During the past year, we note a continuation of last year’s trend with an ever higher level of equipment in relation to the price tag among the phones in the middle class in particular. In many cases, hardware is offered that at several points blows the flagships in the neck. What perhaps mainly distinguishes the chaff from the wheat is the camera, where the size of the primary sensor in particular, together with the range of the telephoto lens in a double sense, stands out among the flagships. The sharpest system chips also allow more extensive image processing, which is reflected in the often better result for, among other things, dark photography, HDR as well as 4K recording.
Build quality, screen resolution, refresh rate and color reproduction as well as brightness and not least performance are points where the differences seem to be continuously decreasing. Chips such as the Snapdragon 778 / 780G, 870 and even the Mediatek Dimensity 1200 offer a level of performance that at times makes it difficult to distinguish the experience from what a more powerful chip offers in what can be described as normal use.
In the middle class there are plenty of examples that stand out, such as OnePlus Nord 2, Samsung Galaxy A52s, Xiaomi 11i, Xiaomi 11T, Motorola Edge 20, Realme GT 2 Master and maybe even Xiaomi POCO X3 Pro.
We have spent many and long nights thinking about which phone we think deserves Swedroid’s official award. Phone of the Year 2021, and we have far from always been in agreement. In the end, however, we managed to agree on a phone that we all consider to be the best compromise for the user between price, equipment level, user satisfaction, camera, battery life, updates and everything else that belongs to a modern smartphone.
Our choice of Phone of the Year 2021 is Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra which, like an all-rounder, offers the highest average, fast updates and the most complete experience, albeit with a relatively high price tag. The battle has been even between Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra and also OnePlus 9 Pro and Sony’s Xperia 1 III, but overall the editors find that the S21 Ultra ticks the most boxes.
No phone is perfect, nor is the Galaxy S21 Ultra, and points where we would like to see improvements in next year’s model include the fingerprint reader, battery life and a reduction in weight. As far as the camera is concerned, the secondary telephoto lens (3x) in particular leaves a lot to be desired.
Bubbles for next year include the folding phones. The improvements have been significant between the generations and, among other things, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 as well as the Z Flip 3 have impressed the editorial staff. The outer dimensions in relation to the screen size have decreased at the same time as the price has decreased in comparison with previous generations, but we still find the Fold series in particular a bit awkward. However, we do not expect to see any major improvements on that point until flexible and flexible lithium-ion batteries reach the market.
Source: Swedroid by swedroid.se.
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