Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Apple iPhone 11

Here we compared two flagship smartphones: the 6.2-inch Samsung Galaxy S21 (with Exynos 2100) that was released on January 14, 2021, against the Apple iPhone 11, which is powered by Apple A13 Bionic and came out 17 months before. 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 S21
  • Higher display refresh rate – 120 Hz
  • Comes with 890 mAh larger battery capacity: 4000 vs 3110 mAh
  • Has 2x more RAM: 8GB versus 4GB
  • Modern USB Type-C port
  • Delivers 28% higher peak brightness (862 against 672 nits)
  • The rear camera has a 1.1x optical zoom
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Slow-motion recording at 960FPS
  • Uses a faster type of memory: LPDDR5 2750 MHz
  • 21% better performance in AnTuTu Benchmark (770K versus 635K)
  • Thinner bezels – 8.2% more screen real estate
  • Has 2 SIM card slots
Reasons to consider the Apple iPhone 11
  • Shows 36% longer battery life (34:47 vs 25:31 hours)
  • Apple releases software updates and supports their phones a few years longer than Samsung
  • 29% faster in single-core GeekBench 5 test: 1338 and 1037 points

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
Phone:
vs

Display

Type Dynamic AMOLED IPS LCD
Size 6.2 inches 6.1 inches
Resolution 1080 x 2400 pixels 828 x 1792 pixels
Aspect ratio 20:9 19.5:9
PPI 421 ppi 326 ppi
Refresh rate 120 Hz 60 Hz
Max rated brightness 800 nits 625 nits
HDR support Yes, HDR10+ Yes, Dolby Vision
Screen protection Gorilla Glass Victus Tempered glass
Screen-to-body ratio 87.2% 79%
Display features - DCI-P3
- Always-On Display
- DCI-P3
Display tests
RGB color space 99.5% 99.8%
PWM 240 Hz Not detected
Response time 5 ms 24.8 ms
Contrast ∞ Infinity 999:1
Peak brightness test (auto)
Galaxy S21 +28%
862 nits
672 nits
Sources: NotebookCheck [3], [4]

Design and build

Height 151.7 mm (5.97 inches) 150.9 mm (5.94 inches)
Width 71.2 mm (2.8 inches) 75.7 mm (2.98 inches)
Thickness 7.9 mm (0.31 inches) 8.3 mm (0.33 inches)
Weight 169 gramm (5.96 oz) 194 gramm (6.84 oz)
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Rear material Plastic Glass
Frame material Metal Metal
Colors White, Gray, Pink, Purple White, Black, Green, Red, Purple, Yellow
Fingerprint scanner Yes, in-display No
Screen-to-body ratio
Galaxy S21 +10%
87.2%
79%

Performance

Tests of Samsung Galaxy S21 and Apple iPhone 11 in the benchmarks
SoC
Chipset Samsung Exynos 2100 Apple A13 Bionic
Max. clock 2900 MHz 2650 MHz
CPU cores 8 (1 + 3 + 4) 6 (2 + 4)
Architecture - 4 cores at 2.2 GHz: Cortex-A55
- 3 cores at 2.8 GHz: Cortex-A78
- 1 core at 2.9 GHz: Cortex-X1
- 4 cores at 1.6 GHz: Thunder
- 2 cores at 2.66 GHz: Lightning
Lithography process 5 nanometers 7 nanometers
Graphics Mali-G78 MP14 Apple A13 Bionic GPU
GPU clock 760 MHz -
FLOPS - ~736 GFLOPS
Memory
RAM size 8 GB 4 GB
Memory type LPDDR5 LPDDR4X
Memory clock 2750 MHz -
Channels 2 2
Storage
Storage size 128, 256 GB 64, 128, 256 GB
Storage type UFS 3.1 NVMe
Memory card No No

Benchmarks

Geekbench 5 (Single-Core)
1037
iPhone 11 +29%
1338
Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core)
3250
iPhone 11 +8%
3511
AnTuTu Benchmark 9
Galaxy S21 +21%
770910
635906
CPU 203417 166661
GPU 272156 256531
Memory 144766 91027
UX 146598 115651
Total score 770910 635906
3DMark Wild Life Performance
5659
iPhone 11 +34%
7561
Stability 66% 71%
Graphics test 33 FPS 45 FPS
Graphics score 5659 7561
PCMark 3.0 score 13812 -
Sources: 3DMark [3], [4]

Software

Operating system Android 11 (Can be upgraded to Android 13) iOS 13 (Can be upgraded to iOS 16.1.1)
ROM One UI 5.0 -
OS size 28.1 GB -

Battery

Specifications
Capacity 4000 mAh 3110 mAh
Charge power 25 W 18 W
Battery type Li-Ion Li-Ion
Replaceable No No
Wireless charging Yes (15 W) Yes (7.5 W)
Reverse charging Yes, (wireless) No
Fast charging Yes (55% in 50 min) Yes (50% in 30 min)
Full charging time 1:35 hr 1:45 hr
Battery life tests
Web browsing 07:17 hr 11:39 hr
Watching video 12:26 hr 15:16 hr
Gaming 04:20 hr 05:09 hr
Standby 92 hr 121 hr
General battery life
25:31 hr
iPhone 11 +36%
34:47 hr

Camera

Specs and camera test of smartphones
Main camera
Matrix 12 megapixels 12 megapixels
Image resolution 4000 x 3000 4032 x 3024
Zoom Optical, 1.1x Digital
Flash Dual LED Quad LED
Stabilization Optical Optical
8K video recording Up to 24FPS No
4K video recording Up to 60FPS Up to 60FPS
1080p video recording Up to 60FPS Up to 60FPS
Slow motion 960 FPS (720p) 240 FPS (1080p)
Angle of widest lens 120° 120°
Lenses 3 (12 MP + 64 MP + 12 MP) 2 (12 MP + 12 MP)
Wide (main) lens - 12 MP
- Aperture: f/1.8
- Focal length: 26 mm
- Pixel size: 1.8 micron
- Sensor: 1/1.76", Sony IMX555 (Exmor-RS CMOS)
- Phase autofocus (Dual Pixel)
- Optical stabilization
- 12 MP
- Aperture: f/1.8
- Focal length: 26 mm
- Pixel size: 1.4 micron
- Sensor: 1/2.55", Apple iSight Camera (CMOS)
- Phase autofocus
- Optical stabilization
Telephoto lens - 64 MP
- Aperture: f/2.0
- Focal length: 28 mm
- Pixel size: 0.8 micron
- Sensor: 1/1.72", Samsung Bright S5KGW2 (ISOCELL Plus CMOS)
- Phase autofocus (Dual Pixel)
- 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/2.4
- Focal length: 13 mm
Camera features - Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
- RAW support
- Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
Samples Photo samples of Samsung Galaxy S21 from DxOMark Photo samples of Apple iPhone 11 from DxOMark
Selfie camera
Megapixels 10 megapixels 12 megapixels
Image resolution 3872 x 2592 4032 x 3024
Aperture f/2.2 f/2.2
Focal length 26 mm 23 mm
Pixel size 1.22 microns -
Sensor type CMOS BSI CMOS
Sensor size 1/3.24" -
Video resolution 2160p (4K) at 60 FPS 2160p (4K) at 60 FPS

DxOMark camera tests

Photo quality
iPhone 11 +5%
129
Video quality
iPhone 11 +17%
109
Generic camera score
iPhone 11 +3%
119

Connectivity

Wi-Fi standard Wi-Fi 6 (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 Hotspot
Bluetooth version 5 5
Bluetooth features LE, A2DP LE, A2DP
USB type USB Type-C No
USB version 3.2 2
USB features - Charging
- USB-Storage mode
- USB-Host mode
- OTG
- Charging
- USB-Storage mode
GPS GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS
NFC* Yes Yes
Infrared port No No
Network
Number of SIM* 2 1
Type of SIM card Nano Nano
Multi SIM mode Standby -
eSIM support* Yes Yes
Hybrid slot No No
LTE Cat* 24 18
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
87 dB
83.4 dB

Other

Category Flagship Flagship
Announced January 2021 September 2019
Release date February 2021 September 2019
SAR (head) 0.46 W/kg 0.95 W/kg
SAR (body) 1.51 W/kg 0.99 W/kg
Sensors - Hall-effect sensor
- Barometer
- Proximity sensor
- Gyroscope
- Accelerometer
- Ambient light sensor
- Compass
- Fingerprint
- Barometer
- Proximity sensor
- Gyroscope
- Accelerometer
- Compass
- Face recognition sensor
*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 is definitely a better buy.

Cast your vote

So, which phone would you choose?
721 (60.9%)
463 (39.1%)
Total votes: 1184

User opinions

You can share your opinion or ask a question in the comments below
Avatar
Lee 21 February 2022 18:57
Never had an issue with my Samsung would definitely recommend over iPhone
+22 Reply
Avatar
Vickie Lepore 12 January 2022 04:26
My galaxy s21 has been glitchy from day one. A software upgrade helped some, but now it has returned to its glitchy self... freezing, shutting down. A real disappointment. So I'm hoping the iPhone will be more reliable.
+63 Reply