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


Galaxy S21 UltraSamsung’s new premium smartphone, Galaxy S21 Ultra, passed the evaluation of DxOMark’s professional engineers in February of this year in terms of audio. The device excited about the front camera and mainly display, but disappointed in photography and did not perform as well in audio recording and playback.

The evaluated version was the one that delivers the Exynos processor, and despite the satisfactory performance, with excellent control of artifacts, good balance, and location, the device did not surprise and scored only 70 points.

Positioned in 12th place in the overall ranking, it was behind competitors such as the iPhone 12 and even devices launched in 2020, such as the iPhone SE and the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro, taking 12th place in the ranking.

Now, DxOMark has posed the same challenge for the other flagship devices: Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 and Galaxy S21 5G on both chipset versions. And the result, literally, was no different.

The devices have the same technical specifications in terms of audio, which include:

  • Two AKG speakers (one top and one bottom)
  • Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus included)
  • Zoom recording using three microphones
  • Dual Audio (user can connect two Bluetooth devices for simultaneous playback)

Therefore, as expected, there was no difference in the final result. The Snapdragon 888 makes no difference to the audio performance of the Galaxy S21 Ultra; the score was the same as that provided for the Exynos version and the justification for the DxOMark team as well.

DxOMark: Galaxy S21 Ultra with Exynos shows great control of artifacts in audio test

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is Samsung’s newest premium flagship, bringing the best of the South Korean giant. In addition to its huge 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x screen, with Quad HD + resolution and 120Hz, the device has a generous 5,000mAh battery, a second-generation 108MP camera, and a stereo audio system with Dolby Atmos technology.

In its version equipped with the Exynos 2100, the Galaxy S21 Ultra reached the hands of DxOMark engineers, who analyzed its screen. As expected, the panel presented exemplary performance and became the new leader in the ranking of displays, surpassing its brother Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with Snapdragon. Now, in audio tests, Samsung’s premium cell phone is unable to maintain a high level of quality, but it is very capable when conquering 70 points, drawing with the iPhone SE (2020), and taking 12th place.

Audio playback

When it comes to audio reproduction, DxOMark points out the good performance in general as positive points; the good control of artifacts, which become almost indistinguishable; and good dynamic range when the device is configured for low volumes.

Among the negative points, the experts highlight the absence of low and high extensions in the timbre; the performance of distance and breadth, affected precisely by the lack of high ends; and the minimum volume level, which ends up being too low.

Audio recording

In the audio recording department, DxOMark highlights as good points the good tone performance in noisy environments; the presence of a minimum number of artifacts; and the good balance of sound and noise in practically all tested scenarios.

Among the negative points, the recording of notes in mono is pointed out, which ends up limiting the amplitude and location; the lack of bass and treble in video recordings, which affect the balance of tones; and the unnatural background noise.


According to DxOMark engineers, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra proved to be suitable, but not exceptional in audio performance. The device stands out for its excellent control of artifacts, practically imperceptible, offering clean sound, but it ends up performing in a decent way in other aspects. There is good balance and location, the good dynamic range at low volumes and high maximum volume, but its tone balance is limited by the lack of high and low ranges.

Samsung’s premium cell phone does better when it comes to recording, with great performance, especially in noisy locations. There is also excellent control of artifacts in this case, in addition to good amplitude, location and volume. Still, the S21 Ultra with Exynos is not perfect, with a lack of bass and treble, as well as artificial background noise. You can check the full analysis on this link.

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Technical specifications
  • 6.8-inch Dinamyc AMOLED display with Quad HD resolution (1440 x pixels)
  • Samsung Exynos 2100 platform
  • 12/16 GB RAM
  • 128/256/512 GB of storage
  • Cameras
    • Main: 108 MP (f / 1.8) with OIS
    • Ultrawide: 12MP (f / 2.2) with 120 °
    • Telephoto: 10MP (f 2.4) with 3x zoom
    • Telephoto: 10MP (f / 4.9) with 10x zoom and OIS
  • Video recording in 8K at 24 FPS and 4K at 60 FPS
  • 5,000mAh battery with fast charge and reverse charge
  • Android 11 with One UI 3.1 interface
  • Colors: black and silver

Source: dxomark

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