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Original topic:

Unpleasant Experience with S21 Ultra

(Topic created on: 24-05-2021 08:18 AM)
Awkward_Smile7
Explorer
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Galaxy S21 Series

I really want to love samsung and their products. I think One UI is very well thought out and is almost equals if not exceeds stock Android in terms of how polished and finished everything feels.

 

But I can't help but notice the obvious flaws that my S21 Ultra has. 

 

I bought this phone to replace my OnePlus 7T because I wanted to experience the "flagship" quality cameras that every YouTuber was talking about. It was a very expensive purchase, a little less than thrice the cost of my 7T. 

 

First impressions, it was bad. The cameras were nowhere near the adjectives that the reviewers used to describe it. It was like I have a different phone because I was not at all impressed by the photo quality and I'm wondering why this is considered "flagship" quality. My OnePlus 7T with Google Camera takes far better pictures with unbelievable detail. I was so disappointed because the whole reason I bought S21U is because of the cameras, and it was worse than my previous phone.

 

Now the reason why I say this:

 

1. S21U takes unnatural, pictures of people even with 0 skin smoothness and Natural selfies enabled. Side by side comparison with my Google Camera powered OnePlus 7T shows how much of an "Oil Painting" look that S21 has. It was like samsung telling me that my face is too much covered with pimples and imperfections, let's hide that hideous pimples and dark circles of yours. It was very disappointing.

 

2. Over-sharpening. Samsung processing tends to oversharpen everything to make it appear as if more details are present. If you zoom in a bit, every detail vanishes and you find artifacts due to over sharpening. In comparison, Google camera on 7T produces pleasing images with excellent noise reduction and preservation of details on zooming in without coming off as oversharpened.

 

Only thing I feel Samsung is good at is on zoom which is not something I or even most others use very often atleast not as often as just point and shoot main and ultra wide lenses. I do agree that video is superior on the Samsung.

 

The next biggest complaint is, Heating issues.

 

I own an Exynos model so I can't speak for Snapdragon variants.

 

When you open the camera app, the phone rockets to 36-38°C no matter the ambient temperature. If you continuously switch between lenses and modes (without taking any pictures by the way) the phone can reach temperature excess of 40°C.

I get anxiety whenever I open the camera app because I know the phone is going to heat up so why even bother? It remains warm to the touch  even on day to day applications even though on paper, the battery temperature is low. There is something to it because, you can feel the warmth on the back glass at all times whereas this never was an issue with my 7T. Samsung did replace my first Ultra deeming it defective but the replacement unit too feels exactly the same. But Samsung denies no such issue exists because to them, a device is defective only when it hits 48°C. My unit reached "only" 46°C. This issue alone bothers me all the time I'm using my device because I can't help but feel how cool my OnePlus is to the touch.

 

Next issue is performance. I get wildly  inconsistent scores on various benchmarks like geekbench, 3d mark. My OnePlus consistently achieves the scores it is supposed to achieve. Whereas my Ultra rarely achieves the average scores and most of the time performs equal to or if not worse than my 7T which is a 2 year old device. ( I get geekbench single core scores like 500-600 consistently with occasional 1000-800. Same story with 3D mark ).

 

Now these benchmarks aren't just synthetic scores. These do translate to real life. On games like genshin impact, I get often stutters and the over-all look and feel of the game's graphics feel poor in comparison to my 855+ powered OnePlus 7T. Though I do agree that S21U has better thermal management on games compared to my 7T but I believe it is solely because of extreme thermal throttling.

 

These issues are really hurting the user experience because the camera and the performance are the key reasons I bought this device when my 7T was perfectly working. Now when the phone fails in my key reasons to buy it, all other features like an amazing display, countless features in OneUI becomes null to me. 

 

I'm really sad to come to this conclusion but I don't think the S21 Ultra is worth it at all. Its an overpriced junk in my opinion and is one of my worst financial decisions I have made. It brought me immense unsatisfaction and stress because as I briefly told previously about giving the phone to Samsung for the analysis, it was not pretty. I made countless calls to customer care and fought with samsung technicians for 1 whole month. So I conclude that because of these reasons I am never purchasing a samsung device again. S21 Ultra is the first and last samsung I am going to own.

 

I'm from India and I'm sharing here because my requests and complaints never get traction for samsung officials to notice and take action. Since the EU and India get the same SoC I thought it was better to post here.

 

Please feel free to inform me if your experience varies from mine. I know this is a very long read but I would really appreciate it if you go through it. Thanks.

16 REPLIES 16
GoanGeek
Troubleshooter
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Galaxy S21 Series
I do appreciate your post and valid points.

Although at the end of the day, there is no perfect phone.

You gain some you loose some.

All I can say is, find the best phone that suits your needs.

I normally buy my phones for camera as well and loved all of them for different reasons.

From the Nokia phones to Lumia to samsung and even the Pixel.
They excelled in some ways but fell flat on other stuff.

At the end of the day you have to see the overall picture and be happy with your purchase.

Sometimes higher price may not necessarily equate to the best experience depending on need.

The good thing is now we have a lot of choice, if you are not happy you can always find another.

Agree not everyone has big pockets (nor do I) but hey sometimes stuff gets better or(worse) with updates so hope the best or for the next innovation.
Awkward_Smile7
Explorer
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Galaxy S21 Series

Thanks for the positive words. I do hope that software updates improve my phone. But the thing that I'm skeptical is whether samsung falsely deemed my device to be normal. Because I don't find people complaining like me.

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GoanGeek
Troubleshooter
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Galaxy S21 Series
Because of lockdown here in UK. I haven't been able to use the cameras extensively.

Macro shots are nice.

The 3x is OK and 10x is not very impressive

My moon shots are blur compared to others I have seen. ( light pollution maybe)

I am aware of samsungs muddy pictures/painterly like.
They have improved over the years .
Also they are less saturated now compared to yesteryears .

All I can say is if it's bothering you that much and past the return day. May be count your losses and resell if possible.
tinglish
Helping Hand
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Galaxy S21 Series
I haven't had an issue with the camera.
I mean I'm no expert when it comes to photography but I'm loving the pictures I get.
I know everyone goes on about it but have you performed a partition cache wipe?.20210216_111921_1772.jpg20210404_155001_2520.jpg20210404_154853_2519.jpg20210404_154844_2518.jpg
Awkward_Smile7
Explorer
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Galaxy S21 Series

I'll try wiping cache. I already did that a while back but I'll try again. Thanks for your reply.

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tinglish
Helping Hand
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Galaxy S21 Series
No worries,I always do it after every update.
Hopefully that should help,also wipe cache in camera app.
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GoanGeek
Troubleshooter
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Galaxy S21 Series
That looks like a lovely place and nice shots 😀
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tinglish
Helping Hand
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Galaxy S21 Series
Thank you GoanGeek 😁
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SmallFish
Voyager
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Galaxy S21 Series
Wiping makes very little difference otherwise it would be part of the update process.

Trying standing on your head. It might have more 'benefit'. 😞