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Samsung Galaxy M21 vs Galaxy M12

Here we compared two smartphones: the 6.4-inch Samsung Galaxy M21 (with Exynos 7 Octa 9611) that was released on March 17, 2020, against the Samsung Galaxy M12, which is powered by Exynos 850 and came out 8 months after. On this page, you will find tests, full specs, strengths, and weaknesses of each of the gadgets.

Key differences

An overview of the main advantages of each smartphone
Reasons to consider the Samsung Galaxy M21
  • 49% higher pixel density (403 vs 270 PPI)
  • Comes with 1000 mAh larger battery capacity: 6000 vs 5000 mAh
  • 36% better performance in AnTuTu Benchmark (196K versus 145K)
  • Compatible with Wi-Fi 5 wireless networks
  • Delivers 43% higher maximum brightness (608 against 426 nits)
  • Slow-motion recording at 240FPS
  • Ability to record video in 4K resolution
  • Super AMOLED display (versus competitor's PLS TFT)
Reasons to consider the Samsung Galaxy M12
  • Higher display refresh rate – 90 Hz
  • More energy-efficient CPU – Exynos 850
  • The phone is 8-months newer

Review

Display
Screen quality, color accuracy, brightness
Performance
CPU/GPU performance in apps and games
Battery
Battery life, charging type and speed
Camera
Photo and video recording quality
Connectivity
Networks, ports, data transmission
NanoReview score
Final comparison evaluation

Value for money

You can enter your local price of these phones (in USD or any other currency) and click on the "Calculate" button to see which one has a better value for money.
Price

Tests and specifications

Comparison table of technical specifications and tests

Display

Type Super AMOLED PLS TFT
Size 6.4 inches 6.5 inches
Resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels 720 x 1600 pixels
Aspect ratio 19.5:9 20:9
PPI 403 ppi 270 ppi
Refresh rate 60 Hz 90 Hz
HDR support No No
Screen protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Tempered glass
Screen-to-body ratio 84.2% 81.9%
Display features - Always-On Display -
Display tests
RGB color space 141.3% 93.3%
PWM 215 Hz -
Response time 9 ms 39 ms
Contrast ∞ Infinity 926:1
Max. Brightness
Galaxy M21 +43%
608 nits
426 nits
Sources: NotebookCheck [1], [2]

Design and build

Height 159 mm (6.26 inches) 164 mm (6.46 inches)
Width 75.1 mm (2.96 inches) 75.9 mm (2.99 inches)
Thickness 8.9 mm (0.35 inches) 9.7 mm (0.38 inches)
Weight 188 gramm (6.63 oz) 214 gramm (7.55 oz)
Waterproof No No
Rear material Plastic Plastic
Frame material Plastic Plastic
Colors Black, Blue, Green Black, Blue, Green
Fingerprint scanner Yes, rear Yes, in home button
Screen-to-body ratio
84.2%
81.9%

Performance

Tests of Samsung Galaxy M21 and Samsung Galaxy M12 in the benchmarks
SoC
Chipset Samsung Exynos 7 Octa 9611 Samsung Exynos 850
Max. clock 2300 MHz 2000 MHz
CPU cores 8 (4 + 4) 8 (8)
Architecture - 4 cores at 1.7 GHz: Cortex-A53
- 4 cores at 2.3 GHz: Cortex-A73
- 8 cores at 2 GHz: Cortex-A55
Lithography process 10 nanometers 8 nanometers
Graphics Mali-G72 MP3 Mali-G52 MP1
GPU clock 850 MHz 680 MHz
FLOPS ~259 GFLOPS ~26 GFLOPS
Memory
RAM size 4 GB 3, 4 GB
Memory type LPDDR4X LPDDR4X
Memory clock 1866 MHz 1866 MHz
Channels 2 2
Storage
Storage size 64 GB 32, 64, 128 GB
Storage type UFS 2.1 eMMC 5.1
Memory card MicroSD MicroSD
Memory card max. size Up to 512 GB Up to 1024 GB

Benchmarks

Geekbench 5 (Single-Core)
Galaxy M21 +97%
344
Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core)
Galaxy M21 +29%
1329
1034
AnTuTu Benchmark 9
Galaxy M21 +36%
196808
145160

Software

Operating system Android 10.0 (Can be upgraded to Android 11.0) Android 11
ROM One UI 3.1 Core One UI Core 3.1
OS size 14.5 GB 14 GB

Battery

Specifications
Capacity 6000 mAh 5000 mAh
Charge power 15 W 15 W
Battery type Li-Ion Li-Ion
Replaceable No No
Wireless charging No No
Reverse charging No No
Fast charging Yes, Samsung Adaptive Fast Charge (25% in 30 min) Yes (40% in 60 min)
Full charging time 2:35 hr 2:55 hr

Camera

Specs and camera test of smartphones
Main camera
Matrix 48 megapixels 48 megapixels
Image resolution 8000 x 6000 8000 x 6000
Zoom Digital Digital
Flash LED LED
Stabilization Digital Digital
8K video recording No No
4K video recording Up to 30FPS No
1080p video recording Up to 30FPS Up to 30FPS
Slow motion 240 FPS (720p) No
Angle of widest lens 123° 123°
Lenses 3 (48 MP + 8 MP + 5 MP) 4 (48 MP + 5 MP + 2 MP + 2 MP)
Wide (main) lens - 48 MP
- Aperture: f/2.0
- Focal length: 26 mm
- Pixel size: 0.8 micron
- Sensor: 1/2.0", Samsung S5KGM2 (ISOCELL CMOS)
- Phase autofocus
- 48 MP
- Aperture: f/2.0
- Pixel size: 0.8 micron
- Sensor: 1/2", Samsung S5KGM2 (CMOS)
- Phase autofocus
Ultra-wide lens - 8 MP
- Aperture: f/2.2
- Focal length: 12 mm
- Pixel size: 1.12 micron
- Sensor: 1/4.0" (CMOS)
- 5 MP
- Aperture: f/2.2
- Pixel size: 1.12 micron
- Sensor: 1/5.0" (CMOS)
Macro lens - - 2 MP
- Aperture: f/2.4
Depth lens - 5 MP
- Aperture: f/2.2
- Focal length: 25 mm
- Pixel size: 1.12 micron
- Sensor: 1/5.0" (CMOS)
- 2 MP
- Aperture: f/2.2
Camera features - Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
- Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
Selfie camera
Megapixels 20 megapixels 8 megapixels
Image resolution 5184 x 3888 3264 x 2448
Aperture f/2.0 f/2.0
Focal length 26 mm -
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Video resolution 1080p (Full HD) at 30 FPS 1080p (Full HD) at 30 FPS

Connectivity

Wi-Fi standard Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) Wi-Fi 4 (802.11 b/g/n)
Wi-Fi features - Dual Band
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Wi-Fi Hotspot
Bluetooth version 5 5
Bluetooth features PBAP/PAB, PAN, OPP, MAP, HSP, HID, HFP, DIP, AVRCP, A2DP PBAP/PAB, PAN, OPP, MAP, HSP, HID, HFP, DIP, AVRCP, A2DP
USB type USB Type-C USB Type-C
USB version 2 2
USB features - Charging
- USB-Storage mode
- OTG
- Charging
- USB-Storage mode
- OTG
GPS GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
NFC* Yes Yes
Infrared port No No
Network
Number of SIM* 2 2
Type of SIM card Nano Nano
Multi SIM mode Standby Standby
eSIM support* No No
Hybrid slot No No
LTE Cat* 12 7
5G support No No

Sound

Speakers Mono Mono
Headphone audio jack Yes Yes
FM radio Yes Yes
Dolby Atmos Yes Yes
Speakers test
Max. loudness
83.8 dB
77.6 dB

Other

Category Mid-range Budget
Announced March 2020 November 2020
Release date March 2020 April 2021
Launch price ~ 200 USD ~ 162 USD
SAR (head) 0.492 W/kg 0.54 W/kg
SAR (body) 1.13 W/kg 1.39 W/kg
Sensors - Proximity sensor
- Gyroscope
- Accelerometer
- Ambient light sensor
- Compass
- Fingerprint
- Proximity sensor
- Accelerometer
- Ambient light sensor
- Fingerprint
*Disclaimer! NFC, GSM network support, and some other specs can be different depending on the country.

Conclusion

After analyzing all the data, we think that the Samsung Galaxy M21 is definitely a better buy.

Cast your vote

So, which phone would you choose?
69 (81.2%)
16 (18.8%)
Total votes: 85

User opinions

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