Is the iPhone 13 the go-to flagship of 2021, or has Samsung eclipsed Apple’s latest attempt? Make your own mind up as we put the two titans head to head.
When you’re choosing your next phone, there are fewer more fundamental decisions than whether to plump for Apple’s iOS software, or Google’s Android operating system. For years now, Samsung has been the flagbearer of the latter, but is the Galaxy S21 good enough to put the iPhone 13 in the shade? Let’s find out…
Looks might not be everything, but they still count for something. On the one hand, the iPhone 13 remains very similar to its predecessors in the series, although the screen notch has at least reduced by 20% this time, so it does look a little dated these days.
That’s not to say the Galaxy S21 excels in this area either; the construction material has been changed to plastic, and though it may be more lightweight thanks to that change, it certainly feels less of a premium product.
The iPhone 13’s dual camera system is brilliant, with the biggest upgrade being the result when you’re shooting in lowlight conditions. So much detail in pulled into these images that you’re bound not to be disappointed. The only camera con here is that there’s no telephoto lens; for that, you’d have to pick the iPhone 13 Pro instead.
The Galaxy S21’s camera performs capably in various different conditions, though it’s not a massive step up over the Samsung Galaxy S20. However, the triple camera does ensure a tad more versatility than you’ll find on Apple’s counterpart.
The iPhone 13’s screen is brighter than before, and the colours are ravishingly represented, being punchy without ever feeling hyper-real. However, there’s a big drawback; it’s stuck on a standard 60Hz refresh rate, so scrolling on this device lacks the smooth quality many Android competitors possess.
On the other hand, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 might offer a maximum 120Hz refresh rate, it has simultaneously downgraded in another important department: the resolution is just 1080p, fairly poor for a flagship, and it’s noticeably less sharp in day-to-day use.
Performance & Battery
The iPhone 13’s A15 Bionic chipset is an absolute powerhouse of a processor, so you’ll have absolutely no trouble with it regardless of how demanding your apps are. That’s hardly news, bearing in mind Apple’s excellent track record, but the battery is a revelation; it will last you far longer than the iPhone 12.
The Galaxy S21 also runs on some seriously strong silicon (either the Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 depending on location), so you shouldn’t want for power with this device either. On the other hand, the battery is little more than sufficient, just about lasting through a day of usage.
The iPhone 13 has a starting price of £779/$799 for 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 launched with a retail price of £769/$799. It’s fair to say that the two smartphones stand on fairly even footing in this regard, and that’s what makes the decision potentially difficult.
Vote: iPhone 13 vs Samsung Galaxy S21
You’ve read our full rundown, but now it’s time for you to decide which is the better device. Let us know your thoughts in the poll below: