With the arrival of Samsung Galaxy S21 family, comparisons with previous generations of Samsung phones are inevitable. And the most natural comparison seems to be how this year’s models measure up against Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus. After all, if you bought one of the two phones when they came out in 2019, you are probably considering an update to the new models.
While launch prices have remained remarkably just over the two-year gap, Samsung has implemented several key upgrades to the latest line of smartphones. Both the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus offer impressive displays, a big boost in speed thanks to the Snapdragon 888 processor, significant camera enhancements and 5G support as standard instead of requiring a separate, more expensive model.
Two years makes a big difference, so it̵
We share it all for you so you can decide for yourself.
Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S10 specifications
|Galaxy S21||Galaxy S21 Plus||Galaxy S10||Galaxy S10 +|
|Starting price||$ 799||$ 999||$ 899||$ 999|
|Screen size||6.2-inch dynamic AMOLED (2400 x 1080; 48Hz – 120Hz)||6.7-inch dynamic AMOLED (2400 x 1080; 48Hz – 120Hz)||6.1-inch dynamic AMOLED (3040 x 1440; 60Hz)||6.4-inch dynamic AMOLED (3040 x 1440; 60Hz)|
|processor||Snapdragon 888||Snapdragon 888||Snapdragon 855||Snapdragon 855|
|RAM||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB, 12 GB|
|Storage||128 GB, 256 GB||128 GB, 256 GB||128 GB, 512 GB||128 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB|
|Rear cameras||12MP (f / 1.8) wide; 12MP (f / 2.2) ultra-wide; 64MP (f / 2.0) telephoto with 3x optical zoom||12MP (f / 1.8) wide; 12MP (f / 2.2) ultra-wide; 64MP (f / 2.0) telephoto with 3x optical zoom||12MP (f / 1.5, f / 2.4) wide; 16MP (f / 2.2) ultra-wide; 12MP (f / 2.4) telephoto with 2x optical zoom||12MP (f / 1.5, f / 2.4) wide; 16MP (f / 2.2) ultra-wide; 12MP (f / 2.4) telephoto with 2x optical zoom|
|Front cameras||10MP (f / 2.2)||10MP (f / 2.2)||10MP (f / 1.9)||10MP (f / 1.9); 8MP (f / 2.2)|
|Wireless||5G, Wi-Fi 6E, UWB||5G, Wi-Fi 6E, UWB||LTE, Wi-Fi 6||LTE, Wi-Fi 6|
|Size||6 x 2.8 x 0.31 inches||6.4 x 3 x 0.31 inches||5.9 x 2.77 x 0.31 inches||6.2 x 2.92 x, 31 inches|
|Weight||6.07 grams||7.13 grams||5.54 grams||6.17 grams|
|Colors||Phantom Violet, Phantom Gray, Phantom Pink, Phantom White||Phantom Violet, Phantom Silver, Phantom Black||Prism White, Prism Black, Prism Green, Prism Blue, Canary Yellow, Flamingo Pink, Cardinal Red, Smoke Blue||Prism White, Prism Black, Prism Green, Prism Blue, Canary Yellow, Flamingo Pink, Ceramic Black, Ceramic White, Cardinal Red, Smoke Blue|
Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S10: Prices
Samsung chose to introduce the Galaxy S21 family at lower prices this year, and fell from what many considered to be too high with the S20 series. At the bottom of the pack is the Galaxy S21 with 128 GB of storage, which will cost you $ 799. Add another $ 50 to get the 256 GB variant. Meanwhile, the S21 Plus comes in at $ 999 for the base model and an additional $ 50 for the 256GB version.
So for the Plus models, Samsung kept the starting prices the same at $ 999, but the S21 is $ 100 cheaper than the S10 was at launch, which is nice to see. Of course, last year, Samsung cut the prices of the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus to $ 749 and $ 849, respectively, with prices falling further since then.
Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S10: Design
Samsung changed the design language with the S20 series, refining it into the S21. The rear cameras are limited to one corner at the back instead of being a bar. The front camera cutout is centered along the top instead of being on one side. In short, there are some similarities between the two unit families, but you really have to look for them.
The S10 and S10 Plus got many fun and crazy color options, especially the yellow one, while the S21 and S21 Plus are more reserved in Phantom Violet, Phantom Gray, Phantom Pink (S21), Phantom Black (S21 Plus), and Phantom White (S21) colorways .
Both the S21 and S21 Plus are heavier than the S10 and S10 Plus – the S21 is actually almost as heavy as the S10 Plus. All of these phones have the same thickness of 0.31 inches, but the S21 and S21 Plus are larger at 6 x 2.8 inches and 6.4 x 3 inches respectively. Compare that to the 5.9 x 2.77-inch S10 and 6.2 x 2.92-inch S10 Plus. There is a moderate difference, especially considering that the batteries in the S21 and Plus are larger than those found in the S10 and S10 Plus.
Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S10: Screen
Samsung has had some of the best smartphone screens for years, but with the S20 series it embraced high refresh rates. For Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus, it lowered the resolution to full HD (1080p), but offered a variable refresh rate that went as high as 120Hz. So while the overall resolution is not as high as the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus, the S21 and S21 Plus can be locked to 120Hz all the time or dropped adaptively to save battery.
Coming out before high refresh rate on smartphones became more common, Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus are QHD and locked at 60Hz. You still have incredible screens on these phones, but when you see Android at 90 frames per second or higher (120 frames per second in the case of S21 / Plus), it’s hard to go back to 60. The difference is very noticeable, and it is for better.
Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S10: Cameras
Samsung stuck with a triple camera setup on the S21 and S21 Plus – which is basically the same as Galaxy Note 20s – even if there are improvements in the telephoto lens. It now has 3x optical zoom compared to 2x on the S10 and S10 Plus, while Samsung’s Space Zoom feature can provide 30x images on the newer phones. It’s quite impressive.
All of these phones have ultrasonic lenses to get the dramatic shots, especially for nature scenes. The big differences are likely to come down to software-driven camera features, such as the crazy Space Zoom feature that can give you 30x zoom images, or the Super Steady mode that uses AI to keep your video smooth. Samsung can port some of these back to the S10 series once on the road. At the moment, if smartphone photography is important to you and you are loyal to Samsung, this is an upgrade to get.
For the front cameras, all four phones have a 10MP sensor, although the Galaxy S10 Plus adds an extra 8MP one next to it. If the selfie game is important to you, you will not be disappointed with the S21 and S21 Plus, although the differences in picture quality compared to the S10 and S10 Plus may not be obvious to most people, especially after they have been posted on social media. .
Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S10: Performance
It may seem obvious, but the performance calculations will be much different between the S21 and S10 families. The new Snapdragon 888 in Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus is an expensive and is the best performing CPU in Android country. Reverse rocker S10 and S10 Plus Snapdragon 855, which is still more than good for most people out there, but two years older than Snapdragon 888. Basically, unless you are a special junkie, there is no need to jump. to S21 just to get bumps in performance.
Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus are the fastest Android phones we have tested. We have a full overview of Galaxy S21 references if you are interested in checking it out. Paired with 8GB of RAM, you will not find anything that the S21 and S21 Plus can not do as far as smartphones go. The advanced version of the S10 Plus came with 12GB of RAM as an option, which can be useful for keeping multiple apps in memory. That said, we’re sure most of you will be fine with the S21 / Plus’ 8GB.
Storage on all these phones starts at 128 GB. The S21 and S21 Plus go up to 256 GB, while the S10 peaked at 512 GB. It does not even come close to what the top level S10 Plus saw: a whopping 1 TB. All this was on top of a microSD card slot, which the S21 series lacks. So if you store all the things on your phone and you chose the 512 GB or 1 TB options on the S10 or S10 Plus, you might find a backup solution elsewhere if you upgrade to an S21 or S21 Plus.
Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S10: Battery and charging
Both the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus pack larger batteries than their S10 counterparts. The smaller S21 has a 4000 mAh battery compared to the S10s 3,400 mAh; The S21 Plus houses a 4,800 mAh battery compared to the S10 +’s 4,100mAh.
Not only are the batteries physically larger in the S21 series, but they are paired with the more energy-efficient Snapdragon 888. Samsung has also talked about the new AI features on the S21 and S21 Plus and claimed that it will teach you your usage patterns. and adjust the power consumption accordingly.
The S21 family has 25 W fast charging, which means you can charge your phone fairly quickly, provided you buy the charger separately, since it does not come with the phones. S10 and S10 Plus saw 15W charging out of the box (S10 5G had 25W fast charging).
It is worth noting that none of the Galaxy S21 phones come with a charger, so to get the full fast charging experience, you have to pay separately for a charging block. Some argue for this when it comes to reducing electronic waste and packaging, but we understand why some may find this decision annoying.
Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S10: The bottom line
If you are still using a Galaxy S10 or S10 Plus, the S21 and S21 Plus are good options if you want or are ready for an upgrade. You get even better screens, 5G, camera improvements, faster charging and bigger batteries. Not only that, but you get the latest that Qualcomm has to offer with the Snapdragon 888 processor.
Coming from the S20 series is a much smaller leap, so unless you really want Samsung’s latest, there’s not much you’ll miss. However, it is amazing what a difference two years can make in smartphone technology.
It’s a bummer that the S21 and S21 Plus do not include a charger, but the really scary thing is to remove the microSD card slot. Why Samsung did this is still a mystery, but it’s not going to taste like any of you out there. If you need expandable storage, it’s probably best to stick with the S10 or S10 Plus, or grab one of the S20 phones now that prices have dropped.
Still, it’s no surprise that the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus are superior to their S10 cousins. If you are ready to upgrade, these may be the Samsung models that will eventually force you to buy your phone.