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 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.
Pentastic is one of the newer Good Lock modules, allowing users to customize their S-Pen experience. The latest update adds some custom backgrounds to Air Command, as well as brightness and blur control.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is an extremely good phone. It's got great cameras, and thanks to its overkill specs, its performance is up there with any current Android device. If you've been itching for one but paying four figures for a phone rubs you the wrong way, consider this: you can pick one up direct from Samsung for $900 right now, plus an extra $250 in store credit.
Samsung kickstarted its February 2021 patch rollout a bit early this time, with the European Galaxy S20 line being the first recipient. Now, these latest Android security updates are spreading to the US, starting with the unlocked Galaxy S20 models and the Note20 Ultra, and more recently followed by a couple of older and budget devices on AT&T and Verizon.
When Android 11 arrived last year, it included a lot of new features to try. Samsung has manage to do fairly well at updating its devices this time around, with the S20 and Note20 series receiving Android 11 by the end of 2020, and many other phones getting it ahead of schedule. While Samsung added plenty of its own features, Google's enhancements still shine through, and here are the ones you really owe it to yourself to be using.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best smartphone I've ever used. Taking all of the good points from last year's S20 Ultra and fixing many of the complaints, this device is an absolute powerhouse. To paraphrase Uncle Ben, with great hardware comes great flexibility, and as such, there are plenty of apps and resources you can use to make the most of your shiny new phone, and here are 10 of our favorites.
This story was originally published and last updated .
I personally love Samsung's One UI, but not everybody wants their Samsung smartphone to feel quite so Samsung. Getting your phone to feel a little more Google and a little less Galaxy is fortunately quite straightforward, both thanks to Android itself and some of the inherent customization features found in One UI. In this guide, we'll show you how to make your Galaxy phone look and feel a bit more Pixel-y. I'll be using my S21 Ultra for this demonstration, but these steps can be used on any Samsung device running One UI 3.0.