OnePlus 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21 Brief

Which Android phone wins between the OnePlus 9 and the Samsung Galaxy S21?

The Samsung Galaxy S21 is impressive, but the OnePlus 9 will be a stiff rival.

For a brief period earlier this year, the Galaxy S21 virtually had the Android flagship market to itself, but since the arrival of the new OnePlus phone, Samsung’s claim to the throne has been called into question. In the Galaxy S21 series, the Korean manufacturer has a trio of well-received products. However, as great as the S21 is, OnePlus has released a lower-cost counterpart that rivals or even outperforms Samsung’s phone in certain crucial areas.

OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro: Biggest differences we’ve seen

Overall, these are the best phones.

OnePlus 9 5G (Arctic Sky, 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage) : on Amazon

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OnePlus 9 5G


Because these phones currently stand alone at the top of the Android flagship universe, this is only a two-way duel. If you don’t want to buy an iPhone 13, the Google Pixel 6 is the only other alternative. We don’t have a thorough review of this or the Google Pixel 6 Pro yet because they were just released. However, these are both potential rivals for the S21 and OnePlus 9 that you might want to consider.

OnePlus 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21 models

OnePlus unveiled two phones at its OnePlus 9 launch event on March 23: the basic OnePlus 9 and the slightly larger OnePlus 9 Pro. Rumors of a cheaper OnePlus 9R turned out to be only half-true. The phone is in the works, but it will only be available in India.

Samsung, on the other hand, provides three different S21 versions. Aside from the ordinary Galaxy S21, you can get a bigger Galaxy S21 Plus or a more advanced Galaxy S21 Ultra.

With the OnePlus 9, we believe the Galaxy S21 has met its match. Although both deserve to be included in our list of the best Android phones, it’s difficult to say which one is superior. The features of each phone are broken down below to help you determine which one best meets your needs.

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G on Amazon

M.R.P.:₹59,700.00
Price:₹54,250.00
You Save:₹5,450.00 (9%)
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Samsung Galaxy S21 5G


OnePlus 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21 specs

OnePlus 9Samsung Galaxy S21
Screen size6.55 inches (2400 x 1080)6.2 inches (2400 x 1080)
Screen refresh rate120Hz48-120 Hz
CPUSnapdragon 888Snapdragon 888
RAM8GB, 12GB8GB
Storage128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB
microSD?NoNo
Rear cameras48MP main (f/1.8); 50MP ultrawide (f/2.2); 2MP monochrome lens12MP main; 12MP ultrawide; 64MP telephoto
Front camera16MP10MP
Battery size4,500 mAh4,000 mAh
Wired charging speed65W25W (charger not included)
Battery life (Hrs: Mins)10:53 (60Hz); 10:51 (120Hz)9:53 (60hz), 6:31 (adaptive)
Size6.3 x 2.9 x 0.32 inches5.97 x 2.8 x 0.31 inches
Weight6.77 ounces5.95 ounces
ColorsAstral Black, Winter MistPhantom Violet, Phantom Pink, Phantom White, Phantom Gray

The three Galaxy S21 variants from Samsung


We’ll save the comparisons between the OnePlus 9 Pro and the Galaxy S21 Plus for later. Let’s look at how the OnePlus 9 compares to the primary Galaxy S21 model right now.

OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro price — what you’ll pay

The OnePlus 9 will only be available from a single carrier (as well as various shops) in April, but the Galaxy S21 will be broadly available. Samsung’s phone is available from every major US carrier.

Design comparison: OnePlus 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21

On the surface, the OnePlus 9 resembles the Samsung Galaxy S21. Both phones appear to have flat displays, and the OnePlus 9, like Samsung’s phone, has a square camera array in the upper left corner of the rear. (Unlike the OnePlus 8, which has the rear cameras descending vertically down the centre of the phone.) With the S21, Samsung launched a new contour cut design that better merges the camera array with the phone’s chassis, so we had a look at it.We’ll see how the OnePlus 9 handles reducing the prominence of the camera array.


OnePlus 9 is a smartphone developed by OnePlus.
The use of plastic materials for the phone’s casing instead of the glass backs found on the S21 Plus and Ultra variants was one of the ways Samsung kept costs down on the S21. OnePlus took a similar approach with the 9, opting for a fiberglass-reinforced plastic frame instead of aluminium.


The OnePlus 9 is available in two colours: Astral Black and Winter Mist. With a gradient refraction effect, the latter is the more eye-catching of the two. The fact that Astral Black repels fingerprints is something we appreciate. The Galaxy S21 comes in four different colours, with violet and pink joining the more typical grey and black.

There are grey and white variants available.

Display Comparison: OnePlus 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21

The OnePlus 9 has the biggest screen of the two phones, with a 6.5-inch display that is larger than Samsung’s 6.2-inch display on the Galaxy S21. (When it comes to larger phones, OnePlus and Samsung are on par, with both the OnePlus 9 Pro and S21 Plus sporting 6.7-inch displays.)

The Galaxy S21 range received adaptive displays, with all three phones being able to modify their refresh rate according on the work at hand. When scrolling, the screen refreshes faster, whereas when your activities are more static, the screen slows down to conserve battery life. The refresh rate of the screen of the S21 ranges from 48 Hz to 120 Hz.


The OnePlus 9 can also provide a 120Hz refresh rate, which is an improvement above the OnePlus 8’s 90Hz rate from last year. Only the OnePlus 9 Pro has an adaptive display; the OnePlus 9’s refresh rate is either 60Hz or 120Hz, and it’s up to you to choose.

When set to Vivid mode, the OnePlus 9 display recreates 199.4 percent of the sRGB colour spectrum, which is a lot of colour. When the display is set to Natural, the number reduces to 104.1 percent, which is similar to the 109.2 percent displayed on the Galaxy S21. Colors on the OnePlus 9 are somewhat more realistic, with a Delta-E rating of 0.27 against 0.29 on the S21. (Numbers that are closer to zero are preferable.)

However, if you prefer bright screens, the Galaxy S21 is the way to go. On a light metre, it measured 711 nits of brightness, just topping the OnePlus 9’s 696 nits.

Cameras on the OnePlus 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21

The new OnePlus phones will have a hard time competing with the Galaxy S21, which we consider to be one of the greatest photography phones available. Even if you don’t choose for the more expensive Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 108MP main camera and two telephoto lenses, the S21’s camera technology won’t let you down. A 12MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide angle lens, and a 64MP telephoto lens are included. The S21’s last bit of optics, a 3x optical zoom and a 30x digital zoom, is what really stands out. A Zoom Lock feature prevents images from becoming too fuzzy and out-of-focus when zoomed in.

In reality, Samsung’s phones are known for their software prowess, with the S21 supporting features like an upgraded Single Take, which makes numerous variations of the same photo with a single click of the shutter button. Directors Mode is included in all S21 models and allows you to shoot footage from numerous cameras at once, allowing you to choose between viewpoints and even front and back lenses.

OnePlus 9 cameras, on the other hand, impressed us in our tests. OnePlus has a history of underperforming in the camera field, so credit to the company’s collaboration with Hasselblad. The two companies are collaborating to improve the OnePlus camera experience, starting with colour accuracy. It’s a struggle. that’s paying early dividends with the OnePlus 9.

On the back of the OnePlus 9, there are three cameras, albeit the dedicated monochrome lens can be ignored. The 48MP main sensor and 50MP ultrawide camera are the stars of the show, both of which produced excellent images that held up well against top phones from Apple and Google. We’re looking forward to doing more tests for a photography comparison between the OnePlus 9 and the Samsung Galaxy S21.

Performance of the OnePlus 9 versus. Samsung Galaxy S21

Samsung and OnePlus usually to use the same mobile processor in their flagship phones, and this is the case here. The Snapdragon 888 system-on-chip is included in both the OnePlus 9 and the Galaxy S21, and it helped Samsung deliver a solid performance when we tested the S21 in January. (However, the iPhone 12 family, with its A14 Bionic chip, still takes first place in our tests.)

Despite this, the OnePlus 9 outperforms the Galaxy S21, which we attribute to the OnePlus 9’s RAM. The OnePlus 9 outperformed the Samsung Galaxy S21 on Geekbench 5, scoring 3,618, compared to 3,302 for the S21. The OnePlus 9 also performed better in 3DMark’s Wild Life Unlimited graphics test. The OnePlus phone scored 34.4 frames per second in this test, beating out the Galaxy S21’s 33 FPS. It’s a tight call, but the OnePlus 9 takes the win.

Battery life and charging on the OnePlus 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21


The Galaxy S21 has a 4,000 mAh battery, but it isn’t powerful enough to make our list of the greatest phone battery life. The needs of a dynamically refreshed display and 5G consume a significant amount of energy. In our test, we had phones surf the web through cellular until they ran out of battery, and the S21 came in at a time of 9 hours and 53 minutes, which was below average. With the screen set to 60 Hz, we were able to get that result. The battery life was reduced by 3 hours when the dynamic refresh rate was enabled. Only the Galaxy S21 Ultra and its 5,000 mAh battery outperformed the other S21 models in our battery test.

The OnePlus 9 clearly outperforms the iPhone X in this area. It has a larger battery, with a capacity of 4,500 mAh, and it makes good use of it. The OnePlus 9 lasted 10 hours and 51 minutes in our battery test. That puts the OnePlus 9 just short of the 11-hour barrier, which would have made it one of the longest-lasting phones we’ve tested.

That time was even more astounding when the 120Hz refresh rate was enabled. We repeated the test at 60Hz and only noticed a 2-minute improvement. As a result, OnePlus has devised a strategy to counteract the decrease in battery life that comes with a quicker screen refresh rate.

The battery domination of the OnePlus 9 extends to charging as well. You can quickly recharge a battery using OnePlus’ WarpCharge 65T technology. Our OnePlus 9 was back to 98 percent after 30 minutes of charging with the supplied charger. In that time, the Galaxy S21, which supports 25W charging, has returned to 55 percent charge. Samsung doesn’t include a charger with the S21, so owners will have to go out and find one.

Perspectives on the OnePlus 9 and the Samsung Galaxy S21

The final OnePlus 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21 verdict will have to wait until we can compare the two phones’ cameras more completely. However, the OnePlus 9 is a genuine contender to the Galaxy S21 in other areas.

The new OnePlus 9 delivers better performance, lasts longer on a charge, and recharges in a flash. While the OnePlus device has a fast-refreshing display as well, the Galaxy S21 goes above and above with a dynamically adjustable refresh rate. However, the OnePlus 9 comes with all of those capabilities at a lesser price than Samsung’s phone.

Camera enthusiasts may want to wait, but for the rest of us, the deck appears to be loaded in favour of the OnePlus 9.

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