1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

Upgrade from S20 Plus to S21 Ultra

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by NightAngel79, Jan 20, 2021.

  1. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter
    Administrator Thread Starter

    Is it worth it is the question?

    Disclaimer, I got the S20 Plus for free to review/post about. So trading it in now doesn't represent a financial burden. Add I LOVE(D) owning a phone outright. So I would trade-in and still buy outright, meaning 500(ish) out of pocket.

    Is there enough to justify getting the Ultra if it essentially is only costing me $500?

    These are the questions I'm asking myself....


    Thoughts?
     



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  2. ironass

    ironass Extreme Android User

    Go for it NightAngel79

    I have traded from an S20 Ultra up to the S21 Ultra because although Samsung have made a lot of improvements to their camera on the S20 Ultra, they have I feel, reached the limits of what software alone can do and I am hoping that the S21 Ultra will be borrowing from the Note 20 Ultra. Also, I am hoping the Exynos 2100 chip is a big improvement on the Exynos 990. You don't have to worry about that in the U.S.A.

    Besides, I like to play with the new stuff... sometimes you win... sometimes you lose.
     
    NightAngel79 likes this.
  3. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    I spent some time yesterday looking at my trade in price. I own the Note 10+ outright and I'm looking at $650 or so.
    I must say that I'm tempted. There is no need for the Note is serving me well but it's that desire to play with new hardware and a desire to stay on the leading edge that has me considering the upgrade. Form factors are quite similar.
    Better display and camera array. Faster processor. I don't use the S pen or headphone jack so no problems there. I do use the current external storage but I wouldn't have to. The upgrade is definitely under consideration.

    I will also, but haven't yet, check to see what the trade in for my wife's S8+ might be. It is in perfect shape and was purchased outright towards the end of the S8 run. I might trade it in, give here the Note, and have the new S21 Ultra to play with. hmmmmmm
     
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  4. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter
    Administrator Thread Starter

    True, and it sounds liek some things that weren't perfect with the 20 Ultra have been fixed in this iteration.

    Plus, I have the 20 Plus, which I love, but jumping up to the Ultra sounds mega sweet.

    Exactly. $650 is what they quoted me on my s20 plus, and if I did carrier financing there is additonal discount, looked like I could get it down to $13 a month.
    But I REALLY love owning phone outright, so would definitely go for that. Coupled with a $30 giftcard I have, and enough points for a $60 coupon, looks like I can get the Ultra for 400 out of pocket. Hard to turn that down.

    Wish the 256gb was available for pre-order from them, but meh... I too have the 128 and a SD card, but haven't had to use the card for literally anything yet. Probably won't miss it.

    Plus they are doing a $200 shop samsung credit, so the new buds look awesome, or a S7 Tablet for 175 (regular like 600).

    Hard to pass up.
     
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  5. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    I was out and about and my local Verizon store was right around the corner. :) I dropped in to see what in store might offer. They can't or won't touch the online discounts. The best they could do for me was $340 trade in. Add on the upgrade fee, activation charge, and sales tax the trade in was less than $200 leaving an out of pocket $1000. Needless to say, I did not make a deal with them today.
     
    ironass likes this.
  6. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    This is a copied chat bubble from Samsung.
    Thanks for being on hold You will get $550 discount getting on Note 10+ on the purchase of S21 ultra 512.

    I was later warned that the quote was time sensitive. You gotta love the sales force. :)
     
  7. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    I utilized the portal link to Samsung with the same results as my chat. I did discover something interesting. The 512gb model is only available in the unlocked model. I don't really need the extra storage but it also comes with more ram.
    I thought perhaps more ram might be beneficial. I can get the 256g model big V branded and unlocked. Branded comes with an additional $100 off to compensate for the V bloat.
     
    ironass likes this.
  8. ironass

    ironass Extreme Android User

    In the 10 months that I have owned the Galaxy S20 Ultra with 512GB and 16GB RAM I don't think I have needed all 16GB of RAM.

    IMHO, 8GB of RAM is needed. 12GB of RAM is a luxury. 16GB of RAM is a waste unless you are a heavy gamer/user. My phone has been on for 6.5hrs and I have 33 apps open in the background and this screenshot shows my current RAM usage...

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    The storage and ram upgrade is $180 for me. I don't see that happening. I'd like the upgrade but that's a bit steep.
     
    ironass likes this.
  10. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    I went to Samsung today to see if there might be a price change... I'm on the fence :) There was no change in price but the phantom black is now out of stock. Yesterday preorders were to ship the 29th, Today they are to ship in 4-5 weeks. :( Both the Verizon branded and the unbranded 512gb phantom black models are still in stock.
     
  11. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter
    Administrator Thread Starter

    Yea, I see no point in 16gb, the 12 in my s20 Plus is lightened dead fast, and that's good for me. And that $100 off (i think) is only if you carrier finance, fwiw. I lost that extra off when I did buy. 128 version was at $520 with tax via VZW, BB, and Samsung (all relatively the same)

    8 is probably enough for sure, most are sticking with 8, so I think 12 is more than enough for now. Plus I def don't need 512 internal.

    Saw that. I decided last min I wanted 256 version and that is sold out unless you get unlocked. But I actually already ordered the 128, and to change will take 3 days for the reward and gift card to refund, and I'm not taking the chance the phantom black is sold out but then.

    SO I guess I'm sticking with the 128. Just checked my s20 plus and I have 90 out of 128 used, and zero used on my SD card, lol
     
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  12. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    Well.. damn, I think I'm pulling the trigger on the unlocked 512. I have 12g ram on my Note. I've never taxed it. The additional storage I will. I have a music library of over half a terabyte that I will likely load quite a bit on the phone. Currently I'm xm streaming but I might drop that at some point. I have a bit less than 100 gigs stored now. I will admit that I want the unlocked model even if it cost me a hundred bucks more than branded. I'm certainly not interested in financing the phone. Been there and done that... never again. I'm not willing to wait four to five... six weeks for the Ultra to ship. Sooo.... it's the big boy or punt.
     
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  13. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter
    Administrator Thread Starter


    NICE! And the extra 100 isn't a big enough deal to make me finance. Though I don't mind getting the carrier version if it is still bought outright.

    I wish I had gone for the 256, but not enough to wait longer. I want this thing on launch day, lol
     
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  14. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    I waited a day too long. The 256 was out of stock and when I went to the 512 my delivery is the 9th and not the 29th. A real bummer.
    I can well understand you not wanting to wait for the 256. I didn't either and paid a premium to get it on launch... and then that's not happening anyway. Oh well... You can brag and bloat for almost two weeks before I get my hands on one. Jealous... yup
     
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  15. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter
    Administrator Thread Starter

    LOSER! (kidding! hahahahaha)

    I dion't really save anything on phone minus stuff from camera roll, so maybe/hopefully not a big deal. But I guess we'll see. Either way, super excited, especially after watching a bunch of vids iron and others have posted. This thing is a beast and much better than last years Ultra's...

    I wonder if @Rob is considering jumping to the new ultra?
     
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  16. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    We met in the ordered and wait thread so long ago. I was behind you then... it's my MO :) I'm with you, no matter the deal and the wait, the reviews are more than positive. They are almost rave! I can't remember a flagship launch that the reviews were this positive.
    I'm excited! If Rob isn't all over it I'll be surprised.
     
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  17. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    Following the portal link to Samsung that @NightAngel79 provided I see that most Ultra configurations are either out of stock or ship the 7th of next month. I don't think that Samsung anticipated the consumer pressure the S21 would generate. I bet they drop their order incentives after the 29th roll out date. They are well on their way to enjoying a bullish run on the S21 and buyer incentives aren't necessary. Looks like they have a winner.
     
  18. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter
    Administrator Thread Starter

    I know right? Literally over 10 years ago. And love the fact that so many are loving/hyping this. APart from possibly some launch day bugs, looking forward to a seemless launch.
    Seeing that too. In the end I wish I had ordered the 256 from the getgo, but I'd rather the 128 and get it now as opposed to waiting.

    *Plus* $200 shop samsung credit is nice, probably getting the new samsung buds, which sound pretty amazing. You also get a free 'Tag' but honestly no clue what to even do with that.
     
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  19. consultant

    consultant Well-Known Member

    I have an S20+ and am contemplating the same thing. I don't do gaming or watch videos, the cameras are really the main thing for me as I'm a photography enthusiast that doesn't like to always bring my APS-C Sony compact around with me. I'm also an IT Professional of 25 years and understand the O/S and how it uses RAM. As another poster pointed out, you rarely would ever need even more than 8GB of CPU RAM. 12GB is PLENTY.

    The S20+ and S21 Ultra are very similar as far what you are getting overall. People tend to get hung up on minute differences in specs to justify their upgrade. If people want to spend (waste) their money to make sure they can flaunt the latest greatest despite whether it brings any significant practical benefits, that's people's freedom of choice. I'm about getting almost the latest technology at the best bang for the buck.

    A side note on trade in. Always check the Ebay selling price for the Sold auctions for your phone and subtract 10% to see what you could sell it yourself for. If (after deducting 10%) it's more than 10% higher than the trade price they are giving you, then just sell it, don't trade it. To me avoiding the inconvenience of selling on Ebay is worth a 10% difference.

    The only reason to get the S21 Ultra over the S20 Plus or the S20 Ultra is to get the better cameras. Period. You can talk about all the other differences until the cows come home but they are relatively minute compared to the difference in cameras, especially with the S20+. If camera performance isn't a huge factor for you (the S20+ has better cameras than probably 90% of the Android phones out there) then keep your S20+.

    Some things about the S21 people might tout:

    - S21 Ultra has Gorilla Glass Victus instead of 6 on the S20 Plus. Scratch tests show Victus has no real significant difference in scratch/drop protection than Gorilla Glass 6. It's hype. Keep your case on.

    - S21 slightly better display, and dynamic variable refresh rate to save battery. No real-life significant benefit over S20+ and S20-Ultra both have fantastic screens.

    The main benefits of the S21 over S20+ or S20 Ultra:

    - Two OPTICAL zoom cameras at 3X and 10X. The zoom camera is WAY better than the S20+ and a lot better than the S20 Ultra. BUT, I can tell you, most people in 99% of their photo taking situations don't need more than 3-5X zoom so this is a bit of hype to engage in the camera spec wars (sort of like the digital camera increasing megapixel marketing hype wars of years past).

    - Laser Autofocus. The Achilles heel of the S20 Ultra was in didn't have great focus performance. The S21 fixes that. (The S20+ doesn't have the focus issue.)

    These are the downsides of the S21 Ultra that you will lose going from an S20 Plus:

    - No expandable memory (no micro SD card slot making it easier to move files around and you can expand your memory as needed)

    - Big and heavy. To some, this is a minus, to others, if they look at their phone as a way to show off their "bling" then bigger and more noticeable the better. For your average size hands with case, the S20+ in my opinion is getting to about the max size for ergonomics. Not to say S21 is pain to handle and carry but it IS considerably heavier and chunkier.

    If you read the reviews for the S21 Ultra on the Amazon listing page, the first most popular review really says a lot. Notice he doesn't go into camera details. As the bottom line is, unless you absolutely are starving for a 10X optical zoom, the S21 Ultra is a waste of money coming from the S20 Plus/Ultra. You'd be better off getting a Note 20 Ultra that has 5X optical zoom, SD card slot and big 6.9" screen rather than getting the S21 Ultra.

    Read the review (usually the first) "So much promise and anticipation only to be let down, not without advancements at a cost."

    https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Elec...998UZKEXAA/dp/B08P54F6HB?th=1#customerReviews

    Some excerpts:

    "I found myself missing the S20 Plus, and more the S10 Plus, even with the new upgrades. I've lost enthusiasm and confidence in Samsung. The S21 Ultra's weight and size is not for me, I found myself with hand fatigue and not really enjoying using the S21 Ultra. The Note 20 Plus is actually the better phone than the S21 Ultra if you want productivity and comfort."

    "If you still own the S10 Plus, keep it, if you own the S20 Plus, keep it. The S21 Ultra, in my humble opinion is Samsung reducing itself to become the villain. It's harsh and it's my opinion."
     
  20. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter
    Administrator Thread Starter

    All fair points. When I thought about that I checked my 256gb SD card and you guessed it... It was still empty after a year with the S20 Plus.

    I see a huge difference in performance with new CPU, and I see a big difference in pic quality. Very noticeable jump in overall quality.

    And I said it somewhere, but I'll reiterate. THE FINGERPRINT SCANNER WORKS!!!!!!!!!! That is the worth it if nothing else changed, haha.

    I looked at the s21 plus, and it would have been silly to go to that from the s20 plus. But ultimately I justified jumping up the ultra.
     
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  21. consultant

    consultant Well-Known Member

    One drawback I left out was S21 got rid of MST so on payment terminals that don't have NFC you can't use Samsung Pay anymore to pay. That irritates a lot of people, but gee, you now have to take your credit card out of your wallet in 1 out of 10 stores, hope your arm doesn't get too sore. LOL. It is a drawback though that will diminish over time as terminals are upgraded. I use Google Pay by default as you just have to unlock the phone to use it then if it doesn't work load Samsung Pay to use MST.

    On the other side of the coin I forgot to point out the larger fingerprint sensor on the S21 and as you point out, that is one improvement in the specs that DOES have some practical benefit as when I've been in a store or something and needed quick access to my email or banking app or something, many times I've fumbled with the fingerprint sensor and if your finger has anything on it whatsoever, forget about it. So ya, I'd look forward to getting the larger sensor!

    I agree if you have a 256GB model or more, not having SD card is pretty inconsequential except for transferring large amounts of data between a card an your phone, like if you wanted to pull a card out of your DSLR camera and review the photos on your phone, etc). Everybody is mostly storing their photos/video in the cloud anyway also.

    QUESTION: Aside from the lack of MST and SD Card slot, the other most common criticism of the 21 Ultra is that it's a bit too hefty, it's both larger and heavier relative to most other flagship level phones (all the iPhones and the S20 Plus). I think it's technically slightly thinner than the S20 Ultra but they have made the curve sides less pronounced so it feels just as thick or thicker (but has a less slippery feel without case.) I've found the opinion on size and weight varies greatly by age group. My parents in their 70's are using the smallest version of like the iPhone 9 or 10 which I make fun of. Whereas most people in their 20's with money to spend are totally with the "bigger is better" thinking as with many of the younger generation, their phone is their primary computing device for most all needs much more so that using a laptop or PC (outside of work or class.) Reminds me of the person driving around in big Caddilac Escapade SUV that they never have more than 3 people in the car. They like the size to impress.

    So was the bigger size and weight a bit awkward feeling, at least at first? That think must be massive with a case on it!
     
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  22. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter
    Administrator Thread Starter

    I use a slim Spigen case, which is pretty perfect, but the extra weight is noticeable compared to my S20 Plus. And in some cases, made me make a conscious decision to put phone down and stop scrolling, haha. I'm 40m fwiw.
    I rest my phone on my pinky when I scroll, and I still notice the weight here and there after..... a month and half? (however long this been out)
     

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Forum

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G release date was 29 January. Features and Specs include a 6.8" inch screen, 108MP camera, 12/16GB RAM, Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 processor, and 5000mAh battery.

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