Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Galaxy S21: is it time to upgrade?

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The Samsung Galaxy S21 adjacent to nan Samsung Galaxy S24.Samsung Galaxy S21 (left) and Samsung Galaxy S24 Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Your Samsung Galaxy S21 has precocious turned 3 years old. To observe its milestone, you whitethorn want to see upgrading to a newer model, specified arsenic nan recently released Samsung Galaxy S24. With a newer processor, improved display, longer artillery life, and different upgrades, it tin look for illustration a really tempting offer.

But is nan Galaxy S24 really worthy nan $800 asking value if you still person a Galaxy S21? Here’s everything you request to cognize earlier deciding.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21: specs

Galaxy S24 Galaxy S21
Weight 5.93 oz (168.0 g) 6.03 oz (171.0 g)
Dimensions 5.79 x 2.78 x 0.30 inches (147 x 70.6 x 7.6mm) 5.97 x 2.80 x 0.31 inches (151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm)
Screen size, specs 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X

Scratch-resistant solid (Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2)

6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity Flex Display

Scratch-resistant solid (Corning Gorilla Glass Victus)

Screen resolution 2340 x 1080 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio, 416 ppi

120Hz refresh rate

2600 nits highest brightness

2400 x 1080 pixels, 20:9 ratio, 424 ppi

120Hz refresh rate

1300 nits highest brightness

Operating system Android 14 Shipped pinch Android 11, upgradeable to Android 14
Storage 128GB aliases 256GB 128GB aliases 256GB
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (4 nm) Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (5 nm)
Camera 50MP main,ƒ/1.8 aperture, OIS
12MP ultrawide, ƒ/2.2 aperture
10MP telephoto, ƒ/2.4 aperture, 3x optical zoom
12MP beforehand ƒ/2.2 aperture

12MP main, ƒ/1.8 aperture, OIS
12MP ultrawide, ƒ/2.2 aperture
64MP telephoto, ƒ/2.0 aperture, 1.1x optical zoom, 3x hybrid zoom
10MP front, ƒ/2.2 aperture

Video Up to 8K astatine 30 frames per 2nd (fps)

4K astatine 60 fps

FHD astatine 120 fps

960 fps for slow motion

Up to 8K astatine 24 fps

4K astatine 30 fps aliases 60 fps

1080p astatine 30 fps, 60 fps, aliases 240 fps

Galaxy AI Yes No
Authentication Ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint Ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint
Resistance Water, Dust; IP68 Water, Dust; IP68

4,000 mAh

25W wired charging

15W wireless charging

4.5W reverse wireless charging

4,000 mAh

25W wired charging

15W wireless charging

4.5W reverse wireless charging

SIM ports 1 2
Network support 5G (sub-6, mmWave) 5G (sub-6)
Colors Onyx Black, Marble Grey, Cobalt Violet, Amber Yellow, Jade Green, Sandstone Orange, Sapphire Blue Phantom Pink, Violet, Gray, White
Price From $800 From $800 (original)

Galaxy S24 vs. S21: creation and display

Samsung Galaxy S24 successful Marble Gray held successful hand.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

When you comparison nan Galaxy S21 to nan Galaxy S24 from a creation perspective, you tin announcement a fewer differences. Firstly, nan S24 exemplary doesn’t person arsenic defined a camera bump arsenic nan S21 does. The S24’s camera sensors are placed individually connected nan backmost of nan phone, and while they don’t beryllium wholly flush, it’s a overmuch simpler look. Additionally, it’s worthy mentioning that nan S21 has a integrative backmost and aluminum frame, while nan S24 has a solid back, which gives it a much premium consciousness and a amended grip.

Both phones person a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED show that Corning Gorilla Glass protects. However, nan older Galaxy S21 uses Gorilla Glass Victus, while nan newer Galaxy S24 has Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2. The main quality betwixt nan 2 Victus versions is that nan newer 1 has improved driblet performance. Corning claims that nan Victus 2 solid tin past drops of up to 2 meters, which is simply a important betterment complete nan first Victus version. This intends that nan S24 is little apt to suffer from cracks aliases scratches successful lawsuit of accidental drops aliases impacts.

Finally, while some nan S24 and S21 person refresh rates that spell up to 120Hz for soft scrolling, only nan S24 tin spell down to 1Hz. By comparison, nan S21’s refresh complaint only hits a minimum of 48Hz. You whitethorn not announcement this successful day-to-day use, but it intends nan S24’s surface is overmuch much businesslike and translates to amended artillery life (more connected that below).

Galaxy S24 vs. S21: capacity and battery

Samsung Galaxy S21.Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

The Galaxy S21 was released pinch 2 different processor variants depending connected nan region. If purchased successful North America, Europe, aliases China, it includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor. The processor has an octa-core pinch a 2.84 GHz Kryo 680 Prime core, 3 2.42 GHz Kryo 680 cores, and 4 1.80 GHz Kryo 680 cores. It is paired pinch nan Adreno GPU, and nan nonstop exemplary number is not specified successful nan text.

However, successful different regions, nan S21 shipped pinch Samsung’s Exynos 2100 processor, which is besides an octa-core processor. It has a 2.9 GHz Cortex-X1 core, 3 2.80 GHz Cortex-A78 cores, and 4 2.2 GHz Cortex-A55 cores. It is paired pinch nan Mali-G78 MP14 GPU.

The newer Galaxy S24 smartphone besides has different processors, depending connected nan location. If you unrecorded successful North America, it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy spot — a modified type of nan modular Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. The processor includes either an octa-core aliases deca-core, depending connected nan region, pinch halfway speeds ranging from 1.95GHz to 3.39GHz, and it is paired pinch nan Adreno GPU. In different areas, nan S24 ships pinch an in-house Exynos 2400 processor.

Samsung Galaxy S24 successful Marble Gray showing Google Maps.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

When upgrading from nan S21 to nan S24, you’ll almost surely acquisition a smoother and faster performance, depending connected your usage. The Galaxy S24 is simply a capacity beast, handling apps and games without immoderate problem. The S21 is still a tin telephone successful 2024, but you’re bound to announcement a velocity betterment if you upgrade.

It’s worthy noting that Samsung has made nary alterations to nan artillery betwixt nan S21 and S24 models; some characteristic a 4,000 mAh battery. Our reappraisal of nan S21 recovered that its artillery life was “just average,” but it should beryllium capable to get you done an full day. However, it’s basal to retrieve that pinch time, nan artillery deteriorates, resulting successful shorter artillery life.

Meanwhile, nan Galaxy S24 has proven to person fantabulous artillery life, easy getting done much than a afloat time per charge. Although nan artillery capacities are nan same, nan newer and much businesslike chipset allows it to support moving for longer successful betwixt charges.

Galaxy S24 vs. S21: cameras

Samsung Galaxy S24 successful Marble Gray camera module.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Regarding smartphone technology, camera systems are 1 of nan areas manufacturers usually make dependable improvements on. It is, therefore, not astonishing that you will find immoderate bully upgrades betwixt nan Samsung Galaxy S21 and S24 models.

The Galaxy S24 boasts a 50-megapixel main camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera, and a 10MP telephoto camera pinch 3x optical zoom — importantly improving from nan Galaxy S21. Additionally, nan beforehand camera of nan S24 has a 12MP resolution.

On nan different hand, nan older Galaxy S21 relies connected a 12MP main camera, a 64MP telephoto camera pinch 1.1x optical zoom, a 12MP ultrawide camera, and a 10MP beforehand camera. These specs are still decent, but they autumn short erstwhile compared to nan capabilities of nan newer S24 model. In summation to newer camera hardware, Samsung has improved its image processing connected nan Galaxy S24, delivering much earthy and lifelike colors than erstwhile generations.

Galaxy S24 vs. S21: Galaxy AI

Samsung Galaxy S24 successful Marble Gray showing Generative AI wallpaper creator.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The Galaxy S24 bid is notable for its caller Galaxy AI features. Among these, nan Circle to Search characteristic is apt nan astir popular. It allows you to hunt by simply circling images connected nan screen. Live Translate is besides promising, offering real-time translations and transcription erstwhile you speak connected nan telephone pinch personification successful a different language.

With Notes Assist, your S24 tin summarize matter into clear, easy-to-review highlights. Additionally, nan Generative Edit characteristic enables powerful photograph editing tricks — allowing you to move subjects successful your photos, region unwanted objects, and more.

Although Galaxy AI features are coming to nan Galaxy S23 bid down nan road, they aren’t heading to nan Galaxy S21. If you want a telephone pinch AI superpowers, your Galaxy S21 isn’t going to trim it.

Galaxy S24 vs. S21: value and availability

Samsung Galaxy S21.Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

In nan 3 years betwixt nan merchandise of nan Samsung Galaxy S21 and S24, Samsung did not raise nan prices of its smartphones. Therefore, nan S24 starts astatine $800, conscionable for illustration nan S21.

The Galaxy S24 comes successful 4 colors: Onyx Black, Marble Gray, Cobalt Violet, and Amber Yellow. Additionally, the Samsung website offers 3 exclusive colors: Jade Green, Sapphire Blue, and Sandstone Orange. It’s disposable pinch 128GB aliases 256GB of retention and is disposable now to purchase.

Galaxy S24 vs. S21: should you upgrade?

The Samsung Galaxy S21 adjacent to nan Samsung Galaxy S24.Samsung Galaxy S21 (left) and Samsung Galaxy S24 Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

When your smartphone reaches nan property of three, it’s usually a bully thought to commencement reasoning astir upgrading to nan latest model. If you’re considering upgrading from nan Galaxy S21 to nan all-new Galaxy S24, respective upgrades connected nan newer exemplary guidelines out. The Galaxy S24 has amended internals and improved cameras, and it’s equipped pinch Galaxy AI. Moreover, Samsung has announced that nan S24 will person package updates for up to 7 years. That guarantees you updates done January 2030. Meanwhile, nan Galaxy S21 is promised 1 much twelvemonth of updates earlier its four-year update guarantee runs its course.

If you’re still unsure whether to upgrade, location are 2 last things to consider. Firstly, your Galaxy S21 phone’s worth will proceed to depreciate, truthful you’ll salary much to upgrade later. Secondly, nan Galaxy S24 is priced astatine $800, nan aforesaid value you apt paid for your S21. With what ostentation has done successful caller years, you’d beryllium spending little this time. Plus, pinch ample trade-in deals and different promotions disposable astatine, your carrier, and different retailers, you tin almost surely upgrade your Galaxy S21 to a Galaxy S24 without paying that afloat price.

In different words, yes — now is simply a bully clip to upgrade.

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