Since its launch, the Samsung Galaxy M21s it has aroused the interest of many consumers due to the attractive cost-benefit ratio, but that is not all. Like the Galaxy M31, the new member of the M family received a huge 6,000 mAh battery, plus a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen, 4 GB of RAM, a triple camera, the main one being 64 MP, and an Exynos 9611 processor, chip that also equips the Galaxy A51, which is more expensive.
While I was producing this review, the M21s appeared for R $ 1,200 at retail. Is it worth it? Is it the end of other good intermediaries, like the Galaxy A21s and even the Moto G9 Play? I rated the Samsung broker in the past few weeks and count my impressions in this review.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy M21s on video
THE 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. The Galaxy M21s was provided by Samsung on loan. The product will be returned to the company after testing.
The Galaxy M21s is part of that Samsung strategy of selling devices belonging to this family only on the internet, which may also explain the more generous price. With this, the company manages to maintain a balance, offering a more striking technical sheet, reminiscent of the more complete models of the Galaxy A line, but with a simpler construction.
One thing is a fact: the M21s is very similar to the Galaxy M31, launched in Brazil in July last year, and clearly the South Korean shows that it has reused parts here. It has a smooth plastic finish and adopts the brand’s current language with the cooktop camera module, and a centralized fingerprint reader.
The blue version, which we received for testing, has a gradient effect on the rear, with the lower part darkened. Samsung does not ship a case in the box, but I recommend using the accessory, as this material used by the manufacturer scratches very easily.
Even with a giant 6,000 mAh battery, the Galaxy M21s is not an extremely full-bodied smartphone; it weighs 191 grams, pretty much the same as the A21s. To give you an idea, the Moto G9 Power has 221 grams with a thickness of 9.7 mm and the M21s has 8.9 mm. All of this to say that, in general, the giant number of the battery is not reflected in the construction and usability, since it has a good grip and does not weigh in the pocket.
The chip and memory card drawer, located on the left side of the phone, allows you to use two nano-SIM cards and a MicroSD together. Underneath are the USB-C port, the speaker and a headphone jack.
Screen and sound
While the Galaxy M51 was equipped with a huge 6.7-inch screen, Samsung did it differently with the M21s that inherited the M31’s display, however that’s not a negative point. It has an excellent 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel, with Full HD + resolution (2340 x 1080 pixels) and 19.5: 9 aspect ratio.
It is a good configuration with a strong shine, deep black and bright colors. In short, the screen delivers great immersion in various mobile activities, which ends up leaving the competition behind. The edges are thin, there is a jutier chin that does not spoil the experience of use and, to house the 32 megapixel camera, the brand opted for a drop-shaped notch, the famous Infinity-U.
The speaker is mono and at least the volume is loud. As a differentiator, Samsung delivers Dolby Atmos that can be activated with a connected headset, however I realized that there is no immersive sound experience, even using a headphone. So, the extra feature is just ok.
In December, the Tecnoblog showed Samsung phones and tablets ready to receive Android 11 in the coming months. However, some people noticed that the M21s did not appear on the list with the M31 and M51, but we went after an answer. I talked to Samsung and the company confirmed that, yes, the M21s will receive Android 11, but the South Korean did not share a date for this to happen.
From the factory, it comes with Android 10 accompanied by One UI Core 2.0, which is a simplified version of One UI 2.0 and does not offer a safe folder or Screen Edge, features present in the Galaxy A51.
In addition, the interface remains similar to that of other branded devices. As a standard, the main Google applications are pre-installed, in addition to Microsoft, Chinese e-commerce, hotel, transport by application and other Samsung exclusive apps, such as Global Goals and Samsung Members.
Unlike the brothers, the M21s did not receive a macro camera. In my view, Samsung got it right: it is better to remove this lens that not everyone uses and cut costs than to introduce and not provide a good experience (and raise the price). The smartphone’s main sensor has 64 megapixels with an aperture of f / 1.8; ultrawide has 8 megapixel resolution with f / 2.2 aperture; finally, it has the 5 megapixel depth sensor.
The main camera can deliver beautiful photographs even in the most complex scenarios. In this photo (below), on a rainy day, the M21s controlled the exposure, the noise and the level of detail was satisfactory. This appreciation is related to post-processing, which tends to weigh on saturation, but does not damage the result. The same happens with sunny days, but I could see that, in this condition, the shadows become darker.
Ultrawide has a cool effect, produces warmer images, without chromatic aberrations, however the sharpness is somewhat impaired and the edges are slightly distorted. Still, the performance should please most consumers.
The depth sensor, also known as dynamic focus, strives and can fail in more difficult places, where there is a lot of visual information, especially. In other environments, the performance is convincing, following the recipe of the main camera.
The night mode of the M21s is not great, but it manages to be better than the Moto G9 Power. The South Korean device generates records with controlled noise, highlighted details, and makes the sky more natural. He just doesn’t know how to handle artificial lighting very well, which can be blown off, but honestly, it didn’t bother me much.
At the front, the 32-megapixel front camera does a good job, delivering selfies without softening the face too much and the blur tends to come out more naturally. Despite the graininess, photos in dark environments look good.
Hardware and battery
Inside we have our own processor, the Exynos 9611, octa-core up to 2.3 GHz, which can run most applications without any difficulty. You will be able to run Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube without deadlock and the switch between them is very good, remembering that the M21s has 4 GB of RAM. The internal storage is only 64 GB, and I believe this model could come with 128 GB, do you agree? At least it accepts microSD up to 512 GB.
If you like mobile games, but are not a very demanding player, then you may like the device’s performance for this purpose. Light titles operate smoothly and the heavier ones, like Asphalt 9, also act without turbulence, but with occasional gagging at times, especially when the details are at their maximum.
I, honestly, am loving the war of high battery numbers and Samsung has been standing out here, because the M51, for example, has 7,000 mAh (no, you got it wrong), it’s a tablet capability! Motorola and other Chinese brands are also on this positive wave.
Speaking specifically of the Galaxy M21s, we have a 6,000 mAh battery that, according to the company, guarantees up to 26 hours of video playback and up to 48 hours of connection. During my tests, I consumed two hours of Netflix, one hour of YouTube, 20 minutes of Asphalt 9 and another 16 minutes of social media. The percentage went from 100% to 77% and, during these activities, the phone was connected to Wi-Fi and with maximum brightness all the time, so a spectacular result! Most users should charge the device every two to three days.
On power, Samsung added a 15-watt plug adapter to the box. With only 4%, I connected the M21s to food and it reached 100% after 2h40min, an average time.
Samsung Galaxy M21s: is it worth it?
With a discreet look and advancing brain, the Galaxy M21s is one of the best intermediaries of 2020/2021 in the range of R $ 1,300. It has everything a basic consumer looks for today: attractive price, powerful battery that lasts, a balanced photo set and a formidable processor capable of running almost anything without much difficulty.
Samsung is also right to offer an excellent AMOLED panel that we don’t find in the competition; remembering that the Moto G9 Play, Xiaomi Redmi 9 and LG K62 only offer LCD. If I could participate in its development, maybe I would suggest a more powerful charger and who knows NFC, right?
The construction of the M21s is not eye-catching, moreover, it takes risk easily. Still, this does not prevent me from recommending the Samsung device, not least because a good part of the customers must wear cases and, honestly, his performance is what interests me most. Anyway, the M21s is the middleman that you should consider beforehand.
Samsung Galaxy M21s
- Excellent screen for various mobile activities
- Lots of battery
- Balanced photo set
- Competitive price
- Satisfactory performance for the category
- Could have NFC
- Rear stripe with ease
- Screen: 6.4-inch Super AMOLED with HD + resolution (2340 × 720 108);
- Processor: 2.3 GHz Exynos 9611 octa-core;
- RAM: 4 GB;
- Internal storage: 64 GB, expandable by microSD card up to 512 GB;
- Frontal camera: 32 megapixels (f / 2.0);
- Triple rear camera:
- Main: 64 megapixels (f / 1.8);
- Ultrawide: 8 megapixels (f / 2.2);
- Depth sensor: 5 megapixels (f / 2.2);
- Recording: 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) at 30 fps;
- Drums: 6000 mAh with 15 watt charger;
- Connections: 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 + 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, FM radio, 3.5 mm headphone jack, USB-C;
- Sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, Geo Magnetic, light sensor, Virtual Proximity Sensing, fingerprint reader (rear);
- Operational system: Android 10 (Samsung confirmed the update to Android 11);
- Dimensions and weight: 159.2 x 75.1 x 8.9 mm, 191 grams.