Samsung Galaxy M21 review
Samsung is one of the most prolific smartphone manufacturers these days. Last week, the brand introduced yet another affordable phone in M-series, the Galaxy M21, which is more similar than different to the Galaxy M31 or even the M30s.
At an economical starting price of Rs. 12,999, the Galaxy M21 offers an AMOLED screen, 6000mAh battery, a decent amount of RAM and storage, and of course, Samsung branding.
In our Samsung Galaxy M21 review, we will detail our experience with the phone and also compare it with the clashing Samsung phones as well as other alternatives from Realme and Xiaomi. Hopefully, this should help you decide whether or not to buy the Galaxy M21.
Samsung Galaxy M21 Price and Specifications
|Model||Samsung Galaxy M21|
|Display||6.4-inch, AMOLED, 1440 x 2400 (full HD+), Gorilla Glass 3|
|Chipset||10nm Exynos 9611 (2.3GHz octa-core; Mali G72MP3 GPU)|
|RAM||4GB/ 6GB LPDDR4x|
|Storage||64GB/ 128GB; Dedicated card slot (512GB)|
|Software||Android 10, OneUI 2.0|
|Rear camera||48MP, f/2.0 (primary) 8MP primary, f/2.25 (wide-angle) 5MP, f/2.2 (depth sensor), 5MP, f2.4 (macro) 480fps slow-motion videos, EIS, UHD videos|
|Selfie camera||32MP, f/2.0|
|Fingerprint sensor||Capacitive (rear-mounted)|
|Dimensions and weight||8.9 mm; 164 grams|
|Battery||6000mAh, 15W fast charging|
|Colours||Ocean Blue, Space Black|
|Price||Rs. 14,999 (6GB + 64GB), Rs. 16,999 (6GB + 128GB)|
Samsung Galaxy M31 Unboxing: Box Content
Box contents remain the same as of other M-series phones. Samsung doesn’t bundle headphones, protective case, or pre-install any plastic screen protector. The Galaxy M21 box includes:
- 15W Adaptive fast-charging adaptor
- USB cable (Type-C)
- SIM ejector tool and documentation
Samsung Galaxy M21 review: Design and Build
Samsung Galaxy M21 looks almost the same as Galaxy M31 (review) or even the Galaxy M30s. All of these phones are surprisingly light, considering the 6000mAh batteries on board. For consumers who prioritize big batteries, this shall be a definite advantage.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max also offers a sizeable 5000mAh battery, but it’s nowhere near as handy as these Samsung M-series phones.
On the downside, the glossy plastic back feels a bit flimsy and cheap. Not that this should be much of an issue once you use a protective case. And, frankly, the water-drop notch now feels outmoded.
The Galaxy M21 covers most essentials – Gorilla Glass 3 scratch resistance, dedicated card slot, USB Type-C charging port, and audio jack are all there. The fingerprint sensor at the back is fast and reliable, which is why we’d take it over Samsung’s optical in-display sensors on more expensive A-series phones any day.
So, long story short, the Galaxy M21 isn’t very premium in its feel, but it’s very well designed for a big battery phone and covers most basics.
Also Check: Phones with AMOLED display under Rs. 20,000
Samsung Galaxy M21 review: Display
The Galaxy M21 has a punchy 6.4-inch AMOLED display and supports HD streaming on popular streaming apps like Netflix and Prime videos – which is not something we can say for rival Xiaomi or Realme phones.
Not all AMOLED displays are equal, and the one on the M21 is expectedly inferior to what you’d get on phones like Galaxy A51, but it’s still a great screen to watch videos. Consumers can choose between two color profiles – vivid and natural – and enjoy AMOLED perks like deep blacks in dark mode and always-on mode.
The display isn’t exceptionally bright, but we didn’t face any trouble using the phone under direct sunlight on occasions.
Also Read: Samsung Galaxy A51 review
Samsung Galaxy M21 review: Performance and Software
When it comes to performance, the Galaxy M21 can’t quite match up to Realme and Xiaomi options. The Exynos 9611 powering the phone is not particularly snappy and isn’t meant for hardcore gamers, but does feel adequate for light and moderate day-to-day usage.
Games like PUBG are playable, but the performance isn’t as smooth in the default settings. In Smooth -extreme settings, the gameplay feels quite responsive.
The higher positioned Galaxy M31 doesn’t have a 4GB RAM option and starts at 6GB + 64GB. The M21 starts at 4GB LPDDR4x RAM + 64GB storage and there’s a 6GB + 128GB variant as well.
I for one certainly consider the well designed OneUI 2.0 software (Android 10) a massive advantage over Realme UI and MIUI, but this is a subjective matter and your preferences might differ. Ads and recommendations aren’t as intrusive, and the software is feature-rich and well laid out.
The call quality is great in our area. The phone supports all relevant connectivity options including Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi calling, and Dual SIM VoLTE.
Samsung Galaxy M21 review: Camera performance
Samsung Galaxy M21 has three cameras on the rear. The primary camera is a 48MP sensor (as against 64MP on Galaxy M31) and it’s accompanied by an 8MP wide-angle shooter and a 5MP depth sensor.
In proper daylight, the Galaxy M21 shoots detailed and well-metered shots. The camera quality is almost similar to that of the Galaxy M31.
Portrait shots also turned out better than anticipated.
The wide-angle camera can be used to capture wider landscapes in proper lighting. The quality is strictly average and we don’t see anyone using this frequently.
In low light, the quality deteriorates. The Galaxy M31 performs comparatively better.
The Galaxy M21 has a night mode, but the camera struggles to focus in night mode.
The 20MP selfie camera does a decent job, but the one on the Galaxy M31 fairs better in low light.
4k video recording is supported, but the best results come with 1080p and super steady turned on.
Samsung Galaxy M21 review: Battery and Audio
With a 6000mAh powerhouse and a power-efficient chipset on board, battery mileage shouldn’t be a concern. Due to Coronavirus lockdown, we were restricted to our homes, and our battery could easily last for more than 2 days.
The 15W fast charging isn’t exactly fast, though. You’d still need around 2.5 hours to fully recharge the battery.
The audio output via the bottom-firing speaker is reasonably loud and the quality is above average. The same goes for audio via headphones.
Also Read: Realme 6 Pro Review
Samsung Galaxy M21 Review: Verdict, Pros & Cons
For starters, the Galaxy M21 offers almost the same experience as the Galaxy M31, but the later justifies its higher price with better low-light camera performance and better selfie camera performance. The Galaxy M21 could just as well have been the 4GB RAM variant of the M31.
Of course, online exclusive phones from Realme and Xiaomi have more powerful chipsets, but the extra horsepower they offer doesn’t come without a few compromises.
The Samsung Galaxy M21 can Galaxy M31 can match with these phones in terms of camera performance, are significantly slimmer and lighter and, if you ask us, have a more refined software – which are all legit advantages.
- Relatively lighter than other ace rivals
- AMOLED display and HD streaming support
- Massive battery
- Dedicated card slot
- Fast biometric unlock
- Mediocre gaming
- Charging isn’t fast enough
Samsung Galaxy M31 FAQs answered
Question: Should I buy the Galaxy M21 or the Galaxy M31?
Answer: The experience of both phones is almost similar. The Galaxy M31 shows slightly better low-light camera performance and has an extra macro camera.
Question: Does Galaxy M21 support slow-motion video recording?
Yes, the Galaxy M21 supports 480fps slow-motion video recording.
Question Does Galaxy M21 have Wi-Fi calling and Dual 4G VoLTE?
Answer: Yes, it does.
Question: What is the SAR value of Samsung Galaxy M21?
Answer: SAR value for Galaxy M31 is 0.383 W/ KG head.
Question: What are default PUBG settings in Galaxy M21?
By default, PUBG runs in HD graphics and High frame rate. The gameplay is better in Smooth-extreme. Q