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Which phone would you rather have — Galaxy S21 or S21 Ultra?

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S21 Ultra (Image credit: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

Samsung has a pretty impressive trio of Android phones on its hands between the Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra. All three handsets look to bring impressive specs and features for their respective price points, but among them, the baseline S21 and top-tier S21 Ultra stand out as the two most compelling.

One the one hand, we have the Galaxy S21. It has the ultra-powerful Snapdragon 888 chipset, a 120Hz AMOLED display, great cameras, and a big 4000 mAh battery for just $800. That's a lot of phone for considerably less money than something like the iPhone 12 Pro, making it a really appealing value option.

Then there's the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which steps up to a $1200 asking price and delivers a few meaningful upgrades — namely an unbeatable camera system with impressive zoom capabilities, a larger display and battery, and a more premium glass design.

One of our AC forum members posted that they're having trouble deciding between the two devices, and sure enough, our other members were quick to chime in with their two cents.

Well you need to go with what you are comfortable holding and go with that. I had the S9 and was just too small for me so have always gone with plus or Ultra. If any of the stores like best buy have displays, may be best to see. Although with all going on, may not be allowed anymore. /shrug.

jlangner

If you get a chance stop by a bestbuy or carrier store they should have it on display and play with them. I did at bestbuy, I have a galaxy s9 which is a great size for me perfect balance with big screen and overall size. The curved Ultra is more subtle this year so its not all that bad but its there. But the flat glass on the s21 is great, the bezels are very tiny compared to something like...

Johnson21x

My stupid little hands can't handle the plus or ultra comfortably, so it's the base S21 for me. I doubt I'll see any difference in screen resolution. Also, the camera glass on my S10 is cracked, so any new phone camera will be an upgrade for me.

kjjb0204

I had the size dilemma last year going from a S10 to a S20U that resulted in 700 trips to various stores to play with the S20U. Even when I ordered I was still in doubt. After about two months of using the S20U I had completely forgot about the size and it felt normal. Now I would be afraid to do the opposite, go back to a smaller phone. The larger screen is easier on the eyes for reading, better...

Emig5m

This got us wondering — Would you rather have the Galaxy S21 or S21 Ultra?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

6 Comments
  • I pre-ordered the S21+, why? Well, I much prefer the 1080p display with the 4800mamp 🔋. I'm expecting stellar 🔋performance with the lower resolution display. I used the FE for 9wks and the display is still excellent! No need for full-time 1440p, that will be a definite drain on the battery?
  • Neither. I already ordered the S21+. I like the bigger screen, bigger battery, and inclusion of UWB. Plus, Phantom Black looks really sweet! Glass vs. plastic doesn't really matter, so that wasn't a factor in my decision between the two lower priced models. I do like the flat screen compared to the Ultra, and I really don't care about the FHD+ vs Quad HD+. I run my Note 9 at FHD+ anyway. The price premium from the + to the Ultra doesn't justify the .1" in screen size and 200 mAh in battery. Conversely, the premium to get an additional .5" of screen real estate and 800 mAh is far more worth it.
  • I ordered the S21+. Coming from a Note 10+, I liked the larger screen size and 1080p is fine with me. I didn't feel I needed all the advanced camera features of the Ultra.
  • S21 all others are too big
  • Pixel 6 XL. That will be my upgrade for the year.
  • S21+. Have had the base "small" one for years and find I want a larger screen (yeah, larger fonts, getting old). I contemplated the ultra but... I want something as small and light as possible and the ultra is that much heavier and bulkier that I think it may be a detriment to every day carrying/use. Agonizing over the specs, eh, is the conclusion. I run at the 1080 resolution today and it's fine. Look forward to trying the flat screen again. The battery life is promising. And the cameras, well, I use my camera zoom and whatnot when I travel and that ain't happening anytime soon. So it's the S21+ for me. And I hope I can get away with using it case-less.