Don't buy a Galaxy S20 phone right now. Here's why you should wait
The Galaxy S21 is here, and is less expensive than the S20 was originally.
Alison DeNisco RayomeManaging Editor
Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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If you're in the market for a new Android phone, you may be considering the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G -- last year's flagship phone from the
line. But with the Galaxy S21 revealed today at the Samsung Unpacked event on the last day of CES, you may be wondering: What are the differences between the two Galaxy
? Should I buy a Galaxy S20 now, or is it worth it to wait for the S21 to arrive in stores on Jan. 29?
The bigger differences come when you upgrade to the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but even then, its features are very similar to those of the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Both premium phones include a more advanced camera and a huge 5,000-mAh battery. However, the S21 Ultra includes a higher-resolution WQHD Plus display, and, notably, support for the S Pen stylus.
Here are the major differences between the two Galaxy models, based on what we saw at Unpacked.
Watch this: Our first look at the new Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus
The Galaxy S20 started at $999, though its price has since dropped to $800 at Best Buy at the time of publication. The Galaxy S20 Plus started at $1,199 and the Galaxy S20 Ultra started at $1,399 (but they're now $900 and $1,100 at Amazon, respectively).
In the UK, the Galaxy S21 starts at £769, £30 less than last year's S20 -- a much smaller difference than in the US. In Australia, it starts at AU$1,249, which is AU$100 less than the S20's price last year.
The Galaxy S21 has a new Snapdragon 888 processor, which claims to offer faster 5G performance and extended battery life. The Galaxy S20 runs on the older Snapdragon 865 chip.
While the Galaxy S20 features an HD Plus dynamic AMOLED display, the Galaxy S21 includes an FHD Plus LTPS screen, which has higher resolution and better picture quality.
You can buy a Galaxy S20 in cosmic gray, cloud blue, cloud pink and cosmic black (though not all models offer all colors). The Galaxy S21 comes in phantom violet, phantom pink, phantom gray, phantom white, phantom silver or phantom black (but again, not all models will offer all colors).
How to decide which Galaxy phone to buy
As with any phone purchase, it depends on what you're looking for. Since the price of the base Galaxy S20 has dropped to $800, it's not a bad phone for the money -- especially if it drops lower, since it includes many of the same features as the new Galaxy S21. If the S20 price doesn't drop down after the S21 is released on Jan. 29, and if you're planning to spend around $800 anyway, you might as well get a Galaxy S21 for the starting price of $800, since that will get you a better processor and a different display.
Watch this: Galaxy S21 Ultra: Our first look at Samsung's new premium phone