With the Galaxy S20 starting at a steep price of $999, the introduction of the Galaxy S20 FE was more than just a welcome move. The "flagship on the cheap" offered a whole lot of value for $699, and made it almost irrational to spend more to get the Note20 or the S20. We're expecting the same from the Galaxy S21 FE, and now a new leak gives us our first look at the device.
Although its high-end devices tend to get the lion's share of attention from the media, Samsung offers a ton of downmarket options, too — many in the sub-$250 space, like the Galaxy A21. When we reviewed it last year, we concluded that, while it wasn't really groundbreaking option in the affordable space, it was a fine pick if it met your budgetary and performance needs. But is that still true today?
Samsung is probably the best-known manufacturer of Android devices on the planet — you've likely known some less-tech-savvy people who refer to Android phones on the whole as "Galaxies." That's both because its devices are generally competent and well marketed, and also because the South Korean giant makes roughly a billion models at every conceivable price point. So, if you're looking to buy, how do you choose? Here, we break down your options — from super-premium to the bare necessities.
Samsung's latest Galaxy Buds Pro are some of the best true wireless earbuds you can buy today. With great sound quality and active noise-canceling built-in, they're tough to beat. While a new set of Buds Pro usually runs you $200, you can grab a pair for yourself and one for a friend for $75 off your total purchase.
The Galaxy S21 series debuted with One UI 3.1, an updated version of Samsung's software skin that contained several new features, such as Google Home controls in the notification panel. Shortly after the S21 started to ship, Samsung began to update older devices with One 3.1.
Samsung has put a lot of effort into improving its software reputation, and a big aspect of that change has been a renewed focus on issuing regular security updates. Over the last couple years, Samsung has frequently managed to beat Google to the punch, and that continues even now as the Galaxy Note10, Z Fold2, and S21 have all received the April security patch, more recently followed by the Galaxy A52, S20 FE, and the S10 line.
The very first time I ever used Android, it was loaded up as a live bootable partition on a MicroSD card shoved into my HTC Fuze. I'm sure the Windows Mobile installation on the phone's internal storage felt very jealous, because the rest is history. Samsung is hoping for something similar with its latest project: an interactive, web-based demonstration of Android made specifically for iPhone users.
Samsung’s been on a roll lately, delivering critical security updates consistently month after month. We've closely tracked the company’s performance in this area, and it hasn’t disappointed. With April already here, this month’s Android security patches are now reaching Samsung phones in the US, starting with the carrier Galaxy S21 series and the unlocked Note20 Ultra.
Samsung's mid-range Galaxy A series is deep and wide, much more so than the mainline S series. The latest A phone to break cover is the A82, also referred to as the "Quantum2" in its leaked materials. It's a sequel to the Galaxy A Quantum announced last summer, which was a variant of the excellent Galaxy A71. The leaked specifications describe, as implied by its model number, a phone on the high end of the mid-range.
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.