This time around we’re comparing the best of Samsung and Google at the moment. We’ll compare the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro. The Pixel 6 Pro launched quite recently, at the time of writing this article, and it has a lot to offer. Some of you are probably on the fence as you’re trying to decide which flagship to get. Well, in this article, we’ll try to help you make that decision.
Both of these phones have a lot to offer. They are somewhat similar in some ways, but for the most part, they’re quite different. In this article, we’ll list their specs, and compare their designs, displays, performance, batteries, cameras, and audio performance. Based on that, you should be able to make a decision. That being said, let’s kick off the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro comparison.
|Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra||Google Pixel 6 Pro|
|Screen size||6.8-inch WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X curved display (120Hz adaptive refresh rate)||6.71-inch QHD+ AMOLED curved display (120Hz refresh rate, LTPO)|
|Screen resolution||3200 x 1440||3120 x 1440|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 / Samsung Exynos 2100||Google Tensor|
|Storage||128GB/256GB, non-expandable (expandable in some countries)||128GB/256GB/512GB, non-expandable|
|Rear cameras||108MP (f/1.8 aperture, OIS, 0.8um pixel size. Produces 12MP images with 2.4um pixel size)|
12MP (ultrawide, Dual Pixel AF, 120-degree FoV, f/2.2 aperture, 1.4um pixel size)
10MP (telephoto, Dual Pixel AF, OIS, f/2.4 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, optical zoom 3x)
10MP (telephoto, Dual Pixel AF, OIS, f/4.9 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, 10x optical zoom, 100x Space Zoom)
|50MP (f/1.9 aperture, 1.2um pixel size, 26mm lens, omnidirectional PDAF, OIS, Laser AF)|
12MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.25um pixel size, 114-degree FoV)
48MP (f/3.5 aperture, 0.8um pixel size, OIS, PDAF, 114-degree FoV, 4x optical zoom)
|Front cameras||40MP (f/2.2 aperture, 80-degree FoV, 0.7um pixel size, PDAF)||11.1MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, 20mm lens)|
|Battery||5,000mAh, non-removable, fast battery charging (USB PD 3.0), Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare||5,003mAh, non-removable, 30W wired charging, 23W wireless charging|
|Dimensions||165 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm||163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9mm|
|Weight||227/229 grams||210 grams|
|Connectivity||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C|
|Security||In-display fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)||In-display fingerprint scanner (optical)|
One UI 3.0
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Design
Contrary to what some reviewers have been saying, the Pixel 6 Pro’s frame is made out of aluminum, not stainless steel. The same goes for the Galaxy S21 Ultra frame, actually. You’ll find glass on the back of both smartphones, and both are utilizing the Gorilla Glass Victus, by the way. Both of these smartphones have very thin bezels, curved displays, and a centered display camera hole.
Bezels on either phone are uniform, though, so keep that in mind. They’re close to being uniform, but they aren’t there yet. Both devices are also quite slippery, and slightly curved on the back towards the sides. Their camera islands are considerably different. The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s is an extension of its frame, and it’s encased in metal. The Pixel 6 Pro’s is covered by glass, and it stretches from the left to right side of the phone.
Both of these devices are quite large. That goes for every proportion, basically. They’re both tall and wide, though they are not particularly thick. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is heavier than the Pixel 6 Pro, as its Sub6 and mmWave variants measure 227 and 229 grams, while the Pixel 6 Pro weighs 210 grams. Both devices offer IP68 certification for water and dust resistance. The in-hand feel with these two phones is a bit different, though both are difficult to use with one hand. Both are slippery, and using a case is recommended. You will feel the weight of both phones, though the Galaxy S21 Ultra is noticeably heavier.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Display
Both smartphones ship with really large displays. The Galaxy S21 Ultra features a 6.8-inch QHD+ (3200 x 1440) Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel. This is a curved LTPO display with a 120Hz refresh rate. It supports HDR10+ content, and it gets quite bright at 1,500 nits of peak brightness. This panel is protected by the Gorilla Glass Victus, by the way, and the ‘LTPO’ part means it supports an adaptive refresh rate.
The Pixel 6 Pro, on the other hand, has a 6.71-inch QHD+ (3120 x 1440) AMOLED display which is also curved. This is also an LTPO display, so it supports adaptive refresh rate, and it does have support for HDR10+ content. Google also utilized the Gorilla Glass Victus to protect this panel.
On paper, these two displays do look quite similar. They’re both using Samsung Display panels, and both look great in person. What we’ve noticed is that the Galaxy S21 Ultra display does look a tiny bit more color accurate, but the difference is very small. Both of these displays are punchy, have those deep blacks, are extremely sharp, and are great to use. High refresh rates help, for sure. These are some of the best panels you can get on smartphones these days.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Performance
You’d expect nothing but stellar performance out of these two phones, right? Well, that’s exactly what you’ll get here. Both phones offer extremely powerful hardware, paired with really good software. The Galaxy S21 Ultra utilizes the Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100 processor, paired with 12GB or 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. The Pixel 6 Pro is fueled by Google’s Tensor SoC, and it offers 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, with UFS 3.1 storage.
Android 11 comes pre-installed on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, while Android 12 comes out of the box on the Pixel 6 Pro. Both phones fly through whatever you throw at them, really. Regardless if you’re using them for light tasks such as web browsing, or pushing them hard with games. They both multitask like champs, and also handle multimedia consumption without a hitch. You can process images and video via these two phones, and do pretty much anything else without a problem.
Both phones do get warm during longer gaming sessions, but not too warm, or anything of the sort. Do note that the Snapdragon 888 variant of the Galaxy S21 Ultra does work better than its Exynos counterpart, though. It offers better image processing, it remains cooler during gaming sessions, and it handles battery consumption better as well. In any case, both of these phones are immensely powerful and offer top-tier performance.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Battery
Both of these phones come with large battery packs, and in our experience, both of them offer excellent battery life. The Galaxy S21 Ultra includes a 5,000mAh battery, while the Pixel 6 Pro comes with a 5,003mAh battery pack. So they’re pretty much the same. Now, in our experience, both of these phones can cross the 7-hour screen-on-time level in a single day, and still have juice left. That will, of course, depend on your usage.
I don’t like talking about exact numbers, but there you go. This is what we’ve been getting, with the bare minimum of gaming, so keep that in mind. We’ve noticed that quite a few other reviewers had battery life problems with the Pixel 6 Pro, and their results are considerably different than ours. Perhaps Google still didn’t optimize everything at this point, or something of the sort. Either way, based on our usage, both of these phones offer stellar battery life, your mileage may vary.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra supports 25W wired charging, and 15W wireless charging. The Pixel 6 Pro, on the other hand, offers 22W wired charging support (despite the fact you may think it’s 30W), and 23W wireless charging support. Its 22W charging also slows down after it hits 50% charge. Do note that reverse wireless charging is supported on both phones, and that neither device comes with a charger in the box.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Cameras
These are some of the best camera smartphones in the market. We had to get that out of the way. We’d say that these two phones are in the top 5 best smartphone cameras, and maybe even in the top three. Cameras on smartphones have become really, really good at this point. Google finally upgraded the camera hardware on its Pixel lineup, and it shows. On the flip side, Samsung delivered the best it can offer with the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Images during the day are sharp, and detailed on both phones. With excellent dynamic range, and white balance. The Pixel 6 Pro tends to tune up the sharpness a bit more, and it generally offers a bit cooler images than the Galaxy S21 Ultra. That is something you can change on the viewfinder, though. The images do tend to look different, but excellent nonetheless. Ultrawide and telephoto cameras do provide somewhat different shots, but still really good, and they still follow a similar style.
When the light is not around, both devices do a good job. We’d give an advantage to the Pixel, though, but only if you like somewhat unrealistic nighttime shots. This phone tends to brighten up low light shots considerably, which makes them a bit unrealistic, but they look excellent though. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is great in such conditions as well, but it’s a bit closer to being realistic. It all depends on what you prefer, really. Video recording is excellent on both smartphones, though we preferred the Pixel 6 Pro’s stabilization a bit more.
These are some of the best smartphones when it comes to audio, especially when it comes to their speakers. Both are equipped with stereo speakers, and even though we prefer the Galaxy S21 Ultra here, they both offer excellent sound. You’re getting a wide soundstage with both, with very minimal distortion at the very highest of volumes. The sound is well-balanced, and it’s more than loud enough. The vocals are clear, and they do offer some bass as well.
You’ll get really good sound output via a solid pair of headphones as well, in case you were wondering. As long as you don’t expect miracles to occur, you’re good. There are not many phones out there that can provide better sound than these two.