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Samsung S21 Series January Real Review

(Topic created on: 10-01-2022 01:34 PM)

This is my follow up on using the January G998BXXU4BULF update for the S21 series on my S21 Ultra.

I am revisiting again the main section I am mostly interested in related to overall stability & performance, i.e.:

  • Home screen settings access
  • Camera opening & closing
  • Apps opening & closing
  • Widget opening & closing
  • Notification/Quick Settings access

My overall impression is very positive, now don`t get me wrong - occasional stutters still occur but the frequency they occur is less compared with previous updates.

In the video above I have tried to showcase my real usage, i.e. it`s not a "prep" scene where all perfect conditions are preset to try to max out performance.

So in a nutshell it is still far away from perfect, at least on my Exynos 2100 unit (which has a higher bin - I ve checked). But we have to understand that Android 12 is still new, and Samsung were among the first to adopt and roll it out via the Beta program almost en par with Google!

I do also have the Google Pixel 6 and sadly Google are struggling on their own with fixing issues/bugs or creating new one - they even rolled back the December Pixel update (which fixed 100 items) and it`s a bit unheard for Google.

Now with the S22 Ultra around the corner and the rumors that Samsung are working hard to optimize it I really hope for 2 things:

1. One UI 4.1 (or whatever new build exclusively rolled out with the S22 series) to work flawlessly out of the box

2. Samsung to scale it down using top bottom approach and optimize Android 12 / One UI 4 for S21 and later for S10 and A series

So overall - I am quite happy with my phones performance, probably worth mentioning that I am using WQHD+ highest resolution and adaptive refresh rate which boost up to 120 Hz, and still get a "all day battery".

Friends report that when switching to FHD+ resolution they get day and 1/2 of juice but that`s to be expected from a 5000 mAh battery.

All the transition & animations are smooth but stutter still occur though as written with lower frequency. I did not on purpose manipulate transition animation scale via developer settings or reduce the animations from the accessibility menu to be as close as I can to the "stock" experience.

Would be glad to hear your thoughts on the G998BXXU4BULF update once you get it.


p.s. I also revisited Geekbench and as expected I consistently get above average results for the S21 Ultra., i.e. 1040 points on the single and 3222 on the multi core score, but don`t get yourself hooked too much on benchmarks, they are just there to provide a baseline but your phone can and will be impacted by so many things, like usage, ambient temperature, and etc.