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

  • mixmaxmix - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    s21+ battery life is better than s21U ? Reply
  • Samus - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    $800-$1200 for a phone that'll lose value faster than a Chrysler. I'll consider it next year when you can pickup a refurb for $400. Reply
  • flyingpants265 - Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - link

    The prices keep skyrocketing so the used market is holding fast. Oneplus 5-6 phones are still expensive. A phone with old motherboard, battery, USB port, etc.. no thanks. Reply
  • shabby - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    First time I skipped the galaxy s phones, the downgrades are just unacceptable. Since the s7 i used the sdcard for extra storage, now without an sdcard the 256gb that's on the s21 just isn't enough, why isn't there a 512gb option on the s21? The base s10 had a 1tb option and I had the 512gb myself, makes no sense 🤷🏼‍♂️ Reply
  • flyingpants265 - Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - link

    microSD is super great. I have my entire music collection on my phone and a crapload of movies. Reply
  • Pinn - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    All those cameras are giving me trypophobia (don't look it up). Reply
  • Samus - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    lol Reply
  • Bearded2021 - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    Excellent review. Were the battery tests for s21 ultra done at 1080p or 1440p resolution? Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    1440p. Reply
  • Bearded2021 - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    Thanks. Any idea if display power consumption is measurably lower at 1080p with these new displays and if so, is it significant? Reply

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