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Huawei P40 vs Samsung Galaxy S21: Is The P40 Good Enough?

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

The Galaxy S21 is a little bit more expensive, but it also has better specs.

It gives you better glass protection, a better display, and Google's services. But the P40 brings a glass back, better battery life, and external storage.

What else do they have to offer?

With the Galaxy S21, you'll also get a higher refresh rate 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 will the Galaxy S21 cost me?

If you're not considering going for a carrier subscription, it'll cost you around $132 more.

Is it still worth buying the P40 in 2021?

The Huawei P40 isn't the most cutting-edge device in 2021, but it's still a powerful phone. Sure, you can take a peek at other devices like the Apple iPhone 12, but we should acknowledge this device, as it has good performance, good cameras, good battery life, and optical zoom.

Just keep reading if you want to know everything about them, how they stack up against their rivals, and how the industry is scoring their specs.

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

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Huawei P40, Samsung Galaxy S21

CONTENTS

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Introduction

Samsung launched its Galaxy S21 last January, while Huawei's P40 arrived at stores in April 2020.

With this article, you'll be able to compare every feature of the P40 and the Galaxy S21. Then, you can decide what model better suits your needs. Let's start.

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
Release Date 2020, April 2021, January 1y.
OS Updates 2 years 3 years 1y.
Security Updates 2 years 4 years 2y.

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

Performance isn't a contest between these two, says Geekbench 5. Basically, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

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
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
7.2
7.2
-0.1

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Huawei P40 front transparent png Samsung Galaxy S21 front transparent png

The Galaxy S21 is the winner here, and you'd be able to tell the difference.

Usually, devices in this price range rarely stay far from 750 nits, but the P40 can only do 21% below that.

If you're leaning towards the P40, 93% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display, and all have an AMOLED screen.

For the Galaxy S21, just so you know, 92% 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
Size 6.1
6.2
0.1
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1080x2340
1080x2400
64800
Refresh Rate 60hz 120hz 60
Dots per Inch 422.49
424.48
1.99
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Hole Hole
Peak Brightness 590 nits
856 nits
266
HDR - HDR10+
Sub Tek-Score
8.2
9.2
1.0
Protection - Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Tek-Score
2.9
9.7
6.8

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Huawei P40 back transparent png Samsung Galaxy S21 back transparent png

You should note that the P40 is in the neighborhood of 27% above its adversaries from its price range. But in this case, you must choose the Galaxy S21.

About the P40: DXOMARK reviewed this camera and gave it 115 points. If you also consider the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, it'll get 128 points. For an in-depth review, click here.

Last (but not least), keep in mind that all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 93% feature Optical Image Stabilization. Yet, only 11% of them feature a macro lens.

About the Galaxy S21: The guys over at the DXOMARK labs scored this camera with 123 points. By adding its wide-angle lens, we'll get to the final score of 137 points. For an out-and-out review, check their article.

Last (but not least), if you must know, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K, have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and feature Optical Image Stabilization. Still, only 4% of them feature a macro lens.

One can place the P40 more as a lower high-end and the Galaxy S21 as high-end.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera P40 Galaxy S21
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 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 vs.
Megapixels 32
10
-22
Aperture 2.0
2.2
0.2
Lens 26mm 26mm 0
P40 Galaxy S21 vs.
Tek-Score
7.5
8.1
0.5

Who has the best frame?

There isn't a clear winner, so don't worry too much.

The Galaxy S21 weighs 169 g. (5.96 oz), while the other is 6 g. (0.21 oz) heavier. If you want a big screen in a lightweight phone, I've developed a formula for a kind of "display size to phone weight" ratio. The P40 got a score of 5.4, which means it has an acceptable score for a 6.1 inches screen. Having said that, the Galaxy S21 has 6.6, which is pretty nice.

The P40 is rated IP68, which means it's water-resistant in up to 1 to 3 meters, on par with the Galaxy S21. Remember that it shouldn't be for over half an hour, and it's in standby mode only. So don't take photos underwater.

Looks*
vs.
Body P40 Galaxy S21
Size 148 x 71 x 8 mm
(5.22 x 2.50 x 0.28 in)
151 x 71 x 7 mm
(5.33 x 2.50 x 0.25 in)
-9017
Weight 175 g. (6.17 oz)
169 g. (5.96 oz)
-6
Build Front and back glass Front glass
Colors Silver Frost, Deep Sea Blue, Blush Gold, Ice White, and Black Phantom Gray, Phantom Violet, Phantom White, and Phantom Pink
Screen To Body Ratio 86.93%
86.57%
-0.36
Disp.Size To Weight Score 5.4 6.6 1.1
Looks 9.9/10
6.5/10
-3.4
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Biometrics Under Display Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint
Tek-Score
8.1
7.7
-0.4

*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 has 4000 mAh. But by GSMArena's standards, the former is the winner here.

Battery*
vs.
Features P40 Galaxy S21
Capacity (mAh) 3800 4000 200
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 83% left
81% left
-2
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 68% left
62% left
-6
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 72% left
67% left
-5
Bat. To Phone Size Score 7.2 6.2 -1.0
Sub Tek-Score
7.4
7.0
-0.4
Fast Charging 22w
25w
3
Wireless Charging No 15w
15
Reverse Charging No 4.5w
4.5
Tek-Score
6.4
6.9
0.5

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

It's a tie.

Storage*
vs.
Features P40 Galaxy S21
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 is your better option, as it features Bluetooth 5.1.

If you got used to counting on the good-old 3.5mm headphone jack, forget about it. Want a piece of advice? Forget about adapters and go for the wireless buds. Luckily, you can still get it on other phones if you don't mind searching for them. Perhaps you don't mind settling with the Sony Xperia 1 II.

These two are (LTE and) 5G compatible.

Connectivity
vs.
Features P40 Galaxy S21
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's what we've found out:

Huawei P40

Reference: $666

Huawei P40

Samsung Galaxy S21

Reference: $798

Samsung Galaxy S21

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 VS
Amazon 0.98 0.82 -0.15
eBay - 1.02 -
Best Buy - 1.14 -
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)

Are you also considering other options? The global score can help. For reference purposes, I'll tell you where most of its rivals average. It's 7.0 for any of them.

Verdict: What Makes the Samsung Galaxy S21 Stand Out?

Well, I do like the P40, don't get me wrong, but Huawei is just at a bad place right now, without Google's services on their devices. That should be a deal-breaker. If not, you also won't get decent glass protection and Huawei has no one else but itself to blame. Still, the P40 does have a nice telephoto lens, a great battery life, nice looks, and external storage.

But the Galaxy S21 has a better display with better peak brightness, higher refresh rates, and better glass protection. Not only that, but it also has wireless and reverse wireless charging, plus 2 extra GB of RAM.

Pros P40 Galaxy S21
#1 Performance Performance
#2 AMOLED AMOLED
#3 Always-On-Display Always-On-Display
#4 Cameras Cameras
#5 Battery Life Fast Charging
#6 Fast Charging Wireless Charging
#7 MicroSD Slot Glass Protection
Cons P40 Galaxy S21
#1 Wireless Charging MicroSD Slot
#2 3.5mm Jack 3.5mm Jack
#3 Price Price
#4 Glass Protection
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score P40 Galaxy S21
Gaming Score
5.6
7.6
2.0
Tek-Score
6.50
7.42
0.92
Your Score

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

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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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 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
    $689
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $688
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10+
    $565
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $579
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $575
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $684
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
    $535
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
    $535
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.EX
    $789
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $599
  • GooglerivalPixel 4 XL
    $780
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $600
  • HuaweirivalP40 Pro
    $799
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • GooglerivalPixel 5
    $580
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $729
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $600
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $549
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $650
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
  • OnePlusrival9
    $551
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554

 Samsung Galaxy S21 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $689
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $688
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $684
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.EX
    $789
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $599
  • GooglerivalPixel 4 XL
    $780
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $600
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Ultra
    $809
  • HuaweirivalMate 30 Pro
    $849
  • HuaweirivalP40 Pro
    $799
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Ultra
    $846
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $600
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $650
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
×

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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