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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: Still a top phone

(Pocket-lint) – Samsung moved fast in 2022, launching its flagship phone series right at the beginning of the year in January. It contained three models, with the Galaxy S21 Ultra sitting at the top of the pile – above the S21 and S21+ models.

Having created the Ultra tier in 2022, the S21 Ultra was an opportunity to address what didn’t work with the previous phone and try to create the super phone that Samsung – and we all – wanted.

The Ultra was designed to be the best of everything phone: the best camera, the best display, the most powerful. It has since been superseded by the S22 Ultra, but we think it could still make a very sensible purchase option for a lot of people.

Our quick take

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra felt like a different phone to the S20 Ultra it replaced. It’s a flagship with more purpose and intent.

When it launched, there was no avoiding that it was an expensive phone – but now that it’s more than a year old, you can find it much cheaper than its original full retail price. And with Samsung’s improved commitment to software updates and security patches, it’s a very sensible purchase, even now.

Performance is at the heart of what the Galaxy S21 Ultra offers and it’s hard to be disappointed with the experience. It might take a little tinkering to get One UI software running at its best, but with a magnificent display, comprehensive cameras, and loads of power, there’s very little that the S21 Ultra doesn’t deliver.

We still have the feeling that the S21 Ultra will now attract those who want the best from Samsung, but perhaps don’t want to spend the extra to get the stylus-equipped S22 Ultra.

Design

  • Dimensions: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm / Weight: 228g
  • Build: Metal and glass construction
  • IP68 waterproofing

At the launch of the S21 devices, Samsung spent a lot of time talking about the finish of its Phantom Black design. Saying that less is more will raise an eyebrow among those looking at new S21 Ultra, into which Samsung clearly has put everything.

But there’s no questioning that the Phantom Black S21 Ultra is something to behold. Once you get past the magnitude of the camera housing, with those large lenses looking at you, you’ll appreciate what Samsung was talking about.

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Ajmal Solangi is a Tech writer specializing in the intersection of tech and reviews. He likes tech news, mobile unboxing, reviews, gadgets, and more.

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