Samsung Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Review: Sibling Rivalry?


Earlier this yr, Samsung launched three new smartphones comprising its 2021 flagship Galaxy S21 collection. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the top-of-the-line mannequin and showcases some spectacular digital camera {hardware}, which is able to enchantment to these on the lookout for the last word flexibility, regardless of the associated fee. We’ve already examined the Galaxy S21 Ultra, and we had been impressed with it, nevertheless it prices over Rs. 1,00,000.

If you do not wish to spend a lot on a smartphone, there are different choices that is perhaps ok. The 128GB storage variant of the Galaxy S21 is priced at Rs. 69,990 whereas the 256GB variant is priced at Rs 73,999. The Galaxy S21+ is priced at Rs. 81,999 and Rs. 84,999 respectively. In the US, the Galaxy S21 is priced a lot decrease than the outgoing Galaxy S20, however that is not the case right here in India, which may very well be due to taxes and forex price fluctuations. So will the extra reasonably priced Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ make the lower? I put them by way of our checks to seek out out.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 design

The Samsung Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 share the identical design, and primarily differ in measurement. Samsung has additionally performed round with supplies this time. You get a glass-metal sandwich design with the Samsung Galaxy S21+, and it has Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the entrance and the again. The smaller Galaxy S21 has Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the entrance however has a plastic again. Under the identical lighting, you’ll be able to see the backs of those telephones reflecting mild otherwise. The contact really feel can also be completely different, and unsurprisingly, the Galaxy S21+ feels extra premium. The one upside of the polycarbonate again of the Galaxy S21 is that it helps preserve fingerprints off. However, contemplating the costs of those smartphones, Samsung ought to have supplied a glass again on the Galaxy S21 as nicely.

Both these fashions have flat shows, so curved panels are reserved for the Galaxy S21 Ultra (Review). The Galaxy S21+ has an even bigger 6.7-inch panel whereas the Galaxy S21 has a extra manageable 6.2-inch show. You can select from a number of color choices in India: Phantom Violet, Phantom Black, and Phantom Silver for the Galaxy S21+, and the identical Phantom Violet, however completely different Phantom Grey, Phantom White, and Phantom Pink for the Galaxy S21. I had each telephones in Phantom Violet, which is a brand new color scheme for this era, and actually pops. If you need one thing understated, you may favor the impartial color choices.

The Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 look an identical apart from their completely different sizes


Samsung’s new design curves the metallic body proper over the digital camera module, and you will see this on all three fashions within the Galaxy S21 collection. On the Phantom Violet items I had, the body has a hanging gold end. The body is rounded alongside the perimeters making each smartphones comfy to carry. The button and port placement is identical on each these smartphones. You have the ability and quantity buttons on the suitable, whereas the left of the body is totally naked. The SIM tray, USB Type-C port, and major microphone are on the backside of every telephone. I discovered the button placement to be handy on the smaller Galaxy S21, whereas the larger Galaxy S21+ wanted me to stretch.

I discovered the Galaxy S21 to be excellent for single-handed use as I may attain all corners of the show with none points, not like the Galaxy S21+ which wanted some in-hand shuffling. It can also be lighter at 169g in comparison with the latter, which weighs 200g. Both fashions have IP68 scores for mud and water resistance.

The Galaxy S21+ packs in a 4,800mAh battery whereas the Galaxy S21 has a 4,000mAh unit. Samsung has taken a leaf out of Apple’s e book, so you do not get a charger or a set of headphones within the field with both telephone. You get a cable with USB Type-C connectors on each ends, which is not going to be helpful until you might have a charger with a USB Type-C port.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 specs and software program

Samsung has stored the core {hardware} of each fashions almost an identical, so if you’re seeking to purchase a smaller smartphone, you will not be compromising on efficiency, and that may be a good factor. Both the Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 are powered by Samsung’s personal Exynos 2100 5G SoC which relies on a 5nm manufacturing course of identical to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. You get 8GB of RAM as normal on each these units however you’ll be able to select between 128GB and 256GB storage choices. I’d suggest the upper storage variants since storage is non-expandable.

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The Galaxy S21+ is larger than the Galaxy S21 and is not very best for single handed use


Both the Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 get full-HD+ shows with 120Hz refresh charges. This looks like a downgrade when it comes to decision in comparison with their respective predecessors, the Galaxy S20+ (Review) and Galaxy S20, which each had quad-HD+ shows. If you do need such a excessive decision, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is now the one one that gives that. The Galaxy S21 fashions all have ultrasonic fingerprint scanners beneath their shows and they’re nicely positioned and straightforward to hit.

You get Android 11 out of the field with Samsung’s One UI 3.Zero on high, much like what we have seen on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The UI feels slick and is intuitive to make use of. Samsung’s Edge Panel, which has app shortcuts, is only a swipe away. I had the March safety patch on each these smartphones. Samsung has stored preinstalled bloatware down however you continue to get a couple of apps from Google and Microsoft, in addition to Facebook and Netflix preinstalled. I discovered that the My Galaxy and Galaxy Shop apps pushed occasional notifications for presents and information. You can try our Galaxy S21 Ultra review for extra particulars on how One UI 3.Zero works on these new Galaxy smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 efficiency

Samsung may need restricted the shows of the 2 lower-end Galaxy S21 fashions to full-HD+ decision, however that hasn’t restricted them when it comes to efficiency. The crisp AMOLED shows on each these smartphones supply punchy distinction. The refresh price on each is about to Adaptive, which suggests it should change dynamically primarily based on the content material on the display. You do have the choice to lock it at 60Hz to protect battery life although.

Both the Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 took all the things I threw at them with none hiccups. I may multitask between a number of apps simply and apps loaded shortly. The Galaxy S21+ scored 595,576 in AnTuTu whereas the Galaxy S21 managed to attain 536,273 in the identical check. In PC Mark Work 2.0, the Galaxy S21+ scored 13,302 factors whereas the Galaxy S21 managed 13,603 factors. As for graphics benchmarks, the Galaxy S21+ managed 7,360 factors in 3DMark Slingshot whereas the smaller Galaxy S21 wasn’t far behind at 7,578 factors. Given that these smartphones are powered by the identical {hardware}, I used to be not stunned that there weren’t any enormous variations within the scores.

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Both the Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 sport 10-megapixel selfie shooters


I performed Call of Duty Mobile on the Galaxy S21+ on the “very High” settings for each Graphics and Frame Rate. I didn’t discover any lag or stutter throughout gameplay. I performed for near 15 minutes and seen a Four % battery drop, which is appropriate. The again was barely heat to the contact.

Battery efficiency is one space through which these smartphones differ barely because the Galaxy S21+ has an even bigger battery. With my utilization, the Galaxy S21+ lasted me a couple of day and a half whereas the smaller Galaxy S21 wanted to be charged after a day of use. In our HD video loop check, the Galaxy S21+ managed to run for 16 hours and 34 minutes, whereas the Galaxy S21 ran for 14 hours and 6 minutes in the identical check.

Since Samsung doesn’t ship a charger within the field, I examined charging speeds utilizing an 18W charger of my very own. The Galaxy S21+ managed to get to 33 % in 30 minutes and 67 % in an hour, taking a little bit greater than an hour and a half to cost fully. The Galaxy S21 was faster to cost due to its smaller battery and obtained to 39 % in 30 minutes and 79 % in an hour.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 cameras

Samsung has used the identical sensors for the Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21, so you’ll be able to anticipate the identical digital camera efficiency from each these units. You get a triple digital camera setup with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle digital camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle digital camera, and a 64-megapixel telephoto digital camera. For selfies, each have a 10-megapixel entrance digital camera. You do not get 100X “Space Zoom” on these telephones such as you do on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, however you do get 30X Space Zoom which ought to be sufficient for many eventualities.

samsung galaxy s21plus s21 cameras gadgets 360  Samsung Galaxy S21  closeup    Samsung Galaxy S21

The Galaxy S21+ has a glass again whereas the Galaxy S21 has a polycarbonate again


I shot lots of pictures utilizing the Galaxy S21+ and the digital camera efficiency was spectacular. The smartphone by no means struggled to lock focus, and metered mild accurately each single time. Daylight photographs taken with the Galaxy S21+ had wonderful dynamic vary and good element. Text at a distance (together with on shifting vehicles) was legible. This telephone managed to seize good element within the shadows as nicely. Colour accuracy was excellent, and the AI was fast to detect what I used to be pointing the telephone at. The ultra-wide-angle digital camera presents a wider area of view whereas maintaining distortion in examine. Photos taken with it look good at first, however magnifying these photographs reveal that it is not as sharp or as detailed as the first digital camera.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ daylight digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)

Samsung Galaxy S21+ ultra-wide-angle digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)


The telephoto digital camera presents laborious stops at 3X, 4X, 10X, 20X, and 30X zoom ranges within the app however you’ll be able to pinch to set it to any magnification stage in between. The telephone performs a digital zoom as much as 30X and the digital camera app reveals a preview once you transcend 20X zoom. Photos shot on the 30X zoom stage had respectable element even at that prime magnification.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ telephoto digital camera samples (faucet to see resized picture)


Close-up photographs had been crisp and had wonderful element. The telephone additionally manages a mushy blur for the background. Portrait photographs had excellent edge detection and you’ll be able to select between completely different filters. You additionally get to set the extent of blur earlier than taking a photograph.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ close-up digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)

Samsung Galaxy S21+ portrait digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)

Low-light pictures from the Galaxy S21+ didn’t have noise within the output. Brighter areas in scenes had higher particulars in comparison with the shadows. Switching on Night mode makes the Galaxy S21+ crop into the body to minimise shakes. It made photos barely brighter and enhanced particulars within the shadows.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ low-light digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)

Samsung Galaxy S21+ Night mode digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)


Samsung boasts of 8K video recording with the Galaxy S21 collection, which is stabilised however tops out at 24fps. There isn’t any time restrict on the footage you’ll be able to seize, however I seen that the telephone closely crops into the body to stabilise the footage. You do have the choice to shoot at 4K and 1080p decision, and the footage was nicely stabilised. There’s additionally a Super Steady mode that might stabilise footage whereas I used to be pacing. Low-light video stabilisation was good at decrease resolutions.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ Selfie portrait digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)

Samsung Galaxy S21+ low-light Selfie digital camera pattern (faucet to see full measurement)


Selfies shot utilizing the 10-megapixel entrance shooter had been crisp. The telephone was fast to focus and seize selfies. It additionally does portraits and may detect my face even with a masks on. Edge detection for portrait photographs was fairly good and I may set the extent of blur earlier than taking a shot. Low-light selfies had been additionally sharp, and didn’t have noise within the output.


With the Galaxy S21 collection, Samsung has modified the relative positioning of those three smartphones. If you need the very best, then the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the one to select. Yes, its measurement makes it a bit unwieldy, nevertheless it has the very best cameras and a higher-resolution curved-edge show.

When you have a look at the Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21, the practical variations are primarily their measurement and battery life, as just about all the things else is identical. Samsung has additionally lower a couple of corners on the Galaxy S21 by going for a polycarbonate again as an alternative of glass. While this has resulted in a extra aggressive worth within the US, that is not the case right here in India. At Rs. 69,990, the polycarbonate again looks like an undesirable compromise.

If you’re particularly on the lookout for one thing compact and highly effective, the Galaxy S21 ought to preserve you cheerful. If you do not thoughts the larger measurement and greater worth, the Galaxy S21+ is the one to select.

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