Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphones: The best and worst features

Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphones: The best and worst features

The new Samsung Galaxy S21 family has gotten a mostly positive reception, thanks to some notable hardware and software improvements. These phones are faster and more feature-rich compared to last year’s S20s.

However, it’s not all roses in Samsung-land. The S21 series has its fair share of disappointing features you’ll have to accept. Here are the best and worst features you need to know about before buying Samsung’s latest devices.

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The best features

Galaxy S21 Ultra camera

samsung galaxy s21 ultra cam Ryan Whitwam/IDG

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra’s camera offers two optical zoom cameras, in addition to the 108MP primary and 12MP ultrawide.

Samsung’s top-of-the-line Galaxy S21 Ultra this year comes with a suitably high-end camera. The camera on last year’s S20 Ultra exhibited several flaws, like an inability to focus reliably.

The new setup on the S21 Ultra works better. There are also two optical zoom cameras in addition to the 108MP primary and 12MP ultrawide.

All these camera focal lengths mean you can snap photos of objects at various distances without losing any resolution to digital zoom.

Google Discover

Samsung finally had to admit that Bixby Home wasn’t working. People want Google Discover on the home screen, and the S21 family finally delivers that option.

samsung galaxy s21 discover Ryan Whitwam/IDG

Samsung gives you the choice between Samsung Free and Google Discover.

When you swipe over to the left-most panel, you can choose between Samsung Free and Google Discover. Samsung Free is scarcely any better than Bixby, though. 

Discover offers personally tailored links to content around the web. Discover is also accessible in the Google app, but it’s much more convenient if it’s just waiting for you on the home screen.

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