Tech News: Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S21 Plus vs. Galaxy S21 Ultra: Complete Guide.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 is here, in three similar but distinct flavors. And with a price difference of around $ 500 between the top and bottom of the range, it’s important to know what the differences are between them. As this guide will show, the base Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus are identical, except for the display and battery size. The Galaxy S21 Ultra, however, is in a class of its own with some of the best specs we’ve seen on a phone to date. If you want help figuring out which of the three S21 models is right for you, here’s our guide to all the differences.
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S21 Plus vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: price
The lowest price you will pay for a Galaxy S21 is $ 799 for the standard S21. The S21 Plus starts at $ 999, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra starts at $ 1,299. You can spend more on all three models if you want additional storage. Specifically, add $ 50 if you want the 256GB model of any of the three new Galaxy S21 phones. So the 256GB Galaxy S21 would cost $ 849, for example. As for the 512GB Galaxy S21 Ultra, it costs $ 1,379, which is still $ 20 less than what the Galaxy S20 Ultra debuted last year.
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S21 Plus vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Specifications
All three Galaxy S21 models share the new contoured rear camera design, as well as the familiar display with a perforated center camera on the front. However, the main difference here is the size, with the Galaxy S21 screen measuring 6.2 inches, the Galaxy S21 Plus measuring 6.7 inches, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra 6.8 inches. The Ultra also has a wider camera bump to accommodate the extra sensors.
The display is also slightly different on the S21 Ultra. It has curved edges unlike the flatter S21 and S21 Plus, which means the wider laptop will fit better in your hand. On the back, the Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra use Gorilla Glass Victus, the strongest glass currently available on smartphones. The Galaxy S21 on the other hand has a polycarbonate back, which is the dreaded plastic back we’ve seen on the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy S20 FE.
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S21 Plus vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Display
As noted, the Galaxy S21 has a 6.2-inch screen, the Galaxy S21 Plus a 6.7-inch screen, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra a 6.8-inch screen. This is the main difference between the three panels, but not the only thing to consider. The S21 and S21 Plus both have FHD resolution displays, while the S21 Ultra has QHD resolution. It means you’ll see more detail on the S21 Ultra than the cheaper models.
As mentioned earlier, the S21 Ultra’s screen is curved on the left and right edges, while the 2.5D displays of the S21 and S21 Plus are only slightly curved. While curved displays make phones feel better in your hand, they can also make it harder to use, as it’s easier to accidentally touch an active part of the display.
One thing all panels have in common is a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. However, the display’s ability to alter this rate is greater on the S21 Ultra. The Ultra can change the display refresh rate anywhere between 10Hz and 120Hz, while the S21 and S21 Plus can go between 48Hz and 120Hz.
The lower the refresh rate, the lower the display’s current draw, so this feature allows phones to reduce the refresh rate when it’s not needed to conserve battery capacity. All three phones adjust this refresh rate dynamically based on the activity you’re using the phone for.
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S21 Plus vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: camera
You have the same three cameras on the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus. That trio consists of a 12MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera, and a 64MP telephoto camera. There is also a 10MP selfie camera on the front.
The S21 Ultra on the other hand offers a lot more potential than the camera. Instead, it uses a 108MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera, and two 10MP telephoto lenses, one with 3x zoom and the other with 10x zoom. There’s even an autofocus laser sensor to help the S21 Ultra track the subjects of your photos. While the main differences are on the rear, the single selfie camera on the front is also replaced by a 40MP sensor.
All three phones use the same camera software, however, which offers modes like Single Take, 8K video recording, Director’s View video recording, and photo points like portrait mode, image stabilization, and night mode. The advantages of the Galaxy S21 Ultra from an improved Bright Night sensor, so low light photography should be better with this phone.
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S21 Plus vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: performance
Every S21 model you can buy in the US will have the Snapdragon 888 chipset inside. Outside of the US, Samsung offers the S21 with its own Exynos 2100 chipset.
The Snapdragon 888 reportedly offers a 20% increase in CPU power and a 30% increase in GPU power over the Snapdragon 865 S20 series chips. Exynos 2100 offers 10% more power or 20% more efficiency than the previous Exynos 9000 chip. We will have to wait for the benchmark results to arrive to see which chip is better, but both use the latest process technology. at 5nm to accumulate more power in the same piece of silicon, and both feature built-in 5G modems, there won’t be a huge difference in performance.
Looking to memory now, the S21 and S21 Plus both have just 8GB of RAM, with either 128GB or 256GB of storage. The S21 Plus can choose between 12GB or 16GB of RAM and 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB storage options.
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S21 Plus vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: battery and charging
The battery size increases with the price of the different S21 models. The Galaxy S21 has a battery capacity of 4,000mAh, the Galaxy S21 Plus 4,800mAh and the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5,000mAh. All models can charge up to 25W over a wired connection. They can also charge at 15W over a wireless connection and wirelessly charge other phones and accessories at 4.5W. Note, however, that none of the Galaxy S21 models will ship with a charger in the box, so you’ll either have to buy one yourself or use a charger you already have lying around.
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S21 Plus vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: 5G and connectivity
Here is one of the rare places where all phones are completely identical. Whichever S21 you buy, you get 5G built in via the chipset, with both sub-6GHz and mmWave compatibility on offer. Unlike last year’s S20, the S21 4G edition is not available, which is a shame as it cost around $ 100 less than the 5G version.
The S21 Plus and S21 Ultra both feature Ultrawide Band (UWB) chips. This is a new hands-free control method, which you’ll find useful for finding Samsung’s new SmartTag trackers or unlocking your car. There’s even more to explore with the S21 Ultra. Samsung has also given its top-tier S21 WiFi 6E compatibility, the fastest and lowest latency standard for WiFi connections so far.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is also the first phone in the Galaxy S series to work with an S Pen stylus. This is a separate peripheral, however, rather than the built-in accessory like it is on the Galaxy Note 20, which you can get by purchasing some Samsung phone cases. The S Pen costs $ 40 and the cases are listed at $ 69.99. An S Pen Pro with Bluetooth connectivity will arrive later this year.
If you want the best that the Galaxy S21 range has to offer, you will probably have to go for the S21 Ultra. Sure it’s the most expensive of the bunch, but it also offers the largest and highest quality display, largest battery, most and highest resolution cameras, most RAM and storage capacity, and best connectivity options.
Between the S21 and the S21 Plus, the main difference is the size of the phone. There are more subtle differences, however, as the S21 Plus improves upon the S21 thanks to a more premium glass-backed build, an ultra-wideband chip, and increased battery capacity. If you’re able to afford the extra $ 200, the S21 Plus offers a significant amount of useful extras, but the basic S21 is still a good choice if you want to save money or prefer your phones on the smaller side.
Of course, these are only preliminary impressions. We will get a better idea of how the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra stack up once we get a chance to test the phones.