Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. iPhone 12 – Which Should You Buy?


Both the Galaxy S21 and iPhone 12 have a lot to offer and are now more affordable than ever. Which one should you choose?


The flagship phones, the Samsung Galaxy S21 (and iPhone 12), are overshadowed by larger and more feature-rich siblings but still worthy of your attention. These phones offer some of the most advanced technology, including industry-leading hardware, and they are much more affordable than when they first launched.

These devices have many commonalities, which makes it hard to choose between them. Which one should you choose? We help you make an informed choice by providing this comparison.

Galaxy S21 vs. iPhone 12 – Display

The Galaxy S21 is stunning to look at, as well as the iPhone 12. Both displays are bright and vibrant with vivid colors and deep blacks. Both displays appear strikingly similar at first glance. However, we need to dig deeper into the details.

The Galaxy S21 features a 6.2-inch Dynamic OLED display with a FHD resolution 1080×2400. The iPhone 12 has a slightly smaller and sharper 6.1 inch Super Retina XDROLED display with a 1170×2532 resolution.

Image Credit: Samsung

Both phones offer great display brightness. The Galaxy S21 has a brightness of 1300 nits, which makes it easier to use in bright sunlight than the iPhone 12, which can reach 1200 nits.

The most important difference is the refresh rate. The Galaxy S21’s variable refresh rate, which can be adjusted from 48MHz to 120Hz, allows for smooth scrolling and more fluid gaming. Apple did not choose a higher or more variable refresh rate for the iPhone 12, so it’s stuck at 60Hz.

Design and Build Quality

Both phones have new design languages. The Galaxy S21’s refined design is distinguished from the Galaxy S20 predecessor. It better highlights the camera lenses by integrating them into their metal frames.

The iPhone 12 comes in a nostalgic design that takes you back to the iPhone 4 or iPhone 5 with squared-off edges.

With its all-glass back and front panel, the iPhone 12 feels premium. It is also held together by an aluminum frame. The Galaxy S21, on the other hand, is made of plastic and has a matte finish.

Samsung’s front-facing display features an all-screen design on the Galaxy S21 and a punch hole display on the Galaxy S21. The iPhone 12 has a large, obvious notch that is difficult to miss.


The iPhone 12 has ceramic shield protection, which is four times more durable than the iPhone 11. The Galaxy S21 is a competitor to the Gorilla Glass Victus front with better scratch and drop protection.

Both phones have an IP68 rating that provides water and dust resistance. For 30 minutes, the iPhone 12 can withstand water depths up to 6 meters. The Galaxy S21 can withstand water depths of 1.5 metres for 30 minutes.

RELATED: What Does Waterproof and Water-Resistant Mean to You?

Comparison of the Galaxy S21 and iPhone 12: Performance

With cutting-edge processors that can handle the most complex games and heavy apps, the Galaxy S21 is a great choice. The iPhone 12 is also a winner in terms of performance.


The Galaxy S21 has either the Snapdragon 888 chipset from Samsung or Samsung’s Exynos 2100 chipset. The iPhone 12 uses Apple’s A14 Bionic processor. Both phones have 5G capability, which allows you to enjoy faster cellular connections.

Image Credit: Samsung

The biggest and most obvious difference between the two is the operating system. The Galaxy S21 runs Android 11 with its native One UI while the iPhone 12 runs iOS 14. Apple offers five OS updates per year, while Samsung provides at least three OS updates per year.

The Galaxy S21 comes with 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, and the highest variant, 256GB. The iPhone 12 packs 4GB RAM and is available in three storage capacities: 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. Both phones lack a microSD card slot.


In addition, the iPhone 12 is focused on Face ID, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 has an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint reader.

Galaxy S21 vs. iPhone 12 – Battery Life

The Galaxy S21 is a better phone than the iPhone 12 in terms battery capacity. It has 4000mAh and the iPhone 12 has 2815mAh.

It would make sense that the battery life of the Galaxy S21 would be longer than the iPhone 12. The iPhone 12’s battery life is almost as long as that of the Galaxy S21, due to the efficiency of the A14 Bionic chip. You should be able to get at least one day of normal usage from each without any problems.

MagSafe’s wireless charging speeds of 15W are fully utilized by the iPhone 12. It can also charge half of your iPhone in just 30 minutes using a 20W power adapter.

The Galaxy S21 supports 25W fast charging and 15W wireless charging. It also has reverse wireless charging.

It is worth noting that neither the phones come with a power block out of the box. Get one if you don’t have one.

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. iPhone 12: Cameras

The Galaxy S21 boasts a triple-lens camera setup at the back. It has a 12MP main sensor, 64MP f/2.0 zoom lens and a 12MP ultra-wide. It also features a 10MP selfie camera with f/2.2 aperture.


The iPhone 12 does not have a telephoto lens. It has a dual-lens setup that includes a 12MP main shooter with a f/1.6 focal length and an ultra-wide 12MP f/2.4 focal length. It also features a 12MP F/2.2 camera on the front.

The Galaxy S21 can record up to 8K video while the iPhone 12 can only record 4K. Both support 4K video recording on the front.

Samsung phones’ pictures are more vibrant than iPhones’, which is a sign of their contrastiness. iPhones’ photos tend to be more natural and less muted. Both the main sensor and ultra-wide lens of both phones produce almost identical images. They have great dynamic ranges, and are packed with details.

The iPhone 12 is the best in portrait mode and night mode. With its incredible zoom potential and modes such as Director’s View, the S21 offers more flexibility in terms overall camera performance.

RELATED:IPhone Vs. Samsung Phones: Which Is Better?

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. iPhone 12 – Which is better?

The Samsung Galaxy S21 was launched in January 2021, while the iPhone 12 was launched in October 2020. Both devices have the same starting price of $799. You can find great deals on both the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21, as neither device is new anymore.


The Galaxy S21 has a more vibrant display, a faster refresh rate, a flexible camera setup, an increased battery life, and more storage for the same price. The iPhone 12 on the other side offers a premium build, smoother performance, and seamless iOS experience.

The ecosystem you are used to is the most important determinant. The Galaxy S21, however, is the best operating system for you. It offers a great experience and minimal compromises.

Regardless, these phones are extremely capable and you cannot go wrong with them.

Continue reading to see how larger phones are compared.


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