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Comparison: Samsung’s new Galaxy S21 vs. iPhone 12

After several product leaks and specification rumors, Samsung officially revealed its new line-up of flagship mobile phones this week. The Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra will form the premier selection of its Android-based phones. Tap or click here for Samsung Galaxy tips and tricks.

Samsung has also taken a slightly different route to Apple’s approach for included accessories. When Apple announced that it would be removing headphones and chargers from retail boxes, consumers scoffed at the idea.

But Samsung revealed that it would do the same – but gradually. Future releases of Samsung phones won’t have headphones or a charging brick included. The S21 doesn’t include a charger, but the Galaxy Note 20 does. So it is a bit unclear as to what gradually means. Let’s take a look at Samsung’s new gear.

Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+

Samsung Galaxy S21
(Source: Samsung)

Both the Galaxy S21 and S21+ make use of a Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O display. The S21 measures 6.2-inches and the S21+ comes in at a slightly larger 6.7-inches.

To better the scrolling or viewing large quantities of content, both models have an adaptive display refresh rate of 120Hz. This means that the phone’s display will adapt the refresh rate depending on what you are doing.

For perfect selfies or pictures, the camera packs a serious punch over its predecessors. The 10MP front camera features dual pixel autofocus with a view of 80 degrees. The triple rear camera comes in at 12 megapixels for the Ultra-Wide- and Wide-Angle lenses, while the Telephoto lens tips the scale at 64 megapixels.

The telephoto lens is rather impressive, as Samsung developed a 30x Space Zoom for it. This includes a 3x Hybrid Optic Zoom and goes up to 30 times with the Super-Resolution Zoom.

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Both models feature a Snapdragon 888 64-bit Octa-Core Processor and 8GB RAM. The S21 has a 4000mAh battery, while the S21+ has a 4800mAh.

Compared to iPhone 12

By comparison, the iPhone 12 has a refresh rate locked at 60Hz, and a maximum battery capacity of 3,687mAh in the iPhone 12 Pro Max. But while the entry-level iPhone 12’s display is negligibly smaller than the S21, it has a higher screen resolution.

Where the iPhone 12 has 4GB RAM, the S21 has double that. The iPhone 12’s front camera has 2MP more than the S21.

There are several specifications where either model outclasses the other. But where it really matters (like RAM, processor and battery), the Samsung S21 pulls ahead of the iPhone 12.

Samsung priced the S21 starting at $799 and the S21+ at $999. The iPhone 12 also starts at $799, while the iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The entry-level Galaxy S21 can seem like a mid-tier phone, but the S21 Ultra is brimming with high-grade features. It had to be if Samsung wanted to justify the $1,199 price tag. That is $100 more than the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The 6.8-inch AMOLED display has the same refresh rate as the other models, but the big difference is in the internal components. While using the same Snapdragon processor, it comes in 12GB or 16GB RAM variants.  

The 3200 x 1440 display resolution also needs a huge power source for all that, which is why it comes with a 5,000mAh battery.

In terms of storage, you can choose between 128GB or 256GB. The S21 Ultra is the only model that also provides a 512GB option.

But the standout feature by far is the rear and front cameras. Coming in at 40MP in the front and an eye-catching 108MP camera on the back, it is one of the most powerful mobile cameras on the market.

Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
(Source: Samsung)

Samsung improved on its previous iteration of earbuds with the Buds Pro. The little in-ear accessories operate with an 11-millimeter woofer for deeper bass and a 6.5-millimeter tweeter with higher pitches.

Samsung stressed that these aren’t just for listening to music, as they have been designed for calls as well. To minimize background noise for callers, they feature three microphones and a dedicated Voice Pickup Unit (VPU).

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In terms of noise cancellation, Samsung claims that its Active Noise Cancellation technology can block up to 99% of environmental distractions. Available in black, silver and violet, the Galaxy Buds Pro retail for $199.99. Apple’s AirPods Pro, which also features ANC, retails for $249.99.

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag

Taking on Tile, Samsung introduced the Galaxy SmartTag for finding things like your keys from up to 290-feet away.

Connecting to the tag and a mobile device through Bluetooth, you will be able to locate misplaced items that the tag is attached to. The long-rang can make tracking or finding your devices a lot easier.

Just like Tile, the Galaxy SmartTag features a button that you can press to find your phone — if that’s the object that you’re looking for. But taking it one step further, with the SmartTag, you can also control home automation accessories by pressing the same button.

SmartTag retails for $29.99 and is available only in black and ships on Jan. 27. You can pre-order a SmartTag on Samsung’s page.

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