Samsung Galaxy S20 or S21; what’s the difference? | Cell

You blinked and the Samsung already launched the Galaxy S21, successor to Galaxy S20. The latest cell phone comes with specific improvements in the technical file, such as compatibility with the 5G and a processor at 5 nm, in addition to a renewed look. But there are some casualties: the brand new premium smartphone does not have a microSD port, has no glass back and comes without a charger in the box. Oh, and do you know the integration with the S Pen? It was restricted to the Ultra model, the most expensive in the line.

To find out everything that changes between the Galaxy S20 and the Galaxy S21, see the comparison of specifications and features that we have prepared below.

Galaxy S20 or S21? Comparative reveals what changes in technical sheet (Image: Vitor Pádua / Tecnoblog)

Design: S21 is more elegant, but S20 has glass back

The models of the Galaxy S20 line did not bring a breathtaking design, but the S21 resumes the elegance of the Galaxy S series with an elegant and attractive look. The rear cameras have gained a more sophisticated frame in the new generation, more consistent with the segment to which the smartphone belongs.

On the other hand, the S21 has a polycarbonate rear – yes, plastic coating. This is not really a problem, but it is, at the very least, frustrating for the price, especially if you are looking at competitors. At least the IP68 certification of resistance to water and dust has been maintained.

Samsung Galaxy S21 (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Samsung Galaxy S21 (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

The front part has the resistant Gorilla Glass Victus glass, which promises to withstand drops of up to 2 meters, while the previous generation brings Gorilla Glass 6. The Galaxy S20 is sold in gray, blue and pink, the Galaxy S21 has models in white, gray, pink and violet.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S21
Dimensions (H x W x D) 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm
Weight 163 grams 169 grams

Goodbye, curved screen

Samsung maintained the screen size (6.2 inches) in the new generation, but the Galaxy S21 has lost its curved edges, which divide opinions among fans of the brand. The grip is good, more comfortable to use with one hand than the Ultra version with its 6.8 inches.

In addition, while the S20 has a maximum resolution of Quad HD +, the latest generation only reaches Full HD +. In practice, this shouldn’t influence that much – the image quality and sharpness of the Dynamic AMOLED panel is impeccable and the brightness does very well on both models.

Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 + and S20 Ultra - Hands-on

Galaxy S20 and S20 Ultra have curved screen (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Fortunately, on the Galaxy S21, Samsung opted for the variable refresh rate – which allows you to display images in a range of 48 to 120 Hz without expending as much battery as its predecessor.

Cameras: small adjustments in software

The camera specifications of the Galaxy S21 are the same as those present in the Galaxy S20. That is, we have a main sensor of 12 megapixels and OIS, an ultrawide lens with sensor of 12 MP and a telephoto lens with sensor of 64 MP in the rear.

The set is very competent and makes excellent photos, with a high level of details, controlled noise and vivid colors, without exaggeration, as you can see in the full review of Tecnoblog.

The novelty is due to some changes in software that give more possibilities to the owners of the S21.

The latest generation features Director’s View mode, which shoots with the rear and front camera at the same time, and allows you to switch between standard, ultrawide and telephoto lenses while recording.

For selfies, we have a 10-megapixel front sensor on both models. Samsung has made some adjustments to make the beautification mode less aggressive. S21 users can also choose between Claro mode, which whitens skin tone, and Natural mode.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S21
Back camera
  • 12 MP (f / 1.8), OIS, wide
  • 12 MP (f / 2.2), ultrawide
  • 64 MP (f / 2.0), OIS, telephoto
  • 12 MP (f / 1.8), OIS, wide
  • 12 MP (f / 2.2), ultrawide
  • 64 MP (f / 2.0), OIS, telephoto
Frontal camera 10 MP (f / 2.2) 10 MP (f / 2.2)
Video Up to 8K @ 24 fps / 4K @ 60 fps Up to 8K @ 24 fps / 4K @ 60 fps

Performance and battery

The Galaxy S21 brings the new Exynos 2100 processor from Samsung, while the previous one featured the Exynos 990. It is an expected upgrade that keeps the latest smartphone with cutting-edge performance, without owing much to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 found in the North American version. American.

The RAM memory remains 8 GB, and the storage at 128 GB, but with one difference: the Galaxy S21 does not have a microSD input – the whole new line has lost this support, but the S21 must be the most affected model, since its internal space has the lowest limit.

Samsung Galaxy S21 (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Samsung Galaxy S21 (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

A point noted in our practical tests with the Galaxy S21 is that it gets too hot (even more so than the “Ultra” version). However, this heating did not limit the performance of the smartphone, which is very good even in the most demanding tasks.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S21
Processor Exynos 990 Exynos 2100
RAM memory 8 GB 8 GB
Storage 128 GB (expandable via microSD up to 1 TB) 128 GB (without microSD input)
Drums 4,000 mAh 4,000 mAh

In terms of battery, Samsung repeats the capacity for up to 4,000 mAh of the S20 in the latest model. It is worth remembering that the Galaxy S21’s autonomy should improve compared to its predecessor, since the smartphone brings a variable refresh rate screen and a chip manufactured at 5 nm. However, it is behind the S21 Ultra, which has 5,000 mAh and more breath away from the outlets.

Speaking of batteries, the new generation does not have the charger in the box (you can buy it separately if you don’t have an old one, and you can also win a case to buy the phone in pre-order, until March 4, 2021). Samsung claims that removing the accessory is a measure to help preserve the environment. The decision was criticized and is being investigated by Procon-SP.

Galaxy S21 supports 5G

The Galaxy S20 arrived in Brazil without support for 5G, but the S21 is already prepared for the future with a modem compatible with the fifth generation of mobile networks. This is one of the few factors that really make the new phone shine, as there is little convincing news in the latest generation.

It is clear that 5G in Brazil is not yet a reality: commercial operation will start in the main capitals only in 2022, and should reach smaller cities by 2026.

Galaxy S20 vs Galaxy S21: is it worth the upgrade?

If you already have a Galaxy S20, switching to an S21 is hardly recommended. The new smartphone is a good phone, but its high launch price (R $ 5,999) and few really relevant changes in the technical file do not result in a good cost-benefit ratio.

In this scenario, if you are looking for a new advanced cell phone and want to save money, it is still a good deal to think about the past generation, which is already found in the range of R $ 2,999 in retail, or even in the Galaxy S20 FE (R $ 2,600), in case prefer bolder colors and don’t mind the plastic back.

If you need something even more premium and you’re not on a tight budget, it’s worth taking a look at our review of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the most advanced version in the new line, which brings more consistent changes.

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