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OnePlus 10 Pro vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: How do the flagships compare?

OnePlus has officially unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 10 Pro. But how does it compare with Samsung’s own top-of-the-line Galaxy S21 Ultra? Here’s everything you need to know. 

Of course, almost a year has passed since Samsung released the S21 Ultra, meaning it shouldn’t be long before the company releases its successor, the S22 Ultra

The S21 is Samsung’s most high-end (non-foldable) smartphone right now. The phone impressed us here at Trusted Reviews, with Max Parker highlighting its great display and versatile camera in our review. It was also a big step-up from 2020’s already powerful Galaxy S20 Ultra

So, how do its specs, camera and design compare to that on the new OnePlus 10 Pro? Read on to find out… 

OnePlus 10 Pro
OnePlus 10 Pro

Release date and price

The OnePlus 10 Pro is set to launch in China on January 13, followed by a global release later in 2022. We’re still yet to hear how much the phone will cost, but the OnePlus 9 Pro was priced at £829 for 8GB/128GB or £929 for 12GB/256GB, so that should give us some idea of what to expect from OnePlus. 

Samsung launched its Galaxy S21 series, including the S21 Ultra in January 2021, making the phone nearly a year old. The phone has an RRP of £1149 for 12GB/128GB or £1199 for 12GB/256GB, making it a bit more expensive than the OnePlus flagship at launch. 

Luckily, you can currently find the Galaxy phone for less on Amazon. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Galaxy S21 Ultra

Design and display 

The OnePlus 10 Pro and Galaxy S21 Ultra both feature sleek metallic designs and come in a range of colours. The OnePlus 10 Pro comes in Volcanic Black and an Emerald Forest green shade, while the S21 Ultra is available in Phantom Black, Silver, Titanium, Navy and Brown – all of which are relatively muted. 

Both phones also feature large camera modules, with the second-generation Hasselblad Camera for Mobile on the 10 Pro almost as large as the sizable array on the S21 Ultra, but laying in a square formation rather than vertical of the Samsung’s sensors. 

The two phones look quite similar from the front too, with displays that reach their edges and feature punch-hole cameras. 

The OnePlus 10 Pro flaunts a 120Hz, 6.7-inch QHD+ display, while the S21 Ultra has a slightly smaller 6.6-inch WQHD+ display with the same 120Hz refresh rate. 

The 10 Pro also includes Dual Color Calibration, making it the first device in the industry to deliver accurate and natural colours at both high and low brightness levels, according to OnePlus. 

The S21 Ultra’s screen, meanwhile, is capable of hitting an impressive 1500 nits of brightness and offers excellent HDR performance. The S21 Ultra can also be used alongside the Galaxy S Pen, allowing you to jot down notes and ideas with a pen as well as your finger. 

OnePlus 10 Pro
OnePlus 10 Pro


The OnePlus 10 Pro marks the debut of the second-generation Hasselblad Camera for Mobile. The triple-camera array includes a 48-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel telephoto sensor and a new 50-megapixel ultra-wide angle sensor with a 150-degree field-of-view. 

The Galaxy S21 Ultra, meanwhile, takes advantage of a quad array, consisting of a huge 108-megapixel wide angle sensor, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor with a 120-degree field-of-view, and two 10-megapixel telephoto sensors. 

The 10 Pro has a 32-megapixel selfie camera on the front, while the S21 Ultra features a 40-megapixel camera. 

The second-generation Hasselblad Camera for Mobile includes features like full 10-bit colour, the OnePlus Billion Color Solution and 12-bit RAW+. There’s also a Movie Mode, offering the ability to adjust ISO, shutter speed and white balance settings and record footage in a LOG format without a pre-set picture profile. 

The OnePlus 10 Pro includes new colour styles designed to suit different shooting scenarios, along with a Fisheye Mode which takes advantage of the 150-degree field-of-view on the phone’s ultra-wide angle camera. 

The S21 Ultra also offers an extensive range of camera features, including 8K video recording with 8K Video Snap to grab high-res photos from 8K video, Super Steady AI Stabilisation and Super Smooth 60fps Video. 

There’s also Dual Zoom for faster and smoother zooming, Bright Night for improved low light photography and an intelligent Portrait Mode. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Galaxy S21 Ultra

Specs and features 

The OnePlus 10 Pro is one of the first phones to launch on Qualcomm’s latest flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Samsung tends to launch one chipset in the US and another in the UK, so while US buyers can pick up the S21 Ultra with the then-flagship Snapdragon 888, models here in the UK are powered by the Exynos 2100. 

While we know the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 should offer improved performance and efficiency over the 888, it’s tough to say how the new chipset will stand up to the Exynos 2100. We’ll have to wait until we get our hands on the OnePlus 10 Pro to give you our official verdict. 

The OnePlus 10 Pro comes with up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 two-lane storage, while the Samsung S21 Ultra is available with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. 

As far as operating systems go, both phones run software based on the Android OS. The OnePlus 10 Pro ships running OxygenOS 12 based on Android 12, while S21 Ultra users will be able to update to Samsung’s own One UI 4. 

One improvement we saw with the S21 Ultra over its predecessor was a longer battery life. The S21 Ultra featured a 5000 mAh battery – as does the new OnePlus 10 Pro. 

However, the S21 Ultra tops out at 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging. The OnePlus 10 Pro speeds past it in this respect with its 80W SuperVOOC Flash Charge and 50W AirVOOC Wireless Flash Charge support. 

You can find the full spec comparison below: 

OnePlus 10 Pro vs Galaxy S21 Ultra specs

Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Operating System
Refresh Rate
OnePlus 10 Pro
OnePlus 10 Pro

Early verdict 

The S21 Ultra was a fantastic phone when it launched last January, and it still is one year on. 

The OnePlus 10 Pro puts up a good fight with its equally sleek design, matching 120Hz refresh rate and 150-degree ultra-wide angle camera. The phone also offers a more up-to-date chipset and impressive charging specs when compared with that of the Samsung phone. 

However, the S21 Ultra offers larger RAM and storage options and we won’t know whether the OnePlus phone can compete with Samsung’s impressive array of camera features and stunning display until we get our hands on it. Keep an eye on Trusted Reviews for more details.

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