The iPhone 13 Pro is the best compact phone that Apple offers. On the opposite side of the spectrum, in the Android world, the Galaxy S21 is the best compact phone that Samsung offers. That’s why we’ll compare the two, the Apple iPhone 13 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21. The Galaxy S21 has been on the market since January, while the iPhone 13 Pro dropped quite recently.
That being said, the Galaxy S21 is still very much a powerful device, and has the latest specs you’d want in a flagship. Both of these phones come with displays that are more than large enough, and yet the phones themselves are not that large, not at all. They do differ in a lot of ways, though, as they offer different specs, different designs… well, they’re basically as different as they can be, other than the size aspect. Let’s compare the Apple iPhone 13 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21.
|Apple iPhone 13 Pro||Samsung Galaxy S21|
|Screen size||6.1-inch fullHD+ Super Retina XDR OLED display (120Hz refresh rate, LTPO)||6.2-inch FullHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display (120Hz adaptive refresh rate, LTPS)|
|Screen resolution||2532 x 1170||2400 x 1080|
|SoC||Apple A15 Bionic||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Samsung Exynos 2100|
|Storage||128GB/256GB/512GB, non-expandable||128GB/256GB, non-expandable|
|Rear cameras||12MP (f/1.5 aperture, 26mm wide-angle lens, 1.9um pixel size, sensor-shit OIS, dual pixel PDAF)|
12MP (f/1.8 aperture, 120-degree FoV, 13mm lens, PDAF)
12MP (f/2.8 aperture, PDAF, OIS, 77mm lens, 3x optical zoom)
TOF 3D LiDAR scanner
|12MP (f/1.8 aperture, 1.8um pixel size, OIS, Dual Pixel PDAF)|
12MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.4um pixel size, 120-degree FoV)
64MP (f/2.0 aperture, 0.8um pixel size, OIS, PDAF, Hybrid Optic 3X, 30X Space Zoom)
|Front cameras||12MP (f/2.2 aperture, 23mm wide-angle lens)||10MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, 80-degree FoV, Dual Pixel AF)|
|Battery||3,095mAh, non-removable, 20W wired charging, 15W MagSafe wireless charging, 7.5W Qi wireless charging||4,000mAh, non-removable, fast battery charging, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare|
|Dimensions||146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7mm||151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm|
|Weight||204 grams||169 grams|
|Connectivity||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C|
|Security||Advanced facial scanning||In-display fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)|
|OS||iOS 15||Android 11|
One UI 3.0
Apple iPhone 13 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21: Design
From the design standpoint, these two phones are very different. They do feel different in the hand, first and foremost, and there’s a noticeable difference in regards to weight, despite the fact they’re similar in terms of size. The iPhone 13 Pro comes with a stainless steel frame, and a glass back. The Galaxy S21 has an aluminum frame, and a plastic back. Those aspects are the main reason for the weight difference. The iPhone 13 Pro weighs 204 grams, while the Galaxy S21 weighs 169 / 171 (Sub6 & mmWave variants) grams.
The iPhone 13 Pro also has flat sides, while the Galaxy S21 has a more common design, it’s curved towards the sides. The Galaxy S21 is easier to hold, without a doubt, as you’ll get more hand fatigue from the iPhone 13 Pro. Some people really love the extra weight and flat sides, so, to each its own. Apple did use more quality materials here, though. Another thing worth noting is that the stainless steel frame does pick up a lot of fingerprints, so keep that in mind.
The Phone 13 Pro does have a notch at the top, while the Galaxy S21 includes a display camera hole. The Galaxy S21 is arguably the better looking of the two, as both its front and back sides look aesthetically more pleasing, though that’s up for discussion, as different people prefer different things. The Galaxy S21 is slightly taller, narrower, and thicker than the iPhone 13 Pro. The difference is barely noticeable, though. Both phones can be used with one hand without much issue, though do note that they’re both slippery.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21: Display
The iPhone 13 Pro comes with a 6.1-inch 2532 x 1170 Super Retina XDR OLED display. This panel does support HDR10 content, and it’s a ProMotion panel. In other words, it does support a 120Hz refresh rate, and this is an LTPO panel. That means it also offers an adaptive refresh rate, which is good for battery life. This display offers a peak brightness of 1,200 nits, and it’s protected by scratch-resistant ceramic glass.
The Galaxy S21 includes a 6.2-inch 2400 x 1080 Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. This is also a 120Hz display, but it’s not an LTPO panel, so it doesn’t offer an adaptive refresh rate. This display does support HDR10+ content, and it has a peak brightness of 1,300 nits. The display is protected by the Gorilla Glass Victus. Both of these displays are flat, by the way.
So, these displays do look great on paper, are they any good in real life? Yes, they’re excellent, in fact, amongst the best out there. The iPhone 13 Pro panel does have the advantage of an adaptive refresh rate, but in terms of what you can see, they’re very similar. They get really bright when needed, and offer great-looking colors. The white balance is spot on, and the viewing angles are excellent. They’re on the same level in terms of quality of shown content, that’s for sure, everything looks great, and the 120Hz refresh rate only helps the general impression.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21: Performance
The iPhone 13 Pro and Galaxy S21 are really well-equipped in the specs department. The iPhone 13 Pro is fueled by the Apple A15 Bionic SoC, while the Galaxy S21 comes with the Snapdragon 888 processor (or Exynos 2100 in some markets). Both of those chips are immensely powerful. The iPhone 13 Pro includes 6GB of RAM, while the Galaxy S21 comes with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM. iOS handles RAM differently, so 6GB is more than enough.
Those powerful internals, in combination with iOS 15 and Android 11 (with One UI 3.1), respectively, make for really snappy devices. These two phones fly through pretty much everything you throw at them, and their high refresh rate displays only help things. When it comes to regular, everyday tasks, they do a great job. Browsing, multimedia consumption, copying files, multitasking… you name it, they can handle it with ease.
Even gaming is not a problem for either phone, though that is to be expected considering how powerful they are. Do note that the Exynos 2100 variant of the Galaxy S21 will be inferior in regards to performance to the Snapdragon 888 model, though. It also does heat up a bit more, so keep that in mind. You can’t really choose which one to get, that will depend on where you’re located. You may also notice a bit more dropped frames with that SoC.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21: Battery
The Apple iPhone 13 Pro comes with a 3,095mAh battery. The Galaxy S21, on the other hand, offers a 4,000mAh battery pack. Both of these phones will offer more than enough battery life for most people, though the iPhone 13 Pro does offer a bit more in that regard. The Galaxy S21 will deliver around 6 hours of screen-on-time, presuming you don’t game much, while the iPhone 13 Pro will be able to provide more than that. It will all depend on your usage, of course, your numbers may differ considerably.
The iPhone 13 Pro may have a smaller battery, but iOS handles battery consumption a bit differently, so this battery pack is more than enough for the iPhone 13 Pro. Apple also improved battery life compared to the iPhone 12 Pro. Neither of the two devices can compete with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Galaxy S21 Ultra, though, as those two phones offer stellar battery life.
The iPhone 13 Pro supports 20W wired charging, and 15W wireless charging via MagSafe. 7.5W wireless charging via regular Qi chargers is also supported. The Galaxy S21 supports 25W wired charging, and 15W Qi/PMA wireless charging. On top of that, it offers 4.5W reverse wireless charging. Do note that neither of these two phones comes with a charger, so you’ll need to buy one if you don’t have it already.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21: Cameras
Apple boosted the iPhone 13 Pro series cameras quite a bit. Not only are they improved in regards to low light performance, but have some interesting features such as the cinematic mode. The Galaxy S21, on the other hand, comes with its own set of features, and that list is long. Both phones include 12-megapixel main and ultrawide cameras, though with different setups. The iPhone 13 Pro also includes a 12-megapixel telephoto camera, and a 3D TOF camera, while the Galaxy S21 ships with a 64-megapixel telephoto unit.
Images from the iPhone 13 Pro do end up looking a bit more lively, even though both sets are quite saturated. You can even tone that down on the iPhone 13 Pro thanks to some nice presets. Both phones can provide really detailed images in good light, with good dynamic range, and white balance. The differences are noticeable when the light goes away. The iPhone 13 Pro more often than not can do a better job in low lights. It ends up letting more light into a shot, and does a better job with balancing. Sometimes the S21 gets the upper hand, though.
The cinematic mode on the iPhone 13 Pro is nice for recording, though it limits you in regards to resolution and FPS. Both phones can provide 8K video at 60 FPS, and both do a really good job, though the iPhone 13 Pro may have a slight advantage in that regard. Ultrawide camera shots are excellent on both phones.
Both of these phones offer a set of stereo speakers, while they do not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. The speakers on the Galaxy S22 do sound a little bit richer, though the difference is not that big. You will get more bass from the Galaxy S22 speakers as well. When you plug in a good set of headphones, the results will be somewhat similar. Both phones provide really good sound that way, as long as your headphones can handle it.
Manage your expectations when it comes to audio, though, as there are a number of phones out there that do include better speakers than these two. Still, the vast majority of people won’t have any complaints when it comes to audio quality.