Home Tech Samsung Galaxy S21 vs iPhone 12: This is the $800 phone to...
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs iPhone 12: This is the $800 phone to purchase

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs iPhone 12: This is the $800 phone to purchase


The battle is surprisingly close but there’s a clear winner.

iphone 12 galaxy s21


Today’s Best Tech Offers

Chosen by PCWorld’s Editors

Top Offers On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect’s Editors

January has hardly started and we already have our very first heavyweight smart device fight of2021 Samsung has actually launched its lineup of Galaxy S21 phones a little earlier than normal this year, and it’s clear they have Apple’s most recent phone in its sights. Samsung hasn’t reinvented the S21 as much as it’s retooled it to handle the iPhone 12, with a lower rate point, sharper style, and some new video camera tricks. Now that I’ve had an opportunity to review both handsets, here’s how the 2 $800 phones accumulate.


Samsung’s Galaxy S is constantly at the leading edge of Android smart device style, and the S21 continues that tradition. Samsung has crafted a truly unique style where the metal sides effortlessly mix into the video camera variety, as if it were snapped onto the back. The back is made from plastic rather than glass, but it still has a premium feel, even if it’s not rather as glamorous as the S20

galaxy s21 colors Samsung

The S21 has a stunning color combination this year.

Apple introduced a brand-new, flatter style with the iPhone 12 that has a retro beauty reminiscent of the iPhone 4, and it feels great to hold. Samsung has done a great job with dispersing the weight on the S21, so it doesn’t feel as heavy as it weighs:

Galaxy S21: 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm, 164 grams
iPhone 12: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm, 171 grams

Both phones come in a variety of colors that basically boil down to personal choice, however Samsung’s special design stands out here.
My choice: The Galaxy S21


Now that Apple has actually gone OLED and Samsung has gone Complete HD, the iPhone 12 and Galaxy S21 have really comparable display screens:

Galaxy S21: 6.2-inch Flat FHD Infinity-O Show (2400 x1080), 421 ppi, 120 Hz
iPhone 12: 6.1-inch Flat Full HD Super Retina XDR (2532 x1170), 460 ppi, 60 Hz

iphone 12 face id Michael Simon/IDG

The iPhone 12 sticks to the notch.

The iPhone 12’s display screen is excellent, and thanks to the speed of system-on-chip, it feels exceptionally quick. The iPhone utilizes Apple’s own A14 Bionic processor, while the S21 sticks with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon888 Samsung likewise beats Apple with base storage, offering 128 GB in the S21 compared to the iPhone 12’s 64 GB, though you can update to 128 GB for $50

The Galaxy S21 isn’t almost appearances– it’s likewise among the fastest Android phones you can buy.

When it comes to charging, neither phone includes a battery charger in the box, though both phones provide fast charging with a capable battery charger, 20 W with the iPhone 12 and 25 W with the S21 The iPhone 12 also has a U1 ultrawide band chip for accurate location mapping, however you’ll need to update to one of the other models (S21 or S21 Ultra) to get that on the S21 In the S21’s case, the triple-camera system is identical to the S20’s, while Apple just a little upgraded the wide-angle sensor on the iPhone 12 with a broader aperture (f/1.6 vs f/1.8).

In dark images, the S21 tended to overly lighten up pictures so they lost some information as seen here in this shot. All 3 phones did extremely well to capture a really dark scene but the S21(left) missed a bit of the information that the iPhone 12 (center) and Pixel 5 (right) grabbed.

Instead, the enhancements are primarily behind the scenes and like Google, Apple has actually more than proven its ability to procedure excellent pictures. Time and again, the iPhone 12 produced pictures with crisper information, much better color, and sharper contrast, where the S21 often overexposed shots and missed out on some aspects. It’s absolutely subjective and both phones will snap reliably excellent images in a breeze, but I chose the iPhone 12 in almost every instance, from intense to low light.

s21 detail photo comp Michael Simon/IDG

In this shot of a flower, the S21(left) burnt out the colors and information a bit while the iPhone 12 (center) and Pixel 5 (right) dealt with the intense surrounding light well.

Nevertheless, the iPhone 12 doesn’t have anywhere near the power of 30 X zoom. It doesn’t have a zoom lens at all, so you’ll require to get extremely close to your subject. That’s not something you’re going to need all that frequently, but when you do, the S21’s telephoto capabilities blow away the iPhone 12, which maxes out at 5X. Unless you’re preparing on taking various far-away shots, the iPhone 12 is simply the remarkable shooter.
My choice: iPhone 12.

OS and updates

As constantly, you’re getting the current OS with each of these phones– One UI 3.1 based upon Android 11 with the S21, and iOS 14 with the iPhone 12– however the future isn’t rather as clear. Given that the launch of the Galaxy S20, Samsung has promised all new phones will get three generations of Android updates, so the S21 is ensured to get Android 14 when it shows up in2023 Apple technically offers no such guarantee, however iPhones are typically supported for five years of upgrades. For example, the iPhone sixes, which launched with iOS 9 in 2016, got iOS 14 when it landed in September.

You’re likewise ensured to get iOS updates on the day they arrive, something that isn’t so certain with the S21 While monthly security updates land quickly, new versions of Android typically take months prior to they get here on the current phones.
My pick: iPhone 12


Samsung and Apple have been rivals for as long as they have actually been making phones, but it’s been a while since they have actually had phones that were such close competitors. Both phones are great and either will bring exceptional worth compared to nearly every rival. If OS to a particular color isn’t a factor, I ‘d go with the iPhone 12, regardless of its somewhat stale style. You won’t be unhappy with the S21, but you’ll be a little happier with the iPhone12

Note: When you buy something after clicking links in our articles, we might earn a little commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Michael Simon covers all things mobile for PCWorld and Macworld.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here