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The morning after Samsung Galaxy S21 launch: Is it worth buying over iPhone 12 series?

The Galaxy S21 brings some notable upgrades this year but on paper, Apple’s iPhone 12 series comes across as better alternatives. What should you choose?

Samsung Galaxy S21

Samsung's premium Galaxy S21 comes with good camera hardware. Unlike some smartphones, the Galaxy S21 include a 64MP telephoto lens while the primary camera carries a 12MP sensor with Super Speed Dual Pixel AF. The camera array also include a 12MP ultra-wide sensor with 120-degree FoV. Other features include- a FHD+ dynamic AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, Exynos 2100 SoC, 4,000mAh battery with 25W fast charging support.


Samsung revealed its next-gen Galaxy S21 series with a lot of pomp, promising improvements to the overall experience. With improved cameras, faster chipsets, bigger batteries, and eye-grabbing designs, the Galaxy S21 series has surely got our attention. However, look at the big picture and it seems that the Samsung Galaxy S21 series isn’t the most epic choice, as Samsung may have wanted you to believe. In fact, next to the fairly fresh iPhone 12 series, it pales out quite a lot. Also Read - Explained: Why phones with removable batteries are never coming back

The iPhone 12 series has been our favorite pick in the luxury smartphone space. We say that not due to the massive Apple logo stamped at the back, but for all the elements of these phones coming together to deliver a remarkable smartphone experience. The new iPhones currently have the best cameras and more secure than ever to live with. Next to the Galaxy S21 series, the iPhone 12 series devices feel as if they are ahead of their time. Also Read - Global chip shortage to continue through 2022: Report

If you are considering a new luxury smartphone in early 2021 and the new Galaxy S21 phones have got you in a fix while you were prepping to pre-order the iPhone 12, fret not. We have laid out some basic points that you could consider before you choose your phone. Also Read - Samsung reveals Unpacked 2022 event date to launch Galaxy S22 series

Galaxy S21 series vs iPhone 12 series

Polarising designs

If you are paying a fortune on your smartphone, it needs to look nice before everything else. The iPhone 12 series phones do this part very well. The regular iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini stand out from the crowd with their matte flat edges, flat glass surfaces, and weird but trendy camera designs. Those seeking the iPhone 12 Pro models could like the bling from the stainless steel frames and matte rear panels.

Samsung GalaxyS21 Ultra

On the other hand, the Galaxy S21 series is fancy to the Y. Whichever model you choose, these Samsung phones are going to stand out from the crowd due to their new camera designs and choice of lightweight materials. We like the matte black variant on the Galaxy S21 Ultra masking that massive camera hump. Moreover, the standard models with their flat displays do garb attention.

This is a subjective parameter and we leave it up to you to decide what works for you. We still prefer the bold new design ethos of the iPhone 12 over the curvy drama on the Galaxy S21, your pick may vary.

Both have leading features

I am not going to dive in to the usual specifications (RAM, storage, chip, and similar stuff) on these phones as you can figure that out from our other stories. It is the specialties that might interest you in these phones.

Apple iPhone 12

Both the iPhone 12 and Galaxy S21 series phones support 5G out of the box. Now, 5G is still a distant dream for us Indians but it is nice to know both these phones will let you experience it first once it releases in India. Both these phones have support for faster Wi-Fi standards as well.

The Galaxy S21 series features Dynamic AMOLED display with support for HDR10+ formats and a smoother refresh rate of 120Hz. Also, there’s only a small punch-hole cutout for the front camera with very slim bezels all around. While we are yet to check it out in person, these might be the best Android smartphone displays your eyes could feast on this year. The iPhone 12 series, however, features an equally good AMOLED display with support for Dolby Vision content. The standard 60Hz refresh rate and that boat-sized notch may concern the geeks but the iPhone 12 still tops our charts for the best display experience on a smartphone so far.

The 108-megapixel camera on the Galaxy S21 Ultra is promising and if last year’s Galaxy S20 Ultra is any indication, it could trade blows with the impressive camera systems on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The lesser variants of Galaxy S21 and iPhone 12 series have reliable cameras on paper, but it is the iPhones that always edge out in terms of video shooting performance. The Galaxy S21 can record 8K videos on the other hand and offers a dedicated Pro mode to go all creative, if that concerns you.

iPhone 12

Battery life on the iPhone 12 series has been good for regular users, with many claiming two days of usage on a single charge. Samsung’s Galaxy flagships don’t have bragging rights in terms of battery life but with the new Exynos 2100 chip and slightly bigger batteries on all the models, the Galaxy S21 could change things.

The iPhone 12 has the MagSafe wireless charging as an ace up its sleeves over the Galaxy S21. The 15W wireless charging system with a magnetic lock in place is a convenient way to do wireless charging over the rather conventional 15W system on the Galaxy S21.

iOS 14 on the iPhone 12 offers a secure and fast user experience consistently regardless of the task loads. Additionally, all the iPhone models get the latest iOS updates on the same day. That’s not the case with Samsung’s S flagships. Last year’s Galaxy S20 series is still getting the Android 11 update in phases, given that Android 11 was released in September 2020.

Most importantly, prices do matter

Samsung Galaxy S21 series launched

The regular iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini are cheaper in India this year when compared to the Samsung Galaxy S21 series. The base Galaxy S21 costs Rs 69,999 in India whereas the base iPhone 12 Mini costs Rs 67,900. That’s a saving of Rs 2,099.

Similarly, the iPhone 12 costs is usually available at Rs 79,900 whereas the Galaxy S21 Plus will set you back by Rs 81,999. For a premium smartphone buyer, that’s minor but we still count every Rupee saved.

It is the Galaxy S21 Ultra that lets you save a lot over the iPhone 12 Pro Max, even in its top-end state of tune. The S21 Ultra with 256GB storage starts at Rs 1,05,999 whereas the base iPhone 12 Pro Max with 128GB  storage costs Rs 1,29,900. Unless you are an iPhone fan, the Galaxy S21 Ultra makes more sense here.

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  • Published Date: January 15, 2021 12:38 PM IST


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