Is it worth getting the Samsung Galaxy S21 or is an iPhone the better investment?

Samsung Galaxy S21 deals
(Image credit: Future)

Buy the latest Samsung Galaxy S21 and you might get some super powered zooming camera skills, sure, but will it still be worth much when you come to upgrade – or is an iPhone a better investment?

A new study, by MusicMagpie, has shown the value over time for Samsung, Apple iPhone, OnePlus, Google and Huawei phones. The idea being to show you which will have the most residual value – meaning your upgrade can cost you less, with a trade-in, when that time comes around.

The results, as you might expect, show that the iPhone holds its value the best. Then comes Samsung in second, followed by OnePlus in third, with Google then Huawei following. Over 12 months the average value lost on an iPhone was 43 percent, compared to 74 percent on a Huawei handset. And over 24 months it was 61 percent to team Apple and 88 percent to Huawei.

The best handset for retaining value? The iPhone 8 Plus which dropped by 38 percent over 12 months. At the other end of the spectrum the handset that dropped value the most was the Huawei P20 which plummeted by 84 percent over the same one year period.

The best performing non-Apple handsets over that time were the OnePlus 7T and Samsung S7 Edge

To bring it back to the original headline point, the Samsung Galaxy S20 dropped by over 60 percent in value over 12 months whereas the iPhone 11 only lost just over 30 percent. So if you're thinking about the Samsung Galaxy 21 or iPhone 12 as a future investment, you might want to learn towards team Apple.

It all comes down to preference:

Of course if residual value isn't an issue in your eyes and you just want the best smartphone for you, a bit more consideration needs to go into your investment.

Do you prefer Apple's IOS system or Samsung, OnePlus and Google's Android formats. Do you want Samsung's S21 super zoom cameras or iPhone 12 deals and their super-powerful processors?

For most, the debate will be Samsung Galaxy S21 deals vs the iPhone 12 and yes, while the resale value of the iPhone 12 is certainly going to be better, that is just one of many factors to consider.

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.