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Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S20: Digging into value, options and extra


This story is a part of CES, the place our editors will deliver you the newest information and the most well liked devices of the fully digital CES 2021.

On Thursday, we received a primary official have a look at Samsung’s Galaxy S21 cellphone line on the firm’s Unpacked occasion, on the final day of CES. The newest model of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy cellphone follows the Galaxy S20 line, launched in 2020. Should you’re available in the market for an improve, you might be questioning: What precisely are the variations between the 2 Galaxy telephones? And is it value it to spend $800 for an improve? 

Here is all the things it is advisable to find out about how the Galaxy S21 is rumored to match with the Galaxy S20. (Psst… here is why now is perhaps the worst time to purchase the Samsung Galaxy S20.) We selected a winner for every class beneath based mostly purely on specs. We’ll have extra in-depth hands-on protection of the Galaxy S21 quickly.

Learn extra: Galaxy S21 vs. S20 specs in contrast: What Samsung modified in its new telephones

Uncover the newest information and greatest evaluations in smartphones and carriers from CNET’s cell specialists.

Drew Evans/CNET

The bottom Samsung Galaxy S21 features a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X show with a 120Hz refresh charge, a 4,000 mAh battery, and three rear digicam lenses, together with a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens. It runs on Android 11, and has a brand new Snapdragon 888 processor. The cellphone will get a serious value drop in comparison with its predecessor, beginning at $800. 

Angela Lang/CNET

CNET gave the bottom Galaxy S20 a ranking of 8.7 out of 10, naming it the most effective out of the S20 line. Our reviewer referred to as out top-shelf options, together with a pointy show and superior digicam expertise, however famous that the beginning value of $999 was a bit excessive for what you get. That value has since dropped to $800 at Finest Purchase — the identical as the brand new S21. Whereas the S21 consists of most of the similar options, until the worth drops additional on the S20, it appears value it to improve to the S21. 

Design, display screen dimension and weight

The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S20 are extraordinarily comparable with regards to shows. Each function 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED shows, a 120Hz refresh charge, and an in-screen fingerprint sensor. The variations are comparatively small: the S21 has a pixel density of 421 ppi, in comparison with the S20’s 563 ppi. The S21 can be barely heavier, at 6.03 oz., whereas the S20 weighs 5.75 oz. 

Design-wise, the totally different telephones additionally look like near equivalent. The one main distinction in look is the rear digicam module — on the S21, it has a steel overlay, giving it a special look from the S20. Each telephones are additionally IP68 ranking for water and mud resistance. Neither cellphone has a headphone jack. 

By way of colours, the Galaxy S21 is available in pastels referred to as phantom violet, phantom grey, phantom pink and phantom white (different colours can be found for the S21 Plus and Extremely fashions). The Galaxy S20 is obtainable in Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink and Cosmic Black. 

Winner: Tie

Cameras

The bottom mannequin Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S21 have the very same digicam setup: The rear digicam modules embrace a 64-megapixel telephoto digicam, a 12-megapixel wide-angle digicam and 12-megapixel ultrawide digicam. Each telephones additionally include a 10-megapixel selfie digicam. The cameras are the identical on each Plus fashions, too. 

The foremost digicam upgrades include the S21 Extremely. This mannequin has 4 rear cameras: a essential 108-megapixel vast sensor and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide digicam, plus two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses — one with 3x zoom and one with 10x zoom. It additionally boasts a quick Shiny Night time sensor and pixel binning know-how, which makes your photographs extra detailed. 

Winner: Tie (besides within the case of the S21 Extremely, which wins over the S20 Extremely)

Learn extra: Galaxy S21’s digicam options are good, however are they sufficient?

Processing pace

One of many greatest upgrades to the S21 is the cellphone’s processor and the software program it runs — it is now on Android 11 with a Snapdragon 888 processor, which ought to result in will increase in pace and efficiency. The S20 was initially launched with Android 10 and has a Snapdragon 875.

Winner: Galaxy S21

Battery life

The bottom Galaxy S20 and S21 fashions have the identical battery dimension: 4,000 mAh. The battery dimension rises to five,000 mAh in each the S20 Extremely and S21 Extremely. The one distinction between fashions is within the Plus variations: The S21 Plus will get a battery dimension improve to 4,800 mAh, in comparison with 4,500 within the S20 Plus. 

Winner: Tie (besides within the case of the S21 Plus, which wins over the S20 Plus)

Learn extra: Samsung Galaxy S21: What to find out about battery life and battery sizes

5G connectivity

All S21 and S20 fashions assist 5G connectivity, so once more, no distinction there. 

Winner: Tie

Stylus assist

One of many bigger variations between the 2 cellphone fashions comes on the Extremely stage. The Galaxy S21 Extremely consists of assist for the S Pen stylus (offered individually for $40), whereas not one of the S20 fashions do. Meaning S21 Extremely homeowners will quickly be capable to use the small digital pen to jot notes, take higher screenshots, signal paperwork or draw of their favourite apps.

Learn extra: Galaxy S21 Extremely works with Samsung S Pen, Professional stylus: Worth, options and limitations

Worth

Outdoors of the processor, maybe the most important distinction between the bottom S20 and S21 is the worth tag. The Galaxy S21 will go on sale on Jan. 29 (although you may preorder the S21 now), beginning at $800 for the 128GB mannequin. As compared, the Galaxy S20 began at $999. Although the worth on the S20 has since dropped to $800 at Finest Purchase, Samsung didn’t say whether or not or not it will get an extra lower now that the S21 has been launched for $800 as nicely. 

Winner: Galaxy S21 

Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S20: Spec comparability

Here is how the specs of the 2 telephones evaluate, now that the S21 particulars have been formally launched.

For extra concerning the Galaxy S21 and all the things else Samsung introduced, you may try our roundup. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S20 specs

Galaxy S21

Galaxy S20

Show dimension, decision

6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X; (2,400×1,080 pixels)

6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X; (3,200×1,440 pixels)

Pixel density

421 ppi

563 ppi

Dimensions (Inches)

2.80×5.97×0.31 in

2.72×5.97×0.31 in

Dimensions (Millimeters)

71.2×151.7×7.9 mm

69.1×151.7×7.9 mm

Weight (Ounces, Grams)

6.03 oz; 171g

5.75 oz; 163g

Cellular software program

Android 11

Android 10

Digicam

64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)

12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)

Entrance-facing digicam

10-megapixel

10-megapixel

Video seize

8K

8K

Processor

Snapdragon 888

Snapdragon 865 or 64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7GHz + 2.5GHz + 2GHz)

Storage

128GB, 256GB

128GB

RAM

8GB

12GB (5G), 8GB (LTE)

Expandable storage

As much as 1TB

As much as 1TB

Battery

4,000 mAh

4,000 mAh

Fingerprint sensor

In-screen

In-screen

Headphone jack

No

No

Particular options

IP68 ranking for water and mud resistance, 5G-enabled, 30X Area Zoom, 10W wi-fi charging, 120Hz refresh charge

5G enabled; 120Hz refresh charge; IP68 ranking for water and mud resistance,

Worth at launch (USD)

$800

$999

Worth (GBP)

£769

£799, £899 (5G)

Worth (AUD)

TBA

AU$1,349 (4G), AU$1,499 (5G)

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Our first have a look at the brand new Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus

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