Our Opinion

The Samsung Galaxy M21 (4GB RAM, 64GB) is a significantly better phone than the realme 5s 128GB, and is also significantly better value for money. What should you buy? Go for the Samsung Galaxy M21 (4GB RAM, 64GB)!

Samsung Galaxy M21 (4GB RAM, 64GB)  realme 5s 128GB 
Samsung Galaxy M21 realme 5s
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Excellence Score
39.6
33.0
Value for Money Score
83.7
76.5
Price ₹ 12,999 onwards ₹ 11,999 onwards
Launch Date (India) Mar, 2020 Nov, 2019
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 10Expected update to next Android version Android 9.0 Pie, Upgradeable to Android 10Expected update to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 6.4 inches 6.5 inches
Screen Resolution 1080x2340 pixels (~ 403 pixels per inch) 720x1600 pixels (~ 270 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Display Type AMOLED IPS LCD
Screen Refresh Rate 60 HzStandard 60 HzStandard
Display Features Super AMOLED Night mode
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.3 GHz 2 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Samsung Exynos 9611Ranked #31 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Qualcomm Snapdragon 665Ranked #40 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Mali-G72 MP3 Adreno 610
RAM 4 GB 4 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
5G
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
VoWiFi/WiFi-Calling Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB-C microUSB
Primary Camera 48MP + 8MP + 5MP 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (4K) Yes (4K)
Other Camera Features 48MP: f/2.0 aperture; 26mm Focal Length; 1/2.0" Sensor Size; 0.8um Pixel Size; PDAF, 8MP: f/2.2 aperture; 12mm Focal Length; Ultra-wide; 1/4.0" Sensor Size; 1.12um Pixel Size, 5MP: f/2.2 aperture; Depth Sensor, Panorama, HDR, Video: 2160p@30fps; 1080p@30fps; EIS 48MP: F/1.8 Aperture; 6P lens; PDAF; 10x Digital Zoom; Sony IMX586 Sensor, 8MP: 119° Wide-angle Camera; F/2.25 Aperture; 5P lens, 2MP: Depth Sensor, 2MP: Macro Camera; 4cm Shooting Distance, AI HDR, AI beauty, AI scene recognition, Chrome boost, Super nightscape, Filter mode, Panorama, Expert mode, Time-Lapse, EIS
Secondary Camera 20MP 13MP
Secondary Camera Features f/2.0 aperture, 26mm Focal Length, HDR F/2.0 Aperture, 5P lens, AI beauty, AI HDR
Internal Memory 64 GB 128 GB
Expandable Memory Slot Yes, up to 512 GB Yes, up to 256 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio Yes (Wireless) Yes
Dual SIM GSM+GSM GSM+GSM
Thickness 8.9 mmMedium 9.3 mmThick
Weight 188 gmMedium 198 gmHeavy
Width 75.1 mmOk for one-handed use 75.6 mmOk for one-handed use
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant Yes, Splash resistant
Battery Capacity 6000 mAh 5000 mAh
Battery Standby N/A 718 hrs
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A 46.90 hrs
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A N/A
Fast Charging Support Yes, 15W Fast Charging
Included Fast Charger Yes, 15.0W Fast Charger
Other Battery Parameters N/A Gaming Time: 8.5 hrs, Audio Playback Time: 30.8 hrs
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features Noise Filtration Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Decent looks and build quality - very similar to the Samsung Galaxy M31, with a a unibody polycarbonate design, and glossy finish on the back panel - the only major difference is the camera module which houses a triple rear camera
  • The plastic body keeps the phone feeling relatively lightweight at 188 grams, which is mighty impressive for a phone packing a big 6000 mAh battery
  • It also feels great to hold with a seamless curved panel that meets the display up front
  • Modern, Infinity-U front - bezels around the screen are slim, except for a slightly thick chin - you still get around 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio, which is great
  • Fingerprint sensor at the back is easy to reach and work very well
  • Gorgeous, 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display with excellent viewing angles, and brightness levels - easily one of the best displays in the price bracket
  • It also comes with "Widevine L1" certification, which helps stream content in crisp HD resolution
  • Blacks are deep on the AMOLED display, which looks good with Night mode enabled
  • Samsung's OneUI is today one of the more clean, refined Android UIs that's especially well optimised for large displays like this
  • One UI also brings in other useful stuff, like a System-wide Dark mode (which turns the background completely black, and looks great on the M21's AMOLED display), and Always On Display option
  • Decent performance with the Exynos 9611 at the core (similar to Snapdragon 665) - the device is fairly quick to load up apps - multitasking is a breeze
  • Decent triple rear camera setup - a 48MP primary snapper, an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 5MP depth sensor
  • In broad daylight, you'll get consistent, crispy shots with decent dynamic range and sharpness levels are respectable with the primary lens
  • The ultra-wide sensor, like on any budget phone, is a good addition - it takes social media-worthy images in great lighting conditions (in low-light, the quality dips and pictures look grainy and noisy, wide-angle shots also have barrel distortion at the edges)
  • Live Focus shots are quite good and the camera app does give you the option to set the level of blur before taking a shot - edge detection is very good and the Galaxy M21 does a good job of separating the subject from the background
  • The 20MP selfie camera is quite good and takes detailed selfies (though, in low light, the quality goes down a notch and results are grainy)
  • Monster 6000 mAh battery delivers an incredible 2-3 days of usage easily, making for one of the largest battery life smartphones currently available
  • Supports 15W fast charging
  • If you're someone who consumes a lot of content on their phone, the Galaxy M21 is a good phone for you, it has great AMOLED display, outstanding battery backup that will last you for days
  • Great design, similar to the Realme 5 - like all Realme phones recently, the Realme 5s has both a good build quality, and striking looks (with a crystal back polycarbonate design)
  • The front is modern and sharp too with a 6.5-inch display, with a small dewdrop notch and fairly slim bezels all around
  • Both the rear fingerprint sensor, and face unlock work accurately and fast
  • Nice, large 6.5inch IPS display, well suited to media consumption - with good color saturation, and good sunlight legibility
  • ColorOS is now more streamlined, and cleaner than before, and of course packs a bunch of additional functionality over stock Android
  • Good performance for the price bracket, with the fast Snapdragon 665 at the core - everything from day-to-day use to high-end games is fairly smooth
  • Thermal control is good too - the phone doesn't get more than a little warm, even with long sessions of gaming
  • The cameras are the main upgrade for the Realme 5s, with a new 48MP primary camera (the rest of the camera setup is the same: 2MP depth sensor + 8MP wide-angle camera + 2MP macro camera for closeup shots)
  • Overall image quality is slightly improved from the primary camera, especially in daylight
  • The 119-degree ultrawide-angle camera is the same as on the Realme 5 Pro, and captures decent images for sharing on social media platforms
  • Portrait shots come out decent too
  • Decent 13-megapixel selfie camera - it delivers decent portrait shots too
  • Decent bottom loudspeaker
  • Outstanding battery life with a gigantic 5000mAh battery - you will get a cool 2 days of moderate use
  • Overall, the Realme 5s is a pretty good option to consider if you want to optimize for a stylish design, and good battery
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • The power button and volumes are quite flush with the frame which means they lack that tactile, clicky feel
  • Design feels a bit dated and underwhelming, there is no spark in Galaxy M21's design as we see in other brand's phones like Xiaomi and Realme
  • However, this is an old chipset and heavy gaming isn't best on this phone - the Redmi Note 9 Pro and the Realme 6 are much better options that will handle gaming better than the Galaxy M21
  • Photos taken in low-light are average - focusing gets worse in low light and the extreme noise-correction makes images look like water paintings
  • Overall, the cameras on the M21 are decent, but there are better cameras available in this price bracket, including the Galaxy M31, which is just a tad bit pricier
  • Samsung Galaxy M11 falls behind in fast charging as competitors are offering close to 30W fast charging, the 15W on M21 feels low
  • Having said that, the Redmi Note 9 Pro and the Realme 6 will still offer you more bang for your buck, overall and when it comes to intensive tasks like gaming, you’ll be better off choosing the Realme 6 or the Redmi Note 8 Pro that are probably the best phones for gaming in this segment
  • This is a fairly large phone though - the size does make one-handed use cumbersome, and even with large hands, you will struggle to tap anywhere near the top of the display (thankfully, ColorOS offers a one-handed mode to help tackle this issue)
  • The Realme 5s is a bit heavy too, at nearly 200g - and it's also a little top heavy - which again hinders long-time one handed use
  • If you like more premium glass builds (instead of plastic), then there are options like the Redmi Note 8 available in this price bracket now
  • Screen resolution is on the low side, so long text reading is not the most ideal experience
  • There is, as always, a plethora of preinstalled apps - though thankfully these can be uninstalled
  • The 2-megapixel macro lens gives interesting framing options, but is ordinary otherwise - it takes a few tries to get a detailed macro shot - in fact, there are times when you will get slightly better results with the main camera
  • Low light performance is still average however, both for images, and video - there is some noise, and less detail in low light images - the Nightscape mode helps a bit, but not a lot
  • Overall, while the camera is improved, and is pretty good for the price bracket, it's not quite as good as its main competitor, the Redmi Note 8, which delivers relatively more true-to-life images with natural-looking colors, more details, and better low-light performance
  • Uses the old Micro USB port - some competitors like the Redmi Note 8 have now shifted to the modern USB-C standard
  • No fast charging support - with the supplied charger, you will get a full charge in more than two and a half hours
  • It has a strong competitor in the Redmi Note 8 though, which offers a premium glass build, 18W fast charging, Gorilla Glass 5 protection, a full HD+ display, and perhaps most importantly a better 48-megapixel camera - unless you have a strong preference for the crystal back design of the Realme 5S or want the best possible battery life, the Redmi Note 8 is looking like the better all-rounder for most people
  • Additionally, if you want stock Android phones, then the Moto One Action and Moto One Macro are also worth considering, and if you want the best display for your buck, then the Samsung's Galaxy M30 with an AMOLED display is a good option as well
  • Another caveat to keep in mind is the size and weight of the phone - if you like your phones compact, and your routine involves a lot of one-handed use, then this might not be for you
Expert Reviews
  1. A Phone That Caters Best To Video Content Consumers
    in.mashable.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. zeebiz.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  1. An easy recommendation...but if you can get hold of the Redmi Note 8, you should consider it as well
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. The Realme 5s is a very minor refresh of the Realme 5....We feel that Realme could have done a lot more with the 5s to make it more competitive
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. If you are looking for a smartphone under Rs. 10,000, realme 5s is still one of the recommended options out there
    fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. A solid choice for those looking at buying a phone under Rs 10,000...but there are (arguably better) alternatives
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  5. The Realme 5s is just the Realme 5 repackaged with a new camera and coated with a new paint layer... But at a time when the competition is much more fierce in this price bracket, I would say that you are better off getting the Redmi Note 8 instead
    indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. Realme 5s is a good choice for those looking for an all rounder
    gadgetsnow.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. Brilliant execution
    timesnownews.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. A good looking phone with great battery life and fairly good cameras...but difficult to recommend considering what the competition has to offer at this price
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
User Reviews
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Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
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