The Samsung Galaxy S21 is Samsung’s latest update to its flagship phone line, replacing the 2020 Galaxy S20 in the company’s lineup. Samsung often finds its best phones on our list of the best phones to buy, and the latest is no exception. So for today, we have Samsung Galaxy S20 Vs S21, does it worth upgrading?
If you don’t have time to read all of our coverage of new and old Samsung phones, you might be wondering what the differences are between the two phones. As the image above shows, the Samsung Galaxy S21 is not a totally new version of its predecessor, with some pretty subtle changes.
We’ve written full reviews of all new Samsung phones and tested them for weeks so we know what the Samsung Galaxy S20 Vs S21 phones look like and how they work. So if you’re considering buying one of the company’s newer devices, or just want to know how they compare, we’ve got you covered.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Vs S21 Price
The Samsung Galaxy S20 came with 12 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, priced at $ 999 / £ 899 / AU $ 1,499. A 4G version of the phone (with 8 GB of RAM) was also available in some regions for £ 799 / AU $ 1,349.
The Galaxy S21 is cheaper than that, thanks to a few downgrades that we’ll get to later. It costs $ 799 / £ 769 / AU $ 1,249, so you get 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Note there is no 4G version of this phone.
With the newer device, it seems that instead of developing new features and ideas, the Samsung Galaxy S21 company has been looking for more affordable ways to offer the Galaxy S20’s features. Sure, the S21 is still an expensive phone, but less so than its predecessor.
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S20: Specs
|Galaxy S21||Galaxy S21 Plus||Galaxy S20||Galaxy S20 Plus|
|Screen size||6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED (2400 x 1080; 48Hz – 120Hz)||6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED (2400 x 1080; 48Hz-120Hz)||6.2-inch QHD+ AMOLED, 120HZ||6.7-inch QHD+ AMOLED, 120HZ|
|CPU||Snapdragon 888||Snapdragon 888||Snapdragon 865||Snapdragon 865|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB||128GB, 256GB||128GB||128GB, 512GB|
|Rear cameras||Ultra wide: 12MP; Main: 12MP; Telephoto: 64MP||Ultra wide: 12MP; Main: 12MP; Telephoto: 64MP||Ultra wide: 12MP; Main: 12MP; Telephoto: 64MP||Ultra wide: 12MP; Main: 12MP; Telephoto: 64MP; VGA time-of-flight sensor|
|Battery size||4,000 mAh||4,800 mAh||4,000 mAh||4,500 mAh|
|Colors||Phantom Violet, Phantom Gray, Phantom Pink, Phantom White||Phantom Violet, Phantom Silver, Phantom Black||Cosmic Gray, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink||Cosmic Gray, Cosmic Black, Cloud Blue|
Samsung Galaxy S20 Vs S21 Design
The Samsung Galaxy S21 does not have a major redesign of the Galaxy S20, and the only visible main difference is a slightly different looking camera unit.
There is also a second possibility that the images are not displayed. While the Samsung Galaxy S20 has a glass back, the back of the Galaxy S21 is made of ‘Glasstic’, or plastic intended to look more like glass.
This material is cheaper and while it doesn’t feel as premium as glass, it is more durable and therefore easier to hold. In a recent survey, we found that many phone fans love this plastic material.
Aside from these updates, both phones come with USB-C ports, plus power buttons and volume controls on the sides of the phones, but no 3.5mm headphone jack.
In our Galaxy S21 review we said it is “unlikely to feel as high-end as the Samsung Galaxy S20”, so if you want a phone with a premium feel and a choice, the S20 is the one to go. select.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 was available in three colors: blue, pink, and gray. The S21 brings back the gray color, but it is also available in white, purple, and a slightly different kind of pink.
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S20 Screen
In Samsung Galaxy S20 Vs S21 Screen battle, the Samsung Galaxy S21’s screen is actually a downgrade from the Galaxy S20. Both phones have 6.2-inch screens punctuated by perforated cutouts on the top, 120Hz refresh rates, HDR10 +, and in-display fingerprint scanners. However, the resolution of the S21 is lower than that of the S20.
While the Samsung Galaxy S20’s screen resolution was 1440 x 3200 or Quad HD, the Galaxy S21 is only 1080 x 2400 or Full HD +. We found that the S21 videos still look pretty good, and the lower price may justify the change.
Before assuming the Galaxy S20 is better, it’s worth noting that the S20 can only use its QHD resolution or 120Hz refresh rate, not both at the same time. So in all respects, you get the same experience on the S21 as on the S20.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Vs S21 Cameras
Let’s check the Samsung Galaxy S20 Vs S21 Cameras comparison. On paper, it appears that the Samsung Galaxy S21 comes with identical cameras to the Galaxy S20: a 12MP main unit, plus 64MP telephoto, and 12MP ultrawide snappers. And it seems that even the sensors and lenses are the same. Both phones also feature 10 MP front cameras.
The changes with the Galaxy S21 come through the camera modes; the S21 brings some updates to what we saw on the Galaxy S20, especially for video recording.
The director’s view is new, allowing you to view video images from all three rear lenses at the same time and allowing you to jump between them whenever you want. There is also Vlogger View, which allows you to record video from the front and rear cameras simultaneously.
The Samsung Galaxy S20’s Single Take mode has also been improved on the S21, with better AI and a greater emphasis on the slow-motion recording to take great photos. In our review, we liked the addition of slow-motion shooting to the mode.
But unless those new camera modes appeal to you, the experience of shooting with the Samsung Galaxy S21 may not be much different from that of the Galaxy S20.
Features And Specifications
In terms of software, the Samsung Galaxy S20 came with Android 10, but the Galaxy S21 beats it with Android 11. However, they have both put Samsung’s One UI over the top and you can update the S20 to newer software, but it probably won’t get as many later updates as the S21.
The chipset situation is quite complicated. The Samsung Galaxy S20 uses the Exynos 990 processor in Europe and Asia, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 elsewhere. The Galaxy S21 uses the Exynos 2100 in Europe and Asia and the Snapdragon 888 everywhere.
Both versions of the chipsets are about equal in processing power and battery efficiency, although Snapdragon chipsets generally stand out from the competition. However, in our review of the Galaxy S21 with an Exynos 2100 phone, we found the difference between the chipsets to be less pronounced.
Interestingly, the Samsung Galaxy S20 came with 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (unless you opt for the 4G model, which has 8GB of RAM). The Galaxy S21 is only available with 8GB of RAM, but it can be purchased with 256GB and 128GB.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Vs Galaxy S20 Battery Duration
Both the Samsung Galaxy S21 and S20 contain 4,000 mAh batteries, but thanks to software and chipset improvements we expect the former to offer slightly better battery life. However, the difference is not very great.
In our reviews of both phones, we found that they offered about a day of battery life, although the S21 didn’t last that long at times.
The phones also have 25W wired charging, as well as wireless power and bilateral charging, allowing you to use the phone as a wireless charging pad to power other devices.
In general, battery and charging is an area where there are not many differences between the two devices.
Let’s jump to Samsung Galaxy S20 Vs S21 conclusion here. The Samsung Galaxy S21 isn’t a huge step up from its predecessor, it’s basically a downgrade in more ways than one and a side step in other areas.
However, the Galaxy S20 was more expensive at launch and has now been discontinued. If you can find a Samsung Galaxy S20 that is cheaper than the Galaxy S21, it might be a better buy for you, but looking for one can be overwhelming.
As such, the Samsung Galaxy S21 is probably more profitable.