Which of the new Samsung Galaxy S21 devices is the best value for money?

Samsung Galaxy S21 deals
(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy S21 is the big name being shouted about in the phone world right now, but it comes in three forms. Of the Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is the best value for money?

If you want to find the best Samsung Galaxy S21 deals, then go right ahead with that link. But stay here if you want to learn all about value for money when it comes to the models on offer.

Yes, you could spend the least amount and grab the Galaxy S21 and be happy. Or you could spend a god chunk more for the top end Galaxy S21 Ultra and be left baffled by the features and unhappy with the pocket-filling size. 

So we've done the work of laying out what makes each phone the best for its price so you can assess how much you actually need to spend in order to be happy with your handset.

To be clear all of the Samsung Galaxy S21 models come with 5G connectivity, the Android operating system, at least a triple lens rear camera, minimum 8GB of RAM and either the Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 chipset, wireless charging and large AMOLED 120Hz display.

Samsung Galaxy S21

This is the entry level model which means it's the most affordable and has the most basic spec. But this is still a flagship phone so expect some serious competition-defeating features.

For a start you get a 120Hz 6.2-inch AMOLED display to melt the eyes. On that can be viewed pics from the triple lens 12 + 64 + 12MP rear camera setup which features 30x zoom and can record video in 8K. You also get a 10MP selfie snapper in the front.

This is all powered by 8GB of RAM and an Exynos 2100 or Snapdragon 888 CPU, depending on your location – plus 5G speeds. It's powered by a massive 4,000mAh fast charging and wireless charging battery.

Considering it is considerably cheaper than last year's S20 while improving on a number of specs, the overall value here feels like the best of the three.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 starts at $799 / £769 / AU$1,249.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

The  Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus takes that basic spec, of the S21 and enhances it with a larger 6.7-inch 120Hz AMOLED screen, and bigger 4,800mAh battery to keep it all going for the entire day.

Aside from the extra weight from this being larger, all the other specs are largely the same as the S21. You're paying more for a larger sizes, essentially. There are a few different colour options available here also.

While you are getting that larger size, it is quite a bit more than the S21. With this in mind, if the size doesn't bother you, we would advise going for the S21 instead.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus starts at $999 / £949 / AU$1,549.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, at the top end, is where the value really jumps up making that price tag actually seem understandable. This is the largest of the bunch with the best cameras and S Pen functionality too.

The 21 Ultra has a 6.8-inch 120Hz AMOLED display which, unlike the others, is also QHD resolution. There's a whopping 5,000mAh battery to support this.

On the rear are quad cameras with far higher resolutions and abilities. You get a 108MP + 12 MP + 10MP + 10MP setup capable of an amazing 100x zoom. Also, the front-facing selfie camera is a whopping 40MP unit.

This also comes with S Pen compatibility making it the ultimate Samsung phone that includes the best of the Note series too.

In essence, while it is an extremely pricey phone, it is one of Samsung's best ever smartphones - perfect for those not too worried about their budget.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra starts at $1,199 / £1,149 / AU$1849.

Luke Edwards

Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.