Samsung M21 smartphone review

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Content

  1. Contents of delivery
  2. TECH SPECS
  3. Positioning
  4. Design, dimensions, controls
  5. Display
  6. Battery
  7. Memory, chipset, performance
  8. Communication capabilities
  9. Camera
  10. Software – features
  11. Impressions

Contents of delivery

  • Smartphone
  • Charger (fast charge 15W)
  • USB Type cable
  • Clip for SIM tray
  • Instructions

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

TECH SPECS
Dimensions and weight 159 x 75.1 x 8,9 мм, 188 грамм
Body materials Plastic
Display 6.4 inches, 1080×2340 pixels (19.5: 9), SuperAMOLED, 403 ppi, automatic brightness control, AlwaysOn Display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, maximum brightness 420 nits
Operating system Google Android 10.0, OneUI 2.0
Platform Exynos 9611 (10 nm technology), four Cortex A73 cores up to 2.3 GHz, 4 Cortex A53 cores up to 1.7 GHz, Mali G72 MP3
Memory 4 GB RAM, 64 GB ROM (49 GB free), UFS 2.1, microSD memory card up to 512 GB
6/128 GB variant (free 118.4 GB)
Wireless Interfaces Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac, dual-band, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
Сеть 2G: 850/900/1800/1900
3G: 850/900/1900/2100
4G: B1/B3/B5/B7/B8/B20; 4G TDD LTE B38/B40/B41
Dual SIM, nanoSIM (not combo slot)
Navigation GPS / GLONASS / Beidou / Galileo
Sensors and connectors USB Type C (USB 2.0), OTG
Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, Geomagnetic Sensor
Rear fingerprint sensor
Face unlock
Main camera 48 (f / 2.0) + 5 MP (f / 2.4, depth of field sensor) + 8 MP (f / 2.2, wide angle), LED flash, 4K video recording, FullHD electronic video stabilization
Front-camera 20 MP (f / 2.2), bokeh effect, various additional effects, no autofocus
Battery Li-Ion 6000 mAh, talk time up to 44 hours, video playback up to 29 hours, LTE battery life up to 22 hours 
Degree of protection no
Colours blue, black, green
Sound FM radio
Payment System Samsung Pay, Google Pay 
SAR Head SAR: 0.492 W / kg 
Case SAR: 1.130 W / kg (European Test Method)

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

Positioning

Samsung created the M line quite late, it is positioned for online sales, that is, it does not offer a large margin for partners. This line can also be found in individual federal chains, among those who are ready to sacrifice their profits, but attract buyers with devices with a good price / quality ratio. Many perceive the M-series as a winning proposition, and it is so if the buyer is willing to give up some specific features, for example, a fingerprint sensor built into the screen. For some, these are trifles, someone considers it essential that everything in a smartphone is at the maximum level. The M Series for smart, rational buyers is the kind of workhorse that can work for a long time, both literally and figuratively.

Since the M-series is able to compete seriously with similar models in the A-series, no attention is drawn to these devices, they have practically no marketing. This leads to the fact that many buyers simply do not know about the existence of such devices, do not see them on the shelves. But there is no difficulty in buying them, and for many it is a very interesting acquisition that can give more for less money. In my opinion, the Galaxy M21 is one of the best devices in terms of price / quality ratio and is worth taking a closer look at if you are looking for a device in this price range.

Design, dimensions, controls

The model is available in three colors – blue, black and green.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

The body is made of ordinary plastic, while it was made iridescent and varnished. This is good, as it helps to avoid scratches, marks from hands, they are not visible on the case, including the black model. Scratch resistance is a big plus.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

The back panel is rounded, the device fits well in the hand, although the smartphone is wide enough. Dimensions – 159 x 75.1 x 8,9 mm, weight – 188 grams. This is a male device, which follows from the size, but on the other hand, and girls will be happy, the larger the screen, the better. Someone may disagree with this, but the trend in the market is just that. I remember the time when 4-inch devices appeared and they were called shovels, I involuntarily smile, today such devices can hardly be called large. Here is about the same story, perception lags behind the real state of affairs.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

The layout of the device is typical – at the bottom there is a speaker, as well as a USB Type C connector, 3.5 mm, a microphone. The second microphone is on the top, noise cancellation works fine. On the right side there is a paired volume key and an on / off button. On the left side there is a slot for two nanoSIM cards, as well as a memory card, it is not combined!

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

The speaker is hidden behind a grill above the screen, the display has an O-shaped cutout. The device is not protected against water and dust, which is normal for this segment.

The build quality is excellent, there are no complaints about it. The fingerprint sensor on the back is easy to find.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

The reaction time is insignificant, unlocking is fast. Face unlocking is standard, it works perfectly.

Display

The technical characteristics of the screen are as follows: 6.4 inches, 1080×2340 pixels (19.5: 9), SuperAMOLED, 403 ppi, automatic brightness control, AlwaysOn Display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

Front camera – O-cut, this is a simple version of the screen, but this is unlikely to stop anyone.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

A feature unavailable to competitors in this price segment is the AlwaysOn Display, which is the ability to see a clock or screensaver on the screen, notification icons and quickly switch to applications.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

The screen settings are typical, you can change the color settings.

The screen remains readable in the sun, the brightness is enough for any work. The diagonal of the screen is ideal for watching videos, viewing photos, reading texts. This is a versatile smartphone, and the fact that it has such a good display makes it stand out from all the competition. The presence of AMOLED is a huge plus for this segment.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

Battery

The smartphone has a built-in 6000 mAh Li-Ion battery, it supports fast charging, and it comes with a 15W charger. There is no wireless charging, but this is normal for this segment.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

The officially declared battery performance parameters coincide with what we received in the tests:

  • Video playback time at maximum brightness – up to 29 hours;
  • Audio playback – up to 97 hours;
  • Internet browsing via Wi-Fi – up to 22 hours, LTE – up to 22 hours;
  • Talk time in 4G – up to 44 hours.

In everyday life, this device works for about 2.5-3 days with automatic adjustment of the backlight brightness (the algorithm adjusts to you, and it is not aggressive at all, the brightness is always comfortable). In this case, the operating time of the screen is about 9-9.5 hours.

The full charging time of the battery is approximately 150 minutes. I checked this point many times, on average, the charging time is as follows. Up to 50% charging takes about 65 minutes.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

Memory, chipset, performance

Samsung used the Exynos 9611 chipset (10 nm technology), four Cortex A73 cores with a frequency of up to 2.3 GHz, four Cortex A4 cores with a frequency of up to 53 GHz, Mali G1.7 MP72. This is an excellent processor for this price segment, it is an advantageous one in comparison with analogues. The interface is fast and responsive. Look at the synthetic test results.

The basic memory variant is 4/64 GB, memory cards up to 512 GB, this is enough for most users of such a device.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

Communication capabilities

In the Galaxy M21, dual band Wi-Fi, which is already a big plus, is supported by VHT80, which provides good data transfer speeds. Unlike older models, ANT + is not supported. But the set of frequencies for LTE is noticeably less than that of the same A51, and coincides with the A31.

Bluetooth 5.0 version, NFC (Samsung Pay / Google Pay) is present, everything works just fine.

From the point of view of navigation, everything is also very good (GPS / A-GPS / GLONASS / Beidou), a cold start on city streets takes 2-3 seconds, the navigation accuracy is excellent, no complaints.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

Camera

The camera interface is familiar to other Samsung models, there are no discoveries here. There are Pro mode, AR Emoji and other effects.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)
Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

Front camera 20 MP (f / 2.2), bokeh effect, various additional effects, no autofocus. Look at an example of a picture, everything is familiar here and at the level of other models.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

The main camera module consists of three lenses.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

Let’s look at examples of photos and videos, they are incomparable with flagships, but in their price segment everything is not bad, this is a typical quality for models of this level.

Software – features

The model is originally based on Android 10 and OneUI 2.0, that is, this is the latest version of the interface, which in the literal sense can be called one of the best both in terms of flexibility of settings and capabilities, and in other points.

A few words about the multimedia capabilities of the device. It has a built-in radio with the ability to record programs. The headphones act as an antenna.

Standard applications are represented by a calculator, file manager, voice recorder and other applications that are necessary for comfortable work out of the box.

Unlike the older models, there are no Bixby scripts here, this is clearly a marketing division into older and younger models. The function is cool, it’s a pity that it was abandoned in the younger models.


Impressions

The connection quality in this device should, in theory, be at the level of the Galaxy A31, where I did not like it: fewer frequencies, worse aggregation, the radio part, in comparison with the A51, holds on to the network worse. I attributed this to the antennas, the modem part, but now we can say for sure that these are flaws in the chipset from MediaTek, in the Galaxy M21 everything works fine and at the level of the Galaxy A51 (there are less frequencies, but the connection keeps confidently, in standby mode it does not discharge like not into yourself with a bad connection). An amazing situation when the junior model in the junior line bypasses in the main parameter, namely the quality of communication, such models as the Galaxy A31 / A41. And this is definitely a big plus to the capabilities of this device.

The price of the Galaxy M21 in Russia is 15 rubles. Since today there is a mixture of new and old models, many give discounts outside the economic logic, a mixture of everything and everyone is obtained. The same Galaxy A990 can be found at a cost of 51 rubles, this is a model of a higher class (another screen with an inscribed camera, another camera unit, a smaller battery – 16 mAh, a fingerprint sensor built into the screen, other body materials).

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

It is the Galaxy A51 that is the key model in this segment and for the entire market, without exception, other companies are guided by this device. And here we can say that at a cost of 16 rubles this is an excellent offer, the device should cost about 990 thousand rubles. Another thing is that even in this situation, the Galaxy M20 has its own strengths – someone will consider the hardware fingerprint sensor and, of course, the 21 mAh battery as such. The battery life for the Galaxy M6000 becomes a huge advantage, especially if you are not critical of the maximum speeds in LTE (and less frequency aggregation does not bother you, or you do not know what it is – after all, most buy Chinese smartphones, where in this aspect everything is bad, but nobody cares).

There is a huge number of models in the price segment up to 20 thousand rubles, I repeat my conclusions made for devices of this price, these are the most interesting / popular models of the segment. Xiaomi has this Redmi Note 8 Pro.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

This device is popular, but it has only an IPS-display with all the resulting disadvantages and battery life. Cameras can be assessed as plus or minus the same, if you do not look for individual modes and advantages of a particular model. The popularity of Xiaomi does not match Samsung, while the model is cheaper – from 16 to 18 thousand rubles. The model is outgoing in the Xiaomi lineup, so it is on its way out. But the price justifies being considered a competitor.

If you look at the offer from Huawei / Honor, then there is not much choice – Honor 20s, this is a device with a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel, a smaller battery capacity, an IPS matrix and at a cost of about 17.5-20 thousand rubles (6/128 GB). The competitor turned out to be relative – more memory, almost all characteristics are worse.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

The Galaxy M21 has many competitors, but almost all do not have an AMOLED screen, which is a plus (except for those who think that AMOLED is evil). Good industrial design, AoD mode, long working time. I liked the device, and in terms of price / quality ratio it is one of the best models on the market. The fact that the mass buyer does not know about this device is normal. The limited edition is an artificial situation on the part of Samsung to shift demand to the A-series. This has always been the case with the M-series, and the strategy is being repeated in 2020. But I will say once again that the Galaxy M21 is one of the most successful models on the market for those who do not pursue external manifestations of novelty. Those who want to get a more interesting camera should wait for the Galaxy M31, which has a different unit of main cameras, as well as a different memory option – 6/128 GB. This device will appear at the end of the month, most likely, the cost will differ by three thousand rubles.

Smartphone review Samsung M21 (SM-M215F / DSN)

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