Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs. Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Korean tech giant “Samsung” is well known for making smartphones and setting standards in the smartphone industry. There S lineup known premium design, best-in-class cameras, excellent performance, and feature-rich user interface.

Samsung announced its latest S21 series during its Unpacked event in January 2021. Samsung launched three devices in the lineup. The best thing about these devices is that they feature the same core performance and features. Still, you get a few extras as you move towards more significant and more expensive models.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Photo 7

All S21 models feature a Snapdragon 888 processor, making sure that your device can run any apps and games you throw at it. As you move towards more expensive models, you get extra RAM and storage options.

Another good news is that all three models come with a 120Hz refresh rate display. These refresh rates make your experience fast and smooth as you move around the Android operating system and scroll down your apps.

All their models feature decent camera setups that can fulfill most of your photography needs. However, you can get some extra sensors and features with more expensive models.

Below we have made a comparison between S21+ and S21 Ultra to determine which model suits you best.

Reasons to buy Samsung Galaxy S21+ over Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

This year the S21+ is almost featuring the same size as the Ultra but not quite as camera-centric. It is more similar to its sibling S21, but with a larger display, extra battery, and more premium touch and feel.

S21+ comes with a 6.7-inch display which much closer to the 6.8-inch display of the Ultra and much larger than the 6.2-inch vanilla s21 display. However, it is more similar to vanilla s21 than the Ultra counterpart when it comes to resolution. The comes in 1080p, and the Adaptive refresh rate handling is much more similar to the S21.

The S21 Ultra features a more premium build than the r S21+. S21 Ultra features a premium glass back rather than the plastic material that is featured on the S21+.

Reasons to buy Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra over Samsung Galaxy S21+

Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Photo 9

This year S21 series faced many changes. For example, the S21 and S21+ now feature lower resolution OLEDs, no microSD expansions, and no charger in the box. But Ultra lives up to its name. It is jam-packed with high-end features and specs, but there is no charger in the box.

When Samsung unveiled the S20 Ultra last year, it was supposed to be the best galaxy to date. But it fell short of expectations. It came with a 120Hz display but with a lower 1080p resolution. The telephoto camera was advertised to be a 5x but came out 4x. The most advertised and hyped feature space zoom was broken too. However, the ultrawide camera was great but could not do macro shots due to lack of autofocus. The battery was large enough, but the battery life was not good enough.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Photo 7

But this year, Samsung wiped the floor with its S21 Ultra. The phone now features a high-res 1440p display with native support for a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. It comes with two dedicated telephoto cameras, one for 3x and the other for 10x optical zoom. The ultrawide now features autofocus and can now be used for macro shots. Another big thing is that it is the first no-Note galaxy phone to feature S-pen support.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs. S21 Ultra Technical Comparison

Design

  • S21+ Body Dimensions: 161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8mm, 202g
  • S21 Ultra Body Dimensions: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm, 228g

Both s21+ and S21 Ultra boast the same design language, but physical size and materials differ between models.

The S21+ features a flat display and features a plastic back similar to an S20 FE. But the Ultra features a glass rear and offers curved glass that gives the phone a more premium look and feel. Thanks to the better build and premium materials used in its construction, the S21 Ultra feels a little more premium than the S21+.

Both S21+ and S21 Ultra feature a camera housing that extends up to the frame. However, S21 Ultra has a wider housing to accommodate the extra lenses and sensors.

Both phones feature an IP68 water and dust rating to protect your phone under harsh conditions.

Display

  • S21+: 6.7-inches, 2400 x 1080 pixels, 48-120Hz
  • S21 Ultra: 6.8-inches, 3200 x 1440 pixels, 10-120Hz, S Pen

The S21+ features a 6.7-inch display. It features an FHD+ resolution with 2400 x 1080 pixels. The phone also features a flat display which is a significant change in design language compared to previous models. The Display also features an adaptive refresh rate ranging from 48Hz to 120Hz. The display supports HDR10+. As a result, the colors are punchy and vibrant, and the brightness levels are also pretty impressive.

However, on the other hand, the S21 Ultra features a Quad HD+ resolution with 3200 x 1440 pixels. The adaptive refresh rate on the Ultra ranges from 10Hz to 120Hz. The S21 Ultra also features support for the S-pen. The exciting thing is that S21 Ultra is the first-ever non-Note Galaxy phone to feature S-pen support.

The S21 Ultra also features the highest peak brightness of the bunch to keep the impressive visuals intact even during usage in sunlight.

Hardware and specs

  • S21+: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100, 8GB, 128/256GB, 4800mAh
  • S21 Ultra: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100, 12/16GB, 128/256/512GB, 5000mAh

Both S21+ and S21 Ultra feature either Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or the Exynos 2100 processor depending on the region you are buying the phone in. Samsung is well known for featuring two different processors in different regions. However, the design of both chips is much similar. As a result, the performance gap is negligible. Both phones boast 5G connectivity.

The S21+ comes with 128GB and 256GB storage options with 8GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the S21 Ultra comes with 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options. The S21 Ultra also features 12GB or 16GB ram depending on the model. However, there is no option to expand the storage via microSD in both models.

When it comes to the battery, the S21+ features a 4800mAh battery, and the S21 Ultra features a 5000mAh battery. However, the phones do not come with a charger in the box, but both support fast wired and wireless charging.

Camera

S21+: Triple rear (12MP + 12MP + 64MP), 10MP front camera

S21 Ultra: Quad rear (108MP + 12MP + 10MP + 10MP), 40-megapixel front camera

Both phones are really different when it comes to the camera department.

The S21+ features a triple rear camera setup. It features a 12-megapixel primary camera with 1.8µm pixel size, f/1.8 aperture and alos features hardware based optical stabilization (OIS). The phone also boats a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with 1.4µm pixel size and f/2.2 aperture. The S21+ also comes with a 64-megapixel telephoto sensor with 0.8µm, f/2.0 and also features OIS. The phone also features a 10-megapixel, 1.22µm, f/2.2 front camera for selfie shots.

However, on the other hand, the S21 Ultra features a quad rear camera setup with a 108MP primary camera with 0.8µm pixels, f/1.8 aperture. The primary camera also boasts best in class OIS and laser autofocus. S21 Ultra comes a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor (1.4µm, f/2.2) that can also take macro shots. The phone also features two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses, one with 1.22µm, f/2.4 for 3x optical zoom and the other with 1.22µm, f/4.9 for 10x optical zoom. It also has a 40-megapixel selfie camera with phase detection for better auto focusing. 

When it comes to the performance difference in the camera department, the difference is night and day. The Ultra offers much more convincing results in almost all kinds of conditions. The S21 Ultra also features 10x optical zoom. The S21+ also features zoom functionality, but it is digital due to the lack of a dedicated sensor.

Both phones feature 4K 60fps video capture from all the cameras, with 8K 24fps offered on the rear too.

Price

S21+: Starts at $1000

S21 Ultra: Starts at $1200

The S21+ starts at $1000. But keep in mind that that you can trade-in your older phone to get some credit for the S21+. The credit depends on the age and condition of your current phone.

The S21 Ultra starts at $1200, and the trade offer is also valid for S21 Ultra.

Conclusion

Both phones are capable flagships with a nice design, excellent performance, and best displays. But talking about the camera performance, the S21 Ultra leaves S21+ in the dust. But one point goes to S21+ for being cheaper. 

S21+ is a good flagship that does not cut any corners. It is a decent phone with good hardware and a feature-rich UI. While S21 Ultra is more of a power performer with an overall better camera setup, better performance, larger display, S-pen support but all of this comes with an extra price.

FAQ

Are you a power user?

If you are a power user looking for a beast for a phone, then S21 Ultra is your way to go. It features a lot of enthusiast-level tech and features that may attract you if you are a power user.

Do you want a good camera but lack of gimmicks does not affect you?

If you want a good phone with a decent camera that can shoot good photos and videos, then S21+ should be your pick. The S21 Ultra may have a better camera setup on paper, but many features it packs are not used commonly.

Do you want a digital key for your car?

If you own a car that supports digital keys and you are also looking for a phone that can use this tech. Then you will be happy to know that both phones have ultra-wide-band technology (UWB) to act like digital car keys.

Do you want the phone with best camera technology?

The S21 Ultra packs a quad-lens camera setup that is much different than the S21+. S21 Ultra has a 108MP primary camera, two zoom lenses, and an ultrawide lens. The S21 Ultra also features a 12-bit RAW option in Pro mode.

Do you take a lot of selfies?

The S21 Ultra features a 40MP selfie camera as compared to a 10MP selfie camera on S21+. The S21 Ultra features phase-detection for better autofocus.

Are you looking for a phone that specifically supports Wi-Fi 6?

S21 Ultra supports Wi-Fi 6 technology, and if you are looking for a phone that can take advantage of Wi-Fi 6, then S21 Ultra should be your pick.

Are you a multitasker?

If you have a lot of apps installed on your phone and you need to switch between them regularly, you should be looking for a phone with more RAM, which in this case is S21 Ultra.

Do you want to use S-pen but don’t like Note series?

The S21 Ultra is the first-ever non-Note phone to feature S-pen support. If you like the S series more than the Note series and want the S-pen support too, then don’t worry. S21 Ultra now supports S-pen.

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