Phones from Apple, Samsung, OnePlus, and Xiaomi were nominated, but only one took home top honors.
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
- The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra was awarded the Best Smartphone at MWC 2021.
- Samsung’s flagship was shortlisted with four other devices, including headliners from Apple, OnePlus, and Xiaomi.
MWC 2021 was a tiny shadow of its usual frenetic self this year due to the ongoing pandemic. As a result, few companies turned up, and even fewer showcased devices during the show. However, MWC still handed out awards for the year’s best products, including an award for the Best Smartphone.
Notably, the Galaxy S6 Edge was Samsung’s last smartphone to take the crown back at the 2016 show.
A worthy winner?
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is arguably a worthy winner. We praised the device in our review for refining its predecessor’s strengths and remedying its weaknesses. In addition, its lower price, S Pen support, and versatile camera system made it a solid flagship.
Then again, the other nominees impressed us, too. The Galaxy S20 FE was a solid cheap flagship. Xiaomi demonstrated its serious world-beating credentials with the Mi 11 Ultra. The iPhone 12 Pro Max also continued to beat its rivals on shipments and a revenue basis in 2021. At the same time, the OnePlus 9 Pro is the company’s best device in years.
Our verdict: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: Ultra refined
But what do you think? Did the MWC judges get the decision wrong? Should another device claim the best smartphone title? Be sure to vote in our poll above.