Tuesday, July 5

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S21 Plus vs. Galaxy S21 Ultra: bigger is better? | Digital Trends Spanish

Still can’t decide which is the most suitable member of the Galaxy S21 family? As you may have noticed, finding your S21 variant doesn’t just come down to choosing the size. Because their differences go beyond measurements, we have thoroughly analyzed their characteristics and the result is this Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S21 Plus vs. Galaxy S21 Ultra, in which we declare an absolute winner.

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Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Size 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm (5.97 x 2.72 x 0.31 inches) 75.6 x 161.5 x 7.8mm (3 x 6.4 x 0.31 inches) 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm (6.5 x 2.98 x 0.35 inches)
Weight 171 g (6.03 oz) 202 grams (7.2 ounces) 229 grams (8.04 oz)
Screen size
6.2-inch AMOLED 2X dynamic 6.7-inch AMOLED 2X dynamic 6.8 inch AMOLED 2X dynamic
Screen resolution
2400 x 1080 pixels (421 ppi) 2400 x 1080 pixels (394 ppi) 3200 x 1440 pixels (515 ppi)
Operating system
Android 11 (OneUI 3.1) Android 11 (OneUI 3.1) Android 11, One UI 3.1
Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Micro SD Not Not Not
Wireless payment services Samsung Pay, Google Pay Samsung Pay, Google Pay Samsung Pay, Google Pay
Processor Exynos 2100 (global) Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (US) Exynos 2100 (global) Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (US) Exynos 2100 (global) Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (US)
RAM 8GB 8GB 12GB, 16GB
Camera 12MP triple lens, 64MB telephoto, 12MP ultrawide lens

10 MP front lens

12MP triple lens, 64MB telephoto, 12MP ultrawide lens

10 MP front lens

108 MP Quad Lens, 10 MP Telephoto, 12 MP Ultra Wide Lens

40 MP front lens

Video 8K at 30 fps, 4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps 8K at 30 fps, 4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps 8K at 30 fps, 4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps, 720p at 960 fps, HDR12
5.0 5.0 5.0
Fingerprint reader
Yes, on the screen (ultrasonic) Yes, on the screen (ultrasonic) Yes, on the screen (ultrasonic)
IP68 IP68 IP68
Drums 4,000mAh, fast charge (25W, charger not included)

Qi wireless charging

4,800mAh, fast charge (25W, charger not included)

Qi wireless charging

5,000mAh, fast charge (25W charger not included)

Qi wireless charging

App store Google Play Store Google Play Store Google Play Store
Support for telephone companies
All major All major All major
Colors Phantom Gray, Phantom White, Phantom Violet, Phantom Pink Phantom Silver, Phantom Black, Phantom Violet Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Brown, Phantom Navy, Phantom Titanium
Price $ 800 dollars $ 1,000 dollars $ 1,199 dollars

Design, display and durability

There are important differences between the three S21 models. The S21 Ultra is the largest model and definitely the one that feels the most premium; the body is a mix between metal and glass and it is also the only model that has a curved screen. Regarding the screen, this is 6.8 inches and 2X dynamic AMOLED, with a space for the front camera and an intelligent refresh rate that goes from 10 to 120 Hz. The latter benefits the user experience thanks to the greater fluidity. 120 Hz, while keeping battery usage at bay when not needed.

The biggest changes are in the rear, though, and the camera module is the biggest refreshment from the S20’s design. This module is now integrated into the metal case and looks great, plus it reduces the bulge of the camera compared to the phone and it does not stand out as much as in the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

The other two models of the S21 have a similar design, except for the screens that are smaller and not curved. This may appeal to everyone who doesn’t like curved screens, and since they have the same external camera redesign, none of them feel much different from the Ultra model except for the S21, which has a plastic rear body. It’s a bit shocking that a premium phone doesn’t have premium materials, even if plastic is a stronger material.

On the other hand, all the S21s have screens with a dynamic refresh rate, but in the S21 and S21 Plus the range goes from 48 to 120 Hz. Outside of these differences, the three models have water resistance under the IP68 standard and the durability of all should be similar, except in the case of the S21 which is the only plastic phone and what would be the only negative point regarding this section. Therefore, the winners in this category are the S21 Ultra and S21 Plus and the choice will depend on how much a person likes the curved screen or not.

Winners: Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy S21 Plus

Performance, battery and charging

While all three S21s are different on the outside, the internal specs are basically the same. They all come with the new Snapdragon 888 processor (or Exynos 2100, in some territories) and therefore the performance will be unchanged. Of course, the S21 Ultra comes with 12 or 16 GB of RAM while the smaller models bring only 8 GB of RAM, although in daily use the differences will not be noticeable.

The S21 and S21 Plus have models with 128 or 256 GB of internal storage, while the Ultra goes further with the option of having 512 GB of internal storage, although it seems difficult to think of someone needing that much memory. And no, neither model comes with MicroSD card support.

As expected, there are differences in the size of the batteries in the three phones. While they are yet to be released and therefore difficult to make actual measurements, it is almost obvious that the S21 Ultra has an advantage thanks to its larger battery. For its part, the S21 Plus has a battery of just 200mAh lower, therefore the difference should not be noticed. On the other hand, the S21 does have a noticeably smaller battery although it must also be emphasized that the smaller screen consumes less power.

All three phones come with 25W fast charging (and none include the charger), in addition to 15W of wireless charging. And with no real-world performance tests, we’ll leave this category in a draw for now.

Winner: Tie


Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

There are many similar elements in the cameras of the S21 and that is not necessarily bad. The S21 and S21 Plus come with a three-lens system: a 12-megapixel wide lens, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 64-megapixel telephoto lens, plus a 10-megapixel front camera. We haven’t tested it in the real world yet, but we already think they will be pretty good cameras, even if the telephoto lens has a slightly larger zoom than the main lens, which is rare.

As usual, it is the S21 Ultra that comes best equipped with a quad lens: the main one is 1080 MP, two 10 MP telephoto and a 12 MP ultra-wide lens, in addition to a 40 MP front lens. The two telephoto lenses are worth noting, because one comes with a 3X zoom and the other with 10X zoom through a periscope.

All three have the same software, which includes a Single Take 2.0 mode and another that shows thumbnails of the image collected by the different cameras. Still, it is evident that the camera on the S21 Ultra is the most impressive and that is why we declared it the winner, even without having taken any real-world photos yet.

Winner: Galaxy S21 Ultra

Software and updates

In this category there is no difference between the three models. All the Galaxy S21s run with Android 11 and Samsung’s One UI 3.1 interface, which although it is not the favorite interface of all the ones out there, has improved a lot compared to previous versions. The sure thing is that the S21 will have at least two years of Android updates and three years of security updates, while all phones will receive those patches at the same time. Therefore, tie.

Winner: Tie

Special features

With all three phones being in the same range, it makes sense that they all have the same special features. The S21s come with support for 5G, support for Samsung’s DeX mode with which they can connect to another device via HDMI and also come with Wireless PowerShare reverse charging, to charge other Samsung phones wirelessly. But again, the S21 Ultra takes the lead by being compatible with the S Pen and while it doesn’t come with the stylus From the box, it is possible to purchase a phone case that comes with space to store the little pencil.

There may not be many people with the S21 Ultra interested in something like the S Pen, but this is still a huge advantage over the other two phones in the S21 line.

Winner: Galaxy S21 Ultra

Price and availability

None of the three S21s are really cheap. The S21 is the most affordable, with prices starting at $ 800. The S21 Plus, meanwhile, starts at $ 1,000, while the larger S21 Ultra sells for $ 1,200. However, regardless of which of the three you choose, the recommendation is to pay an extra $ 50 to double the size of the internal storage to 256 GB, which is definitely worth it.

Overall winner: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

There are good reasons to buy any of the three S21s, but the winner is clearly the Galaxy S21 Ultra. This is the one that comes with the biggest redesign, premium quality materials and best hardware, plus an impressive new camera. It is without a doubt the most powerful of the trio and if money is not an issue, the S21 Ultra is the model to choose.

In the case of the S21 Plus, the $ 200 difference is a good cut in exchange for not having a curved screen (there are people who do not like this type of screen) and that the camera is not as good as the Ultra’s. Still, it is still a very powerful phone, probably one of the most powerful on the market. And finally, the standard S21 is, despite its plastic back, a very good phone for $ 800.

Anyway, if they can afford it, the recommendation is clear: the best of all is the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

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