Samsung Galaxy A21s – It is a hard job to keep up with the Galaxy A series. There is a simple rule that the lower the model number, the lower the phone’s price. And the Galaxy A21s follows the rule too.
While several recent Galaxy A smartphones have Super AMOLED screens, the affordable ones cannot afford such panels. Therefore the Galaxy A21s rely upon PLS TFT screen. Its 6.5″ screen is with basic 720p resolution. Samsung powers with Exynos 850 chip that seems appropriate on paper, and we are yet to gauge its performance.
Samsung Galaxy A21s, besides its large screen, can brag with a quad-camera on the back and a hefty 5,000mAh battery with quick charging support. The camera setup is in mid-rangers, so we appreciate the efforts of Samsung to offer small bits of everything. There are a 48MP primary camera and an 8MP ultrawide shooter, a 2MP depth, and a 2MP macro sensor.
Water protection is something missing big time. It may sound absurd for a cheap phone to have one, but others like Realme, Motorola, and Xiaomi are offering waterproof or similar coating that offers peace of mind.
Design, Handling and Build
Samsung Galaxy A21s is a typical budget phone, and it doesn’t look cheap. The front is screen occupied, and the frame with the back is plastic made. Among the top Galaxy A21s key features is the 6.5″ PLS TFT screen and a small punch-hole cutout. The phone has rounded corners as other recent displays do, and the bezels are thin.
The screen appears okay even if the colors appear a bit washed-out. You may expect a bit uneven backlighting around the cutout. However, that was to be expected for the LCD panel. Samsung still managed to keep the unevenness minimal.
There is a 13MP selfie camera inside the cutout. The grille of earpiece is above the screen, and the protective glass touches the plastic frame. No notification LED light on the Samsung Galaxy A21s. The fingerprint scanner is given at the back.
There is a curved frame with solid plastic. It has got a grippy matte finish that makes for improved grip that goes well when you shoot photos or watch movies on-the-go.
The essentials are found around the frame:
- The volume and power keys
- Triple card slot
- USB-C port at the bottom
- The Speaker
- The 3.5mm jack
The quad-camera and the LED flash are present on the back of the Samsung Galaxy A21s and is separated through a black rectangle. It is protruding and will not make your phone wobble on your desk. The black rectangle accommodates primary cam (48MP), the 2MP macro snapper, the 8MP ultra-wide shooter, and the 2MP depth sensor.
Camera and Video Quality
Samsung Galaxy A21s has a quad-camera setup with a familiar arrangement. The main camera has a 48MP Samsung ISOCELL GM2 (S5KGM2) 1/2.0″ sensor alongside 0.8µm pixels, Quad Bayer color filter, an f/2.0 lens. This camera saves 12MP photos via a high-res 48MP shooting mode. Phase-detect autofocus is available too.
The ultrawide camera has an 8MP Samsung ISOCELL 1/4.0″ sensor with 1.12µm pixels for the f/2.2 lens. There is a fixed focus. The macro camera includes a 2MP sensor with a f/2.4 lens with a fixed focus at 4cm. In the end, the depth camera has another 2MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture.
Function wise, the Galaxy A21s camera app is identical to any other camera app. The settings icon gives you good control over different cameras. You don’t have separate setting screens for image and video. The usual stuff, such as gridlines, video resolution, location data, etc., can be found there.
The default 12MP photos from the primary camera are not the detailed shots you would see. The sharpening is right, the colors are precise, and the contrast is brilliant with low noise. The dynamic range in most of the images is commendable, thanks to the Auto HDR.
You get a high-resolution 48MP mode. The 48MP photos look mediocre, and if downscaled to 12MP, it provides little to no benefit in sharpness and detail. On the Galaxy A21s, the images are large, it requires extra time to capture, and they don’t look that good.
The depth camera with 2MP comes in handy for portraits. The 12MP portrait shots with the primary shooter through the 2MP snapper are magnificent. Also, the detail and the contrast is great. The subject separation is proficient in this class. The artificial blur appears well.
Keeping the view mode, the selfie camera will either give you an 8MP crop or 13MP shots. The 13MP selfies are just normal. They lack in detail, the colors are washed-out, and the contrast isn’t massive.
The Samsung Galaxy A21s lacks capability as a video camera and is capped at 30fps and 1080p. The 1080p videos from the main and ultra-wide cameras are encoded through an AVC video stream at 17 Mb/s with two-channel, 48 kHz 256 kB/s AAC audio, and an inside an mp4 container.
The 1080p clips through the ultra-wide camera are sharp, with true-to-life colors via their dynamic range is lower.
The Galaxy A21s seems a reasonable offer. The large 6.5-inch screen, a good quad-camera, and the beefy battery with a high endurance rating. The phone costs about €170 for the 32GB version and is a budget-friendly price.