Our Opinion

The Samsung Galaxy M21 (6GB RAM, 128GB) is a slightly better phone than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 (6GB RAM, 128GB), and is also slightly better value for money. What should you buy? Go for the Samsung Galaxy M21 (6GB RAM, 128GB)!

Samsung Galaxy M21 (6GB RAM, 128GB)  Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 (6GB RAM, 128GB) 
Samsung Galaxy M21 Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
37.4
32.6
Value for Money Score
73.6
69.1
Price ₹ 14,999 onwards ₹ 14,499 onwards
Launch Date (India) Mar, 2020 Oct, 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 6.3 inches
Screen Resolution 1080x2340 pixels (~ 403 pixels per inch) 1080x2340 pixels (~ 409 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Display Type AMOLED IPS LCD
Screen Refresh Rate 60 HzStandard 60 HzStandard
Display Features Super AMOLED 2.5D Curved Glass, TÜV Rheinland Certified
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.3 GHz 2 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Samsung Exynos 9611Ranked #37 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Qualcomm Snapdragon 665Ranked #45 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Mali-G72 MP3 Adreno 610
RAM 6 GB 6 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 USB-C
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: [email protected]; [email protected]; EIS 48MP: F/1.79 Aperture; Sony IMX 586 Sensor; 6P Lens; PDAF; EIS, 8MP: 120° Ultra-wide Angle lens; 1.12um Pixel Size, 2MP: Depth Sensor, 2MP: 2cm Macro; 1.75um Pixel Size; F/2.4 Aperture, Night Mode
Secondary Camera 20MP 13MP
Secondary Camera Features f/2.0 aperture, 26mm Focal Length, HDR F/2.0 Aperture, 1.12um Pixel Size
Internal Memory 128 GB 128 GB
Expandable Memory Slot Yes, up to 512 GB Yes, up to 512 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 8.35 mmMedium
Weight 188 gmMedium 188 gmMedium
Width 75.1 mmOk for one-handed use 75.3 mmOk for one-handed use
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant Yes, Splash Resistant (P2i Coating)
Battery Capacity 6000 mAh 4000 mAh
Battery Standby N/A N/A
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A N/A
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A N/A
Fast Charging Support Yes, 15W Fast Charging Yes, 18W Fast Charging
Included Fast Charger Yes, 15.0W Fast Charger Yes, 18.0W Fast Charger
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
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
  • Attractive, well-built, modern looking design, similar to the Redmi 8/8A, especially from the front (thought it's not quite as slick as the Redmi Note 8 Pro)
  • Good looking mirrored gradient finish at the back
  • Decent ergonomics - reaching all corners with one thumb isn't too difficult
  • Fingerprint and face recognition are both quick
  • Good Full-HD+ 6.3 inches screen - it's crisp and bright
  • MIUI is one of the more refined, smooth, and feature-rich custom Android UIs around
  • Good, solid performance powered by the Snapdragon 665 - day-to-day use and gameplay are both smooth
  • Very good overall camera performance, for the price bracket (arguably the best at this price)
  • The rear setup includes a quad-camera setup (very similar to the Realme 5) - a 48-megapixel primary camera + 8-megapixel wide-angle camera + 2-megapixel macro camera + 2-megapixel depth sensor
  • The primary 48-megapixel camera on the Redmi Note 8 gives crisp, bright shots with very good detail - especially, close ups came out looking great
  • Portrait mode is very good, as well
  • Decent 13MP selfie camera, especially during daylight
  • Xiaomi has done a good job with the single speaker - voices in audio/music came out crisp and distinct
  • Good battery life with a 4000mAh battery - you will get about 1.5 days of moderate use
  • 18W fast charging support (and an 18W charger is included) - the phones goes from zero to 37 percent in half an hour, and 81 percent in one hour
  • The Redmi Note 8 is another good budget choice from Xiaomi - you get enough power for everyday tasks, a strong battery, and a crisp screen - the cameras are also good in favourable conditions - the overall package is excellent value
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
  • The chin is on the thick side, and includes the Redmi brand logo
  • Significant camera bump
  • Like all glossy backs, it would be a challenge to keep this finish free of smudges and fingerprints (thankfully there is a cover that's included in the box)
  • The volume buttons are a bit high, and not super easy to reach
  • It continues to pack a lot of preloaded bloatware though, and spammy notifications and ads (which can be disabled, but it's not the simplest process)
  • Gaming performance is not as good as 2 key competitors however - the Realme 5 and Vivo U10 (that pack the same processor), due to the higher resolution display, which puts more strain on the GPU
  • The wide-angle and macro cameras, while giving you some interesting framing options, are average in quality
  • Low light performance is average, as expected
Expert Reviews
  1. All the battery life you need
    fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. Great battery in an average package
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  3. A judicious mix of features and performance gets the day-to-day work done easily
    economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Buy This For The Battery and Vivid AMOLED Display
    news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. A Phone That Caters Best To Video Content Consumers
    in.mashable.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. Sharp display, good cameras, decent performance and an amazing battery life, though the Galaxy M31 is better
    zeebiz.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. A good option if you are out in the market looking for a capable smartphone that is not Xiaomi or Realme
    business-standard.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. Big battery and display at an affordable price
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  9. gadgetsnow.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. gsmarena.com hands-on Read Review »
  11. ibtimes.co.in hands-on Read Review »
  1. Redmi Note 8 is an excellent choice as it is a worthy sequel and also a proper phone to own and carry around
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. The overall package looks hard to beat in terms of value
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. If you want a value for money device then Redmi Note 8 should be in your shopping cart
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  4. The Note 8 is still an easy phone to recommend, but it is no longer the only great option in the hot budget mid-range segment
    androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. The budget king from Xiaomi...great value for money
    indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. Xiaomi's Redmi Note 8 is the phone to go for budget buyers as it comes with decent features and an excellent primary camera
    economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. Great budget buy with excellent camera
    livemint.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. The Redmi Note 8 offers impressive and unmatched value for money for a phone under 10k
    firstpost.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. Excellent value for money...ticks all the right boxes
    timesnownews.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. Under Rs 10,000, this is the phone to buy
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  11. Best phone below Rs 10,000. Period.
    techpp.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. Xiaomi's Redmi Note 8 is the phone to go for budget buyers as it comes with decent features and an excellent primary camera
    thenewsminute.com in-depth Read Review »
  13. Definitely the best phone you could get under INR 10,000
    in.mashable.com in-depth Read Review »
  14. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 is a triumphant entry-level smartphone
    notebookcheck.net in-depth Read Review »
  15. business-standard.com in-depth Read Review »
User Reviews
  1. Flipkart4.3 58+ reviews »
  1. Flipkart4.4 1,009+ reviews »
Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
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