Samsung’s Galaxy A range has taken a lot of prominence among users looking for an inexpensive but very balanced terminal in all its aspects. And it is that the competition is very tough, so the Korean manufacturer has put the batteries with its new models for 2020. This time I was able to spend a few days testing the Samsung Galaxy A21s, a mobile that for just over 200 euros offers us a large screen and a photographic module with four cameras on its back.
To this we must add some interesting features such as an Exynos processor, 4 GB of memory and a large 5,000 mAh battery with fast charge. If we add the user experience offered by the Samsung customization layer and a simple but beautiful design, we can be in front of a mobile phone that is very easy to recommend. However, as we already know from experience, what a data sheet says does not always translate into a good experience with real use. So I have spent about two weeks using the Samsung Galaxy A21s and I tell you what I think.
|Samsung Galaxy A21s|
|screen||6.5-inch PLS TFT LCD panel with HD + resolution of 720 x 1,600 pixels|
|Main camera||Quad camera:
48 MP main sensor with f / 2.0 aperture
8MP ultra wide-angle with f / 2.2 aperture
2 MP depth sensor with f / 2.4 aperture
2 MP Macro camera with f / 2.4 aperture
1080p video recording at 30fps
|Camera passes selfies||13 MP sensor with f / 2.2 aperture|
|Internal memory||64 GB|
|Extension||MicroSD (up to 512 GB)|
|Processor and RAM||Exynos 850 (octa-core 2 GHz), 4 GB of RAM|
|Battery||5,000 mAh with 15W fast charge|
|Operating system||Android 10 with OneUI 2.0|
|Connections||Dual Band WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB Type C 2.0, 3.5mm Jack|
|SIM||Dual Nano SIM|
|Design||Good quality plastic back, colors: black, blue and white|
|Dimensions||163.7 x 75.3 x 8.9 mm, 192 grams|
|Featured Features||Fingerprint reader on the back
Plastic back and TFT screen
The Samsung Galaxy A21s is completely made of polycarbonate, except its front part. Of course, it is a fairly quality plastic and it has a glossy finish that could “go down” and go through glass. The test unit they sent me was white in color, a pretty nice finish and does not show as much fingerprints as other darker colors. It is also available in black and blue.
The frames are also made of plastic, but this time in a more matte color, without shine. And speaking of the frames, on the right side we have the volume and power buttons. They are the only physical buttons, since on the opposite side we only find the tray for SIM and Micro SD cards.
At the top we have nothing, while at the bottom we will see the Type C USB connector, the 3.5mm jack headphone jack (with FM radio) and the speaker.
Turning to the rear, the black camera module stands out against the glossy white of the test model. Right next to you we have the fingerprint reader, located at a good height and offering fast and successful operation. The back curves slightly to “connect” with the frame. The truth is that, at least in white, it seems to me a quite successful design.
As for the front, several things to note. The first that surrounding the screen we have some somewhat wide frames, an unequivocal symbol that we are facing a cheaper terminal. It is the lower frame that stands out the most, but the rest look perfectly. High-end models tend to rush the frames around the screen.
The second is that the front camera is placed in a hole in the upper left. The hole is not too big, but around it we will appreciate a black shading when we are on a white screen. This is due to the type of panel used, which we will talk about next.
The screen is one of the components in which it is most noticeable that we are facing an economic terminal. The Samsung Galaxy A21s changes the usual AMOLED panels that Samsung uses in its mid-range and high-end terminals for a PLS TFT LCD panel. This has a size of 6.5 inch and offers a HD + resolution of 720 x 1,600 pixels.
If we compare it with the higher-end models, the difference is clear. We are before a less sharp screen that shows much more muted colors. In addition we will not have the possibility to change them, since in this model Samsung has not included its usual display options to adjust temperature and color space.
On the other hand, automatic brightness tends to leave the screen a little darker than necessary. And the maximum brightness is not too high, so we can have display problems if we have the sun hitting the phone. All this does not mean that the screen looks bad, but it does have its limitations and we must know them.
Too tight performance and very good autonomy
The Samsung Galaxy A21s debuts the Exynos 850 processor, a chip with eight cores running at a maximum of 2 GHz. Accompanying the processor we have 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. On paper it is not a bad technical package, but the truth is that the mobile offers a fairly fair performance.
If we are running a single application we will not have any type of problem. I’ve even been able to play demanding games, like Fortnite or CoD, in low resolution. We notice the jerks when we open several applications at the same time and, above all, when we are installing updates and at the same time we want to open an application. In this situation the lag is very pronounced.
On these lines you have, as usual, the performance tests that I usually pass to all the phones that pass through my hands. Obviously the results cannot be compared with high-end mobiles or even the so-called mid-high range.
The Samsung Galaxy A21s is far from achieving the results obtained by mobiles such as the Redmi Note 9 from Xiaomi, with a very similar price.
As for the rest of the hardware, it is worth noting two sections in which the A21s does a good job. The first is the sound, in which the A21s stands out compared to other models of similar category.
In addition to having a speaker that offers a good audio qualityIt also has the Dolby Atmos option to improve the sound. On the other hand, as well as on the screen we had no configuration options, the sound can be adapted to our liking thanks to a good handful of adjustments.
The other section in which the Samsung Galaxy A21s stands out is in autonomy. It has a 5,000 mAh battery with which we can reach two days with moderate-high use. With a very intensive use we can end the day without any problem.
I liked the loading time less. Despite having 15W fast charge, the terminal takes almost two hours to load from 0 to 100%. It is not much if we compare it with a mobile phone that does not have any type of fast charge, but it is a slower fast charge than that offered by other similar models.
Four cameras to be fashionable
In 2020 it seems that the key is to include the maximum possible sensors. We have seen it in most high-end models and manufacturers have moved it to the lower-end models.
The Samsung Galaxy A21s has four cameras on its back. The main one is a 48 megapixels with f / 2.0 aperture. We also have a 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle with f / 2.2 aperture, a 2-megapixel depth sensor with f / 2.4 aperture and a 2 megapixel macro sensor with f / 2.4 aperture.
With this set we will have many creative options at our disposal. But, as usually happens, not all of them offer the same image quality. The main sensor performs correctly when the light accompanies. The focus is quite good, it has a good dynamic range, the overall quality of the images is more than acceptable and HDR manages to overcome some difficult situations.
He Portrait mode The depth sensor is used to achieve a better bokeh effect. And the truth is that it doesn’t do anything wrong, with adjustable blur and fairly precise cropping. It can fail on some complicated edges, such as loose hairs, but overall the result is satisfactory.
At night things get complicated, losing a lot of detail as soon as we enlarge the image. Also, Samsung has not included Night Mode, so the camera suffers even more than usual.
The second leading sensor is the ultra wide angle, than has a clearly inferior performance to the one offered by the main sensor. The level of detail is much lower, but images in good light are usable. Furthermore, HDR also does a good job on this sensor. However, we have quite a bit of distortion at the ends and you have to fight a lot with the focus.
The sensor for macro photos closes the set, with which we can focus at a distance of between 3 and 5 centimeters. It is a sensor that offers a very fair quality and that we can only use to get some curious detail.
At the front we have a 13 megapixel sensor with f / 2.2 aperture. It offers a good overall quality, with natural colors and a more than acceptable level of detail. It also has Portrait Mode, although it is not as accurate as that offered by the main camera.
By last, the main camera offers video recording with 1080p resolution at 30fps, so nothing too remarkable. I leave you a series of photos taken with the different sensors that the Samsung Galaxy A21s includes.
Gallery of photos taken with the Samsung Galaxy A21s
Conclusions and price
The Samsung Galaxy A21s is an inexpensive and unpretentious mobile. It has a plastic body, a non-AMOLED display, a fairly fair tech set, and a large battery.
Its photographic system is within the average of the range, so we can not put too many buts. It also has some details, like not be compatible with Samsung Pay despite having NFC, which make us see that we are dealing with a low-end mobile.
It is a mobile that tries to offer some of the characteristics of the upper-middle range with a much more adjusted price. The problem is that we have some alternatives on the market that, with a similar or slightly higher price, offer us better performance than the A21s.
Even Samsung itself has more recommended phones at a very similar cost. So this device from the Korean firm has a tough battle ahead to gain a foothold in a fairly saturated market.
We can find the Samsung Galaxy A21s with an official price of 230 euros. It is available in three finishes: black, white and blue.
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