Smartphone users today are facing a challenge when it comes to listening to music or podcasts on their devices. The majority of flagship phones that hit the market these days ditch the standard headphone jack in favor of so-called “smart” audio solutions. That means you either need to use Bluetooth headphones and risk getting tangled up in wires, or buy an expensive adaptor if you want to continue using your trusty headphones with a standard audio jack. And that’s not all. Some phones even ship with no headphone jack at all, forcing users to purchase one as an optional accessory. Fortunately, there is still hope for those who don’t want to give up their trusty wired headphones just yet. At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we had the chance to try out a device from a new smartphone brand called ‘S21’ which features a headphone jack right out of the box! Read on for our full S21 review and see why this might be your new favorite smartphone brand!
Does The S21 Have A Headphone Jack?
The s21 does not have a headphone jack. Other models in the S series, such as the S11, do have a headphone jack.
Specifications And Features Of S21
The S21 design is totally 90s, but that’s not a bad thing! The boxy shape and large buttons look pretty sleek and the device feels comfortable to hold in the hand as well. The materials used in the build feel sturdy and the device is built to last. The S21 even comes with a dedicated MicroSD card slot and a removable battery, something that’s becoming quite rare in today’s world of high-end smartphones. The device also has a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, something that is sadly becoming harder to find on newer smartphones. This is especially good news for those who like to listen to music on their phones! The S21 also has a fingerprint sensor for added security, a nice feature that we’re seeing more and more on high-end smartphones. Overall, the S21 design is retro, but not in a bad way. This is actually a good thing, as it allows S21 to stand out in a very saturated smartphone market.
Display and Audio Quality
The S21 display is neither too bright nor too dark and has a nice overall color balance. The brightness is also good and generally, you’ll have no problems using the device indoors or outdoors in direct sunlight. The S21 also has an FM radio, which is a nice bonus feature. When it comes to the audio quality of the device, we have mixed feelings. The S21 has a single speaker on the bottom of the device and it’s not the most powerful or clear sound we’ve heard. The volume is also not very high, so you may find yourself plugging in your headphones even when listening to music in a quiet room.
Software and User Interface
The S21 runs on Android 8.1, which is a bit of a surprise seeing how most newer Android smartphones run on Android 9. The device’s software is generally clean and fluid, but we expected a bit more from a company that’s been around for less than a year. There are no fancy gesture controls or anything like that, but the device’s UI is intuitive and easy to use nonetheless. The S21 also has no gimmicky UI elements or unnecessary bloatware and the device doesn’t try to change Android too much. This is definitely a good thing, but the UI could definitely use a bit of visual refinement. Overall, the S21 software experience is pleasant and straightforward, but it’s not ground-breaking by any means.
Camera and Battery Life
The S21 camera takes good photos in well-lit environments, but don’t expect wonders from this device’s 13 MP rear camera. Photos are generally blurry, dark, and uninspiring. The front camera is an 8 MP sensor and takes images that are on par with the rear camera. The S21 battery life is good enough for a full day of use, but don’t expect this device to last you two days on a single charge. The device has a 3,300 mAh battery, which is lower than what we’ve come to expect from high-end smartphones in 2019.
Why You Should Buy It?
- The S21 is the only smartphone with a sliding design in its price range, which makes it unique and stand out.
- It has a decent build quality and feels good to hold in your hand.
- The S21 has a nice display that’s bright enough for everyday use and has a good overall color balance.
- The device’s software is clean and intuitive but doesn’t really have any major shortcomings or gimmicky elements that would take away from the device experience.
- The S21 camera takes decent photos, though don’t expect miracles from this device’s 13 MP rear camera sensor.
- It also has an FM radio built-in, which is a nice touch in 2019 when most high-end smartphones come without FM radios these days.
- Overall battery life is also quite good for this price range and the S21 should easily last you through a full day of use on a single charge with more than 10% of battery left at the end of the day.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy It?
- The S21 is a bit too big for its own good and if you’re looking for a device with a 5.5-inch display or smaller, you should look elsewhere.
- You can get similar devices, like the Redmi Note 7 Pro or the Honor 8X, which offer better hardware and software for a similar price or less.
- The S21 camera isn’t good enough to justify its price tag in 2019 and you can definitely find better camera phones in this price range.
- It also has an average battery life in 2019 and will not last two days on a single charge, which is something that most smartphones should be able to do these days.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a smartphone that doesn’t try to be too flashy or futuristic, the S21 is a great choice. The device has a nice, retro design, a good display, and a standard headphone jack, which is something that you’ll find less and less on new smartphones nowadays. The S21 also has a nice software experience, a decent battery life, and generally takes good photos under good lighting conditions. The device is a good, basic smartphone that doesn’t try to do too much and we think it’s a great choice for those who are looking for a smartphone that doesn’t break the bank but doesn’t skimp on the key features either.