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Samsung Galaxy M21 Review: The budget battery king

In order to impress the millennials, the Galaxy M21 comes in with a massive 6,000mAh battery, a Super AMOLED display and much more. But at a price of Rs. 12,699, should you pick one up? Let’s find out in this review.

Edited by: Devesh Arora @aroradevesh New Delhi Published on: June 13, 2020 16:09 IST
Samsung Galaxy M21 is just an upgraded Galaxy M30s.
Image Source : DEVESH ARORA

Samsung Galaxy M21 is just an upgraded Galaxy M30s.

Samsung Galaxy M21 has recently arrived in India in order to succeed the Galaxy M20s, which was launched last year. With the Galaxy M series devices, the company aims to challenge Xiaomi and Realme by offering great hardware for at an aggressive price point. 

In order to impress the millennials, the Galaxy M21 comes in with a massive 6,000mAh battery, a Super AMOLED display and much more. But at a price of Rs. 12,699, should you pick one up? Let’s find out in this review.

Samsung Galaxy M21 Review: Specifications

Samsung Galaxy M21 sports a 6.4-inch FulHD+ Super AMOLED display. It is powered by the Exynos 9611 processor paired with up to 6GB of RAM. The dual-sim handset comes with up to 128GB of onboard storage, which is further expandable using a dedicated microSD card slot. It runs on One UI 2.0 based on Android 10 out of the box. All of this is backed by a 6,000mAh battery.

On the optics front, the Galaxy M21 features a triple rear camera setup including a 48MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens and a 5MP depth sensor. Upfront, there is a 20MP selfie snapper.  

Samsung Galaxy M21 Review: Design and Display

Samsung Galaxy M21 brings a modern design language to the table. The smartphone looks similar to some of the other recently launched Galaxy smartphones. Being a budget segment smartphone, it gets a plastic back with a glossy finish. While the gloss back finish helps the design look more appealing, it catches up fingerprints and smudges quite easily. 

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Image Source : DEVESH ARORA

It features a gloss back design.

On the front, the Galaxy M21 sports a 6.4-inch panel with a waterdrop style notch. It has thin bezels offering a great viewing experience. The notch looks a bit outdated considering the competitors Redmi Note 9 Pro and Realme 6 come with punch hole design. 

As for the placements, M21 sports a USB Type-C port on the bottom edge surrounded by the 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker grille and the primary microphone. The right edge houses the power button and volume buttons. On the left edge, there is just a SIM tray that can accept two SIM cards and a microSD card. The top edge of the phone is mostly left clean with the exception of the secondary microphone.

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Image Source : DEVESH ARORA

The display is bright and vivid.

Coming back to the display, it is a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2340x1080 pixels. By offering such a display in this segment, the company is giving a great option to people who watch a lot of movies on their phones. While the likes of Redmi Note 9 Pro and Realme 6 offer a better performance, the Galaxy M21 brings a much batter content streaming experience. It offers deeper blacks, punchier colours and great brightness levels. 

Samsung Galaxy M21 Review: Performance, Software and UI

Samsung Galaxy M21 is powered by the Exynos 9611 processor paired with up to 6GB of RAM. During the review period, I did not face much lag when scrolling through social media or switching between apps. The smartphone even managed to play games like PUBG Mobile and Forza Street at medium graphics. 

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Image Source : DEVESH ARORA

It manages to get decent scores on 3D Mark, PC Mark and GeekBench benchmarks.

While it performs decently in most of the tasks, if you are hungry for more performance or you like gaming at the maxim graphics, then you might want to look elsewhere.

The Galaxy M21 runs on Android 10 based One UI 2.0 out of the box. The user interface feels snappy and does bring in a host of features including a system-wide dark mode, Always-on display and more. Just like every other mid-range Samsung phone that I have used, I did went over to Settings > Advanced Features and turned on “Reduced animations” to get that extra bit of smoothness. 

Samsung Galaxy M21 Review: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy M21 sports a triple camera setup at the back. The setup comprises of a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. The smartphone also gets Live Focus, Pro Mode, Night, Food, Super Slow-Mo mode and much more.

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During our tests, the Galaxy M21 managed to click some decent shots. Under good lighting condition, the phone managed to lock focus quickly and even picked up the natural colours. However, in true Samsung fashion, the images did churn out a bit more saturation than one would prefer. That does compliment in making these images look more vivid and bright. 

As for the low lighting scenarios, the images did show some grain. Selfies also came out well after turning off the default beauty mode. 

Samsung Galaxy M21 Review: Battery

The battery segment is where the Galaxy M21 manages to outshine among its competition. The handset comes with a massive 6,000mAh battery. During my time with the device, light to medium usage got me two full days of usage. Even with heavy usage, the phone lasted more than a day. This makes it a great smartphone for people who travel a lot or watch a lot of movies on their smartphone. 

With the battery being so huge, the charging speeds take a hit. The smartphone does support 15W fast charging. But even with that, the device takes more than two hours to fully charge the massive battery. 

Samsung Galaxy M21 Review: Verdict

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Image Source : DEVESH ARORA

It sports a 48MP triple rear camera setup. 

Samsung Galaxy M21 feels just like an upgraded version of the Galaxy M30s. While there are a lot of similarities in terms of the specifications, the price tag of the M21 makes it a much better deal. The smartphone offers an AMOLED display, a massive 6,000mAh battery, Android 10 and more just for a starting price of Rs. 13,999.

In case you watch a lot of movies on your phone or just need a long-lasting battery, the Galaxy M21 would be a perfect fit for your pocket. However, if you are more into gaming and performance-oriented tasks, you should take a look at the Realme 6 or the Redmi Note 9 Pro.

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