The Galaxy S21 Ultra received excellent reviews worldwide, thanks to its improved design, faster and more reliable performance, longer battery life, and better cameras. The new phone brings along two telephoto cameras (3x and 10x optical zoom), massively improving the zoom range compared to the Galaxy S20 Ultra. However, the Galaxy S21 Ultra actually received a lower DxOMark score compared to the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
In DxOMark’s camera review of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the phone received an overall score of 121 points. In comparison, last year’s Galaxy S20 Ultra received 126 points after being reevaluated with version 4 (the latest version) of the review process. Breaking down the score, the Galaxy S21 Ultra received 128 points in the photo segment, 98 points in the video segment, and 76 points in the zoom segment. The Galaxy S20 Ultra received 128 points in the photo segment, 106 points in the video segment, and 88 points in the zoom segment. According to DxOMark’s review, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is not as good as the Galaxy S20 Ultra in video and zoom quality.
We know that the Galaxy S21 Ultra has more reliable focusing, improved low-light images and videos, and a longer zoom range than its predecessor. But the phone still got a lower score than the Galaxy S20 Ultra. So, what actually went wrong? DxOMark wasn’t impressed with the two zoom cameras, and according to them, the new zoom cameras are not worth much over the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s single 5x periscope zoom camera. DxOMark says that artifacts and noise in images are pulling down the phone’s score.
In terms of video recording, the Galaxy S21 Ultra received a score similar to the Pixel 4a. Apparently, video stabilization is the phone’s primary issue. DxOMark only tested the 4K 60fps mode, though, and not 4K 30fps and 8K 24fps video modes. The company says that it didn’t test the 8K video recording mode because of its lower quality stabilization.
Overall, the Galaxy S21 Ultra not only received a lower score than its predecessor, but also last year’s flagship smartphones. It scored lower than 16 other smartphones, including the Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ (139), Huawei Mate 40 Pro (136), Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra (133), Huawei P40 Pro (132), Vivo X50 Pro+ (131), iPhone 12 Pro Max (130), iPhone 12 Pro (128), Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (128), OPPO Find X2 Pro (126), Galaxy S20 Ultra (126), Honor 30 Pro+ (125), iPhone 11 Pro Max (124), Huawei Mate 30 Pro (123), iPhone 12 Mini (122), iPhone 12 (122), and the Honor V30 Pro (122).
Our own review of the Galaxy S21 Ultra revealed that it offers a more reliable camera performance compared to the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Various other experts and reviewers share our views and say that the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best smartphone camera right now, so it is up to you to believe DxOMark’s testing methodologies. What do you think about DxOMark’s Galaxy S21 Ultra camera review? Let us know in the comments section below.