Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Samsung Galaxy S20: What's Different?

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Samsung Galaxy S20: What’s Different?

Samsung has recently announced its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S21 series. Its base model. The Galaxy S21 has brought a few improvements from last year’s Galaxy S20. This includes bigger storage, better processor, 5G connectivity. Is upgrading to this year’s Galaxy S21 worth it, or should you opt for the previous base flagship model? Read more to find out.

Samsung Galaxy S21 specsSamsung Galaxy S20 specs
6.2-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display6.2-inch QHD+ (3200 x 1440) Dynamic AMOLED 2.0 display, 563ppi
48~120Hz Dynamic refresh rate120Hz Dynamic refresh rate
Corning Gorilla Glass VictusCorning Gorilla Glass 6
Samsung Exynos 2100Samsung Exynos 990
256GB storage128GB storage
--MicroSD up to 1TB
Triple-rear cameras:
• 12MP Dual Pixel F1.8 (wide)
• 12MP FF F2.2 (ultrawide)
• 64MP Phase Detection F2.0 (3x tele, 30x Space Zoom)
Triple rear cameras:
• 12MP F1.8 (main)
• 12MP F2.2 (ultra-wide)
• 64MP F2.0 (telephoto)
10MP Dual Pixel F2.2 front camera10MP F2.2 front camera
30x Space Zoom, 3x Hybrid Optic Zoom, and 30x Super Resolution Zoom30x Space Zoom, 3x Hybrid Optic Zoom, 30x Super Resolution Zoom
5G , 4G LTE5G (select regions), 4G LTE
WiFi 6EWiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.1Bluetooth 5.0
USB Type-CUSB Type-C
Fingerprint scanner (in-display)Fingerprint Scanner (in-display)
Face UnlockFace Unlock
AKG Stereo Speakers AKG Stereo Speakers
IP68 water and dust resistanceIP68 dust and water resistance
One UI 3.1 (Android 11)One UI 2.0 (Android 10)
4,000mAh battery w/ 25W fast charging, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging4,000mAh battery w/ 25W fast charging, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare
71.2 x 151.7 x 7.9mm
151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm
171g(mmW), 169g(sub6)163 g
Phantom Violet, Phantom GrayCosmic Gray, Cloud Pink

In terms of display, both the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S20 share the same dynamic AMOLED display at 6.2-inch. However, the latter has a QHD+ resolution at 3200 x 1440 and supports HDR10+ content. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S21 has a lower FHD+ resolution. Although both smartphones come with 120Hz refresh rates for smoother animations and a better gaming experience, the Samsung Galaxy S21 automatically adjusts its refresh rates between 48Hz to 120Hz according to the content that the users are watching. For display protection, the Samsung Galaxy S21 comes with the better Corning Gorilla Glass Victus that can survive accidental drops on hard, rough surfaces from up to 2 meters. The Samsung Galaxy S20 only has the Corning Gorilla Glass 6 that can withstand accidental drops up to 1.6 meters.

In terms of memory and storage, the Galaxy S21 comes with 8GB of RAM and bigger storage at 256GB that allows users to store more app data and media files. Although the local version of the Galaxy S20 also has 8GB of RAM, it is available in other regions with 12GB RAM. The Galaxy S20 may have smaller storage at only 128GB, but it compensates through its hybrid SIM slot that supports up to 1TB of microSDs. This makes the Galaxy S20 more flexible with its expandable storage.

Moving on with the processors, the Galaxy S20 is powered by an octa-core Samsung Exynos 990 with a maximum clock speed of 2.73GHz. Manufactured using the 7nm process technology and extreme ultra-violet (EUV), the processor is paired with an ARM Mali-G77 GPU. Based on our review, the Samsung Galaxy S20 recorded a total of 503,821 points in AnTuTu. The smartphone loads apps quickly and can practically handle anything you throw at it without any stutters.


On the other hand, the Galaxy S21 runs with the latest 5G-ready and octa-core Samsung Exynos 2100 processor. It is built on the 5nm extreme ultra-violet (EUV) process node and offers up to 20-percent lower power consumption or 10% higher overall performance than the 7nm predecessor. It has up to 2.9GHz clock speed and is mated with ARM Mali-G78 graphics.

As for the cameras, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S20 share the same triple-rear cameras: 12MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, and 64MP telephoto lenses. The only difference is that the Galaxy S21 has 3x of the telephoto lens. Both smartphones also come with 30x Space Zoom, 3x Hybrid Optic Zoom, and 30x Super Resolution Zoom that allows users to capture subjects from afar. However, the rear camera design of the S21 is more sleek and stylish, having a solid and embossed rectangular module at the back. When it comes to its front camera, both smartphones have a 10MP single front camera.

The Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S20 share a lot of things in common. Both have NFC, Dual-SIM support, in-display fingerprint scanner, face unlock, AKG Stereo speakers, Samsung Knox for enhanced device security, and IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.  However, the Galaxy S21 has some more advanced features. This includes Wi-Fi 6E, 5G, and 4G LTE network support, with additional A-GPS support for navigation, and out of the box One UI 3.1 based on Android 11.  The Samsung Galaxy S20,  on the other hand, has Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and One UI 2.0 based Android 10.  Fortunately, S20 users may get the One UI 3.1 through a software update. Although the Samsung Galaxy S20 comes with 5G support in other regions, only the 4G LTE support is available in the Philippines.

The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S20 have a 4,000mAh battery with 25W fast charging, wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging support when it comes to battery.

If you’re coming from the Galaxy S20 and wondering if upgrading to the S21, then you should take into consideration your preference. With the S21, you get an improved design, newer flagship chipsets with 5G support, a bigger storage option, more efficient display protection, and the One UI 3.0 out of the box. Should you value expandable storage, better display resolution, and prefer to save more, purchasing the Galaxy S20 is still a decent choice.

Jewel is a Multimedia Producer for YugaTech. She's a caffeinator by day and a cinephile by night.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *