The popular Samsung Galaxy S20 has been succeeded by the Galaxy S21. The latter offers many improvements, but takes a step back on other points. Android Planet discusses the five main differences between the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S20.
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Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S20
The Galaxy S21 is Samsung’s top smartphone of 2021 and succeeds the Galaxy S20 from 2020. At first glance, the devices are very similar, but there are plenty of interesting differences. From design choices to update policy and price: Android Planet In this Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S20 comparison, put the five main differences below each other.
1. Design: from glass to plastic
The Galaxy S21 and S20 are very similar: they are almost the same size, practically the same weight and both dust and waterproof. There are also differences. For example, the Galaxy S20 is made of glass, while its successor has a plastic back. Less luxurious, but also less sensitive to fingerprints.
Another notable difference is that the Galaxy S21 does not have a micro SD card slot has. That feature is in the Galaxy S20 and lets you expand the internal storage memory. So this is not possible on the S21, which means that you are stuck with the storage memory of 128GB or 256GB.
2. Screen: the S20 shows a sharper picture
The screen of the smartphones also differs. Both Galaxy’s have a 6.2-inch OLED display with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. On the Galaxy S21, however, the image looks a bit less sharp, which is due to the lower resolution of 2400 by 1080 pixels (full HD). The Galaxy S20 shows a maximum of 3200 by 1440 pixels (QHD).
The lower screen resolution sounds like a step back, but in practice the difference in sharpness is hardly noticeable. On the other hand, you benefit from a considerably longer battery life because the screen has to illuminate fewer pixels.
The screen of the Galaxy S21 also uses a new layer of protective glass, called Gorilla Glass Victus. This type of glass should be better scratch and drop resistant, and it is also in the Galaxy Note 20 series.
3. Specifications: faster processor
Unsurprisingly, the Galaxy S21 has better specifications than the S20. The newer device benefits from technical improvements, including a brand new Exynos 2100 processor. It is faster, more energy-efficient and supports 5G as standard. The S21 is therefore only available as a 5G version, while the S20 also has a cheaper and less powerful 4G variant.
The Galaxy S21 also has a faster fingerprint scanner (behind the display) and improved cameras on the back. The camera setup is very similar to the S20 and includes a 12 megapixel main camera, 12 megapixel wide angle lens and 64 megapixel zoom camera. Therefore, do not expect any major differences in photo and video quality.
4. Software: updates for one year longer
The Galaxy S21 runs on Android 11 out of the box and will receive version updates for three years. So you can count on Android 12, 13 and 14. You will also receive security updates for four years, so until the beginning of 2025.
Samsung has the same update policy for the Galaxy S20, but it is a year older. The device has been updated from Android 10 to 11 and can still count on versions 12 and 13. The security updates will stop at the beginning of 2024.
If you want updates for as long as possible, the S21 is the best choice. But if you expect to buy a new smartphone in two years, you might as well take the S20.
5. Retail price and package: the S21 is cheaper
A striking difference between the smartphones is the content of the box. The Galaxy S20 comes with a USB-C cable, charger and set of wired earbuds. The S21 comes with a smaller box for a reason: the charger and earplugs have been omitted. Better for the environment, but it does mean that you have to arrange a charger yourself. Samsung is the second large smartphone manufacturer after Apple to make this choice.
Finally, the recommended prices of the smartphones. After years of price increases, Samsung takes a different approach this year: the Galaxy S21 is not more expensive, but cheaper than its predecessor. For a separate Samsung Galaxy S21 (128GB) you pay 849 euros.
The Galaxy S20 with 4G cost 899 euros and for the 5G version you had to pay 999 euros. Now that the S20 has been succeeded by the S21, it is falling faster in price. Below you will find the best prices of the S20, both separately and in combination with a (sim only) subscription.
Samsung Galaxy S20
Which Samsung Galaxy S20 do you want?
Samsung Galaxy S20 with subscription
Device once € 0.00
€ 32.00 p / m Abo: € 8.00 p / m Device: € 24.00 p / m
Need a SIM only?
Samsung Galaxy S21
Which Samsung Galaxy S21 do you want?
Samsung Galaxy S21 with subscription
Device once € 0.00
€ 39.00 p / m Abo: € 8.00 p / m Device: € 31.00 p / m
Need a SIM only?