Galaxy S21 versus Pixel 5 camera comparison: this is embarrassing


For years, Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones were considered the best Android devices to own if you wanted to take the best pictures possible. That all came crashing down when Google stepped in with its Pixel smartphones. On paper, Samsung still had the upper hand since its devices used better sensors, but Google’s computational photography approach allowed the software to do most of the work, allowing its phones to deliver better images.

Galaxy S21 Ultra versus iPhone 12 camera comparison: unexpected results

In 2021, Samsung decided to take a step back with the Galaxy S21 and keep mostly the same camera hardware that was featured on the Galaxy S20 from the previous year and refine its performance through software. The approach shows that Samsung’s camera engineers are getting better at fine-tuning the hardware to deliver better images through improved software. That being said, our side-by-side Samsung Galaxy S21 versus Pixel 5  camera comparison shows Samsung is still a few steps behind where it needs to be if it truly wants to compete with Google.

On a positive note, Samsung’s smartphones are still able to deliver much better video quality than Google’s Pixel 5. If video capture is more important for you, the Galaxy S21 is definitely the way to go.

Take a look at the video and image gallery to see our Pixel 5 versus Galaxy S21 comparison and how the two smartphones handle themselves in every-day use.

Samsung Galaxy S21 versus Pixel 5 camera specs

Galaxy S21

  • 12MP Dual Pixel AF, OIS, F1.8, 1.8µm (main),
  • 12MP FF, FOV 120° F2.2, 1.4µm (ultrawide),
  • 64MP Phase Detection AF, Hybrid Optic 3X, OIS F2.0, 0.8µm (telephoto)
  • Selfie: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, FOV 80°, F2.2, 1.22µm
  • Video: 4k@60fps from all cameras, 8k@24fps from the main camera

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
  • 4K@30/60fps from rear cameras, 1080p@30 from the selfie camera

Pixel 5 versus Samsung Galaxy S21 Gallery


Nick Gray
I'm a life-long tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC. After writing about tech for more than a decade, I jumped at the opportunity to take on the role of Editor in Chief at Phandroid. Please contact me at [email protected].

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