Samsung Galaxy M21 Review

After the coronavirus lockdown in India got a relief, the Samsung Galaxy M21 is now finally available in India featuring 6,000 mAh battery, 48 MP triple cameras, and Super AMOLED display. The phone was launched on 18th March and was available through Amazon from 23rd March, but due to the nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the phone was not available for purchase.

The key highlights of the phone are its 48 MP triple cameras, a massive 6,000 mAh battery, and the Super AMOLED notched screen. Here’s what you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy M21 in our review.

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Samsung Galaxy M21 Specifications

  • Display: 6.4-inch Super AMOLED Infinity-U display, Full HD+ resolution (2340 × 1080 pixels), 420 nits brightness, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • Software: One UI 2.0, Android 10
  • CPU: 10nm Samsung Exynos 9611 octa-core SoC
  • GPU: Mali-G72MP3
  • Memory: 4 GB or 6 GB RAM
  • Storage: 64 GB or 128 GB, LPDDR4X
  • Main Camera: 48 MP rear camera with LED flash + 8 MP 123-degree ultra-wide-angle camera with f/2.2 aperture + 5 MP depth sensor with f/2.2 aperture
  • Selfie Camera: 20 MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • Others: Fingerprint sensor, 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio, Dolby Atmos
  • Connectivity Options: Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5, GPS + GLONASS, USB Type-C port
  • Battery: 6,000 mAh, 15W charging
  • Colors: Midnight Blue and Raven Black
  • Price: ₹12,999 (4 GB + 64 GB), TBA (6 GB + 128 GB)
  • Availability: From 23rd March via Amazon India

Design, Display & Build Quality

The Samsung Galaxy M21 features a 6.4-inch Infinity-U Super AMOLED display with a resolution of Full HD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels). The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and you can see the notch on the top carrying a selfie camera.

Speaking about the design, its very much identical to the Galaxy M31, the only major difference is the triple cameras versus the quad cameras. The rest of the design is pretty much the same as you see on the Galaxy M31.

No on-screen fingerprint screen technology is used, the phone has a fingerprint scanner on the back. This is pretty much old school for those who fancy the physical fingerprint scanner. The competition is ahead with its on-screen fingerprint technology.

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The phone doesn’t bundle a protective case and a 3.5 mm earphones. The bottom has a USB Type-C, loudspeakers, and a microphone whereas the top has another microphone and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

On the right side of the phone, you can see the power button and volume keys whereas the left side has a triple-slot sim tray with a separate microSD card slot.

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Software & User Interface

On the software side, the Samsung Galaxy M21 uses Samsung’s latest software OneUI 2.0 interface based on the Android 10. The Samsung Galaxy M21 with OneUI 2.0 offers features Always On display, Dark mode, Smart View, Ultra Data Saving, Dolby Atmos, Focus mode, Dual Messenger, Game Launcher, Fingerprint sensor gestures, and Blue light filter.

The Dolby Atmos should boost the audio quality and give you a better multimedia experience. Other additional features like Edge Lighting isn’t available. You will find bloatware on the phone that can be removed if not required. Apps such as Facebook, Netflix, OneDrive comes pre-installed and can’t be uninstalled, but the rest of the bloatware can be removed easily.

To know more about the OneUI 2.0, refer to our past reviews of the Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

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Hardware, Performance, & Gaming

Under the hood, the phone is powered by the homegrown Exynos 9611 SoC which was also seen in the last year’s Galaxy M30s. It comes in two variants, one with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage and the top variant with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage both with microSD card support.

When it comes to the hardware, the Galaxy M21 does have enough power to run the apps and games, unlike the Galaxy M11 which offers mediocre performance. The Exynos 9611 closely competes the Snapdragon 710 so expect the performance similar to the phones using the Snapdragon 710, the Snapdragon 712 is slightly better than the Exynos 9611.

For gaming, the phone can run games on medium settings and high in some games. PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile, and other similar games can be run smoothly on default graphics settings.

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Cameras

On the camera’s front, the phone has a triple camera setup on the back with the 48 MP primary sensor, 8 MP ultra-wide-angle lens 123-degree FOV, and the last being a 5 MP depth sensor. The front side carries a 20 MP snapper for taking selfies and video calling.

The camera features Live Focus, ultra-wide-angle, Pro mode, Slow Motion, super slow motion, super steady, night mode, food mode, and panorama mode.

The camera does offer 4K video recording and super slow motion, unlike the Galaxy M11, however, the 60fps video recording is missing on the phone. If you want to record 60fps videos, the Galaxy M21 camera doesn’t offer in any of the 1080p video as well as in 720p video.

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Take a look at these camera samples taken from the Samsung Galaxy M21.

Samsung Galaxy M21 Camera Samples

Battery Life

One of the most important features of the phone is its battery, the Galaxy M21 packs a massive 6,000 mAh battery with 15W fast charging support. The 6,000 mAh battery seems enough for all your daily activities, for those who want a phone with reliable battery life in this price segment, the Samsung Galaxy M21 won’t disappoint you.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy M21 doesn’t really make a huge difference, the design isn’t exciting, it looks very much the same as Galaxy M30s. However, as far as the price is concerned, you get a 6,000 mAh battery which sounds is great if you are looking for a phone with a reliable battery life. Other features like Super AMOLED display and a decent camera add up to the overall package to make it one of the best phones in this segment.

Strength

  • Crisp AMOLED Display
  • Reliable Battery Life
  • Good Camera Quality
  • Dedicated microSD Card Support

Weakness

  • No 60FPS Video Recording
  • No In-Screen Fingerprint Scanner, But Physical One

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