Not everyone needs or can afford a $1,000 flagship phone, but how much money can you save before a cheap phone crosses over from "affordable" to "terrible?" That's a line in the sand that moves every year from manufacturer to manufacturer and person to person. For me, the 2021 A02s rides the very edge. This is almost precisely the minimum viable smartphone, but it's $110 brand new, and Samsung promises an unbelievable four years of updates. For the price, I don't think you can go wrong, but spend more for a better phone if you can.
One UI 3.1 has been rolling out to older Galaxy devices quickly in the last few months. Despite only being an incremental upgrade over 3.0, it carries over several useful features from the Galaxy S21 to its older siblings. Over the last few weeks, One UI 3.1 has arrived for several mid-range devices and some T-Mobile variants.
Samsung already announced its international lineup of 2021 A-series devices — some last year, some last month. They look promising, with sleek designs, capable specs, and some serious improvements over last year's selection. But it turns out the US selection will look a bit different at launch. For one, no fun colors: the whole series will initially only be available in monochrome colorways stateside. There are also currently no plans to launch the A72 in the US. Still, there's plenty for American customers to be excited about — and soon.
Even though the high-end Galaxy S21 is right on the horizon, Samsung is seemingly inclined to kick off 2021 with two new entry-level offerings in its Galaxy A series — the Galaxy A12 and A02s. The two phones try to appease a specific market segment that values big-screened endurance champs at the lower end of the price spectrum. However, you can't get your hands on them yet as their release dates are a bit far out.