like taking photos of flowers because the colours will pop.

As for the front camera, it does the job well and I appreciate the fact that it doesn’t over-smoothen your face – making the pictures look a bit more natural.

In case you want to look at the pictures, we have some samples taken from the S21 camera.

Credit: TRP

If you want a gaming phone

Although not marketed as a gaming phone, the Samsung Galaxy S21 does have the capabilities of playing graphic intensive mobile games without breaking a sweat.

I noticed that the gaming experience was relatively smooth when playing Call Of Duty Mobile with no noticeable hiccups.

As with other phones, using your phone to game might affect battery life but Samsung has also equipped this bad boy with super fast charging – a handy feature to quickly top up the 4000mAh battery.

Gaming actually looks good on this

A few things to consider before jumping in

While this is a great phone, if you already own a Samsung Galaxy S20, you might want to skip this one as both phones have relatively similar specs (same camera, screen size) with the only difference being the S21 having a newer chipset.

Another thing to point out is the lack of Micro SD support, which is present in last year’s model. So, if you’re a user that likes to use expandable storage, then it might be best to keep that in mind if you want to upgrade to this phone.

Credit: TRP

But it’s a good all-round phone

The Galaxy S21 is a solid package if you just want a smartphone that works as it can game, take good photos and has a good battery life.

Although yes, it might not be the very tippy top smartphone that Samsung is offering right now (that now belongs to the S21 Ultra), but if you’re looking for a phone that works, this is one to consider especially if you have an older Android phone and are looking to upgrade.


For a future-proof 5G phone, the S21 is priced at a reasonable RM3,499 for the 128GB model while the 256GB variant will cost you RM3,699.

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