Is it still worth buying the Galaxy S21 in 2022?

More than a year after its announcement, the Galaxy S21 5G has been drawing the attention of Brazilians looking for a top-of-the-line cell phone and don’t want to spend a lot. I think it’s safe to say, by the way, that it’s the best Samsung phone to buy right now for some factors that I’d like to point out in this article.

We have already produced numerous materials about the Galaxy S21, such as review, comparisons and camera test, so the purpose of this agenda is not to analyze the device again. The idea here is to show how the smartphone “aged well”.

Galaxy S22 has not improved much over the S21

The Galaxy S21 is one of Samsung’s best choices this year 2022 and one of the reasons is precisely the lack of news in the new generation of the Galaxy S line compared to last year’s model.

I reviewed the new Galaxy S22 for the Canaltech and he managed to fix some S21 problems, which I thought was great. The construction has gotten better, of course, as last-generation plastic has been replaced by Gorilla Glass Victus+ glass. The cell phone also got a little smaller, albeit less ergonomic.

The Galaxy S22 has improved in some ways (Image: Ivo Meneghel Jr./Canaltech)

In performance, the S22 came with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, superior to the Exynos 2100 present in last year’s phone. It has gained in power, but has not improved much in terms of energy efficiency.

As for the cameras, there were also news, such as the new 50 MP main camera that takes better photos in the dark thanks to improvements in Samsung’s camera software.

Even with these improvements, I concluded in my analysis that it was not worth paying the extra, that is, more than R$ 1,500, for the new device because, in practice, these news were not very significant. I’ve used both devices for a few days and the usage experience has improved very little year on year.

And that means the Galaxy S21 has aged very well. Its screen is still one of the best available on the market, mainly due to the Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel and the adaptive refresh rate of 120 Hz. The design, although simpler, is still very pretty — and the violet color is sensational!

The Galaxy S21 is a very competent phone even after some time on the market (Image: Ivo Meneghel Jr./Canaltech)

The Exynos 2100’s performance, although more inconsistent than Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Snapdragon 888, has improved after some updates. So, you should already see a Galaxy S21 much more competent in various tasks. But unfortunately it still suffers in very heavy games.

In short, let’s say that the Galaxy S22 is a Galaxy S21 “Pro”, as there have been some improvements, but nothing so incredible that it warrants the upgrade — even because, apart from what I mentioned above, the rest of the settings are almost the same.

Better option than the S21 FE

Anyone who follows the cell phone market, more specifically Samsung releases, knows that the FE (Fan Edition) variants replace the standard model of the Galaxy S line after some time on the shelves. The S21 FE, for example, will take the place of the S21 as the brand’s cheapest top of the line eventually.

But while Samsung still officially sells the Galaxy S21, it’s not worth betting on its Fan Edition version because, despite being released much later, it has a less interesting set compared to its older brother.

The S21 FE is very similar to the S21, but it still lacks in some respects (Image: Ivo Meneghel Jr./Canaltech)

The Galaxy S21’s photo set is more robust when compared to the S21 FE. It can shoot up to 8K at 24 fps with the main camera, but also shoots in 4K at 60 fps with all lenses, unlike its brother that has limited ultrawide and telephoto sensors.

In addition, the Galaxy S21 comes with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage, while its brother Fan Edition has “only” 6 GB of RAM, that is, simpler. Both have the Exynos 2100 chipset already with improved processing.

Perhaps the only advantage of the S21 FE over the S21 is the higher capacity battery, as it has 4,500 mAh, as well as the greater upgrade support, as it was released later.

Updates for a long time

Since I touched on the subject of updates, a very important point when buying a high-end cell phone is the support time the company will give it.

Samsung has been standing out a lot in this regard, being the Android device brand that is most concerned in this regard.

Samsung promises updates for the S21 by 2015 (Image: Ivo Meneghel Jr./Canaltech)

The Galaxy S21 was launched in 2021 with Android 11 and is currently running Android 12. According to the company, it will still be updated to the future Android 15 — if that’s the name. That is, it should have another three years of operation quietly.

very low price

Lastly, I wanted to talk about the price. Android phones usually devalue, this is normal. But the Galaxy S21 5G had such a huge price drop in such a short time that it surprised everyone.

It was launched in early 2021 for R$5,999, but in December of the same year it was available for R$3,500.

With the launch of the S21 FE and S22 in the following months, the device was circulating between R$3,100 and R$3,300, slightly above the Fan Edition version.

Now, the Galaxy S21 has been seen costing an incredible BRL 2,519, but it usually appears for BRL 2,800, equivalent to the S21 FE. Perhaps this huge price drop is a move by Samsung to spawn the device before discontinuing it for good.

That is, this is undoubtedly the best time to buy the Galaxy S21, if you are looking for a high-end phone with a premium mid-range price. It still delivers a very nice set for all tasks, and it should still hold out for many years before it starts to have problems.

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