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OnePlus 9 Pro vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Which one’s the alpha Android flagship?

By Nadeem Sarwar March 23, 2021, 1:15 pm
OnePlus 9 pro vs samsung galaxy s21 ultra

OnePlus has finally launched its latest flagship – the OnePlus 9 Pro. Yes, this one is a tad more expensive compared to the OnePlus 9 – the bread and butter phone from the company – but this one is a major step up too. And a quick look at the specification sheet makes it abundantly clear that this phone is going against the best in the Android ecosystem – with the Galaxy S21 Ultra being at the top of that list. On the surface, the OnePlus 9 Pro actually offers more in terms of sheer hardware compared to the Samsung flagship – and for a lot less. Read our OnePlus 9 Pro vs Galaxy S21 Ultra comparison to find how the two phones stack up against each other:

OnePlus 9 ProSamsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
DisplaySize: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3216
Pixel Density: 525 ppi
Refresh Rate: Smart 120Hz
Aspect Ratio: 20.1:9
Type: AMOLED with LTPO
sRGB, Display P3, 10-bit color
Corning Gorilla Glass
6.8-inch Curved
Quad HD+ ((3200×1440 pixels)
Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Infinity-O Display
515 ppi Pixel Density
HDR10+ certified
120Hz refresh rate
Gorilla Glass Victus
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 888Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Exynos 2100
Storage128/256GB UFS3.1128/256/512GB
Rear CamerasMain Camera
Sensor: Sony IMX789
Sensor Size: 1/1.43-inch
Megapixels: 48
Lens Quantity: 7P
OIS: Yes
EIS: Yes
Aperture: f/1.8Ultra-wide-angle camera
Sensor: IMX766
Sensor Size: 1/1.56-inch
Megapixels: 50
Lens Quantity: 7P
Aperture: f/2.2 LensTelephoto camera
Megapixels: 8MP
Pixel Size: 1.0 μm
Aperture: f/2.4
3.3x optical and 30x digital zoom

Macro camera

108MP Wide-angle Camera
Pixel size: 0.8μm (12MP 2.4μm)
FOV: 83˚
F.No (aperture): F1.8
1/1.33″ image sensor size12MP Ultra Wide Camera
Super Speed Dual Pixel AF
Pixel size: 1.4μm
FOV: 120˚
F.No (aperture): F2.210MP Telephoto Camera 1
Dual Pixel AF
Pixel size: 1.22μm
FOV: 35˚
F.No (aperture): F2.4

10MP Telephoto Camera 2
Dual Pixel AF
Pixel size: 1.22μm
FOV: 10˚
F.No (aperture): F4.9

Front CameraSensor: Sony IMX471
Megapixels: 16
Pixel Size: 1.0 μm
EIS: Yes
Autofocus: Fixed Focus
Aperture: f/2.4
40MP selfie camera
Pixel size: 0.7μm
4-in-1 pixel binning (10MP 1.4μm)
FOV: 80˚
F.No (aperture): F2.2
Battery4500 mAh
Warp Charge 65T (10V/6.5A)
Warp Charge 50 Wireless (Input: 10V/6.5A, 20V/3.25A,
Output: 50W max)
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
USB PD 3.0 (PPS) certified Fast Charging for wired charging
Wireless PowerShare
Dimensions163.2×73.6×8.7 mm165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm
Weight197g grams227 grams

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Design

OnePlus 9 Pro

Well, this is going to be a tricky one. Both the phones go for curved display aesthetics and employ a glass-and-metal sandwich design. However, the design of the camera bump is something that is going to be up for debate. Notably, both the phones come with an IP68-certified build, which means they can handle a few dunks in a bucket of water. The color options, and surface finish though, will up to your personal preference.

The OnePlus 9 Pro is available in a trio of colors – Morning Mist with a glossy mirror finish, Pine Green with a dual-layer matte texture, and Stellar Black rocking a frosted matte glass texture. As for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, you get to choose between Phantom Black (matte finish) and Phantom Silver. However, if you’re making the purchase from Samsung’s official website, you will get three more options to choose from – Phantom Navy, Phantom Titanium, and Phantom Brown.

Galaxy S21 ultra

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Display

Now, let’s talk substance. Both the phones feature a curved AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ certification, and hole-punch (left-cornered on the OnePlus 9 Pro vs centered on the Galaxy S21 Ultra) aesthetics. The screen resolution you get on the OnePlus flagship is 3216 x 1440 pixels, which translates to a pixel density of 525 PPI. The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s screen has a resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels, offering a slightly lower pixels density of 515 PPI.

OnePlus 9 Pro review


Both the phones employ the LTPO technology for adaptive refresh rate, but there’s a slight difference. The panel on OnePlus can intelligently vary the refresh rate value between 1Hz and 120Hz, while the Samsung offering has the lowest refresh rate value set at 5Hz and goes up to 120Hz.


Both the phones draw power from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, however, the Samsung offering also comes in a variant powered by the in-house Exynos 2100 SoC. 5G support is on the table in both cases though. Samsung Galaxy S21 lets you take the configuration choice up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of onboard storage. OnePlus 9 Pro, on the other hand, goes up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.

specs galaxy s21 ultra pocketnow

OnePlus 9 Pro is miles ahead of Galaxy S21 Ultra when it comes to charging speeds

To keep the lights on, OnePlus 9 Pro comes equipped with a 4,500mAh battery that supports an impressive 65W fast charging, taking the battery from 0-100 percent in just 29 minutes. There is also support for insanely fast 50W wireless charging that can fully fill the tank in 43 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, comes equipped with a larger 5,000mAh battery, but the peak wired charging wattage is capped at 45W, and the wireless charging speed is much slower yoo. On the bright side, you get support for reverse wireless charging as well.

Another key weapon in the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s arsenal is support for S Pen, which takes the productivity aspect to the next level. But do keep in mind that you have to spend extra cash for the stylus.

View Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G S Pen at Samsung


oneplus 9 pro

Now, this is where Samsung builds upon a legacy of solid camera performance, while the OnePlus offering emerges as a true challenger with massively upgraded camera hardware and some tuning with help from Hasselblad. The quad-camera setup of the OnePlus 9 Pro includes a custom 48MP Sony IMX789 sensor with OIS that can capture 4K videos at 120FPS, and click 12-bit HDR photos too.

It sits alongside a massive 50MP ultra-wide-angle camera with the Sony IMX766 sensor at its heart. It also pulls the double duty as a macro camera, with a maximum proximity range of 4cm for sharp focus. You will also find an 8MP telephoto camera that can go up to 3.3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom. And finally, there is also a 2MP monochrome camera as well. Over at the front, you’ll find a 16MP camera housed in a hole-punch to take care of selfies and video calls.


On the Galaxy S21 Ultra, you get a massive 108MP optically stabilized primary camera that can capture 8K videos, sitting alongside a 12MP ultra-wide angle snapper. Unlike the OnePlus 9 Pro which has a single telephoto camera, the Samsung device had two 10MP shooters, one of which relies on a periscope system to deliver a higher lossless zoom range. The first telephoto camera goes up to 3x optical zoom, while the one with the folded lens system delivers 10x optical zoom and up to 100x Super Resolution zoom.

OnePlus 9 ProSamsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Nightscape, Super Macro,
UltraShot HDR, Smart Scene
Recognition, Portrait mode, Pro
mode, Panorama, Tilt-shift mode,
Focus Peaking, Cat/Dog Face
Focus, Raw file, Filters, Super
Stable, Video Nightscape, Video
HDR, Video Portrait, Focus
Tracking, Timelapse, Hyperlapse8K video at 30fps
4K video at 30/60/120fps
Super Slow Motion: 720p video at
480fps, 1080p video at 240fps
Time-Lapse: 1080p at 30fps, 4K at
Scene Optimizer, Shot suggestions, Scan QR codes, Camera Modes (Single Take, Pro, Panorama, Food, Night, Portrait, Portrait Video, Pro Video, Super Slow-mo, Slow motion, Hyperlapse, Director’s View, AR Doodle, Quick Measures, HDR10+ recording, 33MP still photos while playing 8K video, Tracking AF, VDIS (Video Digital Image Stabilization), Playback zoom

8K video recording at 24 fps
4K UHD video recording at 60 fps
1080p FHD video recording at 60 fps
720p HD video recording at 30 fps
Super Steady 1080p video support at 60 fps

Super Slow-mo 720p video support at 960 fps
Slow-motion 1080p video support at 240 fps

Hyperlapse 4K video support at 30 fps


For the OnePlus 9 Pro, you’ll have to shell out a minimum of $969 for the 8GB + 128GB model, While the base configuration of Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will set you back by $1,299 in the US market. You can watch our Galaxy S21 Ultra review video to find out its strength and weaknesses, and determine whether it’s worth that price tag, and also check out whether the OnePlus 9 Pro is worth its asking price in the video below.

View Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G at Samsung



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