The April security patch has already reached a whole bunch of Galaxy devices in the US, but Samsung’s rollout continues to steadily progress as more phones and tablets join the list. Now, the April patch is hitting some mid-range Galaxy A phones and flagship tablets from Verizon and T-Mobile.
I used Google devices exclusively for years. At the time, I loved my Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, the first two generations of the Pixel (XL versions), the Nexus 9 and Pixel C tablets, and even the Pixelbook. But after a few weeks with the Pixel 3 XL, I had to face a truth that I'd been trying to deny: Google hardware makes too many compromises. I went through at least three of each Pixel, all replaced on warranty for one reason or another. And the 3 XL wasn't faring any better in the software department, with the music app constantly being pushed out of memory and the camera failing to save many of the pictures and videos that I took.
Samsung has put a lot of effort into improving its software reputation, and a big aspect of that change has been a renewed focus on issuing regular security updates. Over the last couple of years, Samsung has frequently managed to beat Google to the punch, and that continues even now as the Galaxy Note10, Z Fold2, and S21 have all received the April security patch, more recently followed by the Galaxy A72, Tab A 10.5 (2018), and Tab S7+.
The Galaxy S21 series surprised many of us when it came with Google Messages as the default SMS app rather than Samsung's own. Google even made some changes to make the app fit in, altering the color palette to match Samsung Messages and adding support (finally!) for Galaxy Watches. Google has taken this one step further this week, completely redesigning Messages to match One UI's aesthetic.
Samsung has been trying to improve its image in software lately, especially when it comes to security updates for Android devices. What better way than to release an update several days early? That's the case with the May security update, which is rolling out to at least some Galaxy S21 models in Europe starting today.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Whether you're reading this article on a shiny new S21, or you're still waiting for your device to show up at your door, chances are you're going to need a case to protect your investment. Luckily, there are a lot of great options available, as long as you know where to look. These are our top five favorite cases for the Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra.
Samsung really wants you to know that the Galaxy S21 Ultra has, in its opinion, the best camera you can buy on a smartphone today. These days, it's not enough for the phone's photography capabilities to be praised in reviews. You have to meet with consumers on their level, and in 2021, what do ordinary people love more than an overabundance of streaming services? That's why Samsung is teaming up with Hulu to produce an original reality show called Exposure, in which competitors will be given photography challenges focused around shooting with — you guessed it — a Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Samsung has really been owning it when it comes to the Android security patch game. Continuing that impressive track record, Samsung is already releasing the March 2021 update for several devices, even though we're still in February. As well as keeping our devices secure, we're also seeing some new features land, as the Galaxy Tab S7 picks up some new iPad-inspired capabilities.
Last year, Samsung released its most ambitious (non-folding) phone to date: the Galaxy S20 Ultra. It didn't go over especially well. A sky-high $1400 price tag and unremarkable camera performance torpedoed the phone outright in our final assessment, a rare miss for Samsung in the premium smartphone segment.
In 2021, Samsung is trying to reboot the Galaxy S20 Ultra formula with the S21 Ultra. And while the differences on paper (and often in practice) aren't what you'd call huge, the end result is a more palatably priced phone with a much-improved camera system — notably addressing our two biggest gripes.