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Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Note 20 Ultra

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 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which is powered by Exynos 990 and came out 6 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
  • 28% better performance in AnTuTu Benchmark (691K versus 540K)
  • More energy-efficient CPU – Exynos 2100
  • Weighs 39 grams less
  • The phone is 6-months newer
  • Better grip in hands – the body is 6 mm narrower
Reasons to consider the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  • The rear camera has a 5x optical zoom
  • Has a 0.7 inch larger screen size
  • Shows 8% longer battery life (100 vs 93 hours)
  • Newer Bluetooth version (v5.1)
  • Expandable storage via MicroSD card up to 1000GB
  • Comes with 500 mAh larger battery capacity: 4500 vs 4000 mAh
  • Delivers 20% higher maximum brightness (1013 against 841 nits)
  • 18% higher pixel density (496 vs 421 PPI)

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 Dynamic AMOLED Dynamic AMOLED
Size 6.2 inches 6.9 inches
Resolution 1080 x 2400 pixels 1440 x 3088 pixels
Aspect ratio 20:9 20:9
PPI 421 ppi 496 ppi
Refresh rate 120 Hz 120 Hz
HDR support Yes, HDR10+ Yes, HDR10+
Screen protection Gorilla Glass Victus Gorilla Glass Victus
Screen-to-body ratio 87.2% 91.7%
Display features - DCI-P3
- Always-On Display
- DCI-P3
- Always-On Display
Display tests
RGB color space 99.5% 96.9%
PWM 240 Hz 245 Hz
Response time 5 ms 6 ms
Contrast ∞ Infinity ∞ Infinity
Max. Brightness
841 nits
1013 nits
Sources: NotebookCheck [1], [2]

Design and build

Height 151.7 mm (5.97 inches) 164.8 mm (6.49 inches)
Width 71.2 mm (2.8 inches) 77.2 mm (3.04 inches)
Thickness 7.9 mm (0.31 inches) 8.1 mm (0.32 inches)
Weight 169 gramm (5.96 oz) 208 gramm (7.34 oz)
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Rear material Plastic Glass
Frame material Metal Metal
Colors White, Gray, Pink, Purple White, Black
Fingerprint scanner Yes, in-display Yes, in-display
Screen-to-body ratio

Performance

Tests of Samsung Galaxy S21 and Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in the benchmarks
SoC
Chipset Samsung Exynos 2100 Samsung Exynos 990
Max. clock 2900 MHz 2730 MHz
CPU cores 8 (1 + 3 + 4) 8 (2 + 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 2 GHz: Cortex-A55
- 2 cores at 2.5 GHz: Cortex-A76
- 2 cores at 2.73 GHz: Exynos M5
Lithography process 5 nanometers 7 nanometers
Graphics Mali-G78 MP14 Mali-G77 MP11
GPU clock 760 MHz 850 MHz
FLOPS - ~1196 GFLOPS
Memory
RAM size 8 GB 8, 12 GB
Memory type LPDDR5 LPDDR5
Memory clock 2750 MHz 2750 MHz
Channels 2 -
Storage
Storage size 128, 256 GB 256, 512 GB
Storage type UFS 3.1 UFS 3.1
Memory card No MicroSD
Memory card max. size - Up to 1000 GB

Benchmarks

Geekbench 5 (Single-Core)
Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core)
AnTuTu Benchmark 9
Galaxy S21 +28%
691099
AnTuTu Ranking (49th and 114th place)

Software

Operating system Android 11 Android 10 (Can be upgraded to Android 11)
ROM One UI 3.1 One UI 3.0
OS size 28.1 GB 34.7 GB

Battery

Specifications
Capacity 4000 mAh 4500 mAh
Charge power 25 W 25 W
Battery type Li-Ion Li-Po
Replaceable No No
Wireless charging Yes (15 W) Yes (15 W)
Reverse charging Yes, (wireless) Yes, (wireless)
Fast charging Yes (55% in 50 min) Yes (43% in 30 min)
Full charging time 1:35 hr 1:20 hr

Battery life tests

Web browsing (Wi-Fi)
10:57 hr
14:20 hr
Watching videos (Player)
15:10 hr
17:21 hr
Talk (3G)
Galaxy S21 +16%
27:30 hr

Camera

Specs and camera test of smartphones
Main camera
Matrix 12 megapixels 108 megapixels
Image resolution 4000 x 3000 12000 x 9000
Zoom Optical, 1.1x Optical, 5x
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 240FPS
Slow motion 960 FPS (720p) 960 FPS (720p)
Angle of widest lens 120° 120°
Lenses 3 (12 MP + 64 MP + 12 MP) 4 (108 MP + 12 MP + 12 MP + 0.3 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
- 108 MP
- Aperture: f/1.8
- Focal length: 26 mm
- Pixel size: 0.8 micron
- Sensor: 1/1.33", Samsung Bright S5KHM1 (ISOCELL Plus CMOS)
- Laser 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
- 12 MP
- Aperture: f/3.0
- Focal length: 103 mm
- Pixel size: 1 micron
- Sensor: 1/3.4", Samsung S5K3M5 (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 S5K2L3 (ISOCELL CMOS)
- Phase autofocus
Depth lens - - 0.3 MP
Camera features - Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
- RAW support
- Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
- RAW support
Samples Photo samples of Samsung Galaxy S21 from DxOMark Photo samples of Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra from DxOMark
Selfie camera
Megapixels 10 megapixels 10 megapixels
Image resolution 3872 x 2592 3872 x 2592
Aperture f/2.2 f/2.2
Focal length 26 mm 26 mm
Pixel size 1.22 microns 1.22 microns
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Sensor size 1/3.24" 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 6 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax) Wi-Fi 6 (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 Direct
- Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Wi-Fi Display
Bluetooth version 5 5.1
Bluetooth features LE, A2DP PBAP/PAB, PAN, OPP, MAP, LE, HSP, HID, HFP, DIP, AVRCP, A2DP
USB type USB Type-C USB Type-C
USB version 3.2 3.2
USB features - Charging
- USB-Storage mode
- USB-Host mode
- OTG
- Charging
- USB-Storage mode
- OTG
GPS GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, 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 Yes
Hybrid slot No Yes
LTE Cat* 24 20
5G support Yes -

Sound

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

Other

Category Flagship Flagship
Announced January 2021 August 2020
Release date February 2021 August 2020
Launch price ~ 937 USD ~ 1250 USD
SAR (head) 0.46 W/kg 0.319 W/kg
SAR (body) 1.51 W/kg 1.557 W/kg
Sensors - Hall-effect sensor
- Barometer
- Proximity sensor
- Gyroscope
- Accelerometer
- Ambient light sensor
- Compass
- Fingerprint
- Hall-effect sensor
- Barometer
- 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 performance is more important to you, then choose the Samsung Galaxy S21. But if the battery life and camera are more of a priority – go for the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Cast your vote

So, which phone would you choose?
23 (34.8%)
43 (65.2%)
Total votes: 66

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