Progress all the time marches on. Samsung has proven this idea itself time and time once more. Yearly since 2010, Samsung has handled us to a brand new Galaxy S cellphone. In 2021, that killer machine is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely. You will discover out how a lot we favored it in our full assessment.

The S21’s launch had us desirous about final 12 months’s flagship from Samsung, the Galaxy S20 Extremely. It was a polarizing cellphone that had its fair proportion of followers and foes. The S20 Extremely was, after all, Samsung’s top-of-the-line handset for the 12 months with each characteristic stacked inside its over-sized body. The massive footprint matched the large price ticket. We had been questioning how the cellphone has held up over the past 12 months, and whether or not or not it’s price your hard-earned money in the present day.

Let’s discover out by trying out the Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely, one 12 months later.

About this Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely long-term assessment: used the Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely on and off for about six months till August 2020. I lately spent per week with the cellphone once more for this text. The cellphone was operating Android 11 and One UI 3.1.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely assessment recap

Haven’t thought concerning the Galaxy S20 Extremely shortly? To not worry. Samsung’s Galaxy S collection are annual affairs, and it’s straightforward to combine them up. The S20 Extremely first debuted in February 2020. You’ll be able to learn our authentic Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely assessment, our six-month revisited assessment, or watch the video assessment above to refresh your reminiscence.

Nonetheless a bodily beast

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra angled profile

Credit score: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Nothing concerning the S20 Extremely is delicate. It’s an infinite machine that instructions your consideration everytime you’re holding it. With a 6.9-inch display screen, it’s among the many largest Samsung telephones ever. Let’s not overlook that it weighs a whopping 220g (half. a. frickin’. pound). The glass and metallic supplies maintain up nicely by way of match and end, however the grey colorway I examined is easy to a fault. I a lot want the look of the S10, Be aware 20, and S21 collection units.

Samsung cellphone purchaser’s information: Every thing you must know

The {hardware} will get so much proper. You’ve acquired your speedy USB-C, good-sounding stereo audio system, and strong buttons. The cellphone helps microSD reminiscence playing cards—one thing the S21 household doesn’t—and an IP68 ranking shields the chassis from injury from water and mud. There’s no headphone jack, however that’s water below the bridge at this level within the premium smartphone sport.

The digicam module remains to be ugly. The Be aware 20 and S21 telephones have severely huge digicam modules, too, however they get pleasure from extra cohesive designs. I’m not the most important fan of recent telephones’ outsized digicam gear, regardless of the great motive for the massive arrays (higher cameras). Samsung may have achieved a barely higher job right here.

In case you’re shopping for this cellphone, you’d higher be shopping for it for the display screen.

At almost seven inches, the display screen is a monster. This show stays a wonderful panel for all of your smartphone wants. It provides Quad HD+ decision, 120Hz refresh price, and HDR10+ to your video enjoyment. In case you’re shopping for this cellphone, you’d higher be shopping for it for the display screen. There’s little question the show is the S20 Extremely’s defining characteristic.

Solely a small hit to efficiency

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra rear profile

Credit score: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung included the most effective specs obtainable on the time of launch, and it’s no shock to be taught that the S20 Extremely holds up fairly nicely a 12 months later.

Let’s discuss pace. The cellphone was among the many first to ship with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor (not less than within the US), and it included a wholesome allotment of 12GB RAM and 128GB storage. The Snapdragon 865 can’t evaluate to the newer Snapdragon 888, however so far as 865-based telephones go, the S20 Extremely holds up nicely. I observed no sluggishness or different drawback indicators with the cellphone, regardless of its age. The video games I downloaded ran rather well, too.

See additionally: Historical past of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 collection

I ran some benchmarks for the heck of it and the cellphone scored on par with different Snapdragon 865 telephones, such because the OnePlus 8, and simply bested Exynos variants of the S20 collection. The one telephones that outscored it had been operating the Snapdragon 865 Plus or the Snapdragon 888. The S20 Extremely’s processor nonetheless kicks butt.

Expectedly, the battery life isn’t fairly pretty much as good because it was at launch. The cellphone has a strong 5,000mAh battery below the hood, which remains to be aggressive when pitted in opposition to 2021 flagships. With the out-of-the-box configuration (Full HD+, 60Hz), it sailed by way of a full day with no drawback. The truth is, it typically pushed nicely right into a second day with out breaking a sweat. Upping the decision and/or refresh price will impression battery life. With these choices chosen, the cellphone lasts a full day, however simply barely. The cellphone nonetheless costs up quickly, whether or not plugged in or positioned on a wi-fi charger. We noticed barely higher figures when the cellphone was new.

One 12 months from launch, and the Galaxy S20 Extremely is definitely a greater 5G cellphone than it was initially.

One 12 months from launch and the Galaxy S20 Extremely is definitely a greater 5G cellphone than it was initially. That’s not the cellphone’s doing; somewhat, US wi-fi networks have expanded their help for sub-6GHz-flavored 5G. With a Verizon SIM card, the S20 Extremely discovered Large Purple 5G sign and confirmed some speedy outcomes — one thing it couldn’t do the primary time round. That is welcome information when you have a more moderen plan on Verizon. Each AT&T and T-Cellular have additionally expanded their mid-band 5G networks, so it stands to motive the S20 Extremely will see improved 5G efficiency on these networks, as nicely.

The software program story is healthier, too. The cellphone initially shipped with One UI 2.5. It was an appropriate little bit of software program to handle the cellphone, however Samsung made huge strides all through 2020 and into 2021 with its software program. Now, the machine is operating One UI 3.1, and it’s so much cleaner and extra dependable. The cellphone’s incapacity to set my Google feed because the far left dwelling display screen nonetheless bothers me, nevertheless.

Digital camera is outpaced by newer telephones

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra camera profile

Credit score: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Every thing up up to now may counsel that the 2020 Galaxy S20 Extremely may maintain its personal with the most recent {hardware}. It could actually, largely, nevertheless it falls brief for the digicam — and that doesn’t shock me.

Samsung stumbled badly out of the gate with the S20 Extremely’s digicam software program. The 108MP sensor had bother focusing and sometimes delivered grainy/delicate outcomes. Issues acquired barely higher with subsequent updates, however the cellphone all the time remained wanting greatness by way of the digicam setup. That’s nonetheless the case in the present day, many system updates later. It’s a superb digicam cellphone, however not an amazing one. The largest challenge is that it’s nonetheless notoriously gradual to focus, and focus is a contact delicate. This isn’t the tip of the world, nevertheless it’s a bummer nonetheless.

Apple, Google, and Samsung itself have all bested the S20 Extremely with current units. For instance, Apple’s iPhone 12 Professional Max contains a wonderful digicam, as does Google’s Pixel 5, and Samsung’s personal Be aware 20 Extremely and S21 Extremely. These telephones all ship higher digicam outcomes, although every does so in its personal manner. What’s most necessary right here is that Samsung was capable of right the errors of the S20 Extremely on the Be aware 20 Extremely and S21 Extremely. That’s encouraging.

The S21 Extremely is solely higher in each manner

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Credit score: Adam Molina / Android Authority

Let’s not beat across the bush. Samsung bested itself with the Galaxy S21 collection. The recent 2021 machine is a extra cohesive providing throughout the board. The design is solely superior. Whereas the digicam module remains to be big, not less than it’s included within the design in a extra seamless and built-in manner. It’s a delicate improve, however a welcome one. The matte colorways of the S21 are additionally cleaner and extra subtle wanting than the shiny S20 Extremely. The display screen’s enhancements are additionally fairly obvious.

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The most recent chip from Qualcomm is healthier than the older one, however the Snapdragon 888 delivers different advantages past uncooked pace, comparable to tweaked energy administration, improved gaming, and higher picture processing. Which means the S21 has nice battery life, is a graphics powerhouse, and snaps higher pix on a complete.

Then there’s the value. Samsung priced the S21 Extremely at $1,199, which is $200 below the expensive $1,399 S20 Extremely.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely long-term assessment: The decision

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra rear panel

Credit score: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely stirred up the pot a bit when it was launched. Others shared our opinion that the cellphone was a monstrosity, that the digicam was problematic, and that the asking value was simply too excessive. None of these items has actually modified.

Samsung designed an over-the-top piece of {hardware} that many discovered to be too huge. That gripe apart, the cellphone delivered throughout numerous fundamentals — and it nonetheless does. Efficiency is great, battery life remains to be good, and the 5G and software program tales have solely gotten higher. The digicam is sweet, however doesn’t evaluate to the most recent class of flagships.

There is not any thriller right here. Do not buy the S20 Extremely. Get the S21 Extremely as a substitute.

Pricing is the true deal-breaker right here. Samsung remains to be promoting the cellphone at full value by way of its personal web site, carriers, and different retailers. When not included in a sale, it’s not discounted in any respect; Samsung remains to be in search of the complete $1,399. That’s simply not going to occur. With year-old {hardware}, this cellphone must be completely discounted by lots of of {dollars}. The Galaxy S21 Extremely is, nevertheless, $200 cheaper. Why spend $1,399 on a year-old cellphone when you may get the most recent and significantly better mannequin for $200 much less?

There’s no thriller right here. Don’t purchase the S20 Extremely. Get the S21 Extremely as a substitute.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely

From 5G connectivity to 100x zoom, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely is without doubt one of the greatest telephones Samsung has to supply.

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