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Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Does newer always mean better?

We put Samsung’s latest smartphones side-by-side to ascertain which is the superior. Here’s the final verdict on the two top-class Android handsets.

When a phone launches it’s usually taken as read that it outclasses the previous model at least in general, if not in every aspect. But when we took a look down the specs sheet of the Galaxy S21, we weren’t quite so certain. That’s why we’ve put together a video explaining the differences between the two, from the screens to the cameras and more.

Our expert, Alastair Stevenson, gives a full rundown of the two devices in the above video, starting with the design.

The S20 Plus has a far glossier rear side which picks up fingerprints like an enterprising detective, so we preferred the matte finish of the S21 Plus, which nicely complemented the sleek sweeping curves of its revamped camera module. 

The screen contest seemingly offers a chance for the S20 Plus to get back in the game; after all, it has a higher resolution and a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. But Al prefers the adaptive refresh rate offered by the S21 Plus, which conserves battery life, and notes that there’s no great difference in screen sharpness between the two competitors when they’re put next to each other.

The processor comparison should give the S21 Plus another win to chalk up to its tally, as we expect incremental improvements every year in this department. However, we’ve not yet had the chance to benchmark this handset – and what’s more, the S20 Plus actually boasts more RAM, so it could be the superior multi-tasker.

The cameras, while housed in different-looking modules, are actually very similar. In fact, the S20 Plus sports a Time-of-Flight sensor that’s lacking in the newer S21 Plus, so it could out-perform it when it comes to Augmented Reality and portrait shots. It’s too early to call, but the S21 Plus is by no means a bona fide upgrade in this crucial department.

When it comes to battery, the S21 Plus noses in front thanks to its 4800mAh cell, compared to that of its predecessor, which stands at 4500mAh. Given the adaptive display of the most recent iteration as well, we strongly expect it to perform better on the battery front.

These are only our initial impressions of how the S21 Plus stacks up to the S20 Plus, but do you think you can spot a winner? Let us know in the poll below which one you would opt for.



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