System Performance

Following our more in-depth review of the SoCs powering the S21 family, today we’re focusing more on the general system performance and user experience. In many instances, this aspect of a device is defined by the software making good use of the available hardware capabilities more than the actual hardware itself.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Web Browsing 2.0 PCMark Work 2.0 - Writing 2.0 PCMark Work 2.0 - Photo Editing 2.0 PCMark Work 2.0 - Data Manipulation PCMark Work 2.0 - Performance

In the PCMark results, both the Exynos and Snapdragon S21 Ultras showcase massively impressive results. While the Snapdragon 888 variant of the S21 isn’t all that much of a massive upgrade compared to the Snapdragon 865 powered S20 series phones, the new Exynos 2100 S21’s are very much leaving its predecessors far behind.

WebXPRT 3 - OS WebView

Speedometer 2.0 - OS WebView

JetStream 2 - OS Webview

The web-browsing tests are showcasing similar results, with the Snapdragon S21’s showcasing smaller generational boosts, while the Exynos S21 sees massive performance uplifts.

General Performance - Outstanding

In general, the performance of the new Galaxy S21 series this year is nothing short of outstanding. In terms of software optimisations and general responsiveness of the devices, they’re practically perfect, and essentially the way the phones now behave is as optimal as can be achieved whilst still remaining reasonable with every-day power efficiency.

While the 120Hz mode last year came at a great cost in power efficiency, and I even personally opted to use 60Hz in everyday usage because of that, the new adaptive refresh rate displays on the S21 series, particularly the superior implementation on the S21 Ultra, means that most people will be able to enjoy this highly user-experience augmenting feature without any major drawbacks this year.

Introduction & Design GPU Performance


View All Comments

  • theblitz707 - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    Can you comment about black clipping at minimum brightness? Back when you were testing s10 you would show minimum brightness graphs i really miss those they were important for me. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    Black clipping on the S21U occurs at 7% levels at minimum brightness after which it has accurate gamma, it's a bit better than the S10 but still not great. On the S21 it clips at 7% as well, but has garbage high gamma up until around 13% after which it is fine. I'll add the graphs tomorrow. Reply
  • Psyside - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    Upon further inspecting of all photos, i have noticed the bad blurry, grain and out of focus early firmware characteristic, i can confirm that nothing of that edge blurriness, lack of sharpness and softness is not present in AUB9. The 10x zoom shots are stunning, and the night shots without night mode are also very much improved. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    I say as much in the review that there are firmware updates. Unfortunately I can't delay testing arbitrarily in hope that Samsung updates their camera software, nor am I going to redo the testing for a given review.

    If Samsung has improved the camera, that's great, and I'll cover that in the next round-up.
  • Psyside - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    Thanks for everything you qre a legend Reply
  • Psyside - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    Are& Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    Those camera jumps are UGLY AS SIN. good thing we don’t put a bigger battery in and flatten the bottom of the phone! Reply
  • Chaser - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    While I respect Anandtech, a majority of professional (smartphone only) reviewers disagree with your assessment of the Ultra 21 and in my experience I can second their very positive experiences with the camera and the rest of the phone's refinements. Especially compared to the S20 Ultra. Reply
  • Psyside - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    Andrei stated that most if not all shots are on early firmware, the camera was quite bad at launch. Reply
  • Psyside - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    He will redo the comparison in future articles Reply

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