Food is among the few things that engage all the five senses and the one sense that retains the memory of food the longest, is sight. Good-looking food deservers a top-drawer capture and the Samsung S21 Ultra comes armed with a camera that lands it on the sweet spot. It may be hailed as Samsung’s best phone yet, but the real MVP is the camera.
The 108-megapixel lens on the main camera offers 3x and 10x optical zoom capabilities are said to place this phone way ahead of its S-series cousins. The magic is manifested in the exciting new features that have found their prominence in all flagship Samsung phones and have only been bested by subsequent variants. For my visual appetite, I was pursuing a capture that brought not only the food on my table to the fore but also did justice to the stunning tapestry around it. More about the latter later. Coming back to the Food Mode on the S21 Ultra, the things it allows you to do before and after taking your shot, are nothing short of impressive.
You can adjust the color temperature by simply moving a slider and introduce a Radial blur to make the food stand out against any background. The Food Mode might not be enabled by default in some test phones, but all it takes are a few swipes and touches to turn it on. To test the food mode to its fullest, I headed to one of the most Instagrammed locales in Mumbai, the AER Bar, and Lounge at the Four Seasons. The sprawling landscapes that you can enjoy at the rooftop bar stretch your imagination with the shots you can capture. Whether they are day-time captures, early dust, or dinner fares, everything looks good as the natural light (or darkness) makes for a fantastic canvas behind your food shots.
The real test of color and depth was when I ordered the house pizza. The vividness of the bell peppers was impressive and the shot also captured the condiments and sauces on the table with impressive detail. The scrumptious Avocado Toast tasted as delightful as it looks in this image.
Of course, nothing is as popular at the AER as the Sundowner Menu and I placed my finger on a fare that was befitting the backdrop. I started off with a beer to chase down the burgers/sliders as the colors of dusk set in, but the sun still had a fair bit of setting to do. The food mode blurred the backdrop of the Arabian Sea delightfully, and the food stood out even with minimal indoor lighting at plat.
As the day slipped by and the sunset kissed the dreamy Mumbai skyline we switched to a mix of beers and fries, having well-digested the earlier courses. With the city-lights in the backdrop, the camera did its best to capture the mood of the evening.
In addition to the Food Mode, the S21 Ultra also packs an intelligent and handy Single Take Mode. It is ideal to create a collage of shots, GIFs, and videos of a situation. It’s like a mini video-editor-cum-director living behind the lens of your phone who captures and then edits any moment you would like to create a video for. This feature isn’t new and was first enjoyed on the Galaxy S20, but has progressively improved to add even more features and formats. It is great to use at a party, sports events, or even during long rides, where you capture the flavor and the feel of the moment and let your phone decide how it can be best interpreted.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra could well be the best Samsung phone to date, packing the aforementioned modes, and also packing the best night mode you could get for your buck. It could be the best ammo for any Instagrammer, today.
The Samsung S21 Ultra is available in 256 GB (12 GB of RAM) and 512 GB (16GB of RAM) for Rs 106,000 and Rs 1,17,000 respectively.
Note – None of the images are edited or processed in any way. There are only resized for faster loading.
A special thanks to the Four Seasons Mumbai.