The Galaxy S21 and S21+ Are Samsung’s New, More Affordable Flagships

An anonymous reader shares a report: 2020 was the year Samsung was forced to rethink its smartphone strategy. A pandemic-fueled global decline in sales and a frosty reception to its S20 lineup and the Galaxy Note 20, left Samsung looking up to another company for the first time in years. However, out of that moment came its most practical phone in recent memory, the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition. Where devices like the S20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra showed Samsung at its most indulgent, the S20 FE proved the South Korean firm could still make a phone for the rest of us. And it’s that phone that Samsung’s new 2021 flagships, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+, announced today at the company’s first Unpacked event of 2021, have the most in common. The price might be the most compelling part of these two devices.

When they go on sale on January 29th, the S21 and S21+ will start at $800 and $1,000. In other words, they’ll both cost $200 less at launch than the Galaxy S20 and S20+ did when they come out partway through last year. That says a lot about what you need to know about the S21 and S21+. If you were expecting a flashy and expensive update to last year’s models, that’s not what these new phones are about. Instead, they make smart tradeoffs to make Samsung’s flagship experience more attainable than at any point in the last couple of years. Let’s start with the upgrades. In the US, both phones come with the Snapdragon 888 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage to start. Not only can you expect Qualcomm’s first 5nm chip to make the S21 and S21+ faster than Samsung’s 2020 flagships, but it also comes with other improvements. One of the big ones is that the Snapdragon 888 includes an integrated 5G modem. That’s a design feature that almost always leads to battery life improvements. It also won’t hurt that the S21+ has a slightly higher-capacity 4,800mAh battery than its 2020 counterpart. From a connectivity standpoint, the new processor also has support for WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. And speaking of Bluetooth, both phones work with the new Galaxy SmartTag Samsung announced today.

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