Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+, S21 Ultra Early Adopter Feedback Request

(This topic is publicly visible, but only those participating in our Samsung S21 Early Adopter beta can respond.)

Hi @samsung_s21_beta testers!

Several of you have had your phones activated for a couple of days at least, so we’d like to hear what you think. Here are some questions to consider:

  1. How did activation go? Any problems?
  2. Are calling and texting working as intended on both WiFi and cell?
  3. How is the phone performing? How does it compare to your previous phone (and what were you using before?)
  4. What do you think of the cameras? If you have photo samples you’d be willing to share, we’ll be glad to create a topic for you in our #reviews:photos category.
  5. Have you tried any Bluetooth connectivity? Calls over Bluetooth in the car? How does everything sound?
  6. Have you tried the fingerprint reader or facial recognition? Is it consistent?
  7. Any other thoughts you might want to share?
  8. Having tried it, would you want to keep using this phone?
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  1. Activation went fairly smooth
  2. Yes
  3. I was using a Galaxy J7 previously, this phone is much faster, has a larger viewing screen & touch
    display which is nice for my size 13 hands
  4. I have not tried the camera, because I just finished setting it up today.
  5. Yes, I have used my blue tooth ear piece & had good results
  6. Yes, I was able to set up the fingerprint login & again with a size 13 finger it works good.
  7. I still am not seeing some of the apps I previously had, but I will check that out tomorrow.
  8. Yes, on my old phone with Spectrum internet at home, best speed was 400 mbs, with this 5G I get
    speeds of 975+ so respoonse time is FAST! A little pricey, but I do tax preparation 4 months out of the
    year, so it is vey helpful to have. Thanks for supporting it.

I’m curious - did you use Smart Switch, or did you copy from a Google backup?

I’ve tried each way, and have to say that Smart Switch didn’t seem as complete as restoring from a Google backup.

I used Samsung Smart Switch. I think the apps came over & I just need to add them each to my phone by opening them. This worked for Republic Anywhere once I opened the app & activated it.

I did have one question: my phone shows a default phone # that is different than my reg phone default. Is that the Republic # assigned to my account, that then converts to my ported #? Thanks

If you swipe down on one of your phone’s home screens, by design, you should be presented with a list of all apps installed. From there, you may drag any you desire to a home screen. In my experience, Smart Switch does indeed move the apps from a previous phone (unless incompatible) but doesn’t always add them to a home screen.

Where are you seeing this default number? Have you installed and/or opened the Republic Wireless app (not Anywhere)? You might also check this out:

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  1. How did activation go? Any problems?
    Activation was great. I probably did things slightly out of order when setting up the phone, yet the RW app handled it like a champ and everything is running smoothly so far.

  2. Are calling and texting working as intended on both WiFi and cell?
    I’ve only made one call on WiFi and one call on cell service so far. Texting doesn’t seem to have any issues either.

  3. How is the phone performing? How does it compare to your previous phone (and what were you using before?)
    The phone is great. I got a Galaxy S21 5G to replace my Galaxy S8. So between the two, it’s a huge improvement. The S21 is very snappy and has handled everything I’ve thrown at it so far.

  4. What do you think of the cameras? So this is an interesting one for me. I have a black Chow Chow (dog). Every time I take pictures of him on my S8, the blacks would be “blown out”. Basically, there were no details. With the S21 and it’s nice HDR cameras, you can see all sorts of detail now.

  5. Have you tried any Bluetooth connectivity? Calls over Bluetooth in the car? How does everything sound?
    I haven’t tried this yet.

  6. Have you tried the fingerprint reader or facial recognition? Is it consistent?
    The fingerprint reader is nice. I’m not used to where to put my finger on the screen and how hard to initially press from a completely locked and black screen. It always takes me a couple of tries

  7. Any other thoughts you might want to share?
    I’ve been very impressed with how the transition has gone. Honestly, if I didn’t know better, I would just assume that the S21 is already a part of RW’s normal lineup of phones.
    Also, 5G is working on the phone, so that’s pretty cool.

  8. Having tried it, would you want to keep using this phone?
    Oh absolutely, the phone is a big upgrade for me and everything is working great so far. Why wouldn’t I? :slight_smile:

  1. Yes. Activation went smoothly. The hiccups I had were user error.

  2. Cell calling and texting have been fine. Wifi texting fine. I have had problems with calls ending. I received a msg Saving an was using my microphone and didn’t want to share it. I received advice to reset network and it worked, however rhe next day it was still doing the same thing and I reset it again it worked. I was giving some more suggestions and will try them in hopes of a more permanent solution.

  3. I was using a Samsung Galaxy Edge 7 that was beginning to run slow. My Ultra is fine but fir the problem listed above. Besides that that the key board is narrow.

4.I love the cameras. The photos are awesome! You can see every detail even the rust on your skin!

  1. I’ve used bluetooth for my airpods and another pair of wireless headphones and I can hear just fine.
    I haven’t connected to my car yet.

  2. The fingerprint reader works if you put your whole thumb on it. On my old phone it would open with just an edge print. I haven’t tried the face recognition.

  3. No. I don’t have anymore to share.

  4. Yes, I want to keep using the phone. I really live.

Hi @bettinaj,

Is it possible the keyboard is in one-handed mode or is set to “floating keyboard”?
One-handed looks like this:
You can tap the gray area to the left to go back to a full-size keyboard.

Floating looks like this:
You’ll know it’s the floating keyboard, because it can be repositioned on the screen. You can get back to the full-size keyboard from the floating keyboard by tapping the settings gear in the top row of the keyboard, and from there tap “Mode” and “Standard Mode.”

Or is it possible you’ve reduced the size of the keyboard so it looks like this?


If so, the size can be reset by tapping the gear in the top row of the keyboard, then “Size and transparency” and then

That can be reset in Settings > General Management > Samsung Keyboard Settings > Size and transparency and then “Reset” and “Done”.

You might also want to try the GBoard keyboard and try adjusting some of the settings in it to make your keyboard a better fit for you.

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Been using the S21 for about a week now. I bought an unlocked version from Best Buy without any carrier link. The RW activation was smooth and I didn’t encounter any problems. Southpaw had forwarded the SIM card and I popped it in and away I went, However, I did not set up a Samsung account nor activate any of the Samsung specific apps like Bixby or Samsung WiFi calling. Follow the cheat sheet link from RW about things that should or should not be toggled on. So far calling and texting over WiFi are working well. I have not yet tried cell coverage (my house has almost none) but will do so today and over the next several and report back. I previously used an S7 edge that was acting erratically and for which a factory reset didn’t resolve problems. So, the S21 is way, way better so far. I have noticed that the volume level on the S21 is not as good. The highest volume level is still pretty soft, especially while driving on the highway with road noise. I had trouble pairing the phone to both my Toyota and Hyundai cars and had to go to each dealer to resolve - this may have been a me issue. The fingerprint reader requires the entire surface of your finger to unlock so a phone mounted in a car requires a great deal of precision to open the screen - no quick taps. Also, the phone locks the screen very quickly which is kind of irritating. I did not set up facial recognition yet as the concept kind of creeps me out and I’m not certain about the privacy protections. I haven’t taken any pics yet but early users should know that can set up the 30x zoom feature to activate using your volume button - this is very helpful. I will report again after I use the phone more off of Wifi.

Hi @orchidlvr,

Please let us know if you have any pictures the share. The zoom feature using your volume button is something I was not aware of!

You can adjust this timing in the Settings app. Settings > Display > screen timeout

To add zoom to your volume buttons: go to camera, go to settings (top left), almost all the way down to “shooting methods”, first option is “press volume keys to zoom in or out”, make sure it has a check mark.

Thanks for info on screen timeout - (10 min is longest period).

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While not screen timeout, you can keep the phone from locking by going to Settings – Lock screen – Smart Lock and add your home as a trusted place or add a trusted device to keep the phone from locking while connected to that device.

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A post was split to a new topic: Cannot connect to voicemail on WiFi

awesome info thank you!

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