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Huawei P40 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus: Which to Pick?

author Luis Silva (February 2021 Updated: March 2022 - 6 min. reading time)

The Galaxy S21 Plus comes at a higher price, but it's the best of the two.

It features better glass protection, a better display, and Google's services. But the P40 will deliver external storage.

Are there other things worth mentioning?

The Galaxy S21 Plus also gives you a higher refresh rate, larger (+0.6") display, better peak brightness, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, and more RAM (8GB vs. 6GB). But with the P40, you can also get a telephoto lens (+51 mm) and Bluetooth 5.1.

How much more are you willing to spend on the Galaxy S21 Plus?

If you ignore carrier offers, it'll cost you around $333 more.

Is the P40 still worth buying in 2022?

Do consider not getting the P40 in 2022. It's losing its security updates, and the Apple iPhone 12 is an overall better phone, as it will offer you better performance and more security updates.

Is it worth buying the Galaxy S21 Plus in 2022?

If you like Samsung, the Galaxy S21 Plus is a pretty solid choice, even in 2022. Its overall score hasn't dropped much yet, mainly because of its good performance, good battery life, excellent glass protection, and 8K recordings. Although you can also check (again) the Apple iPhone 12.

Keep reading to learn more about what sets them apart, how they stack up against their rivals, and how other specialists evaluate them.

Check prices on Amazon Check prices on Amazon
Click here or scroll down to check prices on eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions.

Huawei P40Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

CONTENTS

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Introduction

While Samsung's Galaxy S21 Plus hit stores in January 2021, Huawei's P40 went on sale in April 2020.

We are looking at how the P40 and the Galaxy S21 Plus compare to each other to help you decide which might be the right one for you.

If you're considering the P40, it will end up not getting security updates anymore.

The weight of each section

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

to check who their rivals are.

Price*
vs.
Device P40 Galaxy S21 Plus
Release Date 2020, April 2021, January 1y.
OS Updates 2 years 3 years 1y.
Security Updates 2 years 4 years 2y.

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

Wondering who's quicker on Geekbench 5? Well, keep wondering. None of them is. Overall, you wouldn't feel that much of a difference between them.

We can label both of them as high-end.

Some users did install the Google Play Store on recent Huawei phones, but please be aware that officially you won't get Google apps, and some essential apps may be missing too on the P40.

Performance*
vs.
Features P40 Galaxy S21 Plus
SoC Hisilicon Kirin 990 Exynos 2100
Graphics Mali-G76 MP16 Mali-G78 MP14
Geekbench 5 Score 3148
3113
-35
OS Android 10 and EMUI 10 Android 11 and OneUI
Tek-Score
7.1
7.0
-0.1

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 13.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Huawei P40 front transparent png Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus front transparent png

The Galaxy S21 Plus's display does stand out, but not by a significant margin.

Related-priced rivals rarely stay far from 770 nits, but the P40 can only do 23% below that.

If you're leaning towards the P40, 89% of its rivals can play HDR content. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, and 85% have an Always-On display.

For the Galaxy S21 Plus, just so you know, 84% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display, and all have an AMOLED screen.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features P40 Galaxy S21 Plus
Size 6.1
6.7
0.6
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1080x2340
1080x2400
64800
Refresh Rate 60hz 120hz 60
Dots per Inch 422.49
392.81
-29.69
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Hole Hole
Peak Brightness 590 nits
883 nits
293
HDR - HDR10+
Sub Tek-Score
8.2
9.0
0.8
Protection - Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Tek-Score
2.9
9.6
6.7

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Huawei P40 back transparent png Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus back transparent png

By DXOMARK's standards, the Galaxy S21 Plus is also roughly 58% above other smartphones at about this price tag. And the P40 isn't good enough to win this battle.

About the P40: DXOMARK reviewed this camera and gave it 115 points. If you add the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, you'll end up with a score of 128. You can check their review if you click here.

I hope this helps: all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 96% feature Optical Image Stabilization. Yet, only 15% of them feature a macro lens.

About the Galaxy S21 Plus: DXOMARK's gurus gave this shooter a score of 123. By adding its wide-angle lens, we'll get to the final score of 137 points. If you want to know more about it, check it here.

Furthermore, if you must know, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 92% feature Optical Image Stabilization. That said, only 20% of them feature a macro lens.

One can place the P40 as a lower high-end and the Galaxy S21 Plus in the high-end ballpark.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera P40 Galaxy S21 Plus
Megapixels 50
12
-38
Aperture 1.9
1.8
-0.1
Lens 23mm
26mm
3
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 1 0
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 4320 2160
Score 128
137
9

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) P40 Galaxy S21 Plus vs.
Megapixels 8
64
56
Aperture 2.4
2.0
-0.4
Lens 80mm (3.5x zoom)
29mm -51
Lens Type Telephoto lens Regular
Megapixels 16 12 -4
Aperture 2.2 2.2 0.0
Lens 17mm 13mm -4
Lens Type Wide-Angle Ultra-wide-Angle
Score 13 14 1
Selfie Camera P40 Galaxy S21 Plus vs.
Megapixels 32
10
-22
Aperture 2.0
2.2
0.2
Lens 26mm 26mm 0
P40 Galaxy S21 Plus vs.
Tek-Score
7.5
8.1
0.5

Who has the best frame?

If you're still undecided about them, the P40 is a better choice based on its weight. But the Galaxy S21 Plus is also pretty decent.

The Galaxy S21 Plus is a little bit heavier: About 25 g. (0.99 oz). But because this is a bit relative, I've developed a formula for a kind of "display size to phone weight" ratio. The P40 got a score of 5.4, and that's another way of saying it has an acceptable score for its screen size. The Galaxy S21 Plus, however, has 4.6, so nothing to state here.

The P40 is rated IP68, which means it's water-resistant in up to 1 to 3 meters, identical to the Galaxy S21 Plus. That shouldn't last over half an hour, in standby and freshwater only, so no saltwater or pools here.

Looks*
vs.
Body P40 Galaxy S21 Plus
Size 148 x 71 x 8 mm
(5.22 x 2.50 x 0.28 in)
161 x 75 x 7 mm
(5.68 x 2.65 x 0.25 in)
461
Weight 175 g. (6.17 oz)
200 g. (7.05 oz)
25
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Silver Frost, Deep Sea Blue, Blush Gold, Ice White, and Black Phantom Black, Phantom Violet, Phantom Silver, Phantom Red, Phantom Gold, and Phantom Pink
Screen To Body Ratio 86.93%
89.75%
2.83
Disp.Size To Weight Score 5.4 4.6 -0.8
Looks 9.9/10
10.0/10
0.0
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Biometrics Under Display Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint
Tek-Score
8.1
7.2
-0.9

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

The P40 features a 3800 mAh battery, while the Galaxy S21 Plus has 4800 mAh. But GSMArena did test them out, and you should get the same battery life with either device.

Just be aware that the Galaxy S21 Plus also does overcome pretty much every phone out there. Do check our top 10 list with the best battery life.

Battery*
vs.
Features P40 Galaxy S21 Plus
Capacity (mAh) 3800 4800 1000
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 83% left
84% left
1
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 68% left
70% left
2
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 72% left
74% left
2
Bat. To Phone Size Score 6.5 3.6 -2.9
Sub Tek-Score
7.4
7.6
0.2
Fast Charging 22w
25w
3
Wireless Charging No 15w
15
Reverse Charging No 4.5w
4.5
Tek-Score
6.4
7.3
0.9

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A42.

Which has more storage?

It's a tie.

Storage*
vs.
Features P40 Galaxy S21 Plus
RAM (GB) 6GB
8GB
2
Internal (GB) 128GB
128GB
0
Micro SD Nano Memory (shared SIM slot) No
Tek-Score
7.5
6.0
-1.5

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

The P40 for sure, as it has Bluetooth 5.1.

Both have a single network variant: (LTE and) 5G.

Connectivity
vs.
Features P40 Galaxy S21 Plus
Network 5G 5G
Bluetooth 5.1
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack No No
Tek-Score
5.1
4.6
-0.5

Which is more affordable?

Here are the best prices that we've found:

Huawei P40

Reference: $666

Huawei P40

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Reference: $999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money P40 Galaxy S21 Plus VS
Amazon 0.98 - -
eBay - 1.15 -
Best Buy - - -
Walmart - - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.


Related articles:


Best smartphone deals


The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets


Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

So, what about that global score? We'll get there. For reference purposes, I'll tell you where most of its rivals average. The P40 class is at 7.0, and the Galaxy S21 Plus 6.9.

Verdict: What Makes the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Stand Out?

What can the Huawei P40 give you that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus can't:

- More affordable

- A telephoto lens (+51 mm)

- External storage

- Bluetooth 5.1

What can the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus give you that the Huawei P40 can't:

- Better peak brightness

- Higher refresh rates

- Better glass protection

- Better display

- A larger display (+0.6")

- Google's services

- Wireless charging

- Reverse wireless charging

- More RAM (8GB vs. 6GB)

Pros P40 Galaxy S21 Plus
#1 Performance Performance
#2 AMOLED AMOLED
#3 Always-On-Display Always-On-Display
#4 Cameras Cameras
#5 Battery Life Battery Life
#6 Fast Charging Fast Charging
#7 MicroSD Slot Wireless Charging
#8 Glass Protection
Cons P40 Galaxy S21 Plus
#1 Wireless Charging MicroSD Slot
#2 3.5mm Jack Weight
#3 Price 3.5mm Jack
#4 Glass Protection Price
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score P40 Galaxy S21 Plus
Gaming Score
5.6
7.6
2.0
Tek-Score
6.47
7.43
0.96
Your Score

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

For suggestions and bug reports, click here. Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

If you want to know more about them, click here:

About me

Hello!

My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.


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Huawei P40 Related Comparisons


Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Related Comparisons

×

"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

Rivals

As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.


 Huawei P40 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $709
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $564
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $584
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro Max
    $749
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ SD
    $534
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
    $799
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
    $799
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $560
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $680
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $749
  • HuaweirivalP40 Pro
    $799
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • OnePlusrival8
    $630
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • OpporivalFind X2 Neo
    $543
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $609
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $650
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $675
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
  • OnePlusrival9 Pro
    $749
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554
  • ApplerivaliPhone 13 Mini
    $729

 Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $709
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $564
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $584
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro Max
    $749
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ SD
    $534
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $560
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $680
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $749
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8
    $630
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • OpporivalFind X2 Neo
    $543
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $609
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $675
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
    $529
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
  • OnePlusrival9 Pro
    $749
  • OnePlusrival9
    $530
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554
  • ApplerivaliPhone 13 Mini
    $729
×

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

×

About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.



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