Google Pixel 5 Vs Samsung S21: Which Should You Buy? If you’re eyeing a full-featured Android right now, Samsung and Google are among your best bets. But the Galaxy S21 and Pixel 5 aren’t all that similar.

Well, they are not as comparable as the previous models. This time, Google opted for a mid-range processor, narrowing its main ambitions for something more affordable but still very capable. We are investigating whether the Google Pixel 5 is still worth it in 2021. Samsung has also scaled back some advantages over last year’s Galaxy S20, but the Galaxy S21 still has enormous power and a much more attractive design.

All things considered, what device is worth spending your money on right now? Here’s what we thought, based on our reviews of both Androids.

Google Pixel 5 Vs Samsung S21 Design: Beautiful Or Boring?

While both phones opt for the familiar punch-hole camera cutout seen on most of today’s best Androids – top left corner on Pixel, top center on GS21 – there are huge differences when it comes to the overall design.

The Galaxy S21 is attractive thanks to its new, distinctive, almost jewel-like camera module. The plastic mount looks like a step below the S20, it’s true, but the phone still stands out from the competition. Meanwhile, Pixel 5 takes a softer overall approach, with a smooth yet textured metal base with a resin finish. Google chooses function over form, and that’s true with this dull-looking device.

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Verdict: Samsung Galaxy S21

Google Pixel 5 Vs Samsung S21 Screen: Almost No Difference

Both are star screens. It’s 6.2 inches on the Galaxy S21 and 6.0 inches on the Pixel 5, but both are 1080p AMOLED displays with a faster-than-normal refresh rate for smooth animations.

It’s 90 Hz on Pixel 5 and 120 Hz higher on Galaxy S21, which is the only major functional difference between these displays. We’d say there’s almost no difference… but when we get to the specs, the S21 barely wins in the end.

Verdict: Samsung Galaxy S21

Google Pixel 5 Vs Samsung S21 Camera: Sizzling Snappers

Even Google’s cheapest mid-range phones have excellent cameras, so it’s no surprise that this upper-midrange Pixel 5 still has a great snapper. It has two: standard and ultra-wide cameras, both very stellar and consistent. As always, Google software usually guarantees great results.

As usual, Samsung cameras offer slightly more powerful results, which also usually impress. There is also an added benefit: a third telephoto camera in addition to the standard and ultra-wide-angle cameras. It captures zoomed photos better than the Pixel’s pure digital zoom, and while you might prefer the look of a phone photo over others, it’s a distinct advantage that can’t be compared.

Verdict: Samsung Galaxy S21

Google Pixel 5 Vs Samsung S21 Performance: Smooth Or Smoother?

Look, Pixel 5 isn’t slow. Even with a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip instead of a flagship flamethrower, Google’s phone feels smooth and nimble.

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But when it comes to benchmark testing, the Galaxy S21’s Exynos 2100 (or Snapdragon 888 in the US) shows significantly more onboard processing, and it shows in the very latest gaming performance. Samsung accepts this one, but Pixel isn’t sloppy.

Verdict: Samsung Galaxy S21

Google Pixel 5 Vs Samsung S21 Battery And Benefits: Mixed Bag

You know, looking at the battery capacity, you might not expect much difference between the Galaxy S21’s 4,000mAh cell and the Pixel 5’s 4,080mAh pack. Google’s phone can easily get through the day without breaking a sweat, while the S21 closes a few days before bed and may need to be charged early in the evening if you’re planning a night out.

Unfortunately, the Galaxy S21 doesn’t even come with an in-wall charger, while the Pixel 5 still does. Both phones can be charged wirelessly (the Pixel 5’s resin coating makes this possible), and both phones allow you to “turn back” rechargeable wireless devices to share your juice with your accessories or phones.

The Pixel 5 comes standard with 128 GB, while the Galaxy S21 is available in 128 GB and 256 GB. None of the phones support expandable storage – a surprise to Samsung, given the long-standing microSD support that is fairly consistent – ​​which is a drag on both sides.

Verdict: Google Pixel 5

Any other differences I should know?

The Pixel 5 is a lighter smartphone and has a USB-C connector, a feature that doesn’t exist on the S21. Also, the S21 no longer has a charging block, as Samsung encourages its customers to reuse older accessories in the name of the environment. Check out the chart below for the rest of the specs.

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Google Pixel 5 Vs Samsung S21 Specs

Pixel 5Galaxy S21
Display size, resolution6-inch FHD Plus OLED (2,340×1,080 pixels)6.2-inch FHD Plus AMOLED  (2,400×1,080 pixels)
Pixel density432ppi421ppi
Dimensions (Inches)5.7×2.8×0.3 in2.80×5.97×0.31 in
Dimensions (Millimeters)144.7×70.4×8.0 mm71.2×151.7×7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams)5.33 oz; 151g6.03 oz; 171g
Mobile softwareAndroid 11Android 11
Camera12.2-megapixel (standard), 16-megapixel (ultra-wide)64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (standard), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide)
Front-facing camera8-megapixel10-megapixel
Video capture4K8K
ProcessorSnapdragon 765GSnapdragon 888 or 64-bit Octa-Core Processor 2.8GHz (Max 2.4GHz and 1.8GHz)
Storage128GB128GB/256GB
RAM8GB8GB
Expandable storageNoneNone
Battery4,000 mAh4,000 mAh
Fingerprint sensorRearIn-screen
Headphone jackUSB-CNo
Special features5G enabled; water-resistant (IP68); 90Hz refresh rate display; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); reverse wireless charging; fast chargingIP68 rating, 5G-enabled, 30X Space Zoom, 10W wireless charging
Price off-contract (USD)$699$800 (128GB)
Price (GBP)£599£769
Price (AUD)AU$999Converts to ~AU$1,030 from USD

Google Pixel 5 Vs Samsung S21: Which Should You Buy?

The Pixel 5 is a complete, reliable, and durable phone without any surprising factors. At £599, cheaper than previous Full-bodied Pixels, this is reasonable – but if you’re looking for something impressive and exciting you won’t find it here. It’s incredibly sensible.

For some, this may be preferable. But we’d still prefer the power and pop of the Galaxy S21, which comes with improved advanced performance, has a welcome telephoto sensor for zoomed-in snapshots, and is the most attractive phone.

With the launch price of £769, you might think twice about whether the Galaxy S21 is worth paying that much. But as we’ve already seen the price drop by almost £600 on Amazon, the advantages over the Pixel 5 seem a bit more, with almost no price difference.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S21

Buy Samsung Galaxy S21 on Amazon*

Buy Pixel 5 on Amazon*