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Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus: Which to Pick?

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

The Galaxy S21 Plus comes at a higher price, but it's the smartphone you should pick.

It comes with better performance (+48%), a better display, better battery life, and more OS updates (2 additional years). But with the Galaxy S10 Plus, you can get external storage.

Are there other things worth mentioning?

The Galaxy S21 Plus also comes with a higher refresh rate, larger (+0.3") display, and faster-charging speeds (25w vs. 15w). But the Galaxy S10 Plus will also give you a telephoto lens (+23 mm) and a headphone jack.

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

How much more will the Galaxy S21 Plus cost me?

If you ignore carrier offers, you'll have to invest an additional amount close to $310.

Is it worth getting the Galaxy S10 Plus in 2022?

The Galaxy S10 Plus is still a great phone, even in 2022, especially now that it's cheaper. Having said that, the Galaxy S20 Plus has better performance, more security updates, faster charging, and more RAM.

Is the Galaxy S21 Plus still worth getting in 2022?

Just because the Galaxy S21 Plus was released last year doesn't mean I won't recommend it. I like its good performance, good battery life, excellent glass protection, and 8K recordings. Although you can also check the OnePlus 9 Pro.

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

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.

Samsung Galaxy S10 PlusSamsung Galaxy S21 Plus

CONTENTS

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Introduction

Samsung introduced its Galaxy S21 Plus model in January 2021. Meanwhile, Samsung's Galaxy S10 Plus started to sell in March 2019.

In this article, we see how the Galaxy S10 Plus and the Galaxy S21 Plus compare to each other to help you decide and see which one of these is the right one for you.

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 S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Release Date 2019, March 2021, January 2y.
OS Updates 3 years 3 years 0y.
Security Updates 4 years 4 years 0y.

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

Performance-wise, Geekbench 5 scores the Galaxy S21 Plus 48% ahead in the multi-core ranking. If you value performance, be aware of that difference, as it will be noticeable daily.

Be aware that the Galaxy S10 Plus's performance is under the pattern if you consider related-priced phones. About 30% below.

We can label the Galaxy S10 Plus as an upper mid-range and the Galaxy S21 Plus as high-end.

PS: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (with the Adreno 640 GPU) and the Exynos 9820 (with the Mali-G76) are market-dependent. Click here for more info.

There's a performance increase of about 17% on the 855 for the Galaxy S10 Plus.

Performance*
vs.
Features Galaxy S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
SoC Exynos 9820 Exynos 2100
Graphics Mali-G76 MP12 Mali-G78 MP14
Geekbench 5 Score 2103
3113
1010
OS Android 9 (Pie) and OneUI Android 11 and OneUI
Tek-Score
5.4
7.0
1.6

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 13.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus front transparent png Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus front transparent png

There's no phone to praise here, so none of these stands out. Although the Galaxy S21 Plus has better glass protection.

Bearing in mind the Galaxy S10 Plus, just know that 88% of its rivals can play HDR content. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, and 84% have an Always-On display.

Considering the Galaxy S21 Plus, I should say that 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 Galaxy S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Size 6.4
6.7
0.3
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1440x3040
1080x2400
-1785600
Refresh Rate 60hz 120hz 60
Dots per Inch 525.59
392.81
-132.79
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Hole Hole
Peak Brightness 793 nits
883 nits
90
HDR HDR10+ HDR10+
Sub Tek-Score
9.1
9.0
-0.2
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 S10 Plus back transparent png Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus back transparent png

If you value quality photos, you should know that the Galaxy S21 Plus is about 45 points above other cameras from its price range. And that's enough to beat the Galaxy S10 Plus too.

You'll get a dual aperture shooter on the Galaxy S10+ that allows you to choose between f/1.5 or f/2.4.

About the Galaxy S10 Plus: DXOMARK reviewed this camera and gave it 112 points. Then, if you consider the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, the final score goes up to 125** points. If you want to know more about it, click here.

To put things in perspective: all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 96% feature Optical Image Stabilization. Nevertheless, only 16% of them feature a macro lens.

About the Galaxy S21 Plus: The guys over at the DXOMARK labs scored this camera with 123 points. And if we consider its wide-angle lens, we'll get to the final score of 137 points. Just click here to read about it.

Last (but not least), just so you 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. Moreover, only 20% of them feature a macro lens.

One can place the Galaxy S10 Plus as lower high-end and the Galaxy S21 Plus in the high-end ballpark.

Just in case it's a deciding factor, the Galaxy S10 Plus telephoto lens is 26mm lower than the average in its class.

You can easily add dimension to your photos on the Galaxy S10 Plus and also avoid blurred pictures thanks to its greater aperture.

**This score still needs improvement, particularly on mid-end cameras with less than 40MP and no zoom lens. They moved to a better camera test protocol, and I only have few reviewed devices to deduce a compatible score.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera Galaxy S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Megapixels 12
12
0
Aperture 1.5
1.8
0.3
Lens 26mm
26mm
0
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 1 0
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 4320 2160
Score 125
137
12

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) Galaxy S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus vs.
Megapixels 12
64
52
Aperture 2.4
2.0
-0.4
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
Score 13 14 1
Selfie Camera Galaxy S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus vs.
Megapixels 10
10
0
Aperture 1.9
2.2
0.3
Lens 26mm 26mm 0
Galaxy S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus vs.
Tek-Score
7.4
8.1
0.7

Who has the best frame?

If you're still undecided about them, the Galaxy S10 Plus is a better choice based on its weight. But the Galaxy S21 Plus is also pretty decent.

The Galaxy S21 Plus is 25 g. (0.99 oz) heavier than the other, weighing about 175 g. (6.17 oz). But because screen size also matters, I've developed a formula for a kind of "display size to phone weight" ratio. The Galaxy S10 Plus got a score of 6.5, showing a pretty nice weight for its screen size. In the meantime, the Galaxy S21 Plus has 4.6, so nothing to state here.

The Galaxy S10 Plus is rated IP68, which means it's water-resistant in up to 1 to 3 meters, much like the Galaxy S21 Plus. That should be for up to 30 minutes, and it's freshwater in standby mode only.

Looks*
vs.
Body Galaxy S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Size 157 x 74 x 7 mm
(5.54 x 2.61 x 0.25 in)
161 x 75 x 7 mm
(5.68 x 2.65 x 0.25 in)
3199
Weight 175 g. (6.17 oz)
200 g. (7.05 oz)
25
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Prism White, Prism Green, Prism Black, Flamingo Pink, Canary Yellow, Prism Blue, Ceramic Black, Ceramic White, Cardinal Red, and Smoke Blue Phantom Black, Phantom Violet, Phantom Silver, Phantom Red, Phantom Gold, and Phantom Pink
Screen To Body Ratio 88.00%
89.75%
1.76
Disp.Size To Weight Score 6.5 4.6 -1.9
Looks 10.0/10
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?

At 4100 mAh, the Galaxy S10 Plus is the owner of the smallest battery, while the Galaxy S21 Plus features 4800 mAh. And as reported by GSMArena, the latter is the one that stands out.

For the record, the Galaxy S21 Plus can also beat almost all devices I've analyzed. Just check out our top 10 list with the best battery life.

The Snapdragon 855 chipset has another advantage: A battery life boost of about 15% (screen-on-time) if you compare it to the Exynos 9820.

Battery*
vs.
Features Galaxy S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Capacity (mAh) 4100 4800 700
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 81% left
84% left
3
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 65% left
70% left
5
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 67% left
74% left
7
Bat. To Phone Size Score 3.6 3.6 -0.1
Sub Tek-Score
7.1
7.6
0.5
Fast Charging 15w
25w
10
Wireless Charging 15w
15w
0
Reverse Charging 9w
4.5w
-4.5
Tek-Score
6.8
7.3
0.4

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A42.

Which has more storage?

None of them.

Storage*
vs.
Features Galaxy S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
RAM (GB) 8GB
8GB
0
Internal (GB) 128GB
128GB
0
Micro SD microSDXC (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 Galaxy S10 Plus is your better option, as it features a headphone jack.

You can find the Galaxy S21 Plus in the (LTE and) 5G variant.

Connectivity
vs.
Features Galaxy S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Network LTE 5G
Bluetooth 5.0
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack Yes No
Tek-Score
8.5
4.6
-3.8

Which is more affordable?

Here's what we've found out:

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Reference: $689

Samsung Galaxy S10 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 S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus VS
Amazon 1.05 - -
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)

Are you also considering other options? The global score can help. For reference purposes, I'll tell you where most of its rivals average. They're at 7.0 (for the Galaxy S10 Plus) and 6.9 (for the Galaxy S21 Plus).

Verdict: Does any of them really stand out?

What can the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus give you that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus can't:

- More affordable

- More DPIs

- A telephoto lens (+23 mm)

- External storage

- A headphone jack

What can the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus give you that the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus can't:

- Better performance (+48%)

- Higher refresh rates

- Better display

- A larger display (+0.3")

- Better battery life

- Faster charging speeds (25w vs. 15w)

- More OS updates (2 additional years)

Pros Galaxy S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
#1 AMOLED Performance
#2 Always-On-Display AMOLED
#3 Cameras Always-On-Display
#4 Fast Charging Cameras
#5 Wireless Charging Battery Life
#6 MicroSD Slot Fast Charging
#7 3.5mm Jack Wireless Charging
#8 Glass Protection Glass Protection
Cons Galaxy S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
#1 Price MicroSD Slot
#2 Weight
#3 3.5mm Jack
#4 Price
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score Galaxy S10 Plus Galaxy S21 Plus
Gaming Score
6.7
7.6
0.9
Tek-Score
7.19
7.43
0.24
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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Samsung Galaxy S10 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 S10 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+ EX
    $689
  • 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
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • OnePlusrival8
    $630
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • 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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