IPhone 12 vs Galaxy S21 comparison: Which is better?

IPhone 12 vs Galaxy S21 Specs Comparison
IPhone 12 vs Galaxy S21 Specs Comparison

IPhone 12 vs Galaxy S21 comparison: Which is better?

Samsung Galaxy S21 or iPhone 12? A question that many could ask themselves in the event of a smartphone change in the coming months. Although these two top of the range are different from each other due to an operating system that has always opposed Android to iOS, the common elements are really many and go beyond simple technical characteristics.


Before talking to you about hardware, I would like to underline how this year Samsung and Apple present themselves to consumers with two very similar philosophies. It goes without saying that the Korean company has taken great inspiration from the Apple ecosystem and if this is undeniable, it is equally true that the choices made by Samsung are also extremely interesting at the software level:

  • Samsung’s ecosystem is today the only one in the mobile landscape comparable to Apple’s.Although based on Android, the Samsung world has a life of its own and takes all the good that characterizes an open operating system, taking advantage of third-party applications such as the Office suite, the GamePass, integrations with different Clouds and more and inserts it within a single ecosystem that allows Smartphones, Tablets, Wearables and PCs to communicate with each other. 
  • Apple has been doing it for years and certainly needs no introduction and in some respects it is still superior to Samsung but it is clear that from Korea they are trying to make the “Galaxy” world extremely interconnected and the ecosystem today is truly tangible and appreciable. However, the challenge is more complex than that of Apple since there are different operating systems at stake (Android, Windows, Tizen to name the main ones among TVs,
  • Samsung has eliminated the “superfluous” . Just as Apple did, on S21 we say goodbye to the charger in the box (Amazon excluded), the Jack Audio lost with the S20 range, the MicroSD and headphones in the box (Buds as a gift with pre – order mitigate a minimum). An important change of course that in part also goes against Samsung itself, which over the years has not spared Social digs to its competitors that they removed before it. It also remains o Physical Dual SIM Slot but for the Italy and I’m ready to bet that we will say goodbye to him with S22 next year.
  • Range of smartphones : if on the one hand Samsung “takes inspiration”, on the other Apple itself has changed its policy over the years and from just one iPhone a year today we have reached 5 iPhones if we consider the iPhone 12 series and thesecond generation iPhone SE all of which were launched in 2020. An expansion of the range necessary to satisfy an ever-growing audience and respond to a competition that is certainly not watching.
  • Crazy prices :“Android devalue, iPhones don’t”. A maxim that a few years ago joined the nice motto “better Moto G” and that today, in both cases, has completely lost its meaning. With the iPhone 12 we have in fact had clear proof that, although the sales are incredible, expanding the range inexorably leads to a diversification of the portfolio and a fragmentation of sales with a consequent difficulty in controlling prices. 
  • If Amazon contributes to the discounts, it is clear that buying an iPhone 12 a few days after launch with a 50 € discount is not absolutely difficult and today it is easy to save almost 200 € if we take the list prices of Apple’s smartphone products as a reference. 
  • Obviously the Galaxy are no exception and indeed, their price trend in the first three months is even worse, making the official price lists useful only in the pre-order phases thanks to the gifts. However, it should be emphasized that, almost a year after launch, the S20 range has largely stabilized and after the initial decline there have been no particular shocks and declines.


Not all choices are happy and being too attached to one’s past isn’t necessarily correct. My experience with iPhone 12 is now mature, long and started on the day of release and I can give you a very objective opinion of what today I find wrong with Apple’s approach.

 Although the build quality is not in question, I find in the design of the new iPhone 12 a problem of grip; defect that worsens as the size of the products increases. In fact, if Mini is very pleasant to hold, already with 12 and 12 Pro you can see how the choice of sharp edges is not exactly the best and the ergonomics and pleasantness in the hand suffers. On the iPhone 12 Pro Max we arrive at a nonsense that makes it really difficult to use the product without a cover being almost annoying to hold.

With the same critical logic the gestures of iOS: although for years Android users have looked with admiration at the fluidity of the animations and the gestures with which they can navigate in the mobile interface of Apple, today Androd is not only superior but, taking the Samsung’s One UI customization (obviously it’s a comparison with S21), it’s much more usable than iOS. The real problem is not the number of movements and the non-total consistency between iOS applications and the interface present in some apps, but it is the damned absence of a Back gesture on the right sidesmartphone.

 It may seem an “absurd” thing to dwell on a similar detail but I assure you that already on the iPhone 12 Mini having the back only on one side is really uncomfortable and with the increase in size you come to collide with the impossibility of using an iPhone 12 with one hand even in the most basic operations because it is physically impossible to reach the opposite edge with the thumb if you are right-handed.

Autonomy is also another interesting element 

Although the battery capacities are very different with the iPhone 12 stopping at 2815mAh versus the S21’s 4000mAh, in general use the two smartphones are quite similar with the iPhone 12 which even manages to do something more considering a normal day of use.

The reasons are mainly 2:

  1. iOS is built behind an opposite concept to that of Android. Notifications that are managed centrally by Apple servers for almost all applications and an application hibernation system which, by exploiting a very fast memory access and practically only now achieved by the new UFS 3.0 systems on Android and by the RAM management of Android 11, allows to have an experience that makes background applications always seem active and ready. 
  2. In reality, in daily use, this management shows considerable limits in the workplace: an example of all is the difficulty or even impossibility, depending on the iPhone model, to perform uploads, uploads, download operations or other when you first have slowly one

    This detail allows you to have significantly lower energy consumption when you do not use the smartphone and put it in your pocket or even in the mild use of the same.
  3. Android and in particular the One UI 3.0 have a diametrically opposite concept: many background processes that allow you to have a much more correct management of multitasking with simultaneous operations that can be processed without any problem with the downside that consumption is consequently greater , even in the stand-by phases. The same notifications also have a different impact on consumption than the Apple ecosystem.

In practice, on a normal day, so where the smartphone is not excessively stressed, iPhone 12 manages to do better than S21. If, on the other hand, you use both products to their full potential, both will arrive in the evening without too much effort but with a practically exhausted charge – cycle from 8 to 22.30 as a reference -.


Another differentiating element is obviously the photographic department. Both producers certainly did not surprise and indeed the choices were conservative. Although S21 has more optics than iPhone 12, these are practically identical to S20 and the same thing can be said for iPhone on which, compared to last year, mainly the opening changes.

There are improvements, however, but we have to look for them in other aspects, such as new ISPs, more efficient AI algorithms and the general improvement in computational photography. However, what does not change is the result: the differences are practically those that have always opposed Samsung and Apple in this segment.

Final words

As a lover of compact smartphones I find in the iPhone 12 Mini that differentiating element that today is missing in Samsung which has in its lineup an S21 which, while light and not huge, is very close to the size of S21 Plus which has a significantly larger battery. On the other hand, I find iPhone 12 an ideal compromise for everyone in the screen / size ratio but I believe the notch, the limited gestures and the choice to make the new Apple smartphones more angular, minus in the classic day of use.


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