KEY POINTS

  • Samsung's latest flagship, the Galaxy S21, is a scaled-back version of the Galaxy S20
  • The new handset, however, offers very good trade-offs, making for a great buy
  • Samsung's move falls in line with changes in consumer spending habits from last year

Samsung recently released the new Galaxy S21 5G smartphone, its latest flagship that succeeds the Galaxy S20 series. This new device might feel like a bit of a downgrade when compared to its flashier older siblings, but a review says it balances many things well that it shouldn’t be ignored.

In a review, CNet said the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G smartphone is a “no-brainer upgrade phone” and makes a good case for it. The new handset might feel less like the older Galaxy S20 Ultra and more like the Galaxy S20 FE, but it doesn’t mean that’s a bad thing.

For one, the site claims that the new smartphone “strikes a good balance of features and price which should make it appealing to a lot of people,” and it’s probably right.

A report from market analyst Canalys revealed that most consumers opted to buy more handsets on the cheaper side compared to high-end devices last year, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per the report, consumers paid an average $503 for the smartphones they bought during the second quarter of 2020 – right in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. This indicates a major shift in consumer spending habits: instead of going for high-end premium handsets that cost eye-watering amounts of money, they would rather spend on more affordable devices that can do the job.

Samsung’s approach to the Galaxy S21 5G series, then, appears to be in line with the shift in consumer spending habits. Instead of selling the new handsets at the same price point as that of their predecessors, the South Korean tech giant chose to lower the prices in an attempt to make them more affordable and thus appealing to people.

The lowered price, of course, comes with some changes in specs and features. The company was able to lower prices by also scaling back some power features.

For example, the base Galaxy S21 5G has 4GB of RAM less compared to the Galaxy S20. It doesn’t have a slot for an external microSD card, which means it only has internal storage. Its display has less pixels compared to its predecessor, and its back is not covered in Gorilla Glass anymore.

The result? A massive price-slash. The Galaxy S21 5G starts at $800, making it more affordable than the usual Samsung flagship. It’s like a flagship but priced like a “Fan Edition” (FE) model – like how the Galaxy S20 FE was packaged.

With the new Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, those who don’t need top-of-the-line specs and features won’t have to spend for it. They can still get top-notch performance and more without emptying their wallets.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 handset and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are displayed at a product unveiling by the South Korean electronics giant The Samsung Galaxy S21 handset and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are displayed at a product unveiling by the South Korean electronics giant Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Dia Dipasupil