Samsung Galaxy S21 Vs. S21 Plus: Which One Should You Buy?

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series features three excellent flagship phones: the S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra. The standard S21 and S21 Plus have a lot of similarities – but also some key differences that may help you decide which one is right for your needs and budget.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus across various categories like design, display, performance, battery life, cameras, and price.

We’ll highlight the pros and cons of each phone to help you determine the better option for your use case.

A Brief Comparison Table

SpecsSamsung Galaxy S21Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus
Display6.2-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED, 120Hz6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED, 120Hz
Resolution1080 x 2400 pixels1080 x 2400 pixels
ProcessorSnapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100
Rear Camera12MP main + 12MP ultrawide + 64MP telephoto12MP main + 12MP ultrawide + 64MP telephoto
Front Camera10MP10MP
Battery4000 mAh4800 mAh
Charging25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging
IP RatingIP68 water/dust resistantIP68 water/dust resistant
Weight169 grams202 grams
Dimensions151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8 mm
PriceStarts at $799Starts at $999

Design And Display

The Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus share a similar design ethos – both have metal frames sandwiched between Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and back. The contour cut camera housing blends seamlessly into the metal frame for a unified look.

Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Galaxy S21

In terms of size, the S21 measures 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm and weighs 169 grams. The S21 Plus is slightly bigger at 161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8 mm and weighs 202 grams. Both phones are quite lightweight and easy to use with one hand.

The S21 has a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED display while the Plus variant bumps it up to 6.7-inches. Both panels feature a 20:9 aspect ratio, Full HD+ resolution (2400 x 1080 pixels), and a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. The displays are bright, vibrant, and extremely fluid thanks to the high refresh rate. They also support HDR10+ for better contrast and color.

Overall, the S21 and S21 Plus displays are excellent – you get similarly immersive viewing experiences on both. The Plus simply offers a bigger display which some users may prefer for content consumption and multitasking.

Performance And Software

In the US, both the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus are powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip. In other regions, they feature Samsung’s own Exynos 2100 processor. Both are extremely fast and powerful chips that can handle anything you throw at them.

Performance is equally great on the S21 and S21 Plus. Apps open swiftly, animations are smooth, and demanding games like Call of Duty Mobile run at high frame rates without breaking a sweat.

For software, the phones ship with Samsung’s polished One UI 3.1 based on Android 11. You get tons of customization options, excellent multitasking capabilities, and various performance optimizations. Biometric authentication is handled swiftly by the ultrasonic in-display fingerprint reader. Face unlock is also available.

With the Snapdragon 888/Exynos 2100 and One UI 3.1, you can expect a seamless and lag-free experience no matter which Galaxy S21 model you choose. There are no compromises here.


Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

The Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus have the same triple camera setup:

  • 12MP f/1.8 primary
  • 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide
  • 64MP f/2.0 telephoto with 3x optical zoom

On the front is a 10MP f/2.2 selfie camera.

As you’d expect from Samsung, the cameras on both phones are excellent. They capture sharp, vibrant photos with accurate colors in any lighting. The ultra-wide lens provides engaging perspectives while the telephoto delivers clear zoomed shots. Portraits feature good subject separation and natural background blur.

Low light photos turn out quite well thanks to Night Mode. The selfie camera also impresses with bright and detailed shots even in tough lighting.

Overall, the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus are as good as each other when it comes to photography and videography. There’s no difference in image quality between the two models.

Battery Life And Charging

The standard Galaxy S21 packs a 4000 mAh battery while the Plus variant increases capacity to 4800 mAh. Thanks to efficient hardware and optimizations, both phones deliver all-day battery life even with heavy use.

Most users should easily get a full day on both models, with the S21 Plus potentially pushing into day and a half territory. The phones also support 25W fast charging via USB PD and come with a 15W charger in the box.Fast wireless charging up to 15W is included as well.

Overall, the S21 Plus clearly wins in terms of battery life – but the standard S21 is no slouch either. Unless you are an extremely heavy user, the S21 should still provide sufficient runtime between charges.

Also Read: Choose Between OnePlus 11 5G And Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Special Features

Some features unique to the S21 series include:

  • IP68 dust and water resistance – Both phones can withstand immersion in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.
  • Reverse wireless charging – You can wirelessly charge other devices like earbuds and smartwatches by placing them on the phones’ back.
  • 5G connectivity – The S21 series supports both sub-6 and mmWave 5G networks depending on region. This provides access to the fastest speeds and lowest latencies when on compatible networks.

These extras are available on both Galaxy S21 models. There are no major differences here either.

Pricing And Storage Options

The Galaxy S21 starts at $799.99 while the S21 Plus begins at $999.99. Here are the storage options:

  • S21: 128GB or 256GB
  • S21 Plus: 128GB or 256GB

There is no microSD slot for further expansion on either model.

At launch, Samsung offered various preorder bonuses like free Galaxy Buds Pro and SmartTags. However, regular pricing sees a $200 premium for the S21 Plus – so the added cost is something to keep in mind.

Also watch the video!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the main difference between S21 and S21+?

The key differences are the display size (6.2-inch on S21 Vs. 6.7-inch on S21 Plus), battery capacity (4000 mAh Vs. 4800 mAh), and pricing ($799 Vs. $999 starting). The Plus model has a larger screen and bigger battery but costs $200 more.

Is Galaxy S21 better than S21 Plus?

The S21 Plus has a larger display and better battery life. But the regular S21 matches it in other areas like performance and cameras. The S21 also costs $200 less. For most users, the S21 is the better overall value unless you specifically want a bigger screen and battery.

Is it worth getting Samsung S21 Plus?

The S21 Plus is worth it if you want the very best display and battery life in Samsung’s S21 lineup. Its 6.7-inch screen and 4800 mAh battery provide excellent usability. But at $200 more than the S21, it only makes sense for buyers who can leverage those specific advantages.

Is it worth getting the S21 ultra over the S21 plus?

The S21 Ultra adds an even better camera system with 3x and 10x optical zooms, a larger 6.8-inch 120Hz QHD+ display, and S-Pen support. It’s geared more towards enthusiasts and power users.
For most buyers, the S21 Plus provides the best blend of price and features. But the S21 Ultra is a worthwhile upgrade for those who can fully utilize its advanced capabilities.

Also Read: Comparison Between Moto G Pure And Moto G Play.

The Verdict

So which Galaxy S21 model is better for you? Here’s a quick recap of the key differences:

  • The S21 Plus has a larger 6.7-inch display compared to the 6.2-inch S21. It provides more real estate for gaming, movies, and general usage.
  • Battery life is better on the S21 Plus owing to its bigger 4800 mAh cell. Expect over a day of endurance.
  • The Plus model is larger and heavier due to the bigger screen and battery. The S21 is easier to use one-handed.
  • Pricing sees a $200 premium for the S21 Plus. It starts at $999 while the S21 starts at $799.

If you want maximum screen real estate and battery life, get the Galaxy S21 Plus. The bigger display and extended runtime make it better suited for power users and media consumption.

However, the standard Galaxy S21 also packs excellent performance, great cameras, and solid battery life into a more compact and affordable package. It’s a fantastic overall flagship for most buyers.

Unless you specifically want the larger display or longer endurance of the S21 Plus, the regular S21 is good enough for most people and easier to recommend based on value. But you can’t go wrong with either – both are among the best Android phones out there.

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