Samsung Galaxy M21 review: an autonomy champion with some shadows

Samsung Galaxy M21 review: an autonomy champion with some shadows
Samsung Galaxy M21 is a low-mid-range smartphone, which is a cheaper alternative to the Galaxy M31 that we got to appreciate in our review. In fact, with the latter it shares most of the technical characteristics, except for some elements that justify the lower selling price. expandable internal memory. A figure that puts it in competition with many equally valid devices that fit into the same price range. I am thinking for example of the Redmi Note 9 series, the Poco X3 NFC or the Realme 7. In short, it will certainly not have an easy life.

As mentioned, most of the features are borrowed from the Galaxy M31. To make the difference there are the RAM (which in the older brother reaches 6 GB) and the photographic sector. For this reason, we decided to set up the review a little differently by explaining the points (and considerations) in common and those in which they differ.

The points in common

Let's start from the points in common. Galaxy M21 also makes autonomy its strong point, thanks to a 6,000 mAh battery that allowed us to easily cover two full working days. As you can see from the screenshots below, during my test I even exceeded 7 hours of screen on. Truly extraordinary results that - personally - I have never achieved with any other device.

Frontally, we find an excellent 6.4-inch SuperAMOLED panel with Full-HD + resolution (1080 x 2340 pixels) protected by Gorilla Glass 3 The panel offers a high level quality and a very satisfying viewing experience. Excellent viewing angles, excellent contrast and very high brightness. No visibility problems even on very sunny days.

The oleophobic treatment of the rear body, made of polycarbonate, remains very bad and tends to get dirty very easily. The photo module is almost flush with the panel and the biometric sensor is positioned on the side power button. Again, I found it inaccurate. Do not miss the 3.5 mm audio jack, always much appreciated.

Complete connectivity: Dual-SIM support (with the possibility of using the microSD at the same time), NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Type-C port for charging and 3.5 mm audio jack. The software part is entrusted to Android 10 with customization of the One UI 2.0 graphic interface, with all the solutions to which the Seoul giant has accustomed us.

The differences

The differences between Galaxy M21 and Galaxy M31 are all in the two aspects that most interest users: performance and the photographic sector. The beating heart is the same, the Exynos 9611 which in this case is combined with 4 Gigabytes of RAM. The difference is felt in everyday use, with the smartphone that is less responsive and slower in some circumstances.

It still runs well and performs the most classic activities serenely, but the level of fluidity is lower than the older brother. An aspect that - if on the one hand - leads it to differentiate itself from the Galaxy M31, on the other, it represents a disadvantage when it faces the competition.

On the rear, we find three cameras instead of four. The 64 Megapixel (f / 2.0) main sensor is paired with an 8 Megapixel (f / 2.2) wide angle and a 5 Megapixel (f / 2.2) sensor to collect depth of field information. The results drop a little in every situation. The photos during the day are however appreciable.

The color rendering is not excellent. Colors are vibrant, less natural, and much closer to what users want for social sharing. The noise, however, is more evident with a tendency to mix colors, especially in shots with the wide-angle camera which - especially at night - remains a step behind.

Night mode is present, which slightly improves the result , but unfortunately it can only be used with the main sensor. Videos can be recorded up to 4K resolution. The quality remains average, but the lack of optical stabilization is noticeable.

The 20 Megapixel front camera (f / 2.0) is on average. In the daytime, it manages to pull off appreciable selfies with a good level of detail. While there is a strong presence of noise at night. From this point of view, Galaxy M31 manages to do better. Also present here the possibility of being able to shoot with a closer or distant shot, the latter is very useful for group photos and with a background panorama.

However, it should be emphasized that during our Samsung test has released an update that aimed precisely to make the performance of Galaxy M21 more stable and to improve photographic performance. We do not therefore rule out that it may improve over time.

Conclusions: who should buy it?

The real strength of the Galaxy M21 is its excellent autonomy. If this is your need and you have a budget of around 200 euros, it could be for you. The performances are fluctuating and this could make you lean towards the older brother or towards the many alternatives on the market. In short, it is a smartphone that can meet the tastes of that group of users who are not particularly demanding.

As often happens, the natural price drop that affects Android smartphones could immediately make it more attractive. Beyond some aspects that can be improved, Galaxy M21 still offers an excellent AMOLED display, complete connectivity and an appreciable photographic sector, in addition to the aforementioned above average autonomy.

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