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Galaxy S21 Plus vs iPhone 12 Pro: Which should you buy?

Samsung’s flagship trio – the Galaxy S21, its Plus variant, and the Ultra model – has finally been unleashed, and it will be the high-end smartphone line-up to beat this year. And given what they bring to the table – and considering their high asking price as well – a lot of buyers will certainly be torn between the Galaxy S21 family and iPhone 12 series. The mid-tier member of Samsung’s flagship family – the Galaxy S21+ – goes straight up against the iPhone 12 Pro. Wondering how these two beasts stack against up against each other before you splurge some serious cash on one of them? Read this Galaxy S21 Plus vs iPhone 12 Pro comparison to find out:

Design and build

Well, this one is going to be divisive, and will ultimately boil down to your personal preference. The Apple offering favors sharp lines and flat sides, while Samsung’s high-end device is all about curves and providing a comfortable in-hand feel. However, the design of Galaxy S21+ is fresh, while the iPhone 12 Pro’s aesthetics are more of a rehash from what we’ve seen on the iPhone 11 family already.

Galaxy S21 Plus

Ginormous notch vs tiny punch-hole? Your call!

However, both the devices offer a rock-solid build, which employs glass and metallic sides. Over at the front, Apple uses what it calls Ceramic Shield that is claimed to be 4x stronger, while the Galaxy Galaxy S21+ opts for Corning’s latest Gorilla Glass protection. But the front is where things differ vastly. The iPhone 12 Pro greets you with a huge notch, while the Galaxy S21+ takes a much cleaner approach with a centered punch hole in accordance with the Infinity-O design philosophy.

iPhone 12 Pro

Both the phones come with an IP68-rated build, which means they can handle water exposure with ease. However, don’t forget to put a case on these devices before an accidental fall or an unfortunate bump shatters that gorgeous glass-made rear panel. We’ve compiled an exhaustive list of the best cases for Galaxy S21+ and the iPhone 12 Pro, so do check them out on our website.

Display

The Galaxy S21+ comes equipped with a 6.2-inch FHD + (2400 x 1080 pixels) Dynamic AMOLED 2X display that offers a 120Hz refresh rate. However, the refresh rate value can be adjusted between 48Hz to 128Hz. The screen offers a peak brightness of 1300 nits, 421PPI pixel density, and Gorilla Glass 7 protection.

Galaxy S21+

Galaxy S21+ flaunts a 120Hz display, while iPhone 12 Pro is still stuck at 60Hz

The iPhone 12 Pro, on the other hand, features a slightly smaller 6.1‑inch OLED display that offers a resolution of 2532×1170 pixels, which translates to a slightly higher pixel density of 460PPI. The peak brightness output, on the other hand, is lower than that of Samsung’s offering at 1200 nits. The biggest drawback, however, is that the iPhone 12 Pro is still limited to a 60Hz panel, which is nowhere as smooth as the one on the Galaxy S21+, be it for gaming, media consumption, or just doom-scrolling through your Twitter feed.

Internals

The Galaxy S21+ comes equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. However, in some regions, Samsung will sell a variant powered by its 5nm-based Exynos 2100 chip that is equally as fast and capable as the Qualcomm chip, at least going by on-paper specifications. The SoC ticks alongside 8GB of RAM and 128GB / 256GB of onboard storage. Do keep in mind that the storage is not expandable.

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield
The iPhone 12 series employs Ceramic Shield to offer superior protection against accidental drops

Coming to the iPhone 12 Pro, it relies on the blazing fast in-house A14 Bionic chip that is also based on the 5nm process. As for storage options, you can pick between 128GB, 256GB, and 512B models. We don’t know the official RAM figures, but you won’t come across any multi-tasking bottlenecks anytime soon on Apple’s offering.

Both the Samsung Galaxy S21+ and the iPhone 12 Pro come pack enough firepower to handle anything you throw at them with ease, and this will remain the case for at least the next couple of years. The key deciding factor here, in terms of performance, would be the software ecosystem you prefer, and the perks that come with each one of them.

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On the connectivity front, you get 5G (Sub 6GHz and mmWave) on both the phones. Authentication on the Galaxy S21+ is handled by an in-display fingerprint sensor, while Apple relies on the Face ID facial authentication system.

Cameras

Samsung Galaxy s21 plus

Now, this is the reason most buyers will gravitate towards the Galaxy S21+ or the iPhone 12 Pro. Both the phones pack three rear cameras at the back, and a single selfie shooter. Starting with the Galaxy S21+, you get a 12MP primary camera, a 12MP ultra-wide angle shooter, and a 64MP telephoto camera that offers up to 3x hybrid optical zoom range. On the front, you’ll find a 10MP snapper to handle selfie and video calling duties.

Coming to the iPhone 12 Pro, it features a 12MP wide-camera, a 12MP ultra-wide lens, and a 12MP telephoto camera that offers up to 4x optical zoom range. Upfront, you’ll find a 12MP True Depth camera. Oh, and there is a LiDAR sensor at the back as well that assists with low-light photography and enables some AR tricks as well.

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iPhone 12 Pro blue

While the hardware is powerful, it is the software tricks that truly separate the two phones apart. The Galaxy S21+ can capture 8K videos at up to 30fps, 4K videos at 60fps, slo-mo FHD videos at 120FPS, and 760p super slo-mo videos at 960fps. The iPhone 12 Pro doesn’t support 8K video capture, but it does add an option to shoot 4K videos at a cinematic 24fps frame rate.

However, the biggest advantage of going with the iPhone 12 Pro is that it can record Dolby Vision HDR video too. And you can play them and edit them natively as well. You also get support for Night mode Time-Lapse capture, Night mode portrait shots, and a new image format called Apple ProRAW that blends the benefits of RAW capture with Deep Fusion and Smart HDR 3 for more creative control.

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The 12MP front camera on the iPhone 12 Pro is also truly impressive. It supports Night Mode for low-light photography, Dolby Vision HDR video capture at up to 30fps, 4K video capture at up to 60fps, and slo-mo 1080p video capture at 120fps.

Battery

Samsung Galaxy S21 plus

Samsung has fitted a 4,000mAh battery inside the Galaxy S21 that supports fast charging, wireless charging as well as reverse wireless charging. The latter means you can also charge accessories such as earbuds by just keeping them on the phone’s rear panel.

Coming to the iPhone 12 Pro, we don’t know the official battery capacity in mAh figures. However, Apple touts up to 17 hours of local video playback and 11 hours of streaming video playback. You also get support for wireless charging and the new MagSafe hardware as well.

Pricing

Coming to the pricing part, the Galaxy S21+ starts at $999.99, which is the same as the iPhone 12 Pro. Samsung’s flagship is up for grabs in Phantom Grey, Phantom White, Phantom Violet, Phantom Pink color options. Apple’s offering, on the other hand, is available in a choice of Silver, Graphite, Gold, and Pacific Blue trims.

Galaxy S21 Plus vs iPhone 12 Pro: Specs Duel!

Samsung Galaxy S21+ iPhone 12 Pro
6.7-inch Infinity-O
Dynamic AMOLED 2X
FHD + (2400 x 1080 pixels)
120Hz refresh rate
1300 nit peak brightness
394 PPI pixel density
Gorilla Glass 7
6.1-inch
Super Retina XDR OLED
2532×1170 pixels
60Hz refresh rate
460PPI pixel density
1200 nits peak brightness (HDR)
Ceramic Shield protection
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Exynos 2100
A14 Bionic
8GB
128GB / 256GB 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
12MP primary camera
(f/1.8, 1/1.76-inch, 1.8µm, OIS)
12MP ultra-wide camera
(f/2.2, 120°, 1/2.55-inch, 1.4µm)
64MP telephoto camera
(f/2.0, 1/1.76-inch, 0.8µm,
OIS)
3x hybrid optical zoom
12MP primary camera
(ƒ/1.6, OIS)
12MP ultra-wide camera
(ƒ/2.0, 120°)
12MP telephoto
(ƒ/2.0)
4x optical zoom range
4K at 30/60 FPS
8K at 30 FPS
FHD at 30/60/120 FPS
Slo-mo HD at 960 FPS
4K at 24/25/30/60 FPS
1080p at 25/30/60/120/240 FPS
720p at 30fps
10 MP front camera
(f/2.2, 80°, 1/3.24-inch, 1.22µm)
12MP front camera
(ƒ/2.2)
4,800 mAh
Black, Purple, Silver Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue
IP68 certified
Wireless PowerShare
Dual-SIM (Nano + e-SIM)
IP68 certified
MagSafe wireless charging up to 15W
Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W
161.4×75.6×7.8 mm 146.7×71.5×7.4 mm
202 grams 189 grams
5G, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC,
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
Bluetooth 5.0, 5G, NFC
Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2×2 MIMO

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