Galaxy S21 Ultra on DxOMark! Comparing audio performance with Exynos and Snapdragon

New high-end smartphoneThe Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra was assessed for sound by the professional engineers at DxOMark in February this year. The device managed to impress with its front camera and especially its screen, but disappointed in the area of photography and fell short in recording and playing audio.

The evaluated version was the one with the Exynos processor. Despite a satisfactory performance with excellent control of the artifact, good balance and attitude, the unit failed to surprise and scored only 70 points.

The device ranks 12th, behind rivals like the iPhone 12 and even 2020 devices like the iPhone SE and Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro.

Now DxOMark has issued the same challenge to other flagship devices: Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 and Galaxy S21 5G with both chipsets. And the result, literally, was no different.

The devices have the same technical specifications in terms of sound, including:

  • Two AKG speakers (one above and one below)
  • Surround sound with Dolby Atmos (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus included).
  • Magnify the recording with three microphones
  • Dual Audio (user can connect two Bluetooth devices for simultaneous playback)

Therefore, as expected, there was no difference in the final result. As for the sound performance of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the Snapdragon 888 makes no difference, the result was the same as that of the Exynos variant, just as in the reasoning of the DxOMark team.

DxOMark: Galaxy S21 Ultra with Exynos shows excellent artifact control inaudio test

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is Samsung’s latest high-end flagship and offers the best of the South Korean giant. In addition to a huge 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with 2x Quad HD + 120Hz resolution, the device also comes with a 5000mAh battery, a second-generation 108-megapixel camera and stereo sound with Dolby Atmos technology.

In its Exynos 2100-powered version, the Galaxy S21 Ultra fell into the hands of DxOMark engineers who analyzed the screen. As expected, the tablet performed exemplarily and became the new leader in the display ranking, ahead of its Snapdragon-powered Galaxy Note 20 Ultra sibling. In audio tests, Samsung’s top-of-the-line phone can’t keep the quality high, but it’s very capable : With 70 points, it ranks 12th along with the iPhone SE (2020).

Audio playback

As for audio playback, DxOMark notes as positive points the good overall performance, good control over artifacts that are almost indistinguishable, and good dynamic range when the volume is low.

Among the negative aspects, experts point to the lack of low and high extensions in the timbre; the performance of distance and width, which are affected precisely by the lack of high ends; and the minimum loudness level, which is ultimately too low.

Audio recording

In terms of audio, DxOMark highlights good tonal performance in noisy environments, the presence of minimal artifacts and a good balance between sound and noise in almost all scenarios tested.

Negatives include recording sounds in mono, which results in limited amplitude and localization, lack of bass and treble in video recordings, which affects sound balance, and unnatural background noise.


According to the engineers at DxOMark, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra showed usable, but not outstanding audio performance. The device has excellent, barely noticeable artifact control, which ensures clear sound, but ultimately performs well in other respects as well. Good balance and localization, good dynamic range at low volume and high maximum volume, but tonal balance is limited due to lack of treble and bass.

Samsung’s top-of-the-line phone is better at shooting and excels in noisy environments. Again, in addition to good amplitude, localization and volume, there is excellent artifact control. However, the S21 Ultra with Exynos is not perfect: it lacks bass and treble, as well as artificial background noise. You can read the full analysis at this link.

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Technical data

  • 6.8-inch Dinamyc AMOLED screen with Quad HD resolution (1440 x pixels)
  • Samsung Exynos 2100 platform
  • 12/16 GB RAM
  • 128/256/512 GB memory
  • Cameras
    • Bottom line: 108 MP (f/1.8) with DIS
    • Ultrabreit: 12MP (f/2.2) with an angle of 120°.
    • Telephoto lens: 10MP (f 2.4) with 3x zoom
    • Telephoto lens: 10MP (f/4.9) with 10x zoom and OIS
  • 8K video recording at 24 kbps and 4K at 60 kbps.
  • 5000mAh battery with fast charging and reverse charging
  • Android 11 with a unique 3.1 user interface
  • Colours: black and silver

Source : dxosmark

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