Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Plus: What to Choose?

Galaxy S21

It appears that sibling rivalry will be quite intense among Samsung’s high-end flagships this year. Although we know that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra version is more capable, the more affordable Plus version could be appealing as well. Main differences between two devices would be on the display, amount of RAM, battery capacity and camera resolutions. The Ultra will have 6.8-inch LTPO curved display with S-Pen. The Plus has a slightly smaller 6.7-inch flat display with no S-Pen. The Ultra is a more ideal device for gaming with dynamic 120Hz refresh rate at 1440p resolutions. The 120Hz refresh rate of the Plus version is static at 1080p resolution. The Ultra offers 5000mAh battery and the Plus with only 4800mAh battery. The 12GB of RAM of the Ultra should be more than enough for multitasking, although it’s still not easy to use up the 8GB RAM of the Plus. The Plus has lower camera resolutions with 12MP primary, 64MP crop zoom and 12MP ultrawide. Camera enthusiasts should choose the Ultra with its 108MP primary camera, 10MP 10x periscope and 12MP ultrawide. The dimension of the Ultra should be slightly larger as well.

Another important detail is the price differences between the two. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is more expensive at $1,299, but some would be more willing spend only $1099 for the Galaxy S21 Plus. The Ultra version will be available in Silver and Black options, while the Plus with Silver, Black and Purple options. Depending on the chipset model and region, the base storage for the S21 Ultra is 256GB and 128GB for S21 Plus. Inside, there will be the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC and 5G modem, the Qualcomm X60. The latest 5nm manufacturing process makes sure that the chipset runs quicker and more efficiently. Some would argue that the S21 Plus would be actually faster, because it runs at lower 1080p resolution. Even so, the chipset is more than capable of handling the 1440p resolution on the S21 Ultra. The international versions of S21 family will use Samsung’s Exynos 2100 clocked at 2.2GHz. Based on benchmark results, it performs roughly similarly to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888.

In terms of photography performance, the S21 Ultra stands out with its 108MP primary and 10MP 10x periscope cameras. The telephoto solution for the S21 Plus is simply digital crops of the high-resolution 64MP camera, which doesn’t perform equally well. The actual zoom is derived from cropping and merging captured data from the primary and ultrawide camera. Although the results are quite good, the 10X periscope zoom of the S21 Ultra is definitely more capable. It is quite unfortunate that Samsung doesn’t include a charger with both S21 versions, but they still work regular 25W chargers. Even so, Samsung has properly optimized power management and it’s possible to full top up both versions in just one hour with 25W or 30W charger. If you want faster charging performance, it is recommended to get 45W brick from Samsung’s store. Although S21 Plus has slightly lower battery capacity, its 1080p display should be more efficient, ensuring roughly the same battery life.