Galaxy S21 Ultra versus Pixel 4a camera comparison: this is embarrassing


There’s no denying that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has one of the best smartphone camera setups we’ve ever tested. Samsung has essentially thrown everything it has inside this phone to deliver the best experience possible for photographers. Of course, all the hardware comes at a steep price – $1200 to be exact.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have the Pixel 4a from Google, sporting the most minimalistic camera setup imaginable for a smartphone these days. On its own, the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 40MP selfie camera has more megapixels than all the two cameras on the Pixel 4a. That being said, the differences in the hardware don’t really mean much when taking pictures in the real world. Sure, the Samsung does have the advantage of being more versatile with the ultrawide camera and two different zoom cameras that work exceptionally well, but the results that you get from the main and selfie camera on these phones aren’t really that much different.

Upon close examination, the 108MP sensor on the Galaxy S21 is definitely better than the 12MP sensor the Pixel 4a uses, delivering slightly better dynamic range and improved sharpness. The 40MP Samsung is using is also better than the 8MP selfie camera Google slapped onto its phone, but the differences don’t really justify the price gap between these two phones. It’s honestly quite embarrassing.

Take a look at the video and image gallery below and let me know what you think.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra versus Pixel 4a camera specification

Galaxy S21 Ultra

  • 108MP Phase Detection AF, OIS, F1.8, 0.8µm (main)
  • 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 (all), 8K/24 (main)

Pixel 4a

  • 12.2 MP, f/1.7, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
  • 8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1.12µm
  • Video: 4k/30 (main), 1080p/30 (selfie)

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra versus Pixel 4a 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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