Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera test: setting the bar high


Samsung went all out this year with the new Galaxy S21 Ultra. It truly is the ultimate smartphone, especially for photographers who want the best hardware the money can buy.

Like last year’s S20 Ultra, this year’s model sports a 108MP main camera sensor that promises to deliver incredibly sharp photos in daylight and low light situations thanks to its unique nona-binning technology that allows for 9 to 1 pixel binning. The other three cameras on the back of the phone include a 10MP 3x telephoto camera, a 10x periscope telephoto camera and a final 12MP sensor paired with a 120-degree ultrawide lens that also doubles as a macro camera. Up front, the Galaxy S21 Ultra features a 40MP selfie camera.

For video capture, Samsung has bumped up the resolution and frame rate for all five cameras to 4K/60, a first for a smartphone since most devices that feature a 4K selfie camera are limited to 30fps. The only downside is that the phone isn’t able to switch between the four different lenses on the back of the phone while recording at 4K/60, so you’ll need to bump things down to 4k/30 if that’s a feature that’s important to you.

To give you an idea of what the cameras on the Galaxy S21 Ultra are capable of, we took the phone out and captured more than 100 photos and videos. There’s really a lot to like with the camera setup on the S21 Ultra since the four cameras on the back give you a lot of different options when it comes to framing your shot. It’s almost like having a DSLR with a good zoom lens with you at all times.

So far, I’m pretty impressed with the results and have not noticed any glaring issues with the images or videos that the cameras on the S21 Ultra produce. We’ll be putting together a detailed camera comparison with the Galaxy S21 Ultra and other devices like the Pixel 5, iPhone 12, and a handful of other flagship devices from 2020 to give you an idea of how Samsung’s new 2021 flagship device stacks up against the competition.

Take a look at the video and photo gallery and let us know what you think of the Samsung Galaxy S21’s cameras.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera gallery

Nick Gray
I'm a life-long tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC. After writing about tech for more than a decade, I jumped at the opportunity to take on the role of Editor in Chief at Phandroid. Please contact me at [email protected].

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