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Xiaomi Mi 10 vs Samsung Galaxy S21: Which to Pick?

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

The Galaxy S21 isn't that affordable, but considering its features, it is the one you should pick.

It has better glass protection, a better display, water-resistance, and more OS updates (3 additional years). But with the Mi 10, you can get a glass back and better battery life.

What else stands out?

The Galaxy S21 also has a higher refresh rate display and a lightweight body (39 g./1.38 oz less). But the Mi 10 also brings a larger (+0.4") display, faster wireless charging (30w vs. 15w), and Bluetooth 5.1.

But how much more will I have to pay for the Galaxy S21?

If you ignore carrier offers, you're going to shell out an extra amount of about $269.

Is it worth buying the Mi 10 in 2021?

The Xiaomi Mi 10 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 11, but we should praise it because it features good performance, good battery life, fast wireless charging, and 8K recordings.

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.

Xiaomi Mi 10Samsung Galaxy S21

CONTENTS

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Introduction

Last January, Samsung launched its Galaxy S21. The Mi 10, however, saw the light of day in February 2020.

In this article, we see how the Mi 10 and the Galaxy S21 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 Mi 10 Galaxy S21
Release Date 2020, February 2021, January 1y.
OS Updates 1 year 3 years 2y.
Security Updates 4 years 4 years 0y.

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

On the multicore portion of Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance, the Mi 10 was, on average, 7% quicker while finishing its tests. All in all, there's not much of a difference between the two.

The Mi 10 also has a performance above the average for its price range. About 31% above.

One can entitle both of them as high-end.

Performance*
vs.
Features Mi 10 Galaxy S21
SoC Snapdragon 865 Exynos 2100
Graphics Adreno 650 Mali-G78 MP14
Geekbench 5 Score 3322
3113
-209
OS Android 10 and MIUI 12 Android 11 and OneUI
Tek-Score
7.5
7.2
-0.3

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Xiaomi Mi 10 front transparent png Samsung Galaxy S21 front transparent png

The Galaxy S21 is the winner here, but not by a significant margin.

Given the Mi 10, you should know that 86% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display, and 95% have an AMOLED screen. However, only 24% 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.
Features Mi 10 Galaxy S21
Size 6.6
6.2
-0.4
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1080x2340
1080x2400
64800
Refresh Rate 90hz 120hz 30
Dots per Inch 390.49
424.48
34.00
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Hole Hole
Peak Brightness 854 nits
856 nits
2
HDR HDR10+ HDR10+
Sub Tek-Score
8.6
9.2
0.6
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Tek-Score
6.6
9.7
3.1

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Xiaomi Mi 10 back transparent png Samsung Galaxy S21 back transparent png

We can safely state that the Xiaomi Mi 10 has a better camera.

About the Mi 10: I'm hoping we have a review from DXOMARK soon, and I'm also expecting a score pretty close to 131*. If you add its wide-angle lens, it can go up to 144** points.

PS: keep in mind that all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 90% feature Optical Image Stabilization. Although only 24% of them feature a macro lens.

About the Galaxy S21: DXOMARK evaluated this camera, and here's the score: 123. And by adding its wide-angle lens, this score goes up to 137 points. If you want to know more about it, check it here.

Lastly, just to let you know, 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.

One can place these two as high-end.

If you love optical zoom like I do, it might be time to consider smartphones like the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max or the Google Pixel 4 XL. And if you're willing to take it one step further, smartphones like the Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are simply something else.

*The guys over at DXOMARK know how to benchmark these shooters. Too bad they don't get a chance to test most of the cameras out there. So whenever I come across one such camera, I try to do my best by giving a similar score based on hardware specs only (OIS, Sensor size, Aperture, Lenses, HDR, and so on). The last time I've checked this formula, some cameras had a borderline margin of error of 2 points.

**Please take this with a grain of salt, especially with cameras with less than 40MP and no telephoto lens. They moved to a new camera test protocol, and there aren't enough reviewed phones to extrapolate a backward-compatible score.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera Mi 10 Galaxy S21
Megapixels 108
12
-96
Aperture 1.7
1.8
0.1
Lens 24mm
26mm
2
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 2 1 -1
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 4320 4320 0
Score 144
137
-7

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) Mi 10 Galaxy S21 vs.
Megapixels 13
64
51
Aperture 2.4
2.0
-0.4
Lens 12mm 29mm 17
Lens Type Ultra-wide-Angle Regular
Megapixels 2 12 10
Aperture 2.4 2.2 -0.2
Lens - 13mm
Lens Type Macro Ultra-wide-Angle
Megapixels 2 -
Aperture 2.4 -
Lens Type Depth Sensor -
Score 13 14 1
Selfie Camera Mi 10 Galaxy S21 vs.
Megapixels 20
10
-10
Aperture 2.0
2.2
0.2
Lens - 26mm
Mi 10 Galaxy S21 vs.
Tek-Score
8.5
8.1
-0.4

Who has the best frame?

The Galaxy S21 does win some points here, mainly for its weight, the number of color options, and water resistance.

The Mi 10 is 39 g. (1.38 oz) heavier than the other, weighing about 169 g. (5.96 oz). But because this is a bit relative, I've developed a formula for a kind of "display size to phone weight" ratio. The Mi 10 got a score of 3.5, showing it's kind of weighty for its screen size. 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. 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 Mi 10 Galaxy S21
Size 162 x 74 x 9 mm
(5.71 x 2.61 x 0.32 in)
151 x 71 x 7 mm
(5.33 x 2.50 x 0.25 in)
-32845
Weight 208 g. (7.34 oz)
169 g. (5.96 oz)
-39
Build Front and back glass Front glass
Colors Coral Green, Peach Gold, and Twilight Grey Phantom Gray, Phantom Violet, Phantom White, and Phantom Pink
Screen To Body Ratio 89.20%
86.57%
-2.63
Disp.Size To Weight Score 3.5 6.6 3.0
Looks 9.1/10
6.5/10
-2.6
Waterproof - IP68
Biometrics Under Display Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint
Tek-Score
1.8
7.7
5.9

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

Which has the best battery?

The Mi 10 has a 4780 mAh battery, and the Galaxy S21 has a 4000 mAh. And by GSMArena's standards, the former does have better battery life.

Just be aware that the Mi 10 also does overcome pretty much every phone out there. Just check out our best-of listing.

Fast wireless charging on the Mi 10 is likewise a nice plus. That isn't as frequent on its direct rivals.

Battery*
vs.
Features Mi 10 Galaxy S21
Capacity (mAh) 4780 4000 -780
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 84% left
81% left
-3
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 71% left
62% left
-9
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 74% left
67% left
-7
Bat. To Phone Size Score 4.3 6.2 1.9
Sub Tek-Score
7.6
7.0
-0.6
Fast Charging 30w
25w
-5
Wireless Charging 30w
15w
-15
Reverse Charging 5w
4.5w
-0.5
Tek-Score
7.7
6.9
-0.8

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

There isn't a winner here.

Storage*
vs.
Features Mi 10 Galaxy S21
RAM (GB) 8GB
8GB
0
Internal (GB) 128GB
128GB
0
Micro SD No No
Tek-Score
6.0
6.0
0.0

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

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

I'd go for the Mi 10 if you really value Bluetooth 5.1.

If you love good-old wired headphones, you're out of luck because none of them included a 3.5mm headphone jack. Just skip adapters and get a decent pair of wireless earbuds. You can have it anyway if you're willing to forget about them. The Galaxy Note 10 Lite or the Galaxy S10 Plus can help you with that.

You can connect them to (LTE and) 5G networks.

Connectivity
vs.
Features Mi 10 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 are their recently updated prices:

Xiaomi Mi 10

Reference: $529

Xiaomi Mi 10

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 Mi 10 Galaxy S21 VS
Amazon 1.29 - -
eBay - 1.13 -
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. First, let me mention the average at their price range. They're at 6.6 (for the Mi 10) and 6.9 (for the Galaxy S21).

Verdict: What Makes the Samsung Galaxy S21 Stand Out?

What can the Xiaomi Mi 10 give you that the Samsung Galaxy S21 can't:

- More affordable

- A larger display (+0.4")

- Front and back glass

- Better battery life

- Faster wireless charging (30w vs. 15w)

- Bluetooth 5.1

What can the Samsung Galaxy S21 give you that the Xiaomi Mi 10 can't:

- Higher refresh rates

- Better glass protection

- Better display

- Lighter (39 g./1.38 oz less)

- Water-resistant

- Front glass

- More OS updates (3 additional years)

Pros Mi 10 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 Wireless Charging Glass Protection
Cons Mi 10 Galaxy S21
#1 MicroSD Slot MicroSD Slot
#2 Weight 3.5mm Jack
#3 3.5mm Jack Price
#4 Price
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score Mi 10 Galaxy S21
Gaming Score
7.4
7.6
0.2
Tek-Score
6.80
7.42
0.62
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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Xiaomi Mi 10 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.


 Xiaomi Mi 10 
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $579
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $574
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $564
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro Max
    $500
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e EX
    $428
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $596
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
    $566
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
    $566
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 EX
    $429
  • OnePlusrival7 Pro
    $429
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $515
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $589
  • GooglerivalPixel 4 XL
    $579
  • HuaweirivalMate 20 Pro
    $548
  • OnePlusrival8
    $480
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10 Lite
    $425
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 4G
    $511
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
    $480
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $561
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A72
    $445
  • OnePlusrival9
    $469
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $503

 Samsung Galaxy S21 
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $688
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $579
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $700
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $574
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $564
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $596
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
    $566
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ EX
    $749
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
    $566
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $589
  • GooglerivalPixel 4 XL
    $579
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $749
  • HuaweirivalMate 20 Pro
    $548
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • GooglerivalPixel 5
    $682
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $650
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $561
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
    $529
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • 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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