Galaxy S21 Ultra triumphs with a very narrow win in our blind camera comparison - PhoneArena

Galaxy S21 Ultra triumphs with a very narrow win in our blind camera comparison

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Galaxy S21 Ultra vs iPhone 12 Pro Max, Pixel 5, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Blind camera comparison
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the latest and greatest phone to come out of Samsung's conveyor belt. We've already compared its main and selfie cameras against the venerable Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the Google Pixel 5. You can check out the comparisons right below to check out for yourselves, but the consensus is that the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a welcome improvement over last year's Galaxy S20 series and stacks very well against its top competitors.

But what is your take on the Galaxy S21 Ultra's camera prowess? Can you spot which of the photos below have been taken on Samsung's new pride and glory? We've taken some pictures with the Galaxy S21 Ultra, Note 20 Ultra, Pixel 5, and iPhone 12 Pro Max in a variety of lighting scenarios. All the pictures in the galleries can be zoomed and inspected to your desire, but rest assured that no EXIF data is present, so playing dirty won't yield you any gains here.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Good

  • The longest, cleanest zoom on a phone, and most versatile camera set
  • The best battery life in its class
  • Brightest display with the most granular adaptive refresh rate
  • Stylish Contour Cut design and richer variety of colors
  • Unique 12-bit color RAW capture at 108MP
  • S Pen stylus support
  • Next-gen Wi-fi 6E standard support

The Bad

  • Still big and bulky to carry and use, especially with an S Pen case on
  • $1200 gets you just 128GB, no charger, earbuds, or memory card slot
  • The new ultrasonic finger scanner is still comparatively slow
  • Softness in the main camera sample edges

Scene 1: Playground

It seems that the iPhone has won your hearts in our first scene, leaving Android's finest behind.

Which photo do you like best?

A - iPhone 12 Pro Max
B - Google Pixel 5
C - Galaxy S21 Ultra
D - Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Scene 2: 3X zoom

When it comes to zooming, the Galaxy S21 Ultra crushes the competition and wins with an overwhelming vote.

Which photo do you like best?

E - Galaxy S21 Ultra
F - iPhone 12 Pro Max
G - Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
H - Google Pixel 5

Scene 3: Rainbow girl

This one is a toss up between the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Pixel 5. And rightly so, as both photos look great!

Which photo do you like best?

I - Google Pixel 5
J - Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
K - iPhone 12 Pro Max
L - Galaxy S21 Ultra

Scene 4: Sunset

This beautiful sunset scene goes to the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but the rest of the phones have done a mighty fine job and share the remaining votes quite evenly.

Which photo do you like best?

M - Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
N - Galaxy S21 Ultra
O - Google Pixel 5
P - iPhone 12 Pro Max

Scene 5: Storefront

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has done a commendable job in this particular scene, beating the iPhone, Pixel, and Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Which photo do you like best?

Q - Galaxy S21 Ultra
R - Google Pixel 5
S - iPhone 12 Pro Max
T - Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Scene 6: Toy

I was certain the Pixel 5 will win this one as it captured an excellent photo. There's no way of you knowing that, but it also got the colors just right, unlike its competitors. Great job, folks.

Which photo do you like best?

U - Google Pixel 5
V - iPhone 12 Pro Max
W - Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
X - Galaxy S21 Ultra

Scene 7: Night mode #1

Surprisingly to me, the Note 20 Ultra overwhelmingly gets this round. Personally, my preferences are in Galaxy S21 Ultra's favor, but vox populi, vox dei.

Which photo do you like best?

Y - Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Z - Google Pixel 5
A1 - Galaxy S21 Ultra
B2 - iPhone 12 Pro Max

Scene 8: Night mode #2

Android's finest steal this round from the iPhone, and you seem to like the Galaxy S21 Ultra the most in this specific scenario. Personally, I'd go with the Pixel 5, but both photos are excellent.

Which photo do you like best?

C3 - Galaxy S21 Ultra
D4 - iPhone 12 Pro Max
E5 - Google Pixel 5
F6 - Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Scene 9: Night mode #3

When the scene is better lit and tons of artificial light is involved, the iPhone does a much, much better job. This seems to be the general consensus here.

Which photo do you like best?

K11 - Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
L12 - Google Pixel 5
M13 - iPhone 12 Pro Max
N14 - Galaxy S21 Ultra

Scene 10: Selfie

Once again, despite people liking more realistic selfies, the iPhone's slightly warmer and more vivid auto-portraits win the popular vote.

Which photo do you like best?

G7 - Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
H8 - Galaxy S21 Ultra
I9 - Google Pixel 5
J10 - iPhone 12 Pro Max

Final results

To sum it up:

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra - 27.6%
Google Pixel 5 - 25.1%
Samsung Note 20 Ultra - 24%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max - 23.3%

That's a pretty close win by the new Galaxy S21 Ultra, but it's worth noting that all votes are quite even and spread evenly among the phones we've tested in this here blind comparison. There's a pretty logical reason explanation: all phones we've tested have great cameras and are unlikely to disappoint you. Of course, as evident by the results, some perform more appealing to most people in specific situations, but overall, any of these devices will be an admirable photography sidekick.

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