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Galaxy S21+ vs Galaxy S20+ design comparison
Although the phones appear to be almost identical at first glance, there are some key differences between them. Let’s take a closer look:
Galaxy S21+ left, Galaxy S20+ right
But there’s more to be said about the displays, here’s a quick rundown of their specs:
Let’s start with the obvious one: no Quad-HD resolution on the S21+. While that’s certainly a bummer for some, we should remind you that on the Galaxy S20+, the 120Hz refresh rate was only available in combination with the 1080p resolution, which many users preferred. Now, Samsung is making things easier by going for a 1080p panel.
That new panel on the Galaxy S21+ also has adaptive refresh rate, which means it will automatically lower the frequency when you don’t need it, saving power in the process. The new display also has higher brightness for better HDR experience and improved experience in bright sunlight.
And lastly, the display of the Galaxy S21+ is protected by Corning’s strongest glass yet. Overall, in the design and display department, we’re seeing only positive changes.
The Galaxy S21+ color options
Galaxy S21+ vs Galaxy S20+ specs comparison
Time to dive deeper into the two Galaxies, where their components are hiding. Here are the main specs of the Galaxy S21+ and S20+:
As always, the main upgrade is the chipset. The Galaxy S21+ will come with the Snapdragon 888 in the US and Exynos 2100 in other regions. Both chips use the 5nm process and should offer comparable performance. According to Samsung, this means about 20% better CPU performance and a 35% improvement in GPU performance. The new chips are also more power-efficient, which in daily use might be the biggest differentiator.
The memory sees a reduction, however, is something we’re not used to seeing. Still, 8GB is plenty already, so it’s not a huge drawback, especially considering the lower price of the Galaxy S21+.
A pleasant surprise is the increased battery capacity. Despite having essentially the same body, Samsung has managed to put a bigger battery inside the S21+, likely thanks to the size reduction of the other components. Combined with the other changes we’ve mentioned already, the new Galaxy should have a significantly better battery life compared to the Galaxy S20+, but we’ll have to test it ourselves before the verdict is out.
It’s also worth noting that the Galaxy S21+ has a second generation ultrasonic fingerprint reader. It’s bigger and significantly faster than the one on the Galaxy S20+, hopefully bringing user frustration to a minimum.
Galaxy S21+ vs Galaxy S20+ camera comparison
Unfortunately, we can’t talk much about upgrades when it comes to the camera hardware. Here are the cameras you’ll find on the two phones:
The the phones share essentially the same camera systems. There are slight differences, such as the ultra wide camera on the Galaxy S21+ getting Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) and smaller aperture (F1.8 vs F2.2 on the S20+). The telephoto still uses a large sensor and software rather than lenses for optical zoom.
However, that doesn’t mean the two phones will perform the same way. The Galaxy S21+ has some new camera features that were enabled by its more powerful chip. Single Take allows you to take a picture with all cameras at once and Director’s View shows you a feed from all cameras while recording a video, so that you can seamlessly switch between them to make a professional-looking video. Those are just some examples, we’ll go more in-depth once we have the opportunity to test the new features ourselves.
Galaxy S21+ vs Galaxy S20+ software comparison
Samsung is definitely moving its software experience in the right direction, refining the design and adding new features. However, One UI tends to be on the heavy side, so after a while you might notice some lag here and there. This will be more noticeable on the Galaxy S20+, especially in a year or so, despite it having a top-notch chipset as well.
Galaxy S21+ vs Galaxy S20+ price comparison
We mentioned the Galaxy S21+ being cheaper than its predecessor a few times already, but how much cheaper exactly? Well, here are the prices of the two phones on launch day:
Samsung Galaxy S21+ price: from $999
Samsung Galaxy S20+ price: from $1,199
If you already own the Galaxy S20+, you can pretty much ignore the existence of the S21+. It’s more like a Galaxy S20S+, if we can steal Apple’s nomenclature for a moment. You’re not really missing out on anything important. But that’s just how it is with smartphones these days. You have to wait at least two-three years to get that feeling of next-generation tech when you upgrade. Yes, we’re yet to test the Galaxy S21+, but unless it somehow blows us away with its camera features, we doubt our conclusion will change. Still, we’ll leave the door slightly ajar until we get to experience it ourselves.