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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus: Which to Pick?

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

The Galaxy S21 Plus is a little bit more expensive, but considering its features, its sibling is the one you should pick.

It has better performance (+46%) and a better display. But the Galaxy Note 10 Plus brings more internal storage (256GB vs. 128GB) and external storage.

What else sets them apart?

The Galaxy S21 Plus also has a higher refresh rate display. But the Galaxy Note 10 Plus also features a telephoto lens (+23 mm), faster-charging speeds (45w vs. 25w), and more RAM (12GB vs. 8GB).

Keep in mind that these are both great devices since their final score is almost the same.

How much more will those additional features cost me?

If you're going off-contract, it'll most likely cost you (up to about $50) less. So you should really look into it.

Is the Galaxy Note 10 Plus still worth buying in 2021?

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus is holding up pretty well in 2021, even more so if you can find it with a great deal. That doesn't mean you should ignore other devices like the Galaxy S20 Plus since it has better performance and more security updates.

Keep reading to learn more about what sets them apart, how they rival their competition, and you'll know how the tech experts evaluate their specs.

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

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 PlusSamsung Galaxy S21 Plus

CONTENTS

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Introduction

Last January, Samsung launched its Galaxy S21 Plus. The Galaxy Note 10 Plus, however, saw the light of day in August 2019.

With this article, you'll be able to compare every feature of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus and the Galaxy S21 Plus. 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 Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Release Date 2019, August 2021, January 2y.
OS Updates 3 years 3 years 0y.
Security Updates 4 years 4 years 0y.

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

Geekbench 5 scores the Galaxy S21 Plus 46% ahead of its sibling in the multi-core ranking. You should also consider other features, but if you value every second you save, go for this one.

You're not looking for the slowest phone around, right? The Galaxy Note 10 Plus is clearly under the average if you consider related-priced phones. The average score is 2705, but it got 2137.

By the way, you can define the Galaxy Note 10 Plus as an upper mid-range and the Galaxy S21 Plus as a high-end device.

PS: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (with the Adreno 640 GPU) and the Exynos 9825 (with the Mali-G76) are market-dependent.

There's a performance increase of about 20% on the 855 for the Galaxy Note 10 Plus.

Performance*
vs.
Features Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
SoC Exynos 9825 Exynos 2100
Graphics Mali-G76 MP12 Mali-G78 MP14
Geekbench 5 Score 2137
3113
976
OS Android 9 (Pie) and OneUI Android 11 and OneUI
Tek-Score
5.6
7.2
1.6

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus front transparent png Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus front transparent png

There isn't a winner here, so none of these stands out. But the Galaxy S21 Plus features better glass protection.

Are you looking for big screens? Then, there aren't many devices to consider besides the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. There are just not that many choices in its class.

The Galaxy S21 Plus sets itself apart from other similarly priced phones: Its display has a low pixel density.

Considering the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, 87% of its rivals can play HDR content, 96% have an AMOLED screen, and 91% have an Always-On display.

For the Galaxy S21 Plus, 89% of its rivals can play HDR content. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, and 93% have an Always-On display.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Size 6.8
6.7
-0.1
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1440x3040
1080x2400
-1785600
Refresh Rate 60hz 120hz 60
Dots per Inch 494.68
392.81
-101.87
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Hole Hole
Peak Brightness 794 nits
883 nits
89
HDR HDR10+ HDR10+
Sub Tek-Score
9.1
9.0
-0.1
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 6 Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Tek-Score
8.0
9.6
1.6

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus back transparent png Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus back transparent png

You should note that the Galaxy Note 10 Plus is in the neighborhood of 52% above other smartphones from its price range. But you won't find a winner here.

The Galaxy Note 10+ has a dual aperture camera. You can choose between f/1.5 or f/2.4.

About the Galaxy Note 10 Plus: This camera came out of DXOMARK's labs with a score of 118. Then, if you consider the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, that will go up to 130. For a thorough review, click here.

I hope this helps: keep in mind that all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 91% feature Optical Image Stabilization. On the other hand, only 22% of them feature a macro lens.

About the Galaxy S21 Plus: DXOMARK has rated this camera with a score of 123. By considering its wide-angle lens, that score goes up to 137. If you want to know more about it, check it here.

Last (but not least), all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 93% feature Optical Image Stabilization. That said, only 15% of them feature a macro lens.

If you prefer, we can grade the Galaxy Note 10 Plus as lower high-end and the Galaxy S21 Plus as high-end.

You can easily isolate a subject in the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, and enable more exposure with its wider aperture.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Megapixels 12
12
0
Aperture 1.5
1.8
0.3
Lens 27mm
26mm
-1
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 1 0
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 4320 2160
Score 130
137
7

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus vs.
Megapixels 12
64
52
Aperture 2.1
2.0
-0.1
Lens 52mm (2x zoom)
29mm -23
Lens Type Telephoto lens Regular
Megapixels 16 12 -4
Aperture 2.2 2.2 0.0
Lens 12mm 13mm 1
Lens Type Ultra-wide-Angle Ultra-wide-Angle
Megapixels 0.3 -
Lens Type Depth Sensor -
Score 12 14 2
Selfie Camera Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus vs.
Megapixels 10
10
0
Aperture 2.2
2.2
0.0
Lens 26mm 26mm 0
Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus vs.
Tek-Score
7.6
8.1
0.4

Who has the best frame?

None of them stands out, so any will do.

Adding to that, both weigh about the same: 196 g. (6.91 oz). If you want a big screen in a lightweight phone, I've created an adapted score for a "weight to display size" ratio. The Galaxy Note 10 Plus got 5.3, meaning it has an acceptable score for its display size. The Galaxy S21 Plus, however, has 4.6, so nothing to state here.

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus is rated IP68, which means it's water-resistant in up to 1 to 3 meters, identical to the Galaxy S21 Plus. Remember that it shouldn't be for over half an hour, on standby, and freshwater only.

Looks*
vs.
Body Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Size 162 x 77 x 7 mm
(5.71 x 2.72 x 0.25 in)
161 x 75 x 7 mm
(5.68 x 2.65 x 0.25 in)
-2793
Weight 196 g. (6.91 oz)
200 g. (7.05 oz)
4
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Aura Glow, Aura Black, Aura White, and Aura Blue Phantom Black, Phantom Violet, Phantom Silver, Phantom Red, Phantom Gold, and Phantom Pink
Screen To Body Ratio 92.52%
89.75%
-2.77
Disp.Size To Weight Score 5.3 4.6 -0.7
Looks 10.0/10
10.0/10
0.0
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Biometrics Under Display Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint
Tek-Score
7.3
7.2
-0.1

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

Which has the best battery?

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus does have a smaller battery, with 4300 mAh, while the Galaxy S21 Plus has 4800 mAh. But as claimed by GSMArena, you shouldn't expect notable differences here.

For the record, both of them also do overcome pretty much every phone out there. Do check our top 10 list with the best battery life.

Fast charging is indeed fast with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. Other devices from this price range usually sit at nearly 32w.

Battery*
vs.
Features Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Capacity (mAh) 4300 4800 500
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 84% left
84% left
0
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 68% left
70% left
2
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 74% left
74% left
0
Bat. To Phone Size Score 3.3 4.1 0.9
Sub Tek-Score
7.5
7.6
0.1
Fast Charging 45w
25w
-20
Wireless Charging 15w
15w
0
Reverse Charging 9w
4.5w
-4.5
Tek-Score
7.6
7.3
-0.3

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus. Twice as much.

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus features 256GB of internal storage and 12GB of RAM. Be aware that at this price segment, others have less storage and less RAM. Right now, the average is 150Gb of storage and 8GB of RAM.

Storage*
vs.
Features Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
RAM (GB) 12GB
8GB
-4
Internal (GB) 256GB
128GB
-128
Micro SD microSDXC (shared SIM slot) No
Tek-Score
10.0
6.0
-4.0

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

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

The Galaxy S21 Plus for sure, as it has 5G.

There isn't much to say about the 3.5mm headphone jack, except that it simply isn't here. You can try an adapter if you want, but the wireless buds are the way to go here. Or you can also check its rivals if you're not really leaning towards any of these. The Galaxy Note 10 Lite or the Galaxy A72 can help you with that.

The Galaxy Note 10 Plus runs on LTE or (LTE and) 5G networks.

Connectivity
vs.
Features Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Network LTE (also available in 5G) 5G
Bluetooth 5.0
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack No No
Tek-Score
3.6
4.6
1.0

Which is more affordable?

Here are the prices that we've come across recently:

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

Reference: $949

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

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 Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus VS
Amazon - 1.00 -
eBay 1.35 1.25 -0.11
Best Buy - 0.93 -
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. Let me point out the average of its competitors. It's 6.9 for the Galaxy Note 10 Plus and 7.0 for the Galaxy S21 Plus.

Verdict: Does any of them really stand out?

What can the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus give you that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus can't:

- More DPIs

- A telephoto lens (+23 mm)

- Faster charging speeds (45w vs. 25w)

- More internal storage (256GB vs. 128GB)

- More RAM (12GB vs. 8GB)

- External storage

What can the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus give you that the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus can't:

- Better performance (+46%)

- Higher refresh rates

- Better display

- More OS updates (2 additional years)

Pros Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
#1 AMOLED Performance
#2 Always-On-Display AMOLED
#3 Cameras Always-On-Display
#4 Battery Life Cameras
#5 Fast Charging Battery Life
#6 Wireless Charging Fast Charging
#7 MicroSD Slot Wireless Charging
#8 Storage Glass Protection
#9 Glass Protection
Cons Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
#1 Weight MicroSD Slot
#2 3.5mm Jack Weight
#3 Price 3.5mm Jack
#4 Price
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score Galaxy Note 10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Gaming Score
7.5
7.6
0.1
Tek-Score
7.65
7.47
-0.18
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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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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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 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.


 Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $579
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $575
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e SD
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
    $535
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
    $535
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 SD
    $499
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $503
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $599
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $600
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8
    $480
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 4G
    $463
  • GooglerivalPixel 5
    $580
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $600
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
    $480
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $549
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
    $529
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $650
  • OnePlusrival9
    $551
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554

 Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 
  • 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
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e SD
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
    $535
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
    $535
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 SD
    $499
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $503
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $599
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $600
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • GooglerivalPixel 5
    $580
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $549
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
    $529
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $650
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
  • OnePlusrival9
    $551
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554
×

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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