Traditionally, it is now the turn of the Swedroid editorial team to officially appoint our Choice of this year’s Android phone. A task that was not so easy this time, because despite the lack of components and logistics problems, the year offered a number of exciting phone models.
In the past year, we noticed a continuation of the previous year’s trend, particularly in the case of mid-range cell phones, with ever higher features in relation to the price. In many cases, hardware is offered that blows the flagships in the neck in several places. The main thing that distinguishes the wheat from the chaff is the camera, in which the size of the primary sensor and the range of the telephoto lens are two of the flagships. The sharpest system chips also enable more extensive image processing, which is reflected in the often better result for dark photography, HDR and 4K recordings, among other things.
Processing quality, screen resolution, refresh rate and color rendering as well as brightness and, last but not least, performance are points where the differences seem to be steadily decreasing. Chips like the Snapdragon 778 / 780G, 870 and even the Mediatek Dimensity 1200 offer a level of performance that sometimes makes it difficult to distinguish the experience from what a more powerful chip offers in normal use.
In the middle class there are many 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’ve spent many and long nights thinking about which phone we think deserves Swedroid’s official award. Phone of the year 2021, and we were far from always in agreement. In the end, however, we were able to agree on a mobile phone that we all see as the best compromise for the user between price, features, user satisfaction, camera, battery life, updates and everything else that belongs to a modern smartphone.
Our choice for the phone of the year 2021 is Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra which, like an all-rounder, offers the highest average, fast updates and the most comprehensive experience, albeit at a relatively high price. The battle was 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 most of the boxes.
No phone is perfect, including the Galaxy S21 Ultra, and points that we’d like to improve on the next model are the fingerprint reader, battery life, and weight reduction. As far as the camera is concerned, the secondary telephoto lens (3x) in particular leaves a lot to be desired.
One of the bubbles for next year are the foldable phones. The improvements were clear between the generations and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Z Flip 3, among other things, convinced the editors. The external dimensions in relation to the screen size have decreased compared to the previous generations, while the price has decreased, but we still find the Fold series in particular a bit cumbersome. However, we do not expect any significant improvement on this point until flexible and flexible lithium-ion batteries come onto the market.