Samsung has been present in the affordable price segment for a while now. Both the Galaxy M and the Galaxy A lineups are seeing the launch of new members every now and then to give a tough competition to Xiaomi and Realme. In another attempt to do so, Samsung recently launched the Galaxy A21s, a member in the Galaxy A series and a successor to the Galaxy A20, in India.
The smartphone brings in a number of attractive features such as 48MP quad rear cameras, a huge 5,000mAh battery, and more. I got to use the device for some time and here’s whether or not it can give neck-to-neck competition to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro or the Realme 6 series. Read on to find out.
Samsung Galaxy A21s Review: Design
The Samsung Galaxy A21s carries a lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy to use. The curved-square chassis ensures the usage and handling is quite convenient. The device carries the design elements of most of its smartphones that have been launched recently. There is an Infinity-O display with a punch-hole in the top left corner and the rectangular camera setup at the back that houses the camera lenses and the LED flash.
However, it surely is shows signs of distinction when compared to the Galaxy A20s. As a reminder, the A20s sports an Infinity-V display with a waterdrop notch and three rear cameras aligned vertically. At the back, other than the cameras, there is a fingerprint scanner and the company’s branding at the bottom part. The right side of the device has the power on/off button and the volume rocker and the left side has the SIM slot. The bottom end has the 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C port, and the speaker grille while the top end is left bare.
The Galaxy A21s has a decent build quality and doesn’t feel cheap. It comes in three colours: Black, White, and Blue with all three variants showcasing holographic effects visible on its rear panel. While the whole effect thingy coupled with the glossy finish appears attractive, its reflective nature and monotony is design is not so likeable.
Samsung Galaxy A21s Review: Display
The Galaxy A21s comes with a 6.5-inch Infinity-O display with an HD+ screen resolution. There are less bezels but the top and the bottom has some significant bezels, which are quite noticeable. The display is based on a TFT LCD panel, which is slightly disappointing since I would have loved an AMOLED display. Nonetheless, the display quality was more than decent despite the absence of an AMOLED one. It is adequately bright but exhibits oversaturation. If you like the overly-bright colours popping on your display, it won’t a problem for you.
The viewing experience is pretty decent with the device on various apps such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and more. However, the details aren’t fully highlighted and at times the content appears washed out. Among others, the sunlight legibility was more than decent as I was able to use it with ease even when a million sun rays were on it.
Samsung Galaxy A21s Review: Cameras
The smartphone has the cameras as one of the highlights. We get quad rear cameras (a 48MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro lens). The one in the front stands at 13MP. It supports various camera feature such as an LED flash, digital zoom up to 8x, full HD+ video recording, bokeh effect, panorama mode, food mode, and more.
Starting with the rear cameras, the smartphone gives out eye-pleasing but oversaturated images, something typical of Samsung smartphones. The colours pop up right from the display and the ones who are a fan of natural colours being captured might not like the extra-bright resultant images. However, the ones who like their images to be ‘popping’ vivid, the device will impress them. The Ultra-wide mode was quite decent and was able to capture a wider area and so was the Live Focus that allowed for a decent bokeh effect. Among others, the HDR highlighted the darks in an image and gave out aptly-lit images. However, the main problem is that the details aren’t well-highlighted and upon zooming, the details get lost.
The front camera is decent but processes the images way too much due to which the pictures appear to be an outcome of the Beauty Plus app. Although there are details, the smoothened images weren’t to my liking. The video quality was decent but a lack of OIS appears like a drawback. Additionally, the digital zoom (up to 8x) did a decent job and didn’t give rise to grainy images.
Samsung Galaxy A21s Review: Spec Sheet
Here are the Galaxy A21s specifications:
|Specifications||Samsung Galaxy A21s|
|Display||6.5-inch LCD HD+|
|Storage||64GB, expandable up to 512GB|
2MP (depth sensor)
2MP (macro lens)
|OS||Android 10 with Samsung One UI 2.1|
|Extra Features||15W fast charging|
|Price||Starts at Rs. 16,499|
Samsung Galaxy A21s Review: Performance, Battery, OS
The Galaxy A21s is powered by the Exynos 850 processor and comes in two RAM options: 4GB and 6GB. It has 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 512GB via a microSD card. I got the base model and used it for over a week. The smartphone acts like a daily driver that is able to perform the day-to-day tasks with ease. You throw in social media usage, online shopping, video streaming, some gaming, and more, and the device will be able to process all that with ease. I did not face many issues with the device and my usage was mostly decent. But then, there were lags too and you will find that over a period of time the smartphone will stammer a bit.
As for the 5,000mAh battery, it is another highlight of the smartphone and was able to last for a day and a half with the aforementioned usage. It supports 15W fast charging due to which it is able to get fully charged in about an hour, which is just fine. The smartphone runs Samsung One UI 2.1 based on Android 10 and the experience has been smooth, as it has been with previous Samsung devices I have used. However, this time there was some bloatware and there were some apps that got installed automatically, and this wasn’t to my liking at all. Among others, the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner was snappy and the audio was good but tinny.
Samsung Galaxy A21s Review: Verdict
The Samsung Galaxy A21s, starting at Rs. 16,499 has several intriguing elements such as the cameras, the battery, and the holographic design. However, for the price, Xiaomi and Realme have better devices to offer. The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max offers a better Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor, 33W fast charging and improved cameras and the Realme 6 Pro offers 90Hz display, 30W fast charging and a Heli G90T processor.
Nonetheless, if you like the Samsung One UI experience and the goodness of vivid camera outputs and display, the Galaxy A21s is for you, provided this is your budget.