Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Hands On: The Ultra Smartphone!

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Samsung made a ton of improvements to the Galaxy S21 Ultra, when compared to its predecessor. And it's time to go hands on with Samsung's latest Ultra smartphone, the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

We have only spent a few hours with the phone so far, so some things like battery life, we truly cannot answer just yet. But we will answer those questions in the full review.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is a huge upgrade from the Galaxy S20 Ultra in a lot of ways. But let's start with the design. The design on the Galaxy S20 Ultra was just, meh. It was big, glossy, and round. Making it pretty hard to hold onto. And if you got the gray version, it just looked like putty.


This year, Samsung upgraded the design, making it a bit more boxy, like a Galaxy Note smartphone. It redesigned the camera bump, so it doesn't stand out as much, and gave it some really attractive colors.

We have the Phantom Black color, and it looks incredible. It has a matte finish, so you are unlikely to see any fingerprints. And unlike other smartphones that do a matte finish, the camera module is also matte.

The best specs available

Something we always expect from Samsung, the best specs that are currently available. So the Galaxy S20 Ultra sports a Snapdragon 888 5G, 12GB or 16GB of RAM and 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage. If you get 512GB of storage, you also get bumped to 16GB.

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That's going to make this thing a beast. And so far, in our early testing, that appears to be true. It's also worth it to note that we have the 16GB/512GB model.

Samsung has also equipped the Galaxy S21 Ultra with a beautiful looking 6.8-inch Quad HD+ AMOLED display that is also 120Hz. And this year, you can do 120Hz at QHD+ resolution, which is a nice improvement. Though, it is technically Adaptive. So it will go from 2Hz to 120Hz, depending on what is on the screen. Either way, this display looks incredible.

One UI 3 is a modest, but great looking update

The Galaxy S21 Ultra ships with Android 11 and One UI 3.0 out of the box. The update to One UI is actually really good looking. It's really more of a refinement then anything. So you won't notice any huge changes.


So far, based on our limited hands on time with the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the software seems to run really well on this device. Of course, we'll be putting it through its paces in the next few days to see how well it does, or doesn't run. So stay tuned for the full review.