Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Asus Zenfone 8

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 Asus Zenfone 8, which is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 and came out 4 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 S21
  • Shows 10% longer battery life (25:31 vs 23:13 hours)
  • Supports wireless charging up to 15W
  • The rear camera has a 1.1x optical zoom
  • Has a 0.3 inch larger screen size
  • More recent OS version: Android 13 versus 12
  • Slow-motion recording at 960FPS
  • Ready for eSIM technology
Reasons to consider the Asus Zenfone 8
  • Newer Bluetooth version (v5.2)
  • 10% better performance in AnTuTu Benchmark (837K versus 762K)
  • 8% faster in single-core GeekBench 5 test: 1110 and 1025 points
  • Includes a 3.5 mm headphone audio jack port

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

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Price

Tests and specifications

Comparison table of technical specifications and tests
Phone:
vs

Display

Type Dynamic AMOLED Super AMOLED
Size 6.2 inches 5.9 inches
Resolution 1080 x 2400 pixels 1080 x 2400 pixels
Aspect ratio 20:9 20:9
PPI 421 ppi 446 ppi
Refresh rate 120 Hz 120 Hz
Max rated brightness 800 nits 600 nits
Max rated brightness in HDR - 1100 nits
HDR support Yes, HDR10+ Yes, HDR10+
Screen protection Gorilla Glass Victus Gorilla Glass Victus
Screen-to-body ratio 87.2% 82.9%
Display features - DCI-P3
- Always-On Display
- DCI-P3
- Always-On Display
- DC Dimming
Display tests
RGB color space 99.5% 99.9%
PWM 240 Hz 495 Hz
Response time 5 ms 3.2 ms
Contrast ∞ Infinity ∞ Infinity
Peak brightness test (auto)
849 nits
793 nits
Sources: NotebookCheck [3], [4]

Design and build

Height 151.7 mm (5.97 inches) 148 mm (5.83 inches)
Width 71.2 mm (2.8 inches) 68.5 mm (2.7 inches)
Thickness 7.9 mm (0.31 inches) 8.9 mm (0.35 inches)
Weight 169 gramm (5.96 oz) 169 gramm (5.96 oz)
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Rear material Plastic Glass
Frame material Metal Metal
Colors White, Gray, Pink, Purple Black, Silver
Fingerprint scanner Yes, in-display Yes, in-display
Screen-to-body ratio
87.2%
82.9%

Performance

Tests of Samsung Galaxy S21 and Asus Zenfone 8 in the benchmarks
SoC
Chipset Samsung Exynos 2100 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Max. clock 2900 MHz 2840 MHz
CPU cores 8 (1 + 3 + 4) 8 (1 + 3 + 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 1.8 GHz: Kryo 680 Silver (Cortex-A55)
- 3 cores at 2.42 GHz: Kryo 680 Gold (Cortex-A78)
- 1 core at 2.84 GHz: Kryo 680 Prime (Cortex-X1)
L3 cache - 4 MB
Lithography process 5 nanometers 5 nanometers
Graphics Mali-G78 MP14 Adreno 660
GPU clock 760 MHz 840 MHz
FLOPS - ~1720 GFLOPS
Memory
RAM size 8 GB 6, 8, 12, 16 GB
Memory type LPDDR5 LPDDR5
Memory clock 2750 MHz 3200 MHz
Channels 2 2
Storage
Storage size 128, 256 GB 128, 256 GB
Storage type UFS 3.1 UFS 3.1
Memory card No No

Benchmarks

Geekbench 5 (Single-Core)
1025
Zenfone 8 +8%
1110
Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core)
3231
Zenfone 8 +11%
3596
AnTuTu Benchmark 9
762351
Zenfone 8 +10%
837100
CPU 203417 210328
GPU 272156 314992
Memory 144766 135761
UX 146598 164712
Total score 762351 837100
3DMark Wild Life Performance
5659
5647
Stability 66% 58%
Graphics test 33 FPS 33 FPS
Graphics score 5659 5647
PCMark 3.0 score 13812 15984
AnTuTu Benchmark Android Ranking (109th and 61st place)
Sources: 3DMark [3], [4]

Software

Operating system Android 11 (Can be upgraded to Android 13) Android 11 (Can be upgraded to Android 12)
ROM One UI 5.0 ZenUI 8
OS size 28.1 GB 16 GB

Battery

Specifications
Capacity 4000 mAh 4000 mAh
Charge power 25 W 30 W
Battery type Li-Ion Li-Po
Replaceable No No
Wireless charging Yes (15 W) No
Reverse charging Yes, (wireless) Yes
Fast charging Yes (55% in 50 min) Yes, Quick Charge 5 (60% in 30 min)
Full charging time 1:35 hr 1:28 hr
Battery life tests
Web browsing 07:17 hr 06:46 hr
Watching video 12:26 hr 12:35 hr
Gaming 04:20 hr 03:24 hr
Standby 92 hr 77 hr
General battery life
Galaxy S21 +10%
25:31 hr
23:13 hr

Camera

Specs and camera test of smartphones
Main camera
Matrix 12 megapixels 64 megapixels
Image resolution 4000 x 3000 9000 x 7000
Zoom Optical, 1.1x Digital
Flash Dual LED Dual 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) 480 FPS (720p)
Angle of widest lens 120° 112°
Lenses 3 (12 MP + 64 MP + 12 MP) 2 (64 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
- 64 MP
- Aperture: f/1.8
- Focal length: 26 mm
- Pixel size: 0.8 micron
- Sensor: 1/1.7", Sony IMX686 (Exmor-RS CMOS)
- Phase autofocus (Dual Pixel)
- 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/2.2
- Focal length: 14 mm
- Pixel size: 1.4 micron
- Sensor: 1/2.55", Sony IMX363 (Exmor-RS CMOS)
- Phase autofocus (Dual Pixel)
Camera features - Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
- RAW support
- Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
Samples Photo samples of Samsung Galaxy S21 from DxOMark Photo samples of Asus Zenfone 8 from DxOMark
Selfie camera
Megapixels 10 megapixels 12 megapixels
Image resolution 3872 x 2592 4290 x 2800
Aperture f/2.2 f/2.5
Focal length 26 mm 28 mm
Pixel size 1.22 microns 1.22 microns
Sensor type CMOS Exmor-RS CMOS
Sensor size 1/3.24" 1/2.93"
Video resolution 2160p (4K) at 60 FPS 2160p (4K) at 30 FPS

DxOMark camera tests

Photo quality
Zenfone 8 +2%
126
Video quality
Zenfone 8 +16%
108
Generic camera score
Zenfone 8 +3%
120

Connectivity

Wi-Fi standard Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax) Wi-Fi 6E (802.11 a/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 MiMO
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Wi-Fi Display
Bluetooth version 5 5.2
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, QZSS, NAVIC
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 No
Hybrid slot No No
LTE Cat* 24 20
5G support Yes Yes

Sound

Speakers Stereo Stereo
Headphone audio jack No Yes
FM radio No No
Dolby Atmos Yes Yes
Speakers test
Max. loudness
87 dB
86.7 dB

Other

Category Flagship Flagship
Announced January 2021 May 2021
Release date February 2021 May 2021
SAR (head) 0.46 W/kg -
SAR (body) 1.51 W/kg -
Sensors - Hall-effect sensor
- Barometer
- Proximity sensor
- Gyroscope
- Accelerometer
- Ambient light sensor
- Compass
- Fingerprint
- Hall-effect sensor
- Proximity sensor
- Gyroscope
- Accelerometer
- Ambient light sensor
- Compass
- Fingerprint
*Disclaimer! NFC, GSM network support, and some other specs can be different depending on the country.

Conclusion

If the software, battery life, camera, and connectivity are more important to you, then choose the Samsung Galaxy S21. But if the performance is more of a priority – go for the Asus Zenfone 8.

Cast your vote

So, which phone would you choose?
54 (26.9%)
147 (73.1%)
Total votes: 201

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