I recently got to test out the Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G
This phone is part of the recently launched Galaxy S21 Series 5G, which includes the S21 5G, S21+ 5G, and S21 Ultra 5G.
While the new flagship phone is a beauty to behold, the main attraction is its camera. This model, in particular, features a three-camera setup including a 64MP main camera.
To find out how good the camera actually is, I put it to the test. Take a look at the features and photos from the Galaxy S21+ 5G:
*Okay, so I know I said I tested every function, but the truth is, there are sooo many camera functions on the phone. :P So, I just chose the features that I thought you'd find interesting / use most often.
1. Use Single Take to capture spontaneous moments
One of the super fun features of the Galaxy S21 Series 5G is Single Take. It allows you to keep your camera rolling for 5 to 15 seconds, and the AI will help you generate up to 14 photos, GIFs, and videos.
The only thing I don't like about this feature is that it automatically adds filters to your pictures and music to your videos. This means you won't be able to get the shot you want in its original form. However, you can toggle off filtered photos in the Single Take settings.
Single Take Rating: 8/10
2. My fiancée tried taking selfies with and without beautification
The 10MP front camera takes pretty legit selfies. Compared to other smartphones, the beautification option also does a good job of smoothening and contouring the face. While both my fiancée and I prefer the natural look without beautification, it's definitely a nice feature to have around.
Selfie Camera Rating: 8/10
3. The ultra-wide camera is great. The zoom camera is also surprisingly good, up until 10x zoom.
Shot taken at 0.5x zoom (ultra-wide camera).
Shot taken at 1x zoom.
Shot taken at 5x zoom.
Shot taken at 10x zoom. You can still see quite a fair bit of detail even this zoomed in.
Shot taken at 30x zoom. The roof is obviously blurry, but it's still pretty impressive considering the initial shot.
Camera Zoom Rating: 7/10
4. You can turn on the shot suggestion function, and your phone will help you find the best shot
I was a little skeptical of this function at first, since I don't like having things clutter up the viewfinder. However, this function actually turned out to be pretty helpful in framing shots. It also doesn't feel that intrusive, and you can turn it off at any time in the settings.
These photos below were taken with the best shot function.
Shot Suggestion Rating: 7/10
5. If possible, make sure you turn on the 64MP camera mode. It'll make a huge difference to your photos.
Samsung claims that the Galaxy S21+ 5G allows you to crop a 64MP photo multiple times and still end up with a clear shot. To test it out, I took a photo of this basketball rim, and look how much of the details are retained even after cropping.
However, one surprising thing is how much the quality drops once you turn off the 64MP camera mode. While your shot may still look good at first glance, you'll notice how it becomes grainy and blurry once you pinch in to zoom. Another thing is that 64MP camera mode is only available when you shoot in 4:3 ratio, which means you won't get the same clarity with ultra wide shots.
You can toggle the settings on the top panel of your camera.
64MP Camera Mode Rating: 9/10
6. Night mode allows you to capture beautiful shots in low-light situations
Using a normal smartphone camera, you would probably end up with a very dark and blurry photo in the scene above. However, the night mode on the Galaxy S21+ 5G uses a longer shutter speed to take in more light, allowing you to capture more details at night or when it's dark.
As you can see, the night mode does well in capturing the vibrant colours of the sunset. While the picture looks clear from afar, you won't be able to achieve the same clarity as during the day.
Night Mode Rating: 7/10
7. The phone allows you to take up to 8K quality videos, but more often than not, you won't require such high definition
While you are able to take up to 8K quality videos, which is cinema-grade, you'll need an 8K resolution screen to actually appreciate the quality of the video. When you playback the video on your Galaxy S21+ 5G, it also appears to lag a little.
There are also limitations when using the 8K mode:
- You can't use the Super Steady stabiliser
- If you edit the video you will lose the 8K resolution
All in all, the 8K video feature is nice-to-have, but not really essential for casual users. However, one cool thing is the 8K Video Snap, that allows you to turn any frame of your 8K video into a 33MP picture, which is handy for capturing special moments.
8K Video Rating: 6/10
8K Video Snap Rating: 8/10
8. You won't need a gimbal thanks to the phone's video stabiliser
The Galaxy S21 Series 5G has a Super Steady video stabilising feature, which you can toggle on and off easily. While it's only available when you shoot at FHD 60fps or FHD 30fps, the stabilisation is really smooth, as if you're using an actual gimbal. With this feature, you can take professional looking pan shots or moving shots without any additional equipment.
Super Steady Rating: 9/10
While reviewing the phone, I also noticed it comes with lots of other cool features
You can customise the Edge Panel to have shortcuts to apps, features like screenshots, and more.
If you love dark mode, you can easily toggle it on in the settings, and it'll apply to your entire phone.
The audio for the Galaxy S21+ 5G comes out from both the top and bottom of the device, giving you a realistic right-to-left audio mix. You can even turn on Dolby Atmos for more refined sound quality.
Ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G is a great phone that comes with lots of camera features for you to use and explore. Here are some of my final thoughts on it:
At RM4,299, you'll be getting a flagship smartphone that can help you take really good quality photos and videos. The 64MP mode is clear, the ultra wide angle is nice, and all the camera functions are helpful. With the Super Steady video stabiliser, this is a phone that you can just point-and-shoot, and you'll come up with pretty good shots.
If you prefer more control over your shots, one thing you might not like is how "edited" your photos look. The Galaxy S21+ 5G tends to over-contrast and over-saturate photos, making them look more vibrant but not as colour accurate. Another thing I've noticed is that some photos may look slightly disproportionate at times.
Final rating for Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G camera: 8/10
To find out more about the Galaxy S21+ 5G, visit Samsung's website