Review Samsung Galaxy S21 review (hands on)

Rob Gladstone

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May 29, 2019
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I pre-ordered today. Got the workplace discount of $40 plus another $100 credit for accessories. Git the 25W charger, armor phone case, and UV germ killing/ charger box. So all that for $759 plus tax.
 
Jan 18, 2021
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why is everyone saying that a lack of charger in the box is a bad thing? Its an incredibly good thing an should be under the positive section. who doesn't already have 3 chargers? e waste is a huge issue and it should be seen as we are moving in the right direction which is a very positive thing.
 
Feb 14, 2021
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I traded my S-20 in for the S 21 and I like it very much. I was happy that this time my trade in phone qualified fully for the $700 deduction which did not happened when I traded in my S-8 for the S-20. The battery lasts long enough for me. To me anyway, the keys on the on screen keyboard seem to be bigger which is good with my big fingers. I'm thinking that my wife may like one of those Z flip phones better since she likes flip phones anyway.
 
Feb 25, 2021
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why is everyone saying that a lack of charger in the box is a bad thing? Its an incredibly good thing an should be under the positive section. who doesn't already have 3 chargers? e waste is a huge issue and it should be seen as we are moving in the right direction which is a very positive thing.
This is the first Android phone I've bought since the Galaxy S2 and I didn't realise it only came with a USB-c to USB-c cable - they don't hide it or anything, I just didn't even think to check. If you want to make it a positive thing then at least include a cable that works with the chargers that everyone has, not just the latest. I get that by providing a c-to-c cable they're near guaranteeing that the charger you use is high enough watt to support it, but I'm still buying an additional charger just to be able to use this.

At some point I'm going to have to either buy more a-to-c cables or new chargers and c-to-c cables, and I don't think I've thrown a single charger out since USB chargers became a thing.

E-waste is for sure a problem, but do that many people actually throw them away? Everyone I know has a dozen plugged in or in drawers, and it's really convenient to have a few spares around for if you're traveling or working in the garage or whatever. To each their own I guess?
 
I get that by providing a c-to-c cable they're near guaranteeing that the charger you use is high enough watt to support it, but I'm still buying an additional charger just to be able to use this.
If you've bought a new laptop which charges via the USB-C port, then no you don't need to buy an additional charger to use this. The laptop's charger will work with the phone. Both use USB-C PD (power delivery). It's an important enough development that I've been steering all my friends, clients, and relatives towards laptops which charge via USB-C PD.

At some point I'm going to have to either buy more a-to-c cables or new chargers and c-to-c cables, and I don't think I've thrown a single charger out since USB chargers became a thing.
USB-C PD dynamically increases the voltage if the device requests it. Without getting into a lot of electrical engineering, a higher voltage allows you to deliver more power a longer distance via thinner wires. So increasing the voltage was necessary to achieve USB charging rates higher than about 15 W.

USB-A is forever stuck at 5 Volts, so you can't do this with USB-A to USB-C cables. It has to be USB-C to USB-C.

E-waste is for sure a problem, but do that many people actually throw them away? Everyone I know has a dozen plugged in or in drawers, and it's really convenient to have a few spares around for if you're traveling or working in the garage or whatever. To each their own I guess?
It's not really about reducing e-waste, more about simplifying life. Including a charger with every phone made sense when the chargers were limited to 5-15 W and cost like 50 cents to produce.

Due to the complexity and higher wattage of USB-C PD, a capable charger will run you $20-$50. You don't want to pay for a half dozen of these (cost included in the product price) which sit in your drawer and are never used because every device you bought included one "for free". You want to invest in just a few - one for the living room, one for the bedroom, one which you take with you when you travel. That one charger will charge all your devices - phone, laptop, tablet, other devices powered by USB-C PD which haven't been invented yet. (And if you're wondering what if two devices both need to be charged, they make chargers with multiple USB-C PD ports.)

It's a step in the right direction - the start of being able to use one charger to charge anything. That's why you can use your laptop charger to charge your phone. You can use the USB-C PD charger on the newer Macbooks to charge the newer Windows laptop, and vice versa. (You just have to make sure the charger has sufficient max wattage. 65W seems to be becoming the standard, although there are versions which go up to 100W, and a few lower-end laptops use 45W chargers.) I foresee USB-C PD becoming the de facto standard for supplying DC power in cars, boats, houses, etc.. Finally eclipsing the ubiquitous raw 12V DC power (cigarette lighter), which actually varies from about 10.8V to 14.5V and can wreak havoc with sensitive electronics. I'm glad to see Samsung ditched their own proprietary fast-charging standard to support USB-C PD.

OTOH, Apple's decision to exclude the charger from the iPhones is less justifiable. Since the plug is proprietary, the only thing you can charge with them is an iPhone. So the only thing the customer gains by buying the charger is the ability to charge an iPhone, nothing else. What's really sad is that Apple could easily convert its Lightning data and power standards to run over USB-C cables, and have all their iOS devices use USB-C ports and cables.. The USB-C spec was made flexible enough that you can run other standards over the cable. That's how we get displayport and HDMI over USB-C, and Thunderbolt (PCIe over USB-C).
 
Apr 26, 2021
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why is everyone saying that a lack of charger in the box is a bad thing? Its an incredibly good thing an should be under the positive section. who doesn't already have 3 chargers? e waste is a huge issue and it should be seen as we are moving in the right direction which is a very positive thing.
How can you know if a previous charger, used for a different phone, will work with this phone?
 

unto

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Apr 27, 2021
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I'm done buying android phones without unlockable bootloaders than are Open Access addable to my Verizon account.

QC4+ is the fast charge protocol speaking PD3 QC3 DASH and a few others. That is what to search when buying a wall charger (or power bank).

When buying a cable you will want it eMarked for 60W or greater. No, your phone is not capable of 60W but eMark indicates a quality and capability. Play money roulette otherwise.

Test your wall charger protocol with a USB multimeter. Current prices for the desirable features start at $40. Bluetooth enabled computer reception is grand. You can see the power graphs under load and various noise characteristics. No more relying on fake amazon reviews. Those are entirely the fault of internal Community Team at amazon; the same horrible people who torment frequent reviewers. These people can be manipulated by companies to remove true negative reviews. It happens often -- which discourages people writing reviews. LifX, manufacturer of hardware-malware lightbulbs which also spy on user's home network, is notorious for removing negative reviews.

Amazon Fantany 30W speaks the desired protocols with enough juice for every phone I own; it is QC4+ with PPS (having PD3 and QC3 and DASH). I would NOT use it for online or offline charging of my MacBook Pro i9 16. For that I only use the mac wall charger plugged into online sine UPS (tripplite). Fantany has a great micro 18W travel charger. I also have good results with current Aukey chargers. I actively dislike Anker PowerIQ 3.0 chargers as they are missing 12volt and 15volt PD3 profiles. Hypper 100W 2 port QC4 charger is great (but again not for my mbp). In a pinch some Ravpower PD chargers don't fail often.

Like phones NOT all chargers are 'good enough' for a flagship phone or other costly device. Don't be a cheapskate.
 
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