A few months back, Samsung successfully made big-battery smartphones accessible with its M-series. But the mid-range is a tough segment to crack with the competition from the likes of Xiaomi and Realme. But Samsung knows how critical this segment is right now, given the current situation where consumers are more price-sensitive than ever. For these uncertain times, the new Galaxy M21 makes a lot of sense. Here’s a closer look at what it’s been like to use the Galaxy M21 over the past week.
Samsung Galaxy M21 specifications: 6.4-inch FHD+ SAMOLED display|Exynos 9611 processor, 4GB/6GB RAM or 64GB/128GB storage|48MP main camera+5MP depth and 8MP ultra wide angle|6000mAh batery|20MP front camera|188grams, 8.9mm thick|Android 10, OneUI 2.0
Samsung Galaxy M21 price in India: Rs 13,999 (4GB RAM/64GB storage)
Samsung doesn’t try to be different with the Galaxy M21, and that’s just fine. Let me be clear: I don’t have too many things to say about the Galaxy M21 because the phone looks exactly like the Galaxy M31. So, the Galaxy M21 has a polycarbonate back like the Galaxy M31. Some people may not find it interesting but it never felt like using a cheap plastic phone.
For a phone with a 6000mAh battery, the design and build seem perfect. I also liked the fact that the phone doesn’t feel heavy or bulky, considering the massive battery inside the device. However, I do feel the Galaxy M-series phones have become a bit too dull in terms of design. To be frank, none of this matters to a user who is coming from the Galaxy J-series or any older generation Samsung phone.
Although the phone excels on many fronts, my two favorite features remain the battery life and the quality of the display. The 6,000mAh battery in the Galaxy M21 goes on and on. It managed to last one and a half days with my standard usage pattern, which includes browsing the web, listening to Spotify, emails, checking Facebook and Twitter, and light gaming. Since the phone’s battery lasts for so long, you don’t want to worry about taking the charger with you. A quick-charge with the charger fills the phone’s battery in minutes.
Another aspect of the M21 that I liked the most is the display. This is a big phone with a 6.4-inch Full HD+ display. And since the phone uses an AMOLED display, the contrast level is great and the black levels are absolute. Even though a lot of mid-range phones these days offer AMOLED displays, the ones made by Samsung have better displays somehow. I found the screen absolutely fine for reading eBooks, watching YouTube, and web browsing. By the way, the small U-shaped notch doesn’t annoy me anymore. It did annoy me a lot at the beginning but it soon becomes a part of the scenery.
Speaking of performance, the Galaxy M21 is powered by the same Exynos 9611 chipset that you find on the Galaxy M31. Samsung has used this processor on many of its mid-range phones and going by my testing, the chipset gets the job done. I was able to open all of the popular apps like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok on the device without any issues. But don’t try to run too many heavy games that could slow down the performance. The phone runs on Android 10, and Samsung has done a good job with OneUI 2.0. My review unit had 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage.
You won’t get a great camera system, and that’s one area where I think the phone falls flat. You get a 48MP primary camera sensor alongside an 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 5MP depth camera. The 48MP main sensor is a hit and miss. Sometimes the photos look great and other times the photos come out of focus. That’s not to say the camera is bad, it is just not consistent. The Galaxy M21 takes bright shots but in some cases, images lack richness. Even though the phone lets you take ultra-wide angle shots or bokeh shots I wasn’t too impressed. In comparison to the Galaxy M31, the Galaxy M21 pales in the camera department. For a change, though, the Galaxy M21’s 20MP front-camera surprisingly worked well both indoors and outdoors.
Take a look at the sample shows below that were taken on the Galaxy M21.
The Galaxy M21 performs similarly to the Galaxy M31. I mean, both phones have a 6000mAh battery, identical processors and displays, and even the design is the same. What the Galaxy M21 noticeably lacks, however, is a camera that’s not at par to the Galaxy M31. Still, there’s a lot to love about the Galaxy M21. For those who are still using old Galaxy phones like the Galaxy J2, I think the Galaxy M21 would make logical sense.