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The smartphone market has seen major advancements over the past few years as manufacturers continue to refine their designs and features. One of the biggest rivalries in the smartphone world is between Apple’s iPhone 12 and Samsung’s Galaxy S21. These phones feature some of the latest technology available, but they differ in several key areas. In this comparison, we will look at the main features and differences between the iPhone 12 vs. the Samsung Galaxy S21, including design, display, performance, camera, battery life, and more. This will help you make an informed decision about which phone best fits your needs and preferences.

iPhone 12 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21: Side-By-Side Comparison

Apple iPhone 12Samsung Galaxy S21
Operating SystemiOS 14Android 11
Display6.1-inch Super Retina XDR6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Resolution1170 x 2532 pixels1080 x 2400 pixels
ProcessorA14 Bionic chipQualcomm Snapdragon 888
Storage64GB, 128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Rear Cameras12MP (f/1.6) wide; 12MP (f/2.4) ultrawide12MP (f/1.8) wide; 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide; 64MP (f/2.0) telephoto 3x optical   
Front Camera12MP (f/2.2)10MP (f/2.2)
Battery size2,815 mAh4,000 mAh     
Water and Dust ResistanceIP68 (up to 6 meters for up to 30 minutes)IP68 (up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes)
Starting PriceStarting at $799Starting at $799
RAM4GB8GB    
Size5.78 x 2.81 x 0.29 inches5.97 x 2.8 x 0.31 inches         
Storage64GB, 128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB          

iPhone 12 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21: What’s the Difference?

The iPhone 12 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 are among the high-quality smartphones on the market. While both devices offer a range of features and capabilities, there are some key differences to consider when choosing between the two.

Design

Apple has long been known for its sleek, eye-catching design, and the iPhone 12 is no different. The iPhone 12 has a more angular design with a flat-edge stainless steel frame and a ceramic shield front cover, designed to be more durable and resistant to drops. The Samsung S21, on the other hand, has a more curved design with a metal frame and a plastic back. In terms of size, the iPhone 12 is slightly smaller than the Galaxy S21. The iPhone 12 measures 5.78 inches tall and 2.81 inches wide, while the Galaxy S21 is 5.97 inches tall and 2.8 inches wide. In addition, the Galaxy S21 is slightly heavier at 5.96 ounces, compared to the iPhone 12’s 5.78 ounces.

When it comes to color options, the iPhone 12 is available in black, white, red, blue, and green, while the Galaxy S21 is available in Phantom Violet, Phantom Gray, Phantom Pink, and Phantom White.

The iPhone 12 also features Apple’s new Ceramic Shield technology, which is said to make the device four times more durable than the previous iPhones. The Galaxy S21 does not have any similar protective features. In terms of water resistance, the iPhone 12 has an IP68 rating, which means it can withstand up to six meters of water for 30 minutes. The Galaxy S21 can also survive underwater, but only at depths of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes.

Battery and Charging

The Samsung Galaxy S21 has a 4000 mAh battery, while the iPhone 12 has a 2815 mAh battery. As a result, the Samsung Galaxy S21 will last longer on a single charge than the iPhone 12. Although you would expect the S21 to have a higher battery life, it is not the case. Its 120Hz refresh life has a detrimental effect on the battery life.

Both phones support fast wireless charging but do not come with chargers in the box. The Samsung Galaxy S21 also features wireless PowerShare, allowing you to wirelessly charge other compatible devices with the phone’s battery. Unfortunately, this feature isn’t available on the iPhone 12.

When it comes to battery and charging, the Samsung Galaxy S21 has the edge over the iPhone 12. With its larger battery and faster charging options, it will provide more power and get you up and running much faster than the iPhone 12.

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, US Version, 128GB, Phantom Gray - Unlocked (Renewed)
$264.00
  • 6.2", 1080 x 2400 pixels, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1300nits, 4000mAh Battery
  • 128GB ROM, 8GB RAM, No SD Card Slot, Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm), Octa-Core, Adreno 660
  • Rear Camera: 64MP, f/2.0 + 12MP, f/1.8 + 12MP, f/2.2, Front Camera: 10 MP, f/2.2, Android 11, One UI 3.1
  • 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, CDMA 800/1900, 3G: HSDPA 850/900/1700(AWS)/1900/2100, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO, 4G LTE: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/14/18/19/20/25/26/28/30/38/39/40/41/46/48/66/71, 5G: 2, 5, 25, 41, 66,...
  • US Model. Compatible with Most GSM and CDMA Carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T, MetroPCS, etc. Will Also work with CDMA Carriers Such as Verizon, Sprin
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/30/2023 01:51 am GMT

Display

The iPhone 12 features a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a resolution of 2532×1170 at 460ppi. The Samsung Galaxy S21 has a 6.2-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2400×1080 at 421ppi. Both devices feature HDR10 support, but the Samsung Galaxy S21 has an impressive peak brightness of 691 nits compared to the iPhone 12’s 569 nits.

The biggest difference between the two displays is the refresh rate. The iPhone 12 has a 60Hz refresh rate, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 has a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate that can be adjusted to 48Hz, 50Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, or 120Hz, depending on the application being used. The higher refresh rate of the Samsung Galaxy S21 makes for smoother scrolling and more responsive gaming.

Cameras

The iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21 offer powerful cameras with impressive specs. The iPhone 12 features a dual-lens system with a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens. It also offers Night Mode, Deep Fusion, and Smart HDR 3 technology to help improve the quality of photos. The iPhone 12 has a 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera with Face ID facial recognition technology on the front.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 has triple-lens cameras with a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens, and a 64-megapixel telephoto lens that allows for 3x optical zoom. The Samsung Galaxy S21 also offers Night Mode, Single Take, and Scene Optimizer features that help ensure your photos look their best. On the front, it has a 10-megapixel selfie camera.

Performance

When it comes to performance, the iPhone 12 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 are both powerful devices. The iPhone 12 has Apple’s latest A14 Bionic chipset and 4GB RAM. It provides an incredibly smooth experience when multitasking or running demanding applications. The Samsung Galaxy S21 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor and has 8GB of RAM. This combination makes it faster than the iPhone 12 in some respects. In terms of GPU, the Galaxy S21 offers a slightly better gaming experience, with its Adreno 660 GPU, compared to the iPhone 12’s 4-core GPU.

Overall, the two phones offer similar performance capabilities when it comes to running demanding applications or playing graphic-intensive games. However, the iPhone 12 may have a slight edge for general use due to its optimized iOS operating system.

Apple iPhone 12, 64GB, Black - Fully Unlocked (Renewed)
$404.94
  • Fully unlocked and compatible with any carrier of choice (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, US-Cellular, Cricket, Metro, etc.).
  • The device does not come with headphones or a SIM card. It does include a charger and charging cable that may be generic.
  • Inspected and guaranteed to have minimal cosmetic damage, which is not noticeable when the device is held at arm's length.
  • Successfully passed a full diagnostic test which ensures like-new functionality and removal of any prior-user personal information.
  • Tested for battery health and guaranteed to have a minimum battery capacity of 80%.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/30/2023 12:11 pm GMT

Price

The base model Samsung Galaxy S21 starts at $799, while the S21 Plus is priced at $999, and the S21 Ultra costs $1,199. Apple’s iPhone 12 mini is the lowest priced of the lineup at $699, followed by the iPhone 12 at $799 (or $829 unlocked). The higher-end models are the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with a price tag of $999 and $1,099, respectively.

Regarding cost, the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Apple’s iPhone 12 are fairly equal in value when bought through a carrier; however, the Galaxy S21 has an advantage with its 128GB of storage compared to the iPhone 12’s 64GB. Thus, when considering both the unlocked price and storage differences, the Galaxy S21 is likely the better value.

iPhone 12 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21: 7 Must-Know Facts

  • The iPhone 12 was released in October 2020, and the Samsung Galaxy S21 was released in January 2021.
  • The iPhone 12 is available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage options, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 is available in 128GB and 256GB storage options.
  • The iPhone 12 runs on iOS 14, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 runs on Android 11.
  • The iPhone 12 has a dual-camera system with 12MP ultra-wide and wide lenses, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 has a triple-camera system with 12MP wide, ultra-wide, and 64MP telephoto lenses.
  • The iPhone 12 is powered by the A14 Bionic chip, while the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor powers the Samsung Galaxy S21.
  • Both phones start at $799 and are available online and in stores.
  • Both phones support fast charging, but the iPhone 12 supports standard 20W fast charging, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 supports a standard 25W fast charging.

iPhone 12 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21: Which One Is Better?

It is difficult to determine whether the iPhone 12 or Samsung Galaxy S21 is better, as it ultimately comes down to personal preference and needs. The iPhone 12 has an attractive design with a classic glass back and an aluminum frame that feels solid in the hand. It also features Apple’s A14 Bionic processor, one of the most powerful processors available on mobile devices. The camera capabilities are impressive, with a 12MP wide lens, 12MP ultrawide lens, and 12MP front-facing TrueDepth camera for selfies.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 offers a sleek design with its metal frame and polycarbonate back. Its Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor is a capable performer and is bolstered by 8GB of RAM. The camera system includes a triple rear lens setup with a 64MP telephoto lens, 12MP ultrawide lens, and 12MP wide lens. It also features a 10MP front-facing camera for taking selfies.

When comparing the two phones side by side, it is clear that both offer excellent value for money. The choice comes down to your individual needs.

Up Next…

iPhone 12 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21: 6 Key Differences and Full Comparison FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Does Samsung S21 have a better camera than iPhone 12?

Both the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21 have impressive camera systems, but the Samsung Galaxy S21 has a triple rear camera system that consists of a 12MP main lens, a 12MP ultrawide lens, and a 64MP telephoto lens. The iPhone 12 features dual 12MP rear cameras and a 12MP front camera. Some people may prefer the added versatility of the Samsung Galaxy S21’s camera system.

Can the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21 be expanded with a microSD card?

No, neither the iPhone 12 nor the Samsung Galaxy S21 have a microSD card slot for storage expansion.

How do the displays of the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21 compare?

The iPhone 12 features a 6.1-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2532 x 1170 pixels, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 features a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a 2400 x 1080 pixels resolution.

What is special about the Samsung S21?

The Samsung Galaxy S21 is a flagship phone from Samsung and packs a lot of impressive features. The design is stylish and modern, with a slim profile and an edge-to-edge Infinity-O display. It has a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, making scrolling, gaming, and watching videos on the device an enjoyable experience.

Is iPhone 12 worth it?

The iPhone 12 is a high-end smartphone with a range of impressive features and specifications, including a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display, the A14 Bionic chip, a dual-camera system with 12MP ultra-wide and wide lenses, and 5G connectivity. If you prioritize a powerful and efficient processor, a high-quality display, and a capable camera system, the iPhone 12 may be worth it. Additionally, if you are a fan of the iOS operating system and its ecosystem of apps and services, the iPhone 12 may be a good choice.

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