Both released as part of Samsung's flagship S21 series, and packed with the very latest smartphone tech, it can be hard to choose between the Samsung Galaxy S21+ and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Each of these excellent Androids has plenty of top-tier specs to offer, and while they share some similarities, there are several important distinctions between the two. Join us as we explore their differences in greater detail below.
Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs. S21 Ultra Design and Display
This pair of premium handsets share several eye-catching design features, with a frosted haze finish which is pleasingly matte to the touch, as well as smoothly rounded edges for maximum ergonomic comfort. Meanwhile, the body of each handset is composed of a durable plastic back and sturdy aluminium frame, and their displays are coated in Gorilla Glass Victus – the most resilient glass applied to a smartphone yet. Both of these devices have also been given an IP68 dust and water resistance rating, so they’re more than capable of withstanding scratches and drops – as well as being submerged in 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes.
On the S21+, you’ll find a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED display, while – as you might expect – the S21 Ultra comes in just a fraction larger at 6.8 inches. Whichever handset you choose, you’ll enjoy an immersive viewing experience, with bezels pared back to a screen-to-body ratio of 88.3% on the S21+ and 89.8% on the S21 Ultra for cinematic streaming, scrolling and swiping.
Both of these adaptive displays are also capable of a 120Hz refresh rate – which is double that found on the majority of smartphones, and ideal for gamers. A high refresh rate like this makes transitions noticeably smoother in even the most graphics-intensive mobile games, and elevates your videography too.
Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs. S21 Ultra Camera
Renowned for incorporating cutting-edge camera tech on its handsets, Samsung continues to impress with the camera system found on these two devices. The S21+ and the S21 Ultra both feature excellent cameras, suitable for social media users looking to capture high definition shots effortlessly – or seasoned pros seeking to fine-tune settings exactly how they’d like them.
Features such as Single Take, Portrait Mode, Night Mode are present on both devices, to help you to capture the best photo every time, no matter the lighting, environment, or subject. Even when you’re further away from your point of focus, you can snap a picture in stunning detail, thanks to the devices’ 3x and 10x optical zoom. From bustling outdoor scenes to dimly lit rooms, you’ll find both the S21+ and S21 Ultra capable of professional-grade photography.
However, there are some key differences between the camera setups on these two handsets. While the S21+ features a triple-lens rear camera, made up of two 12MP lenses and a 64MP lens, the S21 Ultra sports four lenses – including a 108MP main wide lens, and a dual 10MP + 10MP telephoto lens. The slightly more advanced system on the latter device will take your smartphone photography one step further, with both OIS and laser autofocus on board to help you capture crisp shots in brilliant detail – whether it’s a panoramic countryside scene or an artistic portrait.
In terms of videography capabilities, both devices can shoot video in 8K, with Super Steady Mode stabilising any shakiness that could interfere with clear footage. Perfect for documenting the action, 8K allows you to record those meaningful moments in true-to-life colour and clarity, while Samsung’s handy Video Snap feature allows you to extract 33MP stills from your footage.
Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs. S21 Ultra Power
Both devices share the same powerful chipset – the 5nm Exynos 2100 CPU. Supporting the power-intensive features on board both the S21+ and the S21 Ultra is no easy feat – even the devices’ abilities to connect to the UK’s 5th generation mobile network requires a significant amount of power. Whenever either of these handsets detect 5G availability, they’ll automatically connect – you won’t even notice the switch, until you experience the rapid increase in download speeds, and lag-free streaming.
With this top-tier hardware operating behind the scenes, your handset will run glitch-free no matter the app or task you’re performing. These chipsets – alongside the 8GB of RAM – make everything from gaming to video calls a breeze. Both handsets also run on the latest operating system from Samsung – One UI 3.1, which is based on Android 11, and there are several integrated features like Samsung DeX and Samsung Pay to enjoy too.
Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs. S21 Ultra Battery
You'll find long-lasting batteries on both S21 handsets, helping you to stay connected throughout the day. The S21+ comes with a 4,800 mAh cell, while the S21 Ultra is supported by a slightly bigger 5,000 mAh battery. Whichever device you choose, you’ll benefit from 25W Super Fast Charging, so you can power up in no time, or alternatively you can make the most of 15W Wireless Fast Charging, with any Qi-certified charger (sold separately).
Both handsets also sport Wireless PowerShare, a fun feature which enables you to transfer power directly from your Samsung to another compatible device. Gadgets that work with PowerShare include the Samsung Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Buds and even another Galaxy handset, if one of your friends needs a little battery boost.