Feb 1st, 2021

With every new smartphone that comes out, most of us wonder if the hardware used is capable of competing with the software Google has perfected for its Pixel smartphones. In this Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra versus Pixel 5 camera comparison we will show you if the hardware approach can finally overcome the software advantage Google has been enjoying for the past few years.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has an incredible quad-camera system on the back of the phone with a 108MP main camera sensor, a 12MP ultrawide camera and two 10MP sensors for its 3x and 10x telephoto cameras, along with a 40MP selfie camera. Samsung has ensured that all of the sensors are capable of capturing 4k video at 60fps while the main camera can bump that up to 8k video at 24fps.

By comparison, the Pixel 5’s 12MP main camera, 16MP ultrawide, and 8MP sensors for the selfie camera seem quaint, especially since the selfie camera is limited to 1080p video capture. Google’s Pixel 5 did manage to fair better than the Galaxy S20 devices from last year, but things are certainly a lot different this time around. Samsung may be using similar hardware, but they’ve definitely improved their image processing with better dynamic range and overall image tone improvements to make their photo look a lot more natural than they have in the past.

I didn’t think I’d say this, but the Galaxy S21 Ultra delivers better shots in nearly every situation when compared to the Pixel 5. The only time I would prefer using the Pixel 5 to capture images is for selfies and portrait shots. For some reason, Samsung’s camera still can’t deliver a sharp selfie, applying artificial skin smoothing to its images that’s a lot more noticeable than it should be.

Take a look at the video and gallery below for a detailed side-by-side comparison of the cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Google Pixel 5.

Galaxy S21 Ultra & Pixel 5 camera specs

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

  • 108MP Phase Detection AF, OIS, F1.8, 0.8µm
  • 12MP Dual Pixel AF, FOV 120°, F2.2, 1.4µm (ultrawide),
  • 10MP Dual Pixel AF, Optical 3x, OIS, F2.4, 1.22µm (telephoto),:
  • 10MP Dual Pixel AF, Optical 10x, OIS, F4.9, 1.22µm (telephoto)
  • Selfie: 40MP Phase Detection AF, FOV 80°, F2.2, 0.7 µm
  • Video: 4K@60 from all cameras, 8K@24 (main)

Google Pixel 5

  • 12.2 MP, f/1.7, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
  • 16 MP, f/2.2, 107˚ (ultrawide), 1.0µm
  • Selfie: 8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
  • Video: 4K@30/60fps (rear), 1080p/30 (selfie)

Galaxy S21 Ultra versus Pixel 5

stars Further Reading