THE Samsung has not yet brought the Galaxy A21 to Brazil, but launched the Galaxy A21s, an intermediary device better reminiscent of the most powerful models in the A family. Launched in June 2020, this smartphone today competes directly with the Motorola Moto G9 Play, the LG K51S and even the Redmi Note 9, which has specifications and price approaching the A21s.
Speaking of technical data, this device delivers a 6.5-inch screen, four cameras, a 5,000 mAh battery and a design that, look, surprised me a lot. But is it worth it? I rated the Samsung Galaxy A21s in the past few days and I share all the details in this review.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy A21s on video
O Tecnoblog is a technology-independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our product reviews are opinionated and have no advertising intent. For this reason, we always transparently highlight the positive and negative points of each product.
No company, manufacturer or store has paid the Tecnoblog to produce this content. Our reviews are not reviewed or approved by external agents. This unit of the Samsung Galaxy A21s was purchased by Tecnoblog in retail.
The Galaxy A21s is a device that already conquers you at the first moment and that thanks to the beautiful design and the well done finish. It is not for nothing that this phone resembles the most premium models from Samsung. At the rear, no glass, of course, it is all plastic even on the sides.
O Tecnoblog acquired the version in blue that, in fact, looks more like a reflective lilac that displays the colors of the rainbow when the light falls on it. The effect is really beautiful, but it is also a pity the absence of a case in the box, since it beat that fear of damaging the back with scratches.
Its curved sides and 8.9 mm thickness contribute to good usability. I was able to handle the Galaxy A21s with just one hand without noticing any discomfort, which is very positive if you plan to spend a few hours watching movies, series or playing on the phone. The unlock and volume buttons are well positioned on the right side.
On the other side, there is the drawer for the chip and the memory card. Since there are three slots, you can use two nano-SIM cards and a MicroSD simultaneously.
Unlike the regular Galaxy A21, the A21s won a “domino” on the rear with four cameras and an LED flash. A fingerprint reader follows that and has a good unlock speed.
Finally, the bottom part houses a USB-C port, a speaker and, for more conservative customers who still bet on wired headsets, the standard headphone jack is present. I still quite like it.
Screen and sound
The screen of the Samsung Galaxy A21s is not to behold. I believe that the main positive point is the frontal utilization, taking into account that the edges are not so prominent; the chin is the only exception. Its display is a 6.5-inch PLS LCD with HD resolution + 1600 × 720 pixels and 20: 9 aspect ratio, that is, a configuration very close to the Moto G9 Play.
However, in this regard, competition stands out. The Galaxy A21s screen is not as bright and the colors are not vivid. It is also possible to notice the half-deleted icons. Other than that, the experience when playing and watching movies is satisfactory due to the size of the screen.
Ah, it is interrupted by a hole in the upper left corner for the selfie camera. As it eliminates an edge “extension” (from the drop-shaped notch), I prefer this format of the A21s.
The speaker, however, disappointed me because it was low even when the volume was at maximum, and yet you will notice distortions when listening to music here. As always, the experience was better with the headset sent.
The Galaxy A21s runs Android 10 with the One UI Core 2.1. Samsung has not made any radical changes: the interface resembles that of the most expensive models of the brand – valuing easy navigation. The notification bar remains with several useful menus such as Power Mode, Wi-Fi Router, QR Code Reader, Dolby Atmos, among others. There is still the button to activate the dark mode, which works with compatible apps.
Other cool features in this Samsung interface are split-screen and drop-down modes. The first, as its name suggests, allows you to open two applications at the same time that they are divided on the screen. The second can be used to leave applications open on a floating screen. Unfortunately, not all apps support these functions.
The interface is not completely clean. In addition to Google apps, they are pre-installed Kingdom Disney, 99, Galaxy Store, Samsung Pay Mini, Samsung Max in addition to the Microsoft package with Office, OneDrive, LinkedIn and Outlook.
In short, there are not many news, especially for those who are already familiar with the Galaxy line. Because this interface is One UI Core, some features found in more expensive devices from the brand were left out, such as Pasta Segura.
The back of the Galaxy A21s received the traditional Samsung cooktop with four lenses. From top to bottom, the depth sensor is the first there with 2 megapixel and f / 2.4 aperture, then comes the main camera of 48 megapixels (f / 2.0), ultrawide of 8 megapixels (f / 2 , 2) and next to it is the 2 megapixel macro (f / 2.4).
In details, let’s start with the main one. As usual, it tends to deliver well-saturated images, but nothing that compromises the result. There is a good level of detail, balanced exposure and a definition that I also find satisfactory. The depth sensor is ok, but it can generate noise in some areas of the image.
Although I can’t produce photos with good definition, ultrawide is my favorite, as it allows me to explore creativity. Depending on the environment, you will get good photographs, especially for posting on social media.
The macro even conquers. Many smartphones with this lens disappoint, especially those that work with 2 megapixels of resolution. This is the case with the Galaxy A21s. Only not. It is evident that the sharpness and details are not emphasized, however it is possible to have interesting records. Even more so if the place is well lit.
Something curious: the camera app lacked a night mode. At least the photos don’t look bad here on the A21S. I didn’t notice excessive grain, however the sharpness is slightly compromised.
The 13 megapixel front camera has an aperture of f / 2.2 and follows the quality of the main one: good definition and vivid colors, but the blur fails if you choose to take selfies in places with a lot of visual information in the background.
Hardware and battery
The mid-range Samsung Exynos 850 processor works efficiently in basic tasks: I was able to run everyday applications like Netflix, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Spotify without many problems or unexpected closings. More demanding consumers, however, may notice a lack of fluidity in the system. The device has 4 GB of RAM, but in some specific moments multitasking is impaired, especially when there are many apps open.
Asphalt 9 runs around here, but it’s not free from crashes even with the standard graphics. It’s nothing too serious and you can still play. Overall, for the basic everyday, the Exynos 850 will work well without causing headaches.
Its internal storage is 64 GB and you can insert a MicroSD card up to 512 GB.
In my battery tests, the Samsung Galaxy A21s did better than the Moto G9 Play. He recorded consumption of 30% after three hours of Netflix, for comparison, the Motorola model came to drink 8% more. Back on the A21s, an hour from YouTube made the percentage go from 70% to 60%. I ended the use with 15 minutes of Asphalt 9 and that number dropped to 57%.
This is a really impressive result. I can usually have 40% remaining on most cell phones that I test here on Tecnoblog, doing these same activities. Also note that I watched Netflix, YouTube and played with the screen brightness at maximum and with Wi-Fi connected all the time.
A 15-watt fast charger comes with the smartphone. Fully discharged, the device scored 50% charge after 56 minutes. Then, another 1h04 minutes to reach full charge. In addition to presenting an excellent autonomy, the Samsung Galaxy A21s also earns points for the good feeding time with the source sent.
Samsung Galaxy A21s worth it?
The Galaxy A21s is for those consumers looking for a smartphone close to the Galaxy A51 and A71, but who cannot afford to pay the R $ 2,400 and R $ 2,800 that the South Korean manufacturer charges. The model does not deliver a Super AMOLED panel, fast processor or all the features of the One UI, but there are other highlights such as the large 6.5-inch screen, super 5000 mAh battery, a consistent camera set in addition to an elegant design.
Making a comparison with the Moto G9 Play, I could see that the A21s loses in performance, I had a very good experience with Snapdragon 662 from G9 Play, which runs complex games well. But that’s not all: the Motorola intermediary has a dedicated Google Assistant button and an excellent speaker, while the A21s’ one is very disappointing.
Samsung also erred in price. This device arrived costing an impressive R $ 2 thousand. Fortunately, that amount dropped to R $ 1,500 and today it can be found for R $ 1,200, which is great for a phone like this and can be a good option on this year’s Black Friday. If you want an A21s with upgrades, the Redmi Note 9 or Galaxy A71 are very interesting models.
Samsung Galaxy A21s – specs:
- Screen: 6.5-inch PLS LCD, HD + resolution (1600 × 720) and 20: 9 aspect ratio
- Processor: octa-core Samsung Exynos 850 2 GHz
- RAM: 4 GB
- Storage: 64 GB, expandable by microSD card up to 512 GB
- Quadruple rear camera:
- main: 48 megapixel, f / 2.0
- ultrawide: 8 megapixel, f / 2.2
- macro: 2 megapixel, f / 2.4
- depth: 2 megapixel, f / 2.4
- Frontal camera: 13 megapixel, f / 2.2
- Drums: 5,000 mAh, 15 W fast charging
- Connectivity: NFC, Bluetooth, 4G and Wi-Fi
- More: fingerprint reader at the rear
- Operational system: Android 10 (One UI Core 2.1)
- Dimensions and weight: 163.7 x 75.3 x 8.9 mm, 192 grams
Samsung Galaxy A21s
- Very beautiful design
- Excellent long battery life
- Good photographic set
- Frontal use is a differential
- Speaker is pretty average
- Performance could be better