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Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy A72: Which to Pick?

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

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

It gives you better performance (+91%), better glass protection, a better display, better cameras, and a glass back. But the Galaxy A72 will deliver external storage.

Anything else?

The Galaxy S21 Plus also has a higher refresh rate display, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, and more RAM (8GB vs. 6GB). But with the Galaxy A72, you can also get a telephoto lens (+49 mm) and a headphone jack.

How much more will the Galaxy S21 Plus cost me?

If you're going off-contract, you're going to shell out an extra amount of about $554.

Keep reading to learn more about what sets them apart, how they rival their competition, and how the tech industry is evaluating 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 S21 PlusSamsung Galaxy A72

CONTENTS

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Introduction

Samsung launched its Galaxy A72 last March, while Samsung's Galaxy S21 Plus arrived at stores last January.

We are looking at how the Galaxy S21 Plus and the Galaxy A72 compare to each other to help you decide which might be 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 S21 Plus Galaxy A72
Release Date 2021, January 2021, March 0y.
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 91% ahead of its sibling in the multi-core ranking. Do keep this number in mind, so you don't regret it later.

You're not looking for the slowest phone around, right? The Galaxy A72 is clearly under the average if you consider its rivals. It got a score of 1627, compared to the usual 2405, or close to that.

It's safe to say that the Galaxy S21 Plus can be tagged as high-end and the Galaxy A72 as a mid-range device.

Performance*
vs.
Features Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy A72
SoC Exynos 2100 Snapdragon 720
Graphics Mali-G78 MP14 Adreno 618
Geekbench 5 Score 3113
1627
-1486
OS Android 11 and OneUI Android 11 and OneUI
Tek-Score
7.2
4.7
-2.5

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus front transparent png Samsung Galaxy A72 front transparent png

They ended up with identical scores, so you have to decide for yourself.

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

Regarding the Galaxy A72, please be aware that 84% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display, and 94% have an AMOLED screen. Then again, only 23% of them feature Gorilla Glass 6 or Victus.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy A72
Size 6.7
6.7
0.0
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1080x2400
1080x2400
0
Refresh Rate 120hz 90hz -30
Dots per Inch 392.81
392.81
0.00
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Hole Hole
Peak Brightness 883 nits
825 nits
-58
HDR HDR10+ -
Sub Tek-Score
9.0
8.6
-0.3
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass Victus Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Tek-Score
9.6
4.2
-5.4

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus back transparent png Samsung Galaxy A72 back transparent png

We can safely assume that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus has a better shooter.

About the Galaxy S21 Plus: This camera came out of DXOMARK's labs with a score of 123. If you add its wide-angle lens, you'll end up with a score of 137. For a thorough review, click here.

I hope this helps: you should know 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. On the other hand, only 15% of them feature a macro lens.

About the Galaxy A72: Sooner than later, we'll be getting a review from DXOMARK's team. Given its specs, it'll be close to 101*. And if we consider the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, we end up with a score of 115** points.

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.

If you prefer, we can grade the Galaxy S21 Plus as a high-end while the Galaxy A72 leans towards the upper mid-range.

*The guys over at DXOMARK know how to benchmark these shooters. Too bad some cameras don't have a chance to be tested. So when I get my hands on one of them, I do my best to get a comparable score by evaluating hardware specs only (sensor size, Aperture, HDR, OIS, Lenses, and so on). The last time I've checked this formula, some cameras had a deviation of up to 2 points.

**This score still needs improvement, especially for cameras with no zoom and with less than 40MP. They just changed their protocol, and they don't have enough reviews, so I can refine the pre-update camera scores.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy A72
Megapixels 12
64
52
Aperture 1.8
1.8
0.0
Lens 26mm
26mm
0
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 1 0
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 4320 2160 -2160
Score 137
115
-22

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy A72 vs.
Megapixels 64
8
-56
Aperture 2.0
2.4
0.4
Lens 29mm 78mm (3x zoom)
49
Lens Type Regular Telephoto lens
Megapixels 12 12 0
Aperture 2.2 2.2 0.0
Lens 13mm 13mm 0
Lens Type Ultra-wide-Angle Ultra-wide-Angle
Megapixels - 5
Aperture - 2.4
Lens Type - Macro
Score 14 14 0
Selfie Camera Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy A72 vs.
Megapixels 10
32
22
Aperture 2.2
2.2
0.0
Lens 26mm 26mm 0
Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy A72 vs.
Tek-Score
8.1
6.8
-1.3

Who has the best frame?

The Galaxy S21 Plus does win some points here, mainly for its glass build, water resistance, and better looks.

In addition to that, the Galaxy A72 is around 12% bigger than other devices at this price level.

Both also have about the same weight: 200 g. (7.05 oz). If you want a big screen in a lightweight phone, I've come up with an adapted "display size to phone weight ratio" score. The Galaxy S21 Plus got 4.6, showing it has an acceptable score for its screen size. Having said that, the Galaxy A72 has 4.3, so nothing to state here.

You can drop the Galaxy S21 Plus into the water, up to 1 to 3 meters deep, but the Galaxy A72 should hold up to 1 meter. That should be for up to 30 minutes, and it's freshwater in standby mode only.

Looks*
vs.
Body Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy A72
Size 161 x 75 x 7 mm
(5.68 x 2.65 x 0.25 in)
165 x 77 x 8 mm
(5.82 x 2.72 x 0.28 in)
17115
Weight 200 g. (7.05 oz)
203 g. (7.16 oz)
3
Build Front and back glass Front glass
Colors Phantom Black, Phantom Violet, Phantom Silver, Phantom Red, Phantom Gold, and Phantom Pink Awesome Black, Awesome Violet, Awesome White, and Awesome Blue
Screen To Body Ratio 89.75%
85.30%
-4.45
Disp.Size To Weight Score 4.6 4.3 -0.3
Looks 10.0/10
6.2/10
-3.7
Waterproof IP68 IP67
Biometrics Under Display Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint
Tek-Score
7.2
4.9
-2.3

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

Which has the best battery?

The Galaxy S21 Plus has a 4800 mAh battery, and the Galaxy A72 has a 5000 mAh. But by GSMArena's standards, you should get the same battery life with either device.

You should know that both of them also don't have many rivals at any given price range. Let's see if both still have a place on our best-of listing.

Battery*
vs.
Features Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy A72
Capacity (mAh) 4800 5000 200
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 84% left
85% left
1
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 70% left
73% left
3
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 74% left
73% left
-1
Bat. To Phone Size Score 4.1 3.1 -1.0
Sub Tek-Score
7.6
7.7
0.1
Fast Charging 25w
25w
0
Wireless Charging 15w
No -15
Reverse Charging 4.5w
No -4.5
Tek-Score
7.3
6.6
-0.7

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

It's a tie.

Storage*
vs.
Features Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy A72
RAM (GB) 8GB
6GB
-2
Internal (GB) 128GB
128GB
0
Micro SD No microSDXC (shared slot)
Tek-Score
6.0
7.5
1.5

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

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

I'd go for the Galaxy A72 if you really value a headphone jack.

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

Connectivity
vs.
Features Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy A72
Network 5G LTE
Bluetooth 5.0
5.0
NFC Yes Yes (market dependent)
3.5mm jack No Yes
Tek-Score
4.6
8.5
3.8

Which is more affordable?

Here are their recently updated prices:

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Reference: $999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Samsung Galaxy A72

Reference: $445

Samsung Galaxy A72

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 S21 Plus Galaxy A72 VS
Amazon 1.00 1.13 0.14
eBay 1.25 1.12 -0.12
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)

Are you also considering other options? The global score can help. First, let me mention the average at their price range. They usually sit close to 7.0 (for the Galaxy S21 Plus) and 6.4 (for the Galaxy A72).

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

What can the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus give you that the Samsung Galaxy A72 can't:

- Better performance (+91%)

- Higher refresh rates

- Better glass protection

- Better display

- Better cameras

- Front and back glass

- Wireless charging

- Reverse wireless charging

- More RAM (8GB vs. 6GB)

What can the Samsung Galaxy A72 give you that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus can't:

- More affordable

- A telephoto lens (+49 mm)

- Front glass

- External storage

- A headphone jack

Pros Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy A72
#1 Performance AMOLED
#2 AMOLED Always-On-Display
#3 Always-On-Display Cameras
#4 Cameras Battery Life
#5 Battery Life Fast Charging
#6 Fast Charging MicroSD Slot
#7 Wireless Charging 3.5mm Jack
#8 Glass Protection
Cons Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy A72
#1 MicroSD Slot Wireless Charging
#2 Weight Weight
#3 3.5mm Jack Price
#4 Price Glass Protection
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy A72
Gaming Score
7.6
5.5
-2.1
Tek-Score
7.47
6.06
-1.41
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.

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

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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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Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Related Comparisons


Samsung Galaxy A72 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 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

 Samsung Galaxy A72 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 8
    $370
  • OnePlusrival7
    $388
  • XiaomirivalMi 9T Pro
    $385
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 8
    $419
  • ApplerivaliPhone 8 Plus
    $390
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e
    $428
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10
    $499
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS
    $410
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10
    $398
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e EX
    $428
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e SD
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ SD
    $359
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 EX
    $429
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 SD
    $499
  • OnePlusrival7 Pro
    $429
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $503
  • HuaweirivalP30
    $400
  • GooglerivalPixel 4
    $386
  • HuaweirivalMate 20 Pro
    $436
  • XiaomirivalMi 9
    $400
  • ApplerivaliPhone SE 2
    $380
  • OnePlusrival8
    $480
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A71
    $400
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10 Lite
    $425
  • OnePlusrivalNord
    $410
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE
    $359
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 4G
    $463
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 5G
    $359
  • OpporivalFind X2 Neo
    $398
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy M51
    $396
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
    $480
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
    $529
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Lite
    $399
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A52
    $380
  • XiaomirivalMi 9t Pro
    $385
×

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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