January 8, 2021

A quantum leap forward: Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S20

In a short span of 9 months, Samsung's latest flagship phone in the S series trounces its predecessor in almost all categories.

A quantum leap forward: Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S20

When the Samsung Galaxy S20 was launched just last year on 6 March 2020, it blew everyone away with a full suite of improvements over the S10. It introduced a crisp 120 Hz refresh rate (a staple in all it's recent launches ever since) as well as an improved camera set up that supported 8K video recording plus a super-resolution zoom of up to 100x on its Ultra model.

That's a whole lot of zoom right there. Source

It's startling to think that in the short span of 10 months Samsung has launched 2 other phone variants - The Note20 and S20 FE; which are incredible in their own right while preparing the beastly new S21.

Even ahead of its release, the S21 is making headlines as what might be the most leaked phone ever 😂 with an alarming number of leaks on nearly all its specs leading up to its launch announcement on 14 Jan 2021. Comparing this data to the early reviews the S20 received - with most reviewers ranking it 4 to 4.5 stars out of 5; we're confident that the S21 will outclass all expectations (except maybe that rumour that it's going to follow in Apple's footsteps an drop the in-box charger 😅)

Do check out our earlier article where we cover the base specs and rumours of the S21 here but otherwise here's our run down of the features the S21 does better than the S20.

A refined cutting-edge display

There were rumours that Samsung might debut the first ever under-display camera with the S21 but it's likely been pushed back to Q3 2021. Source 

The 120Hz refresh rate mentioned earlier in this article are all but guaranteed to return with a slight improvement. The Galaxy S21 Ultra looks to offer adaptive screen refresh rates meaning your phone will detect and adjust the rate according to whatever it is you're doing.

For example if you're going in for that penta-kill in Wild Rift, you're going to get that silky smooth 120Hz display to minimise screen tearing and clarity on those crisp attack animations. On the flip side if you're scrolling on Facebook or reading the news, your phone might turn the refresh rate down a notch to conserve your battery. Smart huh?

Oh and there's even a juicer rumour about the S21 packing a 144Hz refresh rate that's on par with the meanest gaming phones. As the saying goes, frames win games so this might be especially good news for competitive mobile gamers 🎮  

Cameras that are out of this world

Still can't believe we're living in a world where we have phones with 5 cameras. Source

The hype for the S20's 100x "Space Zoom" that emphasised on capturing the details of every photo you snapped was greatly overshadowed by its lacklustre autofocus which was unable to keep up. Not one to make the same mistake twice, Samsung is reportedly including a laser autofocus feature which was only available on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra last year on all its S21 models.

The S21 ultra is also described to include two times the Telephoto cameras: one with the regular 3x zoom and another capable of a 10x optical zoom. It's also likely that they'll unveil some revolutionary software akin to Apple's recent announcement of AppleRaw to match their renowned camera systems.

The return of a familiar chipset

Pretty much confirmed that the S21 will ship with Samsung's very own Exynos 2100 chipset. Source

To clarify, the S21 will also ship with the auspicious sounding Snapdragon 888 chip set but Singapore has traditionally received handsets that utilised Samsung's Exynos chipsets. I know this piece of news might be disconcerting to some of our readers given the spotty track record of Exynos in the past, lagging behind its snapdragon counterpart despite the similar price tag but preliminary reports suggest this has changed with the S21.

A comparison between the Exynos 2100 and the Snapdragon 888 reveal that the Exynos chip actually has a small edge in terms of power efficiency as well as performance as its cores are clocked slightly above those found on the Snapdragon 888. If you didn't understand a word of that, just know that the chipset in the S21 is gonna perform better than the S20 and is gonna save you a ton of battery.

Well this was a lie (allegedly). Source

Speaking of battery, the S20 was the first phone ever to receive certification for fast charging technology and we accept this trend to persist now more than ever if they really are removing the charger head from the box like Apple did 😂

The end of Samsungs Note series?

My handwriting is crap but the idea of having a pen/pencil tool in the digital age is super nostalgic. Source

President of Samsung, TM Roh recently announced in a letter that after “paying attention to people’s favorite aspects of the Galaxy Note experience and are excited to add some of its most-loved features to other devices in our lineup.”

And what feature to people love more from the Note series than the S Pen. Support for it's functionality has been pretty much confirmed but it is unlikely that even the S21 Ultra will ship with an S Pen in the box. This compatibility is likely to come to Samsung's other phones launching this year like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 which makes a lot of sense since I imagine users will feel more comfortable writing on a larger canvas/screen that opens up.  

A look at a whole new Galaxy

Just to recap what are the rumored differences between the upcoming S21 models

I'm personally excited to see what else Samsung has planned because despite the numerous leaks I'm confident they have an ace up their sleeve. You'll also be happy to know that Circles.Life is opening up the entire S21 series for pre-order come Friday 15 Jan. That's right just put down a refundable $50 deposit and you'll be on your way to owning a part of this great new Galaxy!

Full comparisons and specs will be uploaded too so stay tuned for that!