Galaxy S22 vs. S21: What's the Difference?

No one likes to feel left out of the latest trends especially where technology is concerned. That's why it should come as no surprise that a lot of people want to upgrade to the latest released phones. In fact, in this survey, 31% of Americans said that it's important for them to have the latest phone models once it hits the market.

If you're a fan of Samsung Galaxy smartphones, it can be hard to decide whether you should stay with your current model or upgrade to the latest and greatest. 

This guide will show you everything you need to know about the Galaxy S21, the Galaxy S22, and how they compare to one another.

The Samsung Galaxy S21: Still Viable Even Today

The Samsung Galaxy S21 was seen in many ways as a step back from its predecessor, the S20. However, this device's release in January 2021 offered a more affordable alternative to its older sibling that still packed all the features of the best Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

Although it seems outclassed by its predecessor and successor, the Samsung S21 serves as a viable handset even today. Now, here’s a closer look at what makes this device a powerhouse.

Price Point: Decent at Release, Even More Affordable Now

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference price point

One way in which the Galaxy S21 outclasses its fellows is through its price. The S21 is by far one of the most affordable of the latest releases. At its release, it came out swinging with a starting price of $799 for the basic model. One with upgraded storage came with a price point of $849.

This should save you at least $200 off of the price of its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G. 

Since the release of the Galaxy S22, the price of the S21 has dropped somewhat. If you want a new one these days, you can expect to pay around $500.

The Camera: One of the S21's Strongest Offerings

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference camera

The camera on the Samsung Galaxy S21 keeps many of the same specs as the S20. The last major upgrade in the Galaxy series' cameras came between the S10 and S20 series. Samsung's main focus with this model was improving the camera's software and making the camera less obtrusive.

The S21 offers the same triple-lens camera that the S20 had, with a 64-megapixel telephoto camera, a 12-megapixel main camera, and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens. However, it improves the experience with software modes like Single Take and Director's View.

Single Take makes it easier for you to capture shots of fast-moving targets. This is perfect for parents of children on the move. Meanwhile, Director's View lets vloggers and video content creators capture footage from both the front-facing and rear-facing cameras at once.

But the 10-megapixel selfie cam isn't much to write home about. However, it fulfills its functions if you only use it for the occasional video call.

Storage and Processing Power: Exceptional, Even Today

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference storage

The Samsung Galaxy S21 came with 2 main storage options at release. One with 128GB, the upgrade with 256GB of space. Both devices offer the same amount of RAM at 8GB. That RAM speed holds up even today.

The processing chip powering these devices is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. This chip, according to nanoreview.net, outstrips the S20's chip, the Exynos 990, in almost every single respect. So, even if the S21 backs off from some of the S20's blistering hardware, it outranks it in processing speed and power.

Body Construction: Where Corners Got Cut

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference body construction

The Samsung Galaxy S21 drops the curved edges that were so popular with the previous models for flat edges. These flat edges then blend perfectly into the S21's Contour Cut camera design on the back.

Where the S20 had a glass back, the S21 uses a polycarbonate back. While this cuts down on production costs, it can make the device feel a bit cheap.

It also has a missing microSD slot. Samsung devices usually offer expandable storage. However, this device dropped its support for that by removing the slot. The motivation for this is hard to determine but some suspect it's due to a desire to move the larger storage option.

This device came in 4 colors at launch: 

  • Phantom Purple
  • Phantom White
  • Phantom Pink
  • Phantom Grey

Display: Not as Crisp as Before

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference display

The Samsung Galaxy S21 brings a 6.2" AMOLED display to the table. However, it has taken a step back from its predecessor in that it only offers resolutions up to 1080p. You can set the refresh rate to a flat 60Hz, or else use the S21's dynamic refresh rate. This feature allows the refresh rate to fluctuate between 120Hz and 48Hz, depending on what tasks you need the device to perform.

In keeping with tradition, the S21 has a vivid display with bright, almost oversaturated colors. This makes it one of the best phones to use for gaming or watching movies.

Case and Accessory Availability

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference case and accessories

Even though the S21 is an older model by now, you should still be able to find plenty of functional and stylish accessories to accompany it. In fact, if you want fun and fashionable cases, take some time to browse our phone case collections. Our Cosmo and Ares series will offer you protection and glamor in one package!

Phone Availability

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference phone availability

For those looking for flagship performance at a slightly lower price point than the most recent release, the S21 can fit that niche perfectly. It's still offered through the main US carriers, and can even get purchased from certain offshoots at a discounted price. If you're looking for a way to reduce your phone bill while upgrading your phone to something new, this device can fit the bill.

Battery Life and Function: Serviceable Even With Constant Use

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference battery life

Let's face it: Even the best phone is only as useful as its battery life. In a bizarre move, the S21 does not include a charger in the box, but only a USB-C cable. While set on a flat 60Hz refresh rate, these phones' 4000mAh batteries offer over 9 hours of battery life. Almost 10 hours, in fact.

If you opt for the adaptive refresh rate for smoother performance, that figure jumps down to six and a half hours. Thankfully, you can augment that battery life with any of our stylish power banks.

The Samsung Galaxy S22: What's on the Cutting Edge

The S21 felt like both an upgrade and a downgrade compared to the S20. In comparison, the S22 feels like a step above and beyond its predecessor without cutting the same corners that the S21 did. This brand new flagship series, released in late February of this year, brings new life to the baseline devices.

Below, we'll discuss what the S22 brings to the table. From price point to design to availability, you'll learn everything that the S22 has for you.

Price Point: Fair, and Won't Go Down Any Time Soon

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference price

As of its release, the Samsung Galaxy S22 offers the same price point as the S21 did at its release. That is, $799 for the base model and $849 for the 256GB storage model. However, due to advances in technology and further adjustments, it managed to offer this price point without cutting some of the same corners that the S21 did.

This makes it the most affordable of Samsung's current model flagships, as the Plus and Ultra models ring in at $200 and $400 more, respectively. This price will most likely remain steady until another model releases either late this year or early next year.

The Camera: A Standout Among Galaxy S22 Features

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference camera

Image Credit: Blog Cursos de Qualidades

As ever, Samsung pushes boundaries with the camera of the S22.

This year, the triple camera setup offers a 50-megapixel main lens with a standard aperture of f/1.8. (Not sure what that means for your photos? This handy guide will explain.) The main camera gets augmented by a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens that's capable of a 3x zoom. Basically, you'll be able to shoot in most low light conditions, and zoom in without your picture getting too blurry.

Once again, the 10-megapixel selfie cam isn't much to write home about, but it will serve for video conference calls and basic use. However, it gets supported by a suite of software adjustments under the hood that make the image much clearer with the new camera.

One such adjustment is the Adaptive Pixel technology. This software allows you to capture much clearer full resolution photographs by combining the 50-megapixel camera shot with the depth and brightness details of the binned 12-megapixel shot.

Storage and Processing Power: Slight Improvements Bring Performance Upgrades

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference storage and processing power

On the surface, the specs for the Samsung Galaxy S22 seem the same as they have been over the past few years, with 128GB or 256GB of storage space and 8GB of RAM. However, it's in the chip that the real performance upgrade shines.

The Galaxy S22 uses the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, as opposed to the Snapdragon 888 that powered the S21. This chip offers serious performance upgrades, especially when it comes to the processing power of the camera. In fact, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powers most of the latest camera tech within the S22.

This chip also gives the S22 faster 5G download speeds thanks to its new 5G modem. Additionally, both the CPU and GPU within the chipset offer better, more battery-efficient performance.

Body Construction: No Corners Cut This Year

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference body

Image Credit: CNet

Samsung's lower price point this year did not come on the heels of the plastic backing. Rather, every single model in the S22 series uses Gorilla Glass Victus+ on both sides. This, along with the phones' Armor Aluminum, gives every device in the series the premium feel that it deserves.

However, even such a premium feel runs the risk of cracking. So, make sure you keep yourself protected in style with some of our Galaxy S22 exclusive cases.

It also opted to get rid of expandable storage by removing the MicroSD slot. So, if you often find yourself running out of space, you may need to upgrade to the option with 256GB of storage. Or else, invest in a cloud storage solution to free up device space.

There are 4 main colors on offer for this model: 

  • Phantom Black
  • White
  • Pink Gold
  • Green

Display: Smaller Yet More Capable

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference display

For the Galaxy S22, Samsung decided to scale down the screen size to a 6.1" Dynamic AMOLED display. However, that slight difference in screen size conceals a much more capable display. Rather than constraining itself to 1080p, the Galaxy S22 features an FHD+ display with an adaptive refresh rate that tops out at 120Hz.

As with previous models, the camera rests in a small notch in the upper part of the phone. However, unlike other models, the S22 has a brand new Vision Booster feature. This is designed to ensure that your device's colors look as bright and crisp as possible, even in bright settings that usually wash out a phone's screen.

Case and Accessory Availability

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference case availability

As one of the latest Samsung Galaxy smartphones, the S22 should have no shortage of accessories or cases available for purchase. Whether you prefer form, function, or style, you can find a case that suits your needs perfectly.

However, why stop at a case? Holding your phone at an angle to watch long-form content can become tiring in a hurry, and most phone or tablet stands stick with the common metallic shades. Why not examine our cute phone stands to find something functional and adorable?

Battery Life and Function: A Slight Step Back

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference battery life

Unfortunately, battery life is where we have to dock the Galaxy S22 a few points. The S22 uses a 3700mAh battery compared to the 4000mAH of its predecessor. While the updated chipset can improve battery efficiency, the smaller battery means you're likely to run out of power sooner.

This gets complicated further because Samsung has decided to not include a power adapter with your purchase. The company claims that this is due to environmental concerns, but it's still a hassle to deal with.

Fortunately, we have a 20W power adapter for you. These can fill in the gaps while you wait for your phone to recharge.

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs S21: Comparing Two Titans

Galaxy S22 vs. S21 What's the Difference comparison

So, in the battle of Samsung Galaxy S22 vs S21, which flagship device came out as the victor? Let's review what we've learned, pit the devices against each other one-to-one, and see who comes out on top

Which Phone Has a Better Camera?

While the Samsung Galaxy S21 has a camera that holds up even now, it's hard to beat the S22's clarity. With upgrades in both firmware and software allowing for clearer pictures, even in low lighting conditions, we have to grant the best camera to the Galaxy S22.

Which Device Is Cheaper?

At release, both the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S22 cost $799 for the base model. The passage of time and overall cheaper construction of the S21 have rendered it a more budget-friendly device. So, while the S21 wins in terms of price, the S22 offers a more premium feel. This makes the S22 the better value of the two.

What Phone Offers the Most Storage and Processing Power?

Once again, in terms of raw storage and processing speed, the two devices seem neck and neck. Both have either 128GB or 256GB of storage space and 8GB of RAM.

The deciding factor in the battle of Galaxy S22 vs S21 is the chipset. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 outstrips the old Snapdragon 888 in every respect, and powers much of the S22's camera features. Thus, we have to give this category to the Galaxy S22.

Which Phone Has the Best Body Construction?

The S21 had a plastic back with metal siding. No matter how you try to spin it, the plastic back feels cheap. Putting one on a flagship device was an odd choice, and one that didn't pay off.

With premium Gorilla Glass on the front and back of the S22, it feels more like the flagship device that it actually is. This, combined with a sturdy aluminum body, makes it more durable and feels better to hold. The clear winner here is the Galaxy S22.

Galaxy S22 vs S21: Who Has the Best Display?

The Samsung Galaxy S21 has a larger display at 6.2" than the S22's 6.1". However, as the common phrasing goes, it's not the size, but how it's used that really counts.

The S21 clocks in at only 1080p resolution and has an option to toggle between a set 60Hz refresh rate or a dynamic range from 48Hz-120Hz. This can make its display seem less crisp and a touch slow. Meanwhile, the S22 offers FHD+ resolution (2340x1080) and an always-on adaptive refresh rate. This improves the display's clarity and performance.

Combine this with the S22's Vision Booster technology to make its natural display colors shine bright even in direct sunlight, and a clear winner emerges. The Samsung Galaxy S22 takes this category with ease.

Which Device Has Better Battery Life?

For reasons unknown, Samsung decided to shrink the battery powering the Galaxy S22. In the S21, they offered a 4000mAH battery. While hardly the best on the market, even for its time, it offered a respectable 9 hours of battery life with constant use.

Samsung may have hoped that the new chipset would improve battery efficiency enough to make up the difference. However, that gamble did not pay off for them, as the S22 clocks in at under 8 hours of battery life with continuous use.

Due to its larger battery, the Galaxy S21 takes this category with ease.

So, Between the Two, Which Is the Best Samsung Galaxy Phone?

With clear victories in the body, camera, display, and processing power categories, the Samsung Galaxy S22 scored 4 points of a possible 6. The S21, meanwhile, only scored 2 in pricing and battery life.

While the S21 is a respectable device that holds up well, the S22 is the best Samsung Galaxy phone of the two. So, if you're on the fence about which device to upgrade to, go with the newer one.

Ready to Add Style and Substance to Your Mobile Devices?

iblason samsung galaxy buds case

When you compare the Galaxy S22 to its predecessor, it's clear that Samsung is dedicated to innovation. This also extends to the family of mobile devices that surround the Galaxy series like the Galaxy tablets and the proprietary Galaxy Buds.

Has your set of Galaxy Buds been looking a bit blah lately? If so, then check out our selection of Galaxy Bud cases. With them, you can listen to your favorite tunes on your new Samsung S22 in style and make every day beautiful with i-Blason.

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