The Samsung Galaxy S21 series is now official and while the Ultra variant is a notable upgrade over its predecessor, the standard and the Plus models have taken a step back in some areas. South Korean outlet The Elec speculates this might have something to do with the unpopularity of the Galaxy S20 range.
The starting price of the new models has been reduced by $200 at the expense of the microSD slot, charging brick, and earphones.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra features a 6.8-inch screen with QHD+ (3,200×1,440) resolution and a 515 PPI. It also supports a 120Hz refresh rate at QHD+. The S20 Ultra only supported this refresh rate at FHD.
The S21 and S21 Plus have a PPI of 421 and 394, respectively. In contrast, the predecessors offer a PPI of 563 and 525. Samsung claims that lower PPI isn’t exactly a spec downgrade and says the standard and the Plus models have higher peak brightness than their predecessors (an increase from 1,200 nits to 1,300 nits).
Regardless of what the company says, it’s evident that it has prioritized cost cuts over specs and features. Whether the strategy will work remains to be seen.
Launching the new phones earlier than usual might prove to be a bad idea
Source -Counterpoint Research. *Includes forecasted quarters.
The research firm noted that the delay in the launch of the iPhone 12 and the accelerated release of the S21 series puts Samsung’s new phones within 12 weeks of iPhone 12’s launch, something which “is not ideal from a price comparison standpoint.”
The firm also said that the iPhone 12 is hitting a sweet spot with the $799 base price and that S21’s pricing will need to improve from S20 levels “for Samsung to avoid disappointment.”
Well, the phones are out now, and it’s clear that Samsung was listening as S21’s starting price matches iPhone 12’s entry price.
The smartphone industry has also become very crowded and Chinese vendors are not only releasing mid-to-low end phones with competitive specs but also more flagship handsets. Per Counterpoint, the S10 was contending with nearly 48 ‘$800-plus’ phones in 2018. The S21 will have to compete with more than 65.