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Last January, Samsung launched its Galaxy S21. The Nord, however, saw the light of day in August 2020.
In this article, we see how the Nord and the Galaxy S21 compare to each other to help you decide and see which one of these is the right one for you.
For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.
to check who their rivals are.
|Release Date||2020, August||2021, January||1y.|
|OS Updates||1 year||3 years||2y.|
|Security Updates||2 years||4 years||2y.|
*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
Geekbench 5 scores the Galaxy S21 59% ahead of its rival in the multi-core ranking. You should also consider other features, but if you value every second you save, go for this one.
It's safe to say that the Nord can be tagged as an upper mid-range and the Galaxy S21 as a high-end device.
|SoC||Snapdragon 765||Exynos 2100|
|Graphics||Adreno 620||Mali-G78 MP14|
|Geekbench 5 Score||1953
|OS||Android 10 and OxygenOS 10||Android 11 and OneUI|
*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.
The Galaxy S21 is the title-holder here, but this is pretty much a tie.
Given the Nord, just know that 84% of its rivals can play HDR content, 96% have an AMOLED screen, and 80% have an Always-On display. However, only 20% of them feature Gorilla Glass 6 or Victus.
For the Galaxy S21, 91% of its rivals can play HDR content. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, and 95% have an Always-On display.
|Display Density (DPIs)*||vs.|
|Dots per Inch||411.22
|Peak Brightness||756 nits
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 5||Corning Gorilla Glass Victus|
*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.
Be aware that the Nord's picture quality is, on average, 35 points above other cameras from its price range. But you won't find a winner here.
About the Nord: DXOMARK gave this shooter a score of 117. Then, if you consider its digital zoom abilities, you'll end up with a score of 126. For an in-depth review, click here.
PS: you'd probably like to know that all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens.
About the Galaxy S21: On DXOMARK's reviewing article, they gave this shooter 123 points. And if we consider its wide-angle lens, we get a score of 137 points. If you want to know more about every tidbit, check it here.
Last (but not least), if you must know, just like the other device, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K, have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and feature Optical Image Stabilization. Regardless, only 14% of them feature a macro lens.
We can classify the Nord as a lower high-end and the Galaxy S21 in the high-end ballpark.
Have you noticed yet? If you want a telephoto lens, none of these will help you. Just pick something like the Galaxy Note 10 or the Google Pixel 4 XL instead. Or just forget them because devices like the Oppo Find X2 Pro aren't too good to be true anymore.
|Primary Camera||Nord||Galaxy S21|
*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.
|Extra Camera(s)||Nord||Galaxy S21||vs.|
|Lens Type||Depth Sensor||Ultra-wide-Angle|
|Selfie Camera||Nord||Galaxy S21||vs.|
I'd go for the Galaxy S21 for its weight, the number of color options, and water resistance.
The Nord is 15 g. (0.53 oz) heavier than its rival, which sits at 169 g. (5.96 oz). But because screen size also matters, I've come up with an adapted "display size to phone weight ratio" score. The Nord got 5.4, which means it has an acceptable score for a 6.4 inches screen. In the meantime, the Galaxy S21 has 6.6, which is pretty nice.
You can drop the Galaxy S21 into the water, up to 1 to 3 meters deep. That shouldn't last over half an hour, and it's in standby mode only. So don't take photos underwater.
|Size||158 x 73 x 8 mm
(5.57 x 2.58 x 0.28 in)
|151 x 71 x 7 mm
(5.33 x 2.50 x 0.25 in)
|Weight||184 g. (6.49 oz)
||169 g. (5.96 oz)
|Build||Front and back glass||Front glass|
|Colors||Blue Marble and Gray Onyx||Phantom Gray, Phantom Violet, Phantom White, and Phantom Pink|
|Screen To Body Ratio||85.74%
|Disp.Size To Weight Score||5.4||6.6||1.2|
|Biometrics||Under Display Fingerprint||Under Display Fingerprint|
*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.
The Nord does have a bigger battery, with 4115 mAh, while the Galaxy S21 only has 4000 mAh. And GSMArena did test them out, and the former does have better battery life.
If you fancy quick charges, you can count on the Nord. Devices with similar prices rarely exceed 26 watts.
|1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video||83% left
|1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video||68% left
|1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video||72% left
|Bat. To Phone Size Score||5.0||6.2||1.2|
*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.
They share the same amount of storage.
*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).
The Nord is your better option, as it features Bluetooth 5.1.
About the 3.5mm jack: Now may be the time to consider moving to wireless earbuds. Want a piece of advice? Forget about adapters and go for the wireless buds. You can have it anyway if you're not really leaning towards any of these. You can get that with the Oppo Find X3 Lite.
Both have a single network variant: (LTE and) 5G.
Here are their recently updated prices:
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||Nord||Galaxy S21||VS|
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.
Are you also considering other options? The global score can help. Just so you have an idea, take a look at where its adversaries average. They're in the ballpark of 6.3 for the Nord and 6.9 for the Galaxy S21.
What can the OnePlus Nord give you that the Samsung Galaxy S21 can't:
- More affordable
- A larger display (+0.2")
- Front and back glass
- Better battery life
- Bluetooth 5.1
What can the Samsung Galaxy S21 give you that the OnePlus Nord can't:
- Better performance (+66%)
- Higher refresh rates
- Better glass protection
- Better display
- Front glass
- More OS updates (3 additional years)
- Wireless charging
- Reverse wireless charging
|#5||Fast Charging||Fast Charging|
|#1||Wireless Charging||MicroSD Slot|
|#2||MicroSD Slot||3.5mm Jack|
|Global Score||Nord||Galaxy S21|
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.
|Total||Should be 10 or as close as possible:||9.6|
*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
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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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