There is a battle going on between the phones having big screens. So, we also decided to make our contribution to it. Here we are going to compare the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra.
If you are one of those people who love to have phones with big vibrant screens, Samsung has a huge load of them. Amazingly, all the newest Samsung Galaxy S21 variants have hit the market with huge screen sizes; the least one is 6.2 inches in size. But, the Galaxy S21 Ultra and S21 Plus are sitting at the top of the throne right now.
With an adjustable refresh rate and 6.7-inch screen size, Galaxy S21 Plus would cater to those who want a large amount of screen real estate Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, boasts even a larger screen with a 6.8-inch display that changes its refresh rate based on how the user is operating the screen.
But the million-dollar question here is that; is bigger always better? Get ready because here we are going to review the pros and cons of both phones to help you identify which is ideal for you.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus vs Galaxy S21 Ultra – Availability & Prices Comparison
Well, Samsung has finally slashed the pricing across the board for the Galaxy S21 lineup, offering all the models for 200 bucks less than their predecessors i.e. Galaxy S20.
Galaxy S21 Plus now costs 999 bucks, in comparison, the S21 Ultra will cost you 1,199 bucks.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus vs Galaxy S21 Ultra – Design Comparison
Galaxy S21 comes with a plastic back, which is a mile apart from Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus that you can enjoy in both Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy S21 Plus. As a result, both of these phones which are comparatively bigger in size offer a more premium and luxurious feel. The design at the first glance looks very smooth. As soon as you see the mobile, you will want to hold it in your hand.
Color choices differ based on where you purchase your phone from. Private retailers only sell the Galaxy S21 Ultra in two shares i.e. Phantom Silver and Phantom Black. However, if you want more options in terms of colors then you can buy your favorite from Samsung.com where you can find a wide variety of colors including brown, titanium, or navy blue. The S21 Plus comes in violet, silver, and black colors, including Phantom Gold and Phantom Red available only at official Samsung outlets.
The S21 Plus and S21 Ultra also feature Samsung’s latest contour-cut style, in which the back camera cluster merges into the band across the device’s perimeter. The Ultra shakes things up with a curved screen, that you’ll either love as an attractive style distinction or despise as an invitation to unintentional screen touches. The S21 Plus, similar to the Galaxy S21, has a display with smooth flat corners.
You all might know that having a larger 6.8-inch display, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a bit bigger compared to S21 Plus. However, if we talk about the width, then the latter is a hundredth of an inch more. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is heavier than the S21 Plus, weighing 8.08 ounces’ vs 7.05 ounces.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Plus – Comparison of Display
The adjustable refresh speeds on the phones’ screens have become the Galaxy S21 lineup’s calling card. If you wish to use your phone in a way that requires a high refresh rate, then the S21 variants can speed up to 120Hz, offering you a seamless scrolling experience and more realistic gameplay – particularly when you play games that offer support to such features. If you do anything that causes the screen to become more static, like reading an article, and the monitor will reduce the refresh rate to save battery life.
The refresh rate of the screen and the extent to which it can slow down is a major factor that differentiates Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy S21 Plus.
The amount by which the screen’s refresh rate can be slowed is a major differentiator between the Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra — as much as the 0.1-inch gap in display size. The S21 Ultra’s display can slow right down to 10 Hertz, whereas the S21 Plus’s screen can just slow down to 48 Hertz.
The resolution of the S21 Ultra is also higher, at 3200 x 1400. The S21 Plus has a resolution of 2400 x 1080.
Although, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has the sharper display panel among the 2 phones (we tested it at 821 nits vs. 750 nits for the S21 Plus), still, users won’t have to look very closely to see both of the mobile’s screen in direct sunlight. The S21 Ultra display produced 81.4 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, compared to 73.5 percent on the S21 Plus.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Plus – Comparison of Cameras
Well, for serious smartphone photographers, Galaxy S21 Ultra is an ideal phone. While both phones are equipped with a wide-angle lens assisted by an ultra-wide-angle camera as well as a telephoto camera, the S21 Ultra only has a larger primary sensor and a secondary lens for telephoto. It also has a wider optical zoom of 100x.
To be more precise, the Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with a 108-megapixel main camera as well as a sensor that allows laser autofocus makes focusing on objects you want to click easier. In contrast to the 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, you’ll get two 10 megapixel telephoto lenses, one with 3x optical zoom and the other with a 10x zoom.
Moreover, the Galaxy S21 Plus’s lone telephoto lens is a 64-megapixel camera with a 3x zoom; the optical zoom is limited to 30x. However, when it comes to the S21 Ultra, a Zoom Control mode assists in image stabilization by focusing on the item that you want to capture. On the other hand, the Galaxy S21 Plus also has a 12-megapixel primary camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide aperture camera.
If you are to determine the performance of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, you will realize that it can easily outperform iPhone 12 Pro Max, and we have already tested it. The Galaxy S21 Plus’s photos are not at par with the Ultra variant, but it still is a really good camera cellphone.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Plus – Performance Comparison
Theoretically speaking, both variants (Ultra and Plus) should provide identical performance. A system-on-chip by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 is there in both the phones, which is pretty much the best silicon designed for Android devices as of right now. That was mostly confirmed as a fact in our benchmark tests for Galaxy S21, but the S21 Ultra provides a little more oomph due to the 12GB of RAM in the primary model. Also, if you choose the 512GB model, you get an additional memory of 16GB. On the other hand, Galaxy S21 only offers 8GB of RAM.
Testing the phone through Geek-bench 5 test, the Galaxy S21 Ultra scored higher, with a single-core score of 1,123 and a multi-core score of 3,440. This corresponds to ratings of S21 Plus; 1,116 and 3,300, respectively. In our real-world comparison, we transcoded a 4K video to 1080p using Adobe Premiere Rush, and it was no surprise that the S21 Plus turned out to be the winner with 1 minute of time, compared to the S21 Ultra’s time of 1 minute and 2 seconds. Both phones work similarly, but the additional memory could assist the S21 Ultra to manage multiple tasks and application juggling a little bit better.
Another feature shared by both of the phones is 5G networking. The Galaxy S21 Ultra and S21 Plus, both adopt the same 5G frequencies and are compatible with all 5G networks in the United States, plus Verizon’s high-speed Ultra Wideband service is offered too. The S21 Ultra is the first recent Samsung phone that supports Wi-Fi 6E, an improved wireless protocol that offers higher internet speeds and much more bandwidth as long as you have a suitable modem.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Plus – Charging and Battery Life
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a relatively larger battery than the Galaxy S21 Plus, with 5,000 m-Ah and 4,800 m-Ah for the Galaxy S21 Plus. As a result, it’s not shocking that the S21 Ultra has longer battery life. It would be surprising for you to find out how long S21 Ultra can last if you compare it with S21 Plus. The Galaxy S21 Ultra scored 11 hours and 25 minutes on Shop Carmel’s battery test, in which we tasked the phones to constantly browse the web over a wireless network until they are out of juice, putting it on our list of best phone battery life. Certainly, we have achieved the result by allowing a faster refresh rate and disabling the feature of the adaptive display. It was noticed that the battery life of Ultra dropped to 10 hours and 7 minutes, which is marginally better than the average battery life of other phones.
In our battery test, we have identified that S21 Ultra easily outperformed the S21 Plus. The S21 Plus lasted 9 hours and 41 minutes with the adaptive screen switched on. When the screen was adjusted to a refresh rate of 60Hz, the outcome changed by just 12 minutes.
Samsung no longer provides chargers for all Galaxy S21 models, so you have to manage that by yourself if you choose to use any of the two variants. We also used a 25-watt charger to charge the dead phones and noticed that Galaxy S21 Ultra was 56 percent charged in 30 minutes.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Plus – Special Features & Software
If you are fond of using the latest Android version, then you will be happy to know that Android 11 is there on both phones and you also get the assurance of 3 years of software upgrades. Samsung has also included the most recent update of the one UI3 user interface. The additional features like new tools for customization, a feature to erase photos of people you don’t want in your photographs and lock screen widgets are all there in Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The support for Samsung’s S Pen gives the Galaxy S21 Ultra an additional push. This is new as it is the first instance that a smartphone outside of the Galaxy Note series will use the S Pen, and although the 40 bucks’ stylus is required separately, it does allow you to take notes, sketch and draw on your phone. On the other hand, The Galaxy S21 Plus does not have the S Pen support.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Plus – Outlook
The Galaxy S21 Ultra offers the latest attributes that Samsung has to sell at a hefty premium — but not as much as Samsung charged for last year’s Ultra edition. This time, the Galaxy S21 Plus incorporates each of those top-notch features, including the stellar touchscreen and dynamic refresh rate, into a phone that costs less than 1,000 bucks.
As a result, every Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus vs. Galaxy S21 Ultra comparison boils down to what you prioritize cost or specs. The S21 Plus is the less expensive of the two new Samsung phones, and you get a lot of features for your money. The Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, is the option for those looking for the ultimate Samsung handset, thanks to a broader range of refresh speeds, numerous zoom lenses, and the ability to support an S Pen.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Plus – Full Specs Comparison
Galaxy S21 Plus
Galaxy S21 Ultra
Display (Resolution; Max. Refresh Rate)
6.7 inches (2400 x 1080)
6.8 inches (3200 x 1400)
Display Refresh Rate
48 Hz to 120 Hz
10 Hz to 120 Hz
128GB, 256GB, 512GB
12MP main (f/1.8), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 64MP telephoto (f/2.0) with 3x zoom
108MP main (f/1.8), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 10MP 3x telephoto (f/2.4), 10MP 10x telephoto (f/4.9)
Battery Life (Hrs:Mins)
9:41 (adaptive), 9:53 (60Hz)
10:07 (adaptive), 11 hours 25 min (60Hz)
6.4 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches (161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8mm)
6.5 x 2.9 x 0.4 inches (165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm)
7.05 ounces (202g)
8.08 ounces (228g)
Buy the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus if:
- You like having phones with large screens and the big size of a smartphone looks appealing to you
- You need a smartphone with a solid battery
- You have a budget of no more than 1000 bucks
- You don’t really care about the 10x zoom lens that the Galaxy S21 Ultra offers
- You are planning to buy a new Audi, BMW or a Ford and you need the digital key feature
Buy the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra if:
- You are looking specifically for Wi-Fi 6 support
- You love taking selfies all day – every day
- You want the best camera tech by Samsung
- Your budget is around 1,200 bucks
- You love having a large screen phone with big dimensions
- You want the best of the best battery life.