Should you buy now or wait?


The Samsung Galaxy S21 collection marks a notable departure from the corporate’s beforehand costly flagship {hardware}. While the Galaxy S21 Ultra nonetheless comes with a hefty price ticket, the usual mannequin will be picked up for a somewhat affordable $799. That’s nonetheless not precisely low cost, but it surely’s Samsung’s most reasonably priced core flagship in years. It will undoubtedly take the sting out of flagship killer-style Chinese launches this 12 months.

Few have thrived on undercutting Samsung in earlier years greater than OnePlus. The firm’s OnePlus 9 flagship collection is anticipated to make its debut in mid-March. With prices creeping up and a collection of sub-par releases not too long ago, the stress is on the OnePlus 9. It wants to supply a compelling {hardware} package deal with out breaking the financial institution.

If you’re out there for a 2021 flagship smartphone, ought to you seize the Samsung Galaxy S21 in the present day or maintain off till the OnePlus 9 arrives? Let’s discover out by evaluating what we all know of the Galaxy S21 collection already with all of the swirling OnePlus 9 rumors.

Samsung Galaxy S21: Key specs and options

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 collection spans a wider vary of worth factors than earlier years. Its portfolio provides one thing for everybody. The normal mannequin begins at $799, the Galaxy S21 Plus at $999, and $1,199 for the Ultra. There can be a variety of reminiscence configurations including a couple of further {dollars} on high.

All three entries share Samsung’s revamped design and key options that underpin the Galaxy S collection. The handsets are powered by Qualcomm’s cutting-edge 5nm Snapdragon 888 processor or the Exynos 2100 exterior of the US. The Galaxy S21 and S21 include 8GB RAM and both 128GB or 256GB of storage. The Galaxy S21 Ultra, then again, has 12 or 16GB RAM and 128, 256, and 512GB storage capacities. Performance received’t be a problem with any mannequin, although not like earlier entries within the Galaxy S series they don’t assist expandable storage.

Our verdict: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review

Picking any of the variants additionally nets you 25W wired and 15W wi-fi charging, in addition to reverse wi-fi charging. Additionally, you get an IP68 ranking for mud and water resistance, NFC, an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint reader, an HDR10+ 120Hz show, and 5G connectivity with Sub-6GHz and mmWave expertise in tow. Most of those options will really feel acquainted to Galaxy S20 homeowners, but it surely’s just about every little thing you’d need from a flagship cellphone. Oh, and the Ultra mannequin helps Samsung’s S Pen for the primary time too, although not like the Galaxy Note collection it’s offered individually.

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

There’s a bit extra variation between handsets in terms of shows. The Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus supply flat 120Hz AMOLED panels with 2,400 x 1,080 resolutions, at 6.2- and 6.7-inches, respectively. This is a minor step again from final 12 months’s flagship, however some desire the flat panel. The Galaxy S21 Ultra sticks to a extra acquainted curved 6.8-inch AMOLED show with a denser 3,200 x 1,440 decision.

Differences prolong to the digicam setups too. The triple cameras of the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus are just about unchanged from the Galaxy S20’s setup, providing loads of flexibility. Those after leading edge digicam capabilities could fancy the Ultra. It features a revamped 108MP important sensor, a wide-angle lens, laser auto-focus, and twin telephoto cameras with as much as 10x optical zoom.

Read extra: Samsung Galaxy S21 versus older Galaxy handsets — should you upgrade?

While the Galaxy S21 collection provides improved efficiency, Samsung has saved rather a lot the identical. It has even made a couple of cuts to convey costs down this 12 months. The checklist consists of decrease FHD+ show resolutions, much less RAM, and a “glasstic” chassis for the vanilla Galaxy S21. The Ultra mannequin is the exception. It sports activities the perfect expertise that Samsung has to supply, with a price ticket to match.

  Samsung Galaxy S21 Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Display 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Flat FHD+
2,400 x 1,080 at 421ppi
Adaptive 120Hz refresh price
HDR10+ licensed
6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Flat FHD+
2,400 x 1,080 at 394ppi
Adaptive 120Hz refresh price
HDR10+ licensed
6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Curved WQHD+
3,200 x 1,440 at 515ppi
Adaptive 120Hz refresh price
HDR10+ licensed
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Samsung Exynos 2100 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Samsung Exynos 2100 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Samsung Exynos 2100
RAM 8GB 8GB 12 or 16GB
Storage 128 or 256GB 128 or 256GB 128, 256, or 512GB
MicroSD No No No
Battery 4,000mAh
Fast wired and wi-fi charging
Reverse wi-fi charging
4,800mAh
Fast wired and wi-fi charging
Reverse wi-fi charging
5,000mAh
Fast wired and wi-fi charging
Reverse wi-fi charging
Cameras Rear:
– Wide-angle: 12MP, ƒ/1.8, 1.8µm with OIS and dual-pixel AF
– Telephoto: 64MP, ƒ/2.0, 0.8µm with OIS and phase-detection AF
– Ultra-wide: 12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.4µm with 120-degree FoV

3x hybrid optical/digital zoom
30x “Space Zoom”

Front:
– 10MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.22µm, with dual-pixel AF

Rear:
– Wide-angle: 12MP, ƒ/1.8, 1.8µm with OIS and dual-pixel AF
– Telephoto: 64MP, ƒ/2.0, 0.8µm with OIS and phase-detection AF
– Ultra-wide: 12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.4µm with 120-degree FoV

3x hybrid optical/digital zoom
30x “Space Zoom”

Front:
– 10MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.22µm, with dual-pixel AF

Rear:
– Wide-angle: 108MP, ƒ/1.8, 0.8µm with OIS and phase-detection AF
– Telephoto: 10MP, ƒ/2.4, 1.22µm with OIS, dual-pixel AF, and 3x optical zoom
– Telephoto: 10MP, ƒ/4.9, 1.22µm with OIS, dual-pixel AF, and 10x optical zoom
– Ultra-wide: 12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.4µm with dual-pixel AF and a 120-degree FoV
– Laser AF sensor

10x optical zoom
100x “Space Zoom”

Front:
– 40MP, ƒ/2.2, 0.7µm, with phase-detection AF

Connectivity 4G LTE assist
5G (sub-6GHz, SA and NSA, mmWave)
Wi-Fi 6E assist
Bluetooth 5.0
4G LTE assist
5G (sub-6GHz, SA and NSA, mmWave)
Wi-Fi 6E assist
Bluetooth 5.0
4G LTE assist
5G (sub-6GHz, SA and NSA, mmWave)
Wi-Fi 6E assist
Bluetooth 5.2
S Pen assist No No Yes
Operating System One UI 3.1
Android 11
One UI 3.1
Android 11
One UI 3.1
Android 11
Water resistance IP68 IP68 IP68
Security Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, face unlock Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, face unlock Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, face unlock
Color 128GB in Phantom Violet, Phantom Gray, Phantom Pink, and Phantom White

256GB solely in Phantom Gray

Future colours: Phantom Gold and Phantom Red

128GB in Phantom Violet, Phantom Silver, and Phantom Black

256GB solely in Phantom Black

Future colours: Phantom Gold and Phantom Red

128 GB in Phantom Silver and Phantom Black

256 and 512GB in Phantom Black

Future colours: Phantom Titanium, Phantom Navy, and Phantom Brown

Dimensions and weight 71.2 x 151.7 x 7.9mm
171g
75.6 x 161.5 x 7.8mm
202g
75.6 x 165.1 x 8.9mm
229g

OnePlus 9: Rumored specs and options

OnePlus 9 Pro Renders 4

We don’t but know the way the OnePlus 9 will evaluate to the Samsung Galaxy S21 precisely. However, we do have a couple of rumored specs to go on for the usual and Pro fashions.

Based on earlier launches, it’s nearly a provided that the OnePlus 9 might be powered by the Snapdragon 888, a hefty serving to of RAM, and at the very least 128GB of storage. The model has already adopted a big 120Hz show with QHD+ decision, which is able to doubtless stick round. OnePlus telephones have at all times carried out effectively, so it’s the opposite options that may decide whether or not the cellphone provides sufficient worth for cash.

Rumors level to 65W quick charging, with 45W wi-fi charging, and reverse wi-fi charging capabilities for the 9 Pro. That’s up from 30W final technology and an enormous leap over the Galaxy S21 collection. An IP68 ranking additionally appears doubtless, though rumors recommend this may stay unique to the Pro mannequin. Other present options we noticed on the OnePlus 8 collection like an in-display fingerprint scanner, NFC, and Gorilla Glass safety ought to stay in place too. If true, the OnePlus 9 Pro can be very aggressive with what Samsung has to supply.

OnePlus purchaser’s information: Everything you need to know about the brand

However, cameras have been OnePlus’ Achilles heel in recent times. OnePlus is already talking up its camera improvements this 12 months and rumors recommend that Leica might be partnering with the corporate to assist out this 12 months. Leica has beforehand labored with Huawei to ship nice outcomes. Specifications are anticipated to incorporate 48MP major and wide-angle cameras, with a 3rd yet-unknown sensor. OnePlus has beforehand employed gimmicky further cameras, like monochrome and macro shooters on its extra reasonably priced mannequin. Hopefully, the corporate can up its digicam recreation to higher compete with the pliability of Samsung’s more and more reasonably priced flagships.

Price is more likely to be probably the most contentious situation. OnePlus’ prices have been creeping up nearer to the $1,000 barrier in recent times. Nevertheless, the baseline OnePlus Eight and eight Pro began at $699 and $899, respectively. We anticipate the OnePlus 9 to debut between the OnePlus Eight and eight Pro’s worth band, which may put it inside simply $50 of the Samsung Galaxy S21.

Samsung Galaxy S21 or OnePlus 9: Which ought to you buy?

Samsung Galaxy S21 display on straight on 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

While the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra stays the selection for ultra-high-end customers, the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro will realistically go head-to-head with the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus. It’s by no means been trickier to select between the 2 manufacturers and it’ll be particularly tough if there seems to be lower than $100 worth distinction between the telephones.

If the rumors are true, the OnePlus 9 could possibly be the higher choice for efficiency junkies and players. It may supply cutting-edge efficiency, tons of RAM, and ultra-fast charging to maintain energy customers topped up. This argument is much more compelling in areas the place the Exynos Galaxy S21 is the primary competitors. The Samsung processor is expected to lack the gaming performance of its Snapdragon counterpart.

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However, the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus could once more win out within the digicam division, particularly within the decrease finish mannequin. Based on previous historical past, OnePlus has its work reduce out to stage the taking part in subject with Samsung’s triple digicam setup at $800. Nevertheless, it stays attainable. The extra reasonably priced Galaxy S21 fashions have paused images innovation this technology. Then there’s the query of software program, as Samsung’s One UI 3.Zero and three.1 appear regular and steady in comparison with OnePlus controversial change of course with OnePlus’ OxygenOS 11.

Of course, you can order the Samsung Galaxy S21 vary in the present day (delivery on January 29). The OnePlus 9 is anticipated to reach in mid-March. It may take even longer to go on sale in some areas around the globe. Given the probability that these two telephones might be harder to inform aside than ever earlier than, each by way of {hardware} and worth, it could be laborious to justify the wait. Especially if you’re in want of an improve.

Samsung Galaxy S21

The vanilla Galaxy S21 is the smallest and most reasonably priced of the three Samsung Galaxy S21 collection telephones. You do get a palm-friendly 6.2-inch show and principally the identical specs because the Galaxy S21 Plus. You do must sacrifice battery capability by a bit, although, because the Galaxy S21 solely has a 4,000mAh cell. Your pockets might be comfortable, nevertheless, as a result of the beginning worth of the cellphone is simply $799.


What are your ideas? Are you keen to select up a Galaxy S21 as quickly as attainable or do you plan to carry off and see what the OnePlus 9 has to supply?


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