Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus: Which top-tier flagship should you buy?

Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus: Which top-tier flagship should you buy?

After a few years of dealing in mid-range smartphones, Google is back to the premium segment with its new Pixel 6 series. And, the Pixel 6 Pro is its new flagship model with all the high-end features and specifications you can expect. With the Pixel 6 Pro, Google is taking on other flagship smartphones, like the Galaxy S21 series and iPhone 13 series.

This article will pit the Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus, the middle child in Samsung’s flagship lineup, to see how the two phones stack up against each other.

Navigate this guide:

Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus: Specifications

SpecificationPixel 6 ProSamsung Galaxy S21 Plus
Dimensions and Weight
  • 163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm
  • 210g
  • 161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8 mm
  • 202g
Display
  • 6.71-inch LTPO AMOLED
  • QHD+ (1400 x 3120)
  • Centered hole-punch
  • 120Hz display refresh rate
  • HDR10+ support
  • High brightness mode
  • Full 24-bit depth for 16 million colors
  • Gorilla Glass Victus
  • 6.7″ FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X flat display
  • Centered hole-punch
  • HDR10+ support
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Gorilla Glass Victus
SoC
  • Google Tensor octa-core chipset
    • Titan M2 security chip
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC/ Exynos 2100

 

RAM and Storage
  • 12GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 128GB/256GB/512GB UFS 3.1 flash storage
  • 8GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 128GB/256GB UFS 3.1 storage
Battery & Charging
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 30W fast charging
  • 23W fast wireless charging
  • 4,800mAh battery
  • 25W fast wired charging
  • 15W fast wireless charging
Rear Cameras
  • Primary: 50MP, f/1.8, Samsung GN1 sensor, OIS
  • Secondary: 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, 114-degree FOV
  • Tertiary: 48MP f/3.5, telephoto, 4X optical zoom, 20x digital zoom
  • Primary: 12MP, f/1.8, OIS
  • Secondary: 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, 120-degree FOV
  • Tertiary: 64MP f/2.0, telephoto, 1.1X optical zoom, 3x hybrid zoom
Front Camera
  • 11.1MP f/2.2
  •  10MP, f/2.2
Ports
  • USB Type-C port
  •  USB Type-C port
Connectivity
  • 5G NR (Sub-6GHz and mmWave)
  • NFC
  • Ultra-wideband (UWB)
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • WiFi 802.11.b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz)
  • 5G NR (Sub-6GHz and mmWave)
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • WiFi 802.11.b/g/n/ax (2.4GHz + 5GHz)

 

Software
  • Android 12
  • Three years of OS updates
  • Five years of security updates
  • Android 11
  • Three years of OS updates
  • Four years of security updates
Other features
  • Optical under-display fingerprint reader
  • IP68 water and dust resistance
  • Stereo speakers
  •  Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
  • IP68 water and dust resistance
  • Stereo speakers

Design and Display

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Both Google and Samsung have gone with the typical premium smartphone formula of a glass sandwich and metal frame with the Pixel 6 Pro and the Galaxy S21 Plus, respectively. That said, the two smartphones look incredible, but the S21 Plus has a slightly better build quality and finish.

You get a 6.71-inch QHD+ AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate on the Pixel 6 Pro, whereas the S21 Plus includes a 6.7-inch Full-HD+ screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. Despite the identical screen size, the S21 Plus’s overall footprint is slightly smaller than the Google phone, and it’s also lighter by 10 grams.

While Pixel 6 Pro has an advantage with its higher-resolution screen, these extra pixels will surely cut into its battery life. Some people may also prefer the S21 Plus because of its flat display, as the Pixel 6 Pro’s screen has curved edges.

Processor, RAM, and Storage

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Google uses its new Tensor chip in the Pixel 6 Pro, which is based on Samsung’s Exynos 2100. On the other hand, Samsung puts the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC in the S21 Plus in North America, whereas the rest of the world gets the Exynos 2100 SoC.

Both Tensor and Snapdragon 888 are top-notch chips. While the Snapdragon may come out on top in raw benchmarks, the real-like performance of both processors will leave little to be desired. Nevertheless, you are not going to be disappointed by the performance of either of the chips.

In addition, you get 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage in the Pixel phone. However, the S21 Plus is limited to just 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB storage.

Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus: Cameras

Pixel 6 Pro back

Google Pixel 6 Pro

There are three rear cameras on the Pixel 6 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus. While the Pixel 6 Pro packs a 50MP primary shooter (capable of taking 12.5MP images), a 48MP telephoto camera, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera, the S21 Plus comes with a 12MP primary camera, a 64MP telephoto shooter, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera.

The Pixel 6 Pro, like every other Pixel phone, takes excellent photos in both good and low light conditions. Its telephoto shooter is particularly great. The Galaxy S21 Plus also takes great pictures, but its telephoto camera only supports 1.1x optical zoom.

Battery, Connectivity, and OS

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

There isn’t a vast difference between the battery capacities of the two phones. The Pixel 6 Pro packs a 5,000mAh battery, whereas the Galaxy S21 Plus houses a 4,800mAh battery. So both phones will easily last through a day for heavy users, and moderate users will even be able to get around one and a half days of battery life.

The fast charging capabilities of the two phones are also pretty much the same. Although the Pixel has an advertised fast charging speed of 30W, in real-life, it can only manage up to 23W. Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus, on the other hand, supports 25W wired charging. That said, despite the 23W fast charging, Pixel 6 Pro still takes almost two hours, going from zero to 100%.

In terms of connectivity, both the S21 Plus and the Pixel 6 Pro support mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G on all three major US operators—AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

The Pixel 6 Pro scores on the software front as the phone comes with Android 12 out of the box and will receive software updates for three years and security patches for five. In comparison, you get Android 11 on the S21 Plus, but the phone’s already getting the Android 12 update. It’s also set to get three years of Android updates and four years of security patches.

Pricing and Color Options

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Google Pixel 6 Pro

The Pixel 6 Pro has a slight advantage over the S21 Plus in the pricing department. The Google phone starts at $899, whereas the S21 Plus retails beginning $999.

In terms of colors, the Google phone comes in Stormy Black, Cloud White, And Sorta Sunny. On the other hand, you can buy the S21 Plus in Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Violet, Phantom Gold, and Phantom Red colors.

Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus: Conclusion

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Barring odd differences, the Pixel 6 Pro and the Galaxy S21 Plus are pretty evenly stacked. But if you shoot many photos with the telephoto camera, like stock Android, and want a QHD+ resolution screen, the Pixel 6 Pro is an excellent buy.

However, if you want the Snapdragon 888 chip and prefer Samsung S21 Plus camera’s over-saturated and high-brightness look, the Samsung phone will make more sense for you, especially if you can get it on a deal.


Which phone are you planning to buy? Let us know in the comments section. Meanwhile, we have also picked the best cases for the Pixel 6 Pro and the Galaxy S21 Plus.

    Google Pixel 6 Pro
    The Pixel 6 Pro is the larger sibling in the Pixel 6 series, which comes with Google's new Tensor chip, a modern design, and an extra telephoto camera.
    Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus
    The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus is the middle child in the new 2021 flagship series, packing in a flagship SoC and a premium build, along with a decent display and camera setup.

About author

Gaurav Shukla
Gaurav Shukla

Gaurav has been covering technology for over a decade now. He has done everything from blogging about Android to reporting the latest from the world of Internet giants. When he is not writing about the tech companies, he can be found binge-watching new TV series on the web. You can reach Gaurav at [email protected]