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Upgrading from S6 to S21

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Venger, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. Venger

    Venger Newbie
    Thread Starter


    So for the first time ever I'm considering buying a new phone at launch.

    I've had the S6 for nearly six years and in that time it's never missed a beat and even now will still just about go one day on a charge, hands down it's the best phone I've ever owned and I've taken some stunning wildlife pics/video with it even if I do say so myself.

    Thing is, the home button has finally given up and although I can still use the phone, it does make navigation a bit more of a pain.

    Seeing that I'm waaaay behind in terms of more recent models I thought I'd do a quick comparison between the S6 and the newest model I can buy and I was rather surprised at the specs, particularly about the screen.

    Now I know you could waste years of your life arguing the in's and out's of resolutions and megapixels etc but...

    S6: Quad HD, 1440 x 2560, ppi 577, rear camera 16mp

    S21: FHD+, 1080 x 2400, ppi 421, rear camera 12mp (with a selection of clever zooms)

    ...so if I'm reading that right, is the screen resolution on the S21 'worse' (I use that term carefully) than my S6?

    I appreciate there are many, many areas where the S21 will simply blow the S6 out of the water but for someone who takes a huge number of outdoor pics of birds, insects flowers etc I guess screen and camera are important.

    Thanks for your time.

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  2. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    If available in your are 5G is so smooth. Nary a stutter. Just for that I'd update.
  3. MisterEd51

    MisterEd51 Newbie

    At the end of 2015 I was looking to buy my first cellphone. I considered buying an S6 but decided on the S7 instead because the S6 lacked the ability to expand storage. I pre-ordered the S7 in February 2016. I had to buy a new S7 in July 2017 because the first one was stolen. I found the battery life on the S7 has slowly dropped over time. With a lot of use I will be lucky to get 6-8 hours out of it. I decided to get a new phone because lately it has been overheating and locking up.

    I will be receiving the S21 128GB (unlocked) some time this afternoon. Like the S6 it has no option to expand storage. I thought about getting the 256GB version but I would have to wait an extra three weeks. I hope that I did not make a mistake in not getting that model.
  4. Venger

    Venger Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for your replies.

    Just ordered the S21 256GB.

    I've been going around in circles for a couple of weeks, thought about an S20+ but for every good review on the refurb websites, I read two bad reviews...and they still ain't cheap secondhand and would require me to buy wireless headphones.

    I was hoping that Argos or John Lewis would drop their prices on the S20+ come the launch of the S21 but no.
  5. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    I'd not worry about those resolutions. The fact is unless you often hold the phone up to your nose or you have very good eyesight you are unlikely to actually notice the difference in ppi - especially if you just use the device rather than looking to see if you can tell!

    As for the camera, the S6 had a smaller sensor (so collects less light) with more pixels crammed into it (so more electronic noise). The s21's main sensor has about twice the area of the s6's, and each pixel has ~2.5 times the area of an s6 pixel. This means that they collect more light, and so have a much better signal/noise ratio. And that means that all else being equal (i.e. it not being messed up by poor image processing - and the image processing has actually improved a lot since 2015) the s21's camera will work better in low light than the s6 and have a better dynamic range in decent light (fewer blown highlights for example). And on the flip size, 12MP vs 16MP is only a ~14% reduction in linear resolution, which is essentially imperceptible. This is why most manufacturers switched from cramming more pixels in to using larger sensors in the years between the s6 and s21 releases. So again, I really would not worry: the s21 will absolutely have a better camera than the s6.
  6. Venger

    Venger Newbie
    Thread Starter

    @Hadron many thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response - I do appreciate it and it has helped reassure me a bit.

    I know you should never really look at spec numbers in isolation but being so behind the times as it where with phone models, it just surprised me to see those figures when comparing such an old phone with a brand new one but thank you for the clarification.

    I've now got to be patient as I won't receive it for a week!

    Thanks again.
    NightAngel79 and Hadron like this.
  7. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter

    What is interesting (to me) is the S20 had the higher resolution as well, but most people used the 120hz mode (which is life changing) which capped the phone at 1080 anyway. Samsung found pretty much everyone did that, so it made sense to limit screen to 1080 and save money, while giving us the phone for a significant savings from last years s20 line.
  8. Venger

    Venger Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thought I'd give a little follow up to my original post as I've had the S21 for just over two weeks.

    With the arrival of a new tripod last week, I've been taking my first 'proper' photos and I have to say how bitterly disappointed I am with the quality of the images.

    Given the many years between these two phones, which, in terms of technical advancement, must feel like decades, I was truly expecting to be blown away by the difference in image quality and I really haven't been - in fact I'd go further and say that I can't actually perceive an increase in image quality and in one set of photos I took, the S6 actually looks better, there's more colour saturation in the S21's images but in terms of sharpness, the S6 wins.

    I've posted a few images on one of the digital photography forums and I've tried a change in settings as suggested by someone on there but to no avail. One suggestion was that this might actually be the software letting the phone down, perhaps with the HDR processing but I don't really know.

    I've had two updates in the last couple of weeks, the most recent being AUB8 and the notes on both updates mentioned camera improvements but how long do you wait for it to get better...if indeed it will ?

    I messaged Samsung yesterday to see where I stand about returning it, they said initially that I probably could but I need to call customer services.

    I can't tell you how disappointed I am :(
  9. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter

    I heard from a few p[laces that the HDR function stinks, and everything is better without it. YRMV
    Venger likes this.
  10. Venger

    Venger Newbie
    Thread Starter

    OK thanks, will experiment without it.
    NightAngel79 likes this.
  11. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter

    Curious to hear if that helps any! I'm so far from a photo guru that I don't really notice, but love hearing from people that actually know what they are talking about, haha
  12. Venger

    Venger Newbie
    Thread Starter

    @NightAngel79 it made no difference at all sadly but a good shout none the less.

    I'm no photographer but have taken 100's of photos with the S6 and many were good enough to be blown up for framed pics, canvas prints and cards etc.

    I've been asking on a digital photography forum as well and having posted the photo I was most disappointed with on there (a close shot of an orchid flower) the pro's have told me that the problem is due to the processing on the phone, it's basically trying too hard to make it better! As there is such a shallow depth of field in my pic, all things being equal, the very edges of the flower wouldn't be in focus anyway but the phone's processing is trying to make it look like they are and hence I get this bizarre ghosting around the edge (admittedly you have to zoom in to see it).

    Solutions ?

    Well, potentially shoot in RAW format, altho I have no way of manipulating RAW format pics at the mo.

    Buy a 'proper camera', it's a much bigger learning curve but it puts you in the driving seat and you can turn all the auto stuff off and shoot how you want.
    NightAngel79 likes this.

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Forum

The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G release date was 29 January. Features and Specs include a 6.2" inch screen, 64MP camera, 8GB RAM, Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 processor, and 4000mAh battery.

29 January
Release Date

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