Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S20: What Changes on Samsung Phones

Samsung presented the Galaxy S21 line to succeed the Galaxy S20 series in the category of super-powerful cell phones. The smartphones of the 2021 generation bring as a novelty the 5G internet and pen support, but the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra were left without chargers and headphones in the box. Check below what has changed in the generation of phones.

Galaxy S20Galaxy S21Galaxy S20 PlusGalaxy S21 PlusGalaxy S20 UltraGalaxy S21 Ultra
LaunchFebruary 2020January 2021February 2020January 2021February 2020January 2021
Current price$999$799$1,199$999$1,399$ 1,199
Screen6.2 inches6.2 inches6.7 inches6.7 inches6.9 inches6.8 inches
Screen resolutionQuad HD + (3200 x 1440 pixels)Full HD + (2400 x 1080 pixels)Quad HD + (3200 x 1440 pixels)Full HD + (2400 x 1080 pixels)Quad HD + (3200 x 1440 pixels)Quad HD + (3200 x 1440 pixels)
ProcessorExynos 990 or Snapdragon 865Exynos 2100 or Snapdragon 888Exynos 990 or Snapdragon 865Exynos 2100 or Snapdragon 888Exynos 990 or Snapdragon 865Exynos 2100 or Snapdragon 888
RAM8 or 12 GB8 GB8 GB8 GB12 and 16 GB12 or 16 GB
Storage128 GB128 or 256 GB128 GB128 or 256 GB128, 256 and 512 GB128, 256 or 512 GB
Memory cardMicroSD up to 1 TBNo supportMicroSD up to 1 TBNo supportMicroSD up to 1 TBNo support
Main cameraTriple Camera: 64, 12 and 12 MPTriple Camera: 64, 12 and 12 MPQuad Camera: 64, 12, 12 MP and 3DTriple Camera: 64, 12 and 12 MPQuad Camera: 108, 48, 12 MP and 3DQuad Camera: 108, 12, 10 and 10 MP
Front camera10 MP10 MP10 MP10 MP40 MP40 MP
Operating systemAndroid 10Android 11Android 10Android 11Android 10Android 11
Battery4,000 mAh4,000 mAh4,500 mAh4,800 mAh5,000 mAh5,000 mAh
Dimension and weight151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm; 163 g151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm; 171 g161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8 mm; 186 g161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8 mm; 202 g166.9 x 76.0 x 8.8 mm; 220 g75.6 x 165.1 x 8.9 mm; 229 g
ColorsBlue, Pink and GrayWhite, Gray, Violet and PinkGray, Black and BlueWhite, Gray, Violet and PinkGray and BlackBlack, Silver and Violet
Source: Samsung

Screen and design

Galaxy S20 Ultra

The transition of generation did not show significant changes on the screen. The only change in terms of inches can be noticed in the Ultra edition, which decreased from 6.9 to 6.8 inches in the most recent generation. Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S21 feature a 6.2-inch display, while Galaxy S20 Plus and Galaxy S21 Plus feature 6.7-inch panels.

READ:  Moto G100 vs Moto G9 Plus: Learn What Changes Between the Motorola Phones

In terms of resolution, the number of pixels on the S21 and S21 Plus screens has dropped. The past generation had a Quad HD+ panel (3200 x 1440 pixels) while the current generation moved to Full HD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels). Galaxy S21 Ultra has maintained the Quad HD+ standard.

The changes appear on the back of the devices. The new smartphones gave a new face to the Galaxy S line by integrating the camera module into the cell phone frame. The South Korean giant has abandoned the glass back to adopt a plastic finish on the S21 and S21 Plus, while the Ultra remains the ultimate material.

The screen also brings an adjustable refresh rate. The alteration is made automatically, according to the demand of the use. This was the way Samsung found to prevent the 120 Hz from consuming too much battery, as was narrated in the review of Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The devices also feature Dynamic AMOLED 2x technology.


Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra

The photo set did not gain sensors between one version and another but presented some changes. The Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S21 had no changes. The set continues with the same 64 MP for the telephoto camera and 12 MP for both ultra-wide and wide.

However, Galaxy S21 Plus lost the 3D camera, responsible for analyzing the depth of field to assist in the famous portrait mode, but keeps the other three sensors that follow the same settings as the Galaxy S20.

Galaxy S21

Changes also appear in the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Only the main and ultra-wide camera kept the 108 and 12 MP sensors, respectively. The 48 MP telephoto lens and the 3D lens leave the scene and make room for two new cameras, also telephoto, but with 10 MP each.

READ:  Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Z Fold 3: which is the best Samsung phone?

The front cameras remain at 10 MP for the S20, S21, S20 Plus, and S21 Plus, and also remain at 40 MP for the S20 Ultra.

Performance and Storage

S20 ultra

Samsung uses Exynos processors, manufactured in-house, all over the world. However, the company uses Snapdragon (Qualcomm) on models sold in selected territories such as the US. The Exynos 990 used in the Galaxy S20 line seen on Brazilian cell phones and the Snapdragon 865 in US versions now give room to Exynos 2100 and Snapdragon 888.

The Galaxy S21 lost the model with 12 GB of RAM that the S20 had – now it has a unique option with 8 GB. On the other hand, the new model has gained the possibility of 256 GB of storage as an extra option to the 128 GB version of the Galaxy S20.

The Galaxy S21 Plus continued with 8 GB of RAM, as in its predecessor, but added the possibility of having 256 GB of data space. The S20 Ultra and S21 Ultra storage followed with 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB, in addition to 12 or 16 GB of RAM.

Fans of the S line suffered a hard blow with the removal of the input for the microSD card. In other words, there is no longer the possibility of expanding the internal memory of the cell phone. In the previous generation, everyone counted on this alternative, but none of the current models can increase the internal space.



The Galaxy S21 continued with the 4,000 mAh found in the battery of the Galaxy S20, just as the Galaxy S21 Ultra retained the 5,000 mAh of its predecessor. The Plus battery capacity increased from 4,500 mAh to 4,800 mAh in the current generation. All models perform wireless reverse recharging and support fast 25W charging.

READ:  POCO M3 Pro 5G: Features, Reviews, and Prices

The Galaxy S21 line is expected to be more energy efficient because of the 5-nanometer processor and adjustable refresh rate, which also promises to save battery power.

System Version

Android 11

The Galaxy S20 generation, launched in 2020, left the factory with Android 10. However, according to a Samsung subsidiary in Egypt, members of the S20 family have gradually started to receive the update for Android 11.

Released this year, the Galaxy S21 line of cell phones is already out of the box running Android 11, the latest version of Google’s operating system. Besides, it brings One UI 3.0, the most current interface from the South Korean manufacturer.

Additional Resources

All the devices have NFC, a system that allows for proximity payment. They also feature the UWB chip, responsible for transmitting information without the need for wires. The S21 line members also follow the fifth-generation internet, while the Galaxy S20 has only 4G connections.

IP68 water and dust resistance are present in both smartphones. Also, they can be unlocked by face recognition or fingerprint integrated into the screen itself.

The highlight of the new generation is the support for the S Pen, an exclusive feature of the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Even without having a compartment in the frame to house the digital pen, Samsung intends to sell slots that come with the included accessory.

Price and Availability

The Galaxy S20 is available in the market and can already be found on online retail for $999 and the Plus version for $1,199. Galaxy S20 Ultra, cellular with the highest price of the family, coasts around $1,399.

The Galaxy S21 price starts at $799, passes through the $999 on Galaxy S21 Plus, and reaches $1,199 on Galaxy S21 Ultra.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Want to stay up to date with the latest news?

We would love to hear from you! Please fill in your details and we will stay in touch. It's that simple!