The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra & S21 Review: The Near Perfect and The Different

Today we’re reviewing the Galaxy S21 Ultra in both Exynos and Snapdragon SoC flavours, as well the baseline Galaxy S21 – contrasting two very different devices in Samsung’s new series, coming in at two very different price points.

Today we’re reviewing the Galaxy S21 Ultra in both Exynos and Snapdragon SoC flavours, as well the baseline Galaxy S21 – contrasting two very different devices in Samsung’s new series, coming in at two very different price points.

Investigating The Galaxy S21 Ultra New OLED Emitter: Huge Efficiency Improvements

As a prelude to our full review, today we’re investigating the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s new display, which beyond QHD 120Hz and VRR capabilities, also brings a new emitter technology with huge power efficiency gains.

As a prelude to our full review, today we’re investigating the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s new display, which beyond QHD 120Hz and VRR capabilities, also brings a new emitter technology with huge power efficiency gains.

The Google Pixel 5: A Mini-Review – Small Package, Small Value?

The Pixel 5 is a change of tactic for Google, with the company opting to go the route of a lower-cost “premium” or high mid-range component configuration, rather than setting up the Pixel 5 as an all-out flagship phone. Given the company&r…

The Pixel 5 is a change of tactic for Google, with the company opting to go the route of a lower-cost “premium” or high mid-range component configuration, rather than setting up the Pixel 5 as an all-out flagship phone. Given the company’s product release cadence over the years, always releasing new phones towards the end of the year, just around the corner of the spring next-gen releases. This schedule had always been a disadvantage for Pixel flagships, so maybe Google’s change of strategy here to go for the mid-range is a more sensible approach.

Qualcomm Tech Summit 2020: Day Two Live Blog (10:00 ET, 15:00 UTC)

With day one of Qualcomm’s annual summit announcing its new Snapdragon 888 smartphone processor, today is the day where we get all those shiny technical details. Stick with us here at AnandTech from 10am ET to get the information as it is announced through our Live Blog!

With day one of Qualcomm's annual summit announcing its new Snapdragon 888 smartphone processor, today is the day where we get all those shiny technical details. Stick with us here at AnandTech from 10am ET to get the information as it is announced through our Live Blog!

Qualcomm Tech Summit 2020: Day One LiveBlog (10:00 ET, 15:00 UTC)

The annual Qualcomm Tech Summit is upon us, and today is the first day of announcements. Cristiano Amon is expected to go into Qualcomm’s successes this year as well as look forward to Qualcomm’s upcoming roadmap. Starts soon, so follow with AnandTech!

The annual Qualcomm Tech Summit is upon us, and today is the first day of announcements. Cristiano Amon is expected to go into Qualcomm's successes this year as well as look forward to Qualcomm's upcoming roadmap. Starts soon, so follow with AnandTech!

The Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro Review – A Solid Overall Value

Amongst the many flagship devices released in this first half of the year, one often overlooked device was Xiaomi’s Mi 10 series. The company’s leading Snapdragon 865 phones were released quite early on, but were largely overshadowed by ot…

Amongst the many flagship devices released in this first half of the year, one often overlooked device was Xiaomi’s Mi 10 series. The company’s leading Snapdragon 865 phones were released quite early on, but were largely overshadowed by other competitor devices, with the phone not having official US carrier support or releases also playing a big role. In Europe and other markets however, Xiaomi is an increasingly important player and is quickly filling in the gap that’s being left by Huawei.

Today, we’re having a closer look at the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro, how the phone stacks up against the competition, and especially how the phone’s camera system is unlike any other on the market. Although we’re reviewing the Pro variant today, Xiaomi also offer the regular Mi 10 which is essentially identical in looks and features, with the exception that it lacks some of the more versatile camera setups of the Pro variant.

ASUS Announces ROG Phone III – 144Hz S865+ Monster

Today ASUS is announcing its newest flagship gaming-oriented phone, the ROG Phone III. A direct successor to the quite well received ROG Phone II from last year, the company is keeping the formula quite basic this year, keeping the general characteris…

Today ASUS is announcing its newest flagship gaming-oriented phone, the ROG Phone III. A direct successor to the quite well received ROG Phone II from last year, the company is keeping the formula quite basic this year, keeping the general characteristics of the ROG Phone III similar to that to its predecessor whilst upgrading the core components such as the SoC, now featuring for the first time in a device the new Snapdragon 865+.

ASUS ROG Phones
  ROG Phone III ROG Phone II
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
1x Cortex A77 
3.1GHz
3x Cortex A77 @ 2.42GHz
4x Cortex A55 @ 1.80GHz

Adreno 650 @ +10%
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ 
1x Cortex-A76 @ 2.96GHz
3x Cortex-A76 @ 2.42GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.80GHz

Adreno 640 @ 675MHz
DRAM 16 GB LPDDR5 12 GB LPDDR4X
Storage up to 512GB UFS 3.1 128 / 512GB UFS 3.0
Display 6.59" AMOLED
2340 x 1080 (19.5:9)
144Hz

270Hz Touch
6.59" AMOLED
2340 x 1080 (19.5:9)
120Hz

240Hz Touch
Size Height 171.0 mm 170.99 mm
Width 78 mm 77.6 mm
Depth 9.85 mm 9.48 mm
Weight 240 grams 240 grams
Battery Capacity 6000mAh

30W charging (PD)
6000mAh

 
Wireless Charging -
Rear Cameras
Main 64MP IMX686
0.8µm pixels (1.6µm 4:1 16MP)
 
48MP IMX586
0.8µm pixels (1.6µm 4:1 12MP)
f/1.79
Telephoto - -
Wide 13MP
125° wide-angle
13MP
125° wide-angle
Extra 5MP Macro -
Front Camera 24MP 24MP
I/O USB-C 3.1 (Side)
+ USB-C 2.0 (Bottom)
USB-C 3.1 (Side)
+ USB-C 2.0 (Bottom)

3.5mm headphone jack
Wireless (local) 802.11ax WiFi-6
Bluetooth 5.1 LE + NFC
802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0 LE + NFC

802.11ad (Wireless display)
   
Other Features Dual Stereo Speakers

Under-Display Fingerprint Sensor
Dual-SIM Dual nanoSIM
Launch Price   8+256GB + S865  :    799€
12+512GB + S865+:    999€
16+512GB + S865+:  1099€
12+512GB: $899 / £829 / 899€ 

The new SoC upgrades the CPU and GPU speeds by 10%, upping the frequencies on the Cortex-A77 cores to up to 3.1GHz for the first time ever in a smartphone. ASUS says that it’s also vastly upgraded the heat sink of the SoC inside the phone, with it now being 6x larger than that found on the ROG Phone II. Combined with a revamped vapour chamber design, the new phone is said to be virtually immune to thermal throttling and is able to keep is peak performance figures for prolonged periods even in demanding situations.

The phone also upgrades its RAM and storage options. You’re able to feature up to 16GB of LPDDR5 memory, whilst the 512GB NAND storage has been upgraded to an UFS 3.1 unit, improving transfer speeds by up to 15%.

On the display side, ASUS has kept the same screen size and resolution as on the ROG Phone II at 6.59” and 2340 x 1080, but this time around has upped the already high 120Hz refresh rate to up to 144Hz, with also an uptick in the input touch sampling rate to up to 270Hz. This being the biggest feature of the ROG Phone II, it’s arguably seen smaller upgrades this generation.

ASUS is seemingly also keeping a very similar footprint between generations as both phones still have 171 x 78mm length and widths, although the new phone is listed as being thicker at now up to 9.85mm. Weight hasn’t changed and still falls in at a hefty 240g, mostly taken up by the huge 6000mAh battery that also hasn’t seen changes this generation. Much like its predecessor, these are gigantic phones.

On the camera side of things, we’ve seen a big improvement on the main camera unit which has been switched from the previous generation IMX586 sensor to a newer IMX686. The upgrade here lies in its larger 1/1.72” sensor size, retaining 0.8µm pixels but being improved in resolution to up to 64MP with a quad-Bayer colour filter array, binning down to 16MP for regular mode shots. As of writing we don’t have information on the optics of the camera.

The ultra-wide-angle seems to have at surface remained the same at 13MP with a 125° field of view, but again we’re lacking specifics. An addition to the camera array is a 5MP macro camera which generally is more of a gimmick rather than something that augments the capture experience.

In terms of connectivity, of course the big upgrade is the move to 5G thanks to the new X55 modem. Wi-Fi 6 also the norm now and BT has been upgraded to version 5.1. We don’t see mention of ASUS’ “wireless display” functionality with 802.11ad so it might be the company has removed this feature this generation.

One other big feature that’s been removed is the 3.5mm headphone jack. Unfortunately, as in many other vendors this has gone the way of the Dodo, and is only otherwise available through ASUS’ AeroActive Cooler 3 add-on accessory which features a pass-through USB-C and 3.5mm port.

Availability in Europe later this month, the US in September

The ROG Phone III is said to first appear in Europe later this month in the form of a Strix variant with a regular Snapdragon 865 and 8+256GB of RAM for 799€, whilst the 12+512GB and 16+512GB variants will be offered later for 999€ and 1099€. In the US, the phone will only release in September with pricing there being released at a later date.

Related Reading:

OnePlus Announces Nord – Snapdragon 765 at 399€

Today OnePlus is announcing its latest smartphone, the new OnePlus Nord. The Nord is a special device for the company as it’s the first time since its inception that we’re seeing a product release outside of the usual flagship line-up. The…

Today OnePlus is announcing its latest smartphone, the new OnePlus Nord. The Nord is a special device for the company as it’s the first time since its inception that we’re seeing a product release outside of the usual flagship line-up. The new Nord positions itself as a mid-range device in the “premium” category, coming with a Snapdragon 765 SoC as well as an attractive price point.

Best Android Phones: March 2021

We’re well into 2021 now and the new release schedule of devices is in full swing. January has been unusually eventful in that Samsung has announced and released their new Galaxy S21 line-up much earlier than in prior years, making into our recommendation list for all the company’s new models.

We’re well into 2021 now and the new release schedule of devices is in full swing. January has been unusually eventful in that Samsung has announced and released their new Galaxy S21 line-up much earlier than in prior years, making into our recommendation list for all the company's new models.