Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs S20 Plus

Here we compared two flagship smartphones: the 6.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (with Exynos 2100) that was released on January 14, 2021, against the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, which is powered by Exynos 9 Octa 990 and came out 11 months before. On this page, you will find tests, full specs, strengths, and weaknesses of each of the devices.

Key differences

An overview of the main advantages of each smartphone
Reasons to consider the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • The rear camera has a 10x optical zoom
  • Shows 10% longer battery life (31:14 vs 28:26 hours)
  • Delivers 28% higher peak brightness (1018 against 796 nits)
  • Newer Bluetooth version (v5.2)
  • Comes with 500 mAh larger battery capacity: 5000 vs 4500 mAh
  • 18% better performance in AnTuTu Benchmark (743K versus 629K)
  • The phone is 11-months newer
Reasons to consider the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
  • Expandable storage via MicroSD card up to 1000GB
  • Weighs 41 grams less

Review

Evaluation of Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and S20 Plus crucial features
Display
Screen quality, color accuracy, brightness
Camera
Photo and video recording quality
Performance
CPU and memory performance (apps, system)
Gaming
Capabilities for playing modern games
Battery
Battery life, charging type and speed
Connectivity
Networks, ports, data transmission
NanoReview Score
Final comparison evaluation
Choose the importance of each parameter to more accurately identify the smartphone that best meets your particular needs.
Adjust priorities
Feature
Priority (Weight)
Display:
Camera:
Performance:
Gaming:
Battery Life:
Connectivity:
The higher the priority, the more it will affect the final NanoReview score.

Value for money

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

Comparison table of technical specifications and tests

Display

Type Dynamic AMOLED Dynamic AMOLED
Size 6.8 inches 6.7 inches
Resolution 1440 x 3200 pixels 1440 x 3200 pixels
Aspect ratio 20:9 20:9
PPI 515 ppi 524 ppi
Refresh rate 120 Hz 120 Hz
Adaptive refresh rate Yes No
Max rated brightness 1500 nits 800 nits
HDR support Yes, HDR10+ Yes, HDR10+
Screen protection Gorilla Glass Victus Corning Gorilla Glass 6
Screen-to-body ratio 89.8% 90.5%
Display features - DCI-P3
- Always-On Display
- DCI-P3
- Always-On Display
Display tests
RGB color space - 99.7%
PWM - 214 Hz
Response time - 9 ms
Contrast - ∞ Infinity
Peak brightness test (auto)
1018 nits
796 nits
Sources: NotebookCheck [3], [4]

Design and build

Height 165.1 mm (6.5 inches) 161.9 mm (6.37 inches)
Width 75.6 mm (2.98 inches) 73.7 mm (2.9 inches)
Thickness 8.9 mm (0.35 inches) 7.8 mm (0.31 inches)
Weight 227 g (8.01 oz) 186 g (6.56 oz)
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Rear material Glass Glass
Frame material Metal Metal
Colors Black, Silver, Gray, Blue Black, Gray, Red
Fingerprint scanner Yes, in-display Yes, in-display
Screen-to-body ratio

Performance

Tests of Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus in the benchmarks
SoC
Chipset Samsung Exynos 2100 Samsung Exynos 9 Octa 990
Max clock 2840 MHz 2700 MHz
CPU cores 8 (1 + 3 + 4) 8 (2 + 2 + 4)
Architecture - 4 cores at 2.2 GHz: Cortex-A55
- 3 cores at 2.81 GHz: Cortex-A78
- 1 core at 2.91 GHz: Cortex-X1
- 4 cores at 2 GHz: Cortex-A55
- 2 cores at 2.5 GHz: Cortex-A76
- 2 cores at 2.73 GHz: Exynos M5
L3 cache - 2 MB
Lithography process 5 nanometers 7 nanometers
Graphics Mali-G78 MP14 Mali-G77 MP11
GPU clock 854 MHz 550 MHz
FLOPS ~1575 GFLOPS ~1126 GFLOPS

Benchmarks

Geekbench 5 (Single-Core)
Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core)
AnTuTu Benchmark 9
743790
CPU 191240 164221
GPU 256481 231068
Memory 151369 114498
UX 149052 123112
Total score 743790 629396
3DMark Wild Life Performance
Max surface temperature 40.8 °C 48.1 °C
Stability 69% 52%
Graphics test 31 FPS 25 FPS
Graphics score 5221 4297
Web score - 8616
Video editing - 5886
Photo editing - 31102
Data manipulation - 8591
Writing score - 12233
Sources: 3DMark [3], [4]

Memory

RAM
RAM size 12, 16 GB 8 GB
Memory type LPDDR5 LPDDR5
Memory clock 2750 MHz 3200 MHz
Channels 2 2
Storage
Storage size 128, 256, 512 GB 128 GB
Storage type UFS 3.1 UFS 3.0
Memory card No MicroSD
Memory card max size - Up to 1000 GB

Software

Operating system Android 11 (Can be upgraded to Android 13) Android 10.0 (Can be upgraded to Android 13)
ROM One UI 5.1 One UI 4.1
OS size 26.4 GB 23.6 GB

Battery

Capacity 5000 mAh 4500 mAh
Max charge power 25 W 25 W
Battery type Li-Ion Li-Ion
Replaceable No No
Wireless charging Yes (15 W) Yes (15 W)
Reverse charging Yes, (wireless) Yes, (wireless)
Fast charging Yes (54% in 30 min) Yes (100% in 84 min)
Full charging time 1:11 hr 1:25 hr
Battery life tests
Web browsing 10:13 hr 09:33 hr
Watching video 15:32 hr 13:44 hr
Gaming 05:26 hr 03:56 hr
Standby 98 hr 92 hr
General battery life
31:14 hr
28:26 hr

Camera

Specs and camera test of smartphones
Main camera
Matrix 108 megapixels 12 megapixels
Image resolution 12000 x 9000 4000 x 3000
Zoom Optical, 10x Optical, 1.1x
Flash Dual LED LED
Stabilization Optical Optical
8K video recording Up to 24FPS Up to 24FPS
4K video recording Up to 60FPS Up to 60FPS
1080p video recording Up to 60FPS Up to 60FPS
Slow motion 960 FPS (720p) 960 FPS (720p)
Angle of widest lens 120° 120°
Lenses 4 (108 MP + 10 MP + 10 MP + 12 MP) 4 (12 MP + 64 MP + 12 MP + 0.3 MP)
Wide (main) lens - 108 MP
- Aperture: f/1.8
- Focal length: 26 mm
- Pixel size: 0.8 micron
- Sensor: 1/1.33", Samsung S5KHM3 (ISOCELL Plus CMOS)
- Laser autofocus
- Optical stabilization
- 12 MP
- Aperture: f/1.8
- Focal length: 26 mm
- Pixel size: 1.8 micron
- Sensor: 1/1.76", Samsung S5K2LD (ISOCELL CMOS)
- Phase autofocus (Dual Pixel)
- Optical stabilization
Telephoto lens - 10 MP
- Aperture: f/4.9
- Focal length: 240 mm
- Pixel size: 1.22 micron
- Sensor: 1/2.65", Samsung S5K3J1 (ISOCELL CMOS)
- Phase autofocus (Dual Pixel)
- Optical stabilization
- 64 MP
- Aperture: f/2.0
- Focal length: 29 mm
- Pixel size: 0.8 micron
- Sensor: 1/1.72", Samsung Bright S5KGW2 (ISOCELL CMOS)
- Phase autofocus
- Optical stabilization
Ultra-wide lens - 12 MP
- Aperture: f/2.2
- Focal length: 13 mm
- Pixel size: 1.4 micron
- Sensor: 1/2.55", Sony IMX563 (Exmor-RS CMOS)
- Phase autofocus (Dual Pixel)
- 12 MP
- Aperture: f/2.2
- Focal length: 13 mm
- Pixel size: 1.4 micron
- Sensor: 1/2.55", Samsung S5K2LA (ISOCELL CMOS)
Depth lens - - 0.3 MP
- Aperture: f/1.0
Camera features - Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
- RAW support
- Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
- RAW support
Samples Photo samples of Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra from DxOMark Photo samples of Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus from DxOMark
Selfie camera
Megapixels 40 megapixels 10 megapixels
Image resolution 7864 x 5200 2592 x 3872
Aperture f/2.2 f/2.2
Focal length 26 mm 26 mm
Pixel size 0.7 microns 1.22 microns
Sensor type ISOCELL CMOS CMOS
Sensor size 1/2.65" 1/3.2"
Video resolution 2160p (4K) at 60 FPS 2160p (4K) at 60 FPS

DxOMark camera tests

Photo quality
Video quality
Generic camera score

Connectivity

Wi-Fi standard Wi-Fi 6E (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax) Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 b/g/n/ac/ax)
Wi-Fi features - Dual Band
- Wi-Fi MiMO
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Wi-Fi Display
- Dual Band
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Wi-Fi Display
Bluetooth version 5.2 5
Bluetooth features LE, A2DP LE, A2DP
USB type USB Type-C USB Type-C
USB version 3.2 3.1
USB features - Charging
- USB-Storage mode
- USB-Host 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* Yes Yes
Hybrid slot No Yes
LTE Cat* 24 22
5G support Yes No

Sound

Speakers Stereo Stereo
Headphone audio jack No No
FM radio No No
Dolby Atmos Yes Yes
Speakers test
Max loudness

Other

Category Flagship Flagship
Announced January 2021 February 2020
Release date February 2021 March 2020
SAR (head) 0.71 W/kg 0.38 W/kg
SAR (body) 1.58 W/kg 1.57 W/kg
Sensors - Hall-effect sensor
- Barometer
- Proximity sensor
- Gyroscope
- Accelerometer
- Ambient light sensor
- Compass
- Fingerprint
- Barometer
- Proximity sensor
- Gyroscope
- Accelerometer
- Compass
- 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 S21 Ultra is definitely a better buy.

Cast your vote

So, which phone would you choose?
113 (55.1%)
92 (44.9%)
Total votes: 205

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