Opinion: The Galaxy S21+ is the middle sibling no one cares about

So the Galaxy S21 series is official and already up for pre-order, consisting of a trio of handsets featuring somewhat reasonable prices for a Samsung flagship. But, there’s a problem in the form of the middle sibling, the Galaxy S21+, because other than a bigger battery and larger display there is little that stands out about it over the regular Galaxy S21. In fact, you could be better off either saving money and buying the base model with almost the same specifications or spending extra to gain a better camera experience, S Pen support, and a slightly bigger but much higher-res display.

Usually, the middle-in-the-range offers the best of both worlds by being more affordable than the Ultra but offering more features than the base model. Not so with the Galaxy S21+. While it’s smack in the middle in terms of price, the Galaxy S21+ sports a display with FHD+ resolution which, while good enough, is a tad low-spec for a phone that starts from $999. The Galaxy S21 Ultra, at a couple of hundred bucks more, has a QHD+ display, although one dealbreaker could be its curved edges as opposes to the flat panel on the Plus.

It’s a similar story in the camera department where the S21+ sports exactly the same trio of cameras that are on the base model – front and back. The Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, smacks it out of the park with its monstrous 108MP main camera and 40MP selfie camera.

But wait, that’s not all. While you have to buy the accessory yourself, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the first non-Galaxy Note handset to sport S Pen support, which is huge. It’s taken eleven iterations but Samsung has finally brought the functionality to the Galaxy S series, albeit just the Ultra.

When it comes to networking, processors, charging, audio, and security, it’s a dead heat between the Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra thanks to identical hardware in those departments. Each difference, taken by itself isn’t a dealbreaker but when you tot them up it’s a different story. It’s difficult to say that the Galaxy S21+ is worth an extra $200 over the base model Galaxy S21 in terms of hardware, but it’s much easier to say the S21 Ultra is worth paying $200 more over the S21+.

What do you think?

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