Samsung has established itself as one of the leaders in the Android smartphone space. Barring an occasional dud, the company has always produced fantastic flagship smartphones. So, whenever another Android manufacturer produces a flagship, it is compared to the flagship of Samsung. In the same tradition, it is now the turn of the Pixel 6 to get this treatment with the Galaxy S21.
This article will pit the Google Pixel 6 against the Samsung Galaxy S21 to see how the two flagships stack up.
Navigate this guide:
Google Pixel 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S21: Specifications
|specification||Google pixel 6||Samsung galaxy s21|
|Dimensions and weight|
|RAM and storage|
|Front camera||8MP f / 2.0||10MP f / 2.2|
|Ports||USB Type-C Port|
Design and display
The design of the Pixel 6 or Galaxy S21 is nothing fancy. But both smartphones look great and have a premium look. While the Pixel 6 is a glass sandwich, Samsung has gone for a plastic back on the S21, unlike other S21 series phones.
The plastic back of the S21 has a matte finish and doesn’t look cheap. While glass certainly looks better, plastic has an advantage in terms of durability. And since most people use a case with their phone, the back will be hidden anyway. While we’re on the subject of cases, be sure to check out our handpicked best Pixel 6 and Galaxy S21 cases if you end up buying one of these phones.
Although the Pixel 6 is the smallest phone in the Pixel 6 series, it’s still a massive phone with a 6.4-inch display. On the other hand, the S21 looks reasonably smaller with its 6.2in display and better screen-to-body ratio. Thanks to its plastic back and small overall footprint, the Samsung phone also weighs over 35 grams less than the Pixel.
While the Pixel 6 and Galaxy S21 use AMOLED panels, Samsung has gone for a 120Hz screen, while the Pixel 6 has a 90Hz screen. Additionally, the S21’s screen gets slightly brighter than the Pixel 6.
Overall, the Galaxy S21 has a slight edge on the screen front with its higher refresh rate and brightness display. That said, most people won’t know the difference between a 90Hz panel and a 120Hz panel.
Processor, RAM and storage
Instead of relying on Qualcomm for a smartphone chip, Google this year developed its own chip based on the Samsung Exynos 2100. This Tensor chip powers the Pixel 6, and it’s a very good first try. Like all flagship-grade chips, it can handle everything with ease and you won’t have to worry about lag or stuttering. The chip also helps Google deliver several machine learning and artificial intelligence features right on the device, which will not be possible on other smartphone chips.
Samsung has gone for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC in the US, and other markets are getting the Exynos 2100 SoC. Snapdragon 888 is a top-notch processor, and we’ve already seen its excellent performance on several phones this year.
Additionally, both phones have 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of built-in storage.
Google Pixel 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21: cameras
Pixel phones are known for their prowess, but Samsung’s flagships aren’t lazy in this department either. As a result, the Pixel 6 and Galaxy S21 both take amazing photos, and the choice between them depends on which aesthetic you prefer. For example, photos from the Pixel 6 have high contrast and cooler white balance, while photos from the Galaxy S21 have an oversaturated look and high brightness.
In terms of raw camera specs, you get a 50MP primary shooter (takes 12.5MP photos), a 12MP wide-angle camera, and an 8MP selfie shooter. The Galaxy S21 has a 12 MP main camera, 12 MP wide-angle shooter, 64 MP telephoto lens, and 10 MP selfie camera.
Overall, the S21’s telephoto lens gives the phone an edge over the Pixel 6, which unlike the Pixel 6 Pro doesn’t have a telephoto lens. So if you like to take a lot of photos with the telephoto lens, you are better off with the Samsung phone.
Battery, connectivity and operating system
The Pixel 6 houses a 4,614mAh battery, while you get a 4,000mAh battery with the S21. This difference in battery size impacts the lifespan of the two phones. While both phones will easily run a whole day on a single charge, the moderate user will be able to steal another half day on the Pixel 6, which is more difficult on the S21.
The Galaxy S21 has a slight edge in fast charging capabilities as the phone supports 25W fast charging. While the Pixel 6 comes with an advertised 30W fast charging speed, the phone can only charge. ‘at 21 W. This means the S21 will charge faster than the Pixel 6 with a compatible fast charger.
In terms of connectivity, the S21 supports both mmWave and sub-6 GHz 5G on all three major carriers – AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon – in the United States. On the other hand, Pixel 6 supports mmWave 5G only on AT&T and Verizon, T-Mobile users get stuck with less than 6GHz 5G support.
On the software side, the Pixel 6 runs Android 12 out of the box. The Galaxy S21 comes with Android 11 with One UI. But it is already receiving the Android 12 and One UI 4.0 update.
Additionally, the Pixel 6 and S21 will both get three years of Android updates. But the Galaxy S21 will only get four years of security patches, compared to five years for the Pixel 6.
Price and color options
Google has priced the Pixel 6 quite aggressively. It starts at $ 599 for the 128GB version. On the other hand, the S21 sells from $ 799. This price difference gives the Pixel a significant advantage over the Samsung phone.
There are three color options for the Pixel 6: Stormy Black, Kinda Coral, and Sorta Seafoam, while the S21 comes in four colors: Phantom Violet, Phantom Gray, Phantom White, and Phantom Pink.
Google Pixel 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21: verdict
Considering the price difference between the Galaxy S21 and the Pixel 6, the Google Phone certainly seems like a better buy. But if you prefer a 120Hz screen or telephoto lens and can buy the Samsung phone cheaply at a sale, that’s a great buy, too. On the other hand, if you don’t care about those two things, the Pixel 6 is a pretty complete package at a great price.
Which of the two phones are you planning to buy? Let us know in the “Comments” section. In the meantime, be sure to check out the best deals on the Pixel 6 and Galaxy S21 to save some cash. We’ve also picked out the best screen protectors for the Pixel 6 and Galaxy S21, which can help you protect those AMOLED screens from scratches.
- The Pixel 6 comes with Google’s new Tensor chip, a modern design, and flagship cameras.
- The Samsung Galaxy S21 is the starting point for the new 2021 flagship series, packaged in a flagship SoC, with a decent display and camera setup.