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Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy s21+ display size and specs
- 6.2″ FHD+ vs 6.7″ FHD+ dynamic 120Hz refresh flat displays
- 5nm Snapdragon 888/Exynos 2100
- Integrated 5G modems
- 8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB storage
The 6.2″display size of the Galaxy S21 is way smaller than the 6.7″ panel of the S21+ which makes the middle child only slightly smaller than the S21 Ultra. As we mentioned, the phones are a tad wider this time around, but thanks to the tall aspect ratio still bearable for one-handed usage, especially the S21 which could very well be called a compact phone in this day and age. Moreover, Samsung offers more screen real estate, as there is no unsightly notch at the top, just the front camera opening pierced into the screen in a so-called Infinity-O design.
As for advantages under the hood, Galaxy S21 is powered by the newest Snapdragon 888 in the US which may not beat Apple’s A14 in raw benchmarks, but has the exciting advantage to ship with a fully integraated 5G modem, as opposed to Apple’s tack-on modular solution that is a battery hog. Consequently, Qualcomm boasts up to three times performance per watt improvement when compared to the Snapdragon 865 in the S20.
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S21+ battery life and charging speeds
- 4000mAh vs 4800 mAh
- 25W/30W/45W wired charging
- 15W wireless charging
Take the battery unit of the S21, for instance whose model number is EB-BG991ABY, sound familiar? It is actually similar to the 4000mAh EB-BG980ABY piece that is found inside the S20 as well, so battery life should be about the same, right? Well, not really, and here’s why.
The FHD (S21) vs QHD (S20) display
Tap the lower band of that range, and the S21 should outlast the S20 with two hours, hitting a tenner in our browsing and scrolling battery test, all other things being equal. The point is they won’t be equal, however.
The 5nm (S21) vs 7nm (S20) processor
Compared to the second-gen 7nm (7LPP) Snapdragon 865 processor in the S20, made in the TSMC foundry, the 5nm Snapdragon 888 is made using Samsung’s new EUV process. The fact that Qualcomm not only switched nodes from 7nm to 5nm, but also the foundry itself , is a vote of confidence in Samsung’s Extreme UltraViolet (EUV) lithography.
According to Samsung, its 5nm EUV process offers not only a fifth smaller footprint of the chipset at the same performance, but also about 20% smaller power draw. Alternatively, phone makers can choose to gain a 10% performance increase at the same battery consumption. Given that mobile chipsets are already powerful enough for anything you may throw at them, and the new X1 cores are clocked at the same 2.84GHz as the 865, Samsung is likely to go with the generous power consumption decrease.
The integrated (S21) vs standalone (S20) 5G connectivity
Next-gen 5G antenna isolation
Fast 5G networks like Verizon’s Ultrawide Band (UWB) mmWave can carry a lot of data at once and fast, but have very bad signal penetration that forces phone makers to slap a bunch of extra antennas all around their handsets just so that the signal can pass through your grip alone.
Galaxy S21+ battery life improvements over the S20+
- 4800mAh battery vs 4500mAh in S20+
- 1080p display vs 1440p on the S20+
- Frugal 5nm chipset with integrated 5G modem vs 7nm and standalone on S21+
- Next-gen 5G antenna isolation film
The 4800mAh battery of the S21+ is bigger than the S20+ piec
Just 200mAh short of the giant 5000mAh battery in the S20 Ultra, the S21+ pack could catapult it to the top of the Galaxy S21 series battery life pile, as all other energy-saving components – 5nm chipset, integrated 5G modem and better antenna isolation – also apply to the S21+ as well.
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S21+ cameras comparison
- 12 MP main sensors
- 64MP crop zoom cameras
- 12MP ultrawide-angle cameras
Unfortunately, when it comes to the Galaxy S21 and S21+ cameras, Samsung isn’t changing much compared to the S20 and S20+, if we don’t count the actual pretty camera island design that blends with the side frames of the upper right corner on the back.
Don’t let the high megapixel count of the Galaxy S21 zoom camera fool you, as the Galaxy S21 and S21+, just like the S20 or S20+ before them, lack a periscope or telephoto zoom camera. They use a 64-megapixel secondary camera for the purpose, and Samsung itself admits that what it calls a “telephoto camera” actually sports a lens that is very much wide-angle, almost as wide as the lens on the main camera.
The “telephoto” lens only provides a 1.06 zoom compared to the regular camera, so all the zooming is actually almost entirely based on software – cropping and merging with the information from the main sensor. The end result, however, is good pictures and lower pricing compared to their predecessors, so we can’t rant too much about the lack of a meaningful upgrade.