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Tips on how to find the Playstation 5 and XBox Series X, the hottest items this Christmas – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
One of the hottest items on many Christmas wish lists this holiday season is the Playstation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X consoles.

With so many people at home looking for something to do during the COVID-19 pandemic, demand is high for the latest generation gaming consolesGetting your hands on one seems to be a game all on its own.

Salim Saikley is one of the lucky few able to purchase a new console this holiday season.

“It really feels like you’re part of an elite club,” said Saikley.

After weeks of trying to buy a Sony PS5 gaming console, he finally found one at an online store, “I was able to pick one up as of 6:30 a.m.” He ‘picked it’ online, and hopes to have it delivered next week.

The new PS5’s are reselling on sites like Kijiji for nearly double the retail price. Saikley does not think that is something he would have done.

“Really hard to justify a gaming console for over a thousand dollars,” said Saikley.

Even though he doesn’t consider himself a ‘gamer‘, he’s looking for something else to do at home during the pandemic.

“COVID for sure is a massive factor; another thing to do in the home besides projects and cooking, building projects – we’re a little tired of that,” said Saikley.

At retailers like The Source, which is owned by CTV News Ottawa’s parent company Bell, the pandemic is helping to drive sales.

Gaming gives us a really good opportunity to play interactively; to play with other families, and to make sure that we’re keeping that social connection alive,” says Andaleeb Dobson, vice-president of Merchandising and Supply Chain at The Source. Gaming is through the roof, it’s been seven years since we’ve had new XBox or Playstation consoles.”

The hottest game consoles have been on the market for about a monthDobson says launch day was very busy on their website, “We sold lots of consoles in less than half an hour.”

Best Buy Canada says pre-orders sold out quickly, and a company spokesperson told CTV News Ottawa, “We expect that demand to last well into the new year as inventory becomes available.”

Hamse Deira managed to buy three on pre-order months ago.

“Honestly, it’s amazing,” said Deira, who sold one and surprised his older brother with the other new console“He was still sleeping, so I put it on his on his bed, and I just tapped him and he woke up and was freaking out; he almost knocked it off the bed!”

How to get one now?

Ray runs the website and twitter feed GameDealsCanada.com.

CTV News Ottawa asked Ray for tips to find the Playstation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X consoles this holiday season.

“Turning on notifications for Twitter helps get the latest alerts for surprise drops, but for scheduled ones like the ones Walmart and EB Games just did, it takes speed and a lot of luck,” said Ray in a Twitter message to CTV News Ottawa.

He says you’ll need that luck and suggests you follow all of the retailers’ social media accountsRetailers often post when they will be releasing more consoles.

He offers other tips on his website too, including creating an account at the online store ahead of time and making sure it works. Ensure your billing address and shipping address are correct, and add a valid credit card number ahead of time.

Ray also suggests trying stores’ online app; while many are trying to log onto the website, you may have luck with your phone.

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How the price of Samsung Galaxy S phones changed over the years – Android Authority

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If you were to tell the average smartphone user that Samsung Galaxy S prices had only gone up over the years, they’d likely believe you. However, you’d be lying. There have been a few years in which prices have actually dropped — including 2021, believe it or not. If you look back, there are a lot of interesting price changes happening.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S series: A history of the biggest name in Android

Considering that Samsung is the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer and the Galaxy S series is its most popular phone family, we thought we’d examine everything from the very beginning. Below, you’ll find a list of every major Galaxy S phone and its original launch price. In the end, you’ll find a chart giving a compact view of how those prices have changed as time went on.

Please note that we won’t be including every variant of the Galaxy S series here. The Mini variants from the mid-2010s, for example, won’t be included. We’re also ignoring the Fan editions, Lite editions, Active editions, etc., in favor of focusing only on the main entries in the series.


Samsung Galaxy S price: $399

Samsung Galaxy S Original

Credit: Samsung

The original Samsung Galaxy S had many different names. The Samsung Galaxy Proclaim, Galaxy S Showcase, Galaxy Vibrant 4G, Galaxy S Captivate — the list is quite long. However, we’ll always remember it as the Galaxy S, the one that started it all.

See also: The best Android phones of the decade 2010 — 2019

Here in the United States during the phone’s launch year of 2010, it was incredibly difficult to buy a smartphone in an unlocked format. Instead, you needed to visit your carrier and buy a phone through them. You’d get a small portion of the phone’s cost integrated into your bill over the next two years as part of your exclusive contract. As such, it’s hard to determine the exact final Samsung Galaxy S prices as they would change from carrier to carrier.

However, we determined the average amount to be around $399, which equates to ~$477 in 2021 dollars. That seems like a bargain compared to the smartphones of today. But keep in mind that this phone was far less advanced — and a lot cheaper to produce.


Samsung Galaxy S2 price: $549

Samsung Galaxy S2

The Samsung Galaxy S was a huge hit for the company. Because of its success on the market, all eyes were on the Galaxy S2 in early 2011. Unfortunately, Samsung went hog wild with the follow-up and released multiple phones with totally different designs and specs — all using the Galaxy S2 branding. It was so messy that you could buy a Galaxy S2 from AT&T, and it would be a completely different phone compared to the device of the same name from T-Mobile.

Still, that didn’t stop Samsung from selling Galaxy S2 phones like hotcakes. The phone was even more popular than the original Galaxy S and put Samsung firmly at the top of the Android smartphone world.

Once again, though, it was hard to buy the phone unlocked in the US. With that in mind, most consumers likely didn’t even notice that the list price of the phone jumped up significantly to $549. The price, after all, was hidden in their mobile carrier’s contract. Thankfully, it wouldn’t be much longer before regulatory bodies forced carriers to stop this practice.


Samsung Galaxy S3 price: $599

Samsung entered 2012 as the smartphone king. In Q3 2011, it outsold Apple as far as smartphones go a first for the Korean company. Not content to stop the growth, Samsung launched what is arguably one of the most beloved phones of all time: the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Thankfully, Samsung started to tone down its habit of releasing many different phones with the same name. The Galaxy S3 looked very uniform no matter where you got it. The internal specs might have been wildly different, but that’s a whole other story.

Despite the significant jump in specs and design, the price for this phone didn’t jump much higher than the previous model. In 2012, the Galaxy S3 cost about $599. That represents one of the smaller increases in the long history of Samsung Galaxy S prices.


Samsung Galaxy S4 price: $649

Samsung galaxy S4 review

Statistically, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is the biggest Android phone of all time. At 80 million units sold, the only other Android phone that comes even close to its sales is its predecessor, the Galaxy S3. Even the mighty iPhone 5S — launched in the same year — sold only 52 million units.

Once again, Samsung only nominally increased the price of the phone compared to the Galaxy S3. Of course, consumers in the US still likely wouldn’t have known it cost them $649. By this point, getting the phone unlocked was much easier, but only a small fraction of US buyers went that route.

A lot of die-hard smartphone fans saw very clearly what the price of the phone was in the summer of 2013. That’s when Samsung and Google partnered together to launch a Google Play Edition of the phone. It featured an unlockable bootloader and stock Android a breath of fresh air for the people who loathed Samsung’s Android skin TouchWiz. Samsung and Google only partnered to do this for a few cycles, but we wish it had gone on longer.


Samsung Galaxy S5 price: $649

Up until now, the Samsung Galaxy S prices had only gone up. In 2014, for the first time, Samsung launched the newest Galaxy S device at the same exact price as the previous year: $649.

Even though the price stayed the same, several new specs and features launched with this phone. That included a fingerprint sensor integrated into the home button, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, and a 16MP rear camera lens.

Unfortunately, sales of the Galaxy S5 failed to even come near the sales of the Galaxy S4. That’s why the S5’s design was the last of its kind. In 2015, Samsung would completely revamp the Galaxy S aesthetic. Still, the Galaxy S5 is fondly remembered by fans.


Samsung Galaxy S6 series prices: $649 — $799

In 2020, we ranked all of the Galaxy S phones from worst to best. Unfortunately, our friend the Samsung Galaxy S6 came in at the very bottom as our least favorite in the line. Sorry, bud.

Despite it being stuck at last place in our hearts, it represented the third time in a row that the base Samsung Galaxy S price remained unchanged. Of course, when you consider that Samsung removed the MicroSD card slot, IP rating, and removable battery, you’d wonder why it didn’t drop.

For the first time, the manufacturer also launched a more premium version of a Galaxy S phone. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge was basically the same phone but slightly bigger and with curved glass on the sides. Despite the device not really offering much else over the normal model, the Edge variant cost $100 more for a total of $749. Not content to stop there, Samsung eventually launched a Galaxy S6 Edge Plus for $799.

You should also note that, due to low sales, Samsung dropped the entry price of the Galaxy S6 to $579 not long after it launched. This was the first time that had happened in the middle of a Galaxy S phone’s lifecycle. It wouldn’t be the last.


Samsung Galaxy S7 series prices: $669 & $769

With sales of the Galaxy S6 series being incredibly disappointing, Samsung needed a hit — and fast. Enter the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. Both phones took what worked with the Galaxy S6 but brought back the things Samsung disregarded the previous year. That included the MicroSD card slot and an IP rating. Unfortunately, the removable battery never came back.

Still, the Galaxy S7 family fared much better on the market than its predecessors. With a launch price of $669 to $699 (depending on where you bought it and when), the entry-level version of the phone was only nominally more expensive than the Galaxy S6. However, it offered many more specs and features. Likewise, the larger Edge variant cost around $100 more.

Unfortunately, Samsung still wasn’t selling as many Galaxy S7 phones as it had hoped. This forced it to, once again, drop both phones’ prices in the middle of their lifecycles.


Samsung Galaxy S8 series prices: $749 & $849

The Samsung Galaxy S8 camera and fingerprint scanner.

In 2017, Samsung wisened up in a few ways. It abandoned the Edge branding, which appeared to simply confuse buyers. Instead, it launched the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. As the “Plus” moniker suggested, it was a larger version of the base model, which is why it cost more. This made much more sense.

The Galaxy S8 line represented a seismic shift for the design of the Galaxy S series. For the first time, the fingerprint sensor moved to the back of the phone, allowing for the front to be all display (with sizable bezels, of course). That big change must have made Samsung pretty confident because it increased the entry price to $749 — even after it needed to reduce the already lower price of the Galaxy S7 just months earlier.

Things must have worked out OK, though, as Samsung didn’t reduce the prices of these phones in the middle of their lifecycles. Coming off the fiasco of the Galaxy Note 7 the previous year also may have had an influence on Samsung Galaxy S prices as well.


Samsung Galaxy S9 series prices: $719 & $839

If you go back to the early days of the Galaxy S line, you see a lot of similarities. The Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy S5 all featured the same core design elements. Since then, though, we’ve seen the line change quite a bit.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Redux

Not so with the Galaxy S9. The 2018 iterations of the Galaxy S legacy looked very similar to the 2017 models. The biggest change was the movement of the rear fingerprint sensor from the side of the camera to below it. The Galaxy S9 Plus also got a second rear camera, representing the first time that had ever happened on a Galaxy S phone.

Maybe because of how similar these phones were, Samsung dropped the entry-level pricing ever so slightly. The Galaxy S9 landed at $719 while the Galaxy S9 Plus came in at $120 more. The company probably felt secure with these differences in Samsung Galaxy S prices because of that second lens on the Plus variant.


Samsung Galaxy S10 series prices: $749 — $1,299

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Samsung Galaxy S10e back - green, yellow

By 2019, we had had four years of Samsung launching two primary entries in each new iteration of the Galaxy S line. If it could do two phones, why not three? Why not four? With the Galaxy S10 series, Samsung went nuts and launched four phones all at once.

Related: The original Android Authority review of the Galaxy S10 Plus

The two main entries in the series stayed the same as the two previous years: the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus. These came in at $899 and $999 respectively. Samsung also launched a smaller, cheaper model known as the Galaxy S10e, which cost $749. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, it launched the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which ended up being a sort of precursor to the Galaxy S20 Ultra. That phone cost $1,299.

In 2020, when Sammy launched the next set of phones on this list, it simultaneously slashed the prices of the Galaxy S10 line while still keeping them in production. This was a way for budget-conscious buyers to get some nice hardware for less money than the wallet-busting Galaxy S20 series.


Samsung Galaxy S20 series prices: $999 — $1,399

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra against metal door

The Samsung Galaxy S prices in 2019 were all over the place. The Galaxy S10e was $749, while the Galaxy S10 5G cost nearly twice as much. With the Galaxy S20 line, Samsung opted to abandon the low end and go straight to the premium end. At launch, the cheapest Galaxy S20 phone was a whopping $999. The Galaxy S20 Plus started at $1,199.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S20 buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, in particular, went way overboard. With a starting price of $1,399, it was one of the most expensive “normal” phones the company had ever launched. If $1,399 wasn’t enough for you, there even was a $1,599 model with more RAM and storage.

Obviously, hindsight is 20/20, and Samsung likely realizes by now that this was a mistake. Granted, the company couldn’t have known a global pandemic was right around the corner when it launched the Galaxy S20 series. Yet, the incredibly high prices of these phones all but assured they would be poor sellers at a time when people are losing their jobs left and right.

Thankfully, Samsung didn’t make this mistake again in 2021.


Samsung Galaxy S21 series prices: $799 — $1,199

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs S21 Plus vs S21 Ultra 3

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Samsung’s bottom line took a big hit in 2020 when the Galaxy S20 series failed to woo consumers. This year, the company rectified that mistake by drastically reducing the cost of entry for the Galaxy S21 family. And it didn’t even need to slash the overall quality by much to do it.

The lowest-end Galaxy S21 starts at $799. That price gets you the brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor (or the Exynos 2100 in other parts of the world). It also gets you a solid triple-lens rear camera setup, a fine amount of RAM and internal storage, and a cool new design aesthetic that looks pretty classy.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S21 buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know

In another smart move, Samsung kept its “everything but the kitchen sink” mentality with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. That phone has almost no compromises when compared to the Galaxy S20 Ultra, yet still comes in at $200 cheaper at $1,199. This lineup is probably Samsung’s most inclusive ever. It allows buyers from all over the budget spectrum to get themselves a Galaxy S phone.

Time will tell if these Samsung Galaxy S prices work out for Samsung. Let’s hope they do, though.


Samsung Galaxy S prices: The historical picture

The three variants of the Samsung Galaxy S10 lined up on display in the Samsung Experience Store in Long Island.

Below, you’ll find a chart that gives a bird’s eye view of the main entries in the entire Galaxy S family. You can see the pricing steadily increases over time, but there’s plenty of fluctuations from year to year. Be sure to note that huge dive from last year to now.

Although we can’t see into the future, this chart does make it seem like Samsung Galaxy S prices in 2020 will be as high as they go for quite a while. Unless global economies magically rebound over the next 10 months or so, it’s highly unlikely Samsung would attempt to go as high as Galaxy S20 pricing any time soon.

Of course, long gone are the days in which you’d be able to buy a Galaxy S flagship for under $700. Thankfully, the Fan Edition line appears to be very successful for Samsung. Here at Android Authority, we called the Galaxy S20 FE the best smartphone of 2020, so Samsung is clearly onto something there. It will be very interesting to see what the Galaxy S21 FE looks like. Could Samsung nab our top award with the same phone line two years in a row? Stay tuned!

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Samsung Galaxy S21 vs older Galaxy S phones: Should you upgrade? – Android Authority

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Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 3

Credit: Adam Molina / Android Authority

The highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S21 has finally arrived, bringing with it Samsung’s latest and greatest mobile technology. This time at a price point that’s more palatable than the Galaxy S20 series. With a strong value proposition this generation, it feels like there’s never been a better time to upgrade. But is that a good idea?

As usual, Samsung’s lineup consists of three models — the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra. So, should you splash the cash on the latest model if you’re already a happy Samsung customer? Here’s a rundown of how Samsung’s latest premium-tier models stack up against their predecessors, to see if they’re worth the upgrade.

Our thoughts: Samsung Galaxy S21 impressions: Cheaper, but are they better?


Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S8 and older

We’ll start our list with 2017’s Samsung Galaxy S8 range. If you’re still holding onto a five-year-old Galaxy S7 or older, it’s almost certainly time to upgrade. If for no other reason than recent Android upgrades and security updates. You don’t really want to be stuck on Android Oreo or older these days.

The same can be said for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, which saw their last update to Android 9.0 Pie all the way back in 2019. We’re now on Android 11, with Android 12 set to appear later in 2021. The importance of keeping your phone secure and up to date can’t be understated.

Blast from the past: Samsung Galaxy S series — the complete history of the biggest name in Android

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus still pack in some reasonable hardware, but it’s starting to feel a little dated. The phones’ Exynos 8895/Snapdragon 835 processors still run better than many of today’s mid-range phones, but it is far from today’s bleeding-edge gaming performance on flagship devices. The handsets do still appear competitive in terms of features, boasting 4K video recording, an IP68 rating, and a headphone jack too. Fans of the phone can probably justify holding out a little longer if they really want.

Even so, performance, cameras, fast charging, and other bits and pieces are all much improved these days. You’ll definitely notice an upgrade moving to any phones in the more modern Samsung Galaxy S21 series.


Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S9

The back of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.

2018’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus don’t feel quite so long in the tooth. While they’ve likely had their last update to Android 10, this included Samsung’s One UI 2.1 update which doesn’t feel too out of date yet. Of course, the Galaxy S21 range runs Android 11 and One UI 3.1, which we would recommend from a security standpoint. However, being just one major update behind isn’t necessarily a compelling reason to upgrade immediately.

The Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100 in the Galaxy S21 are definitely faster than the Snapdragon 845 and Exynos 9810 in the S9, but not noticeably so on the day-to-day. Instead, it’s gamers who will feel the biggest performance upgrade from Samsung’s latest phones. Especially running on the newer 120Hz display while the S9 remains capped at 60Hz.

Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus still offer 4K 60fps video recording, IP68 ratings, solid QHD+ AMOLED displays, headphone jacks, Dex support, and wireless charging. That’s a very compelling list of features. However, the Galaxy S21 is definitely worth considering if you plan to make the move to a 5G tariff. It’s also a great proposition if you are in need of bigger batteries for more screen-on time, are sick of the rear fingerprint scanner placement, or want to move to fancier in-display tech.

Our updated verdict: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Redux: Aged gracefully

Finally, photography enthusiasts will certainly get a lot out of an upgrade to any of the Galaxy S21 handsets. Even the base Galaxy S21 model features a triple camera setup with main, wide, and telephoto lenses that offer greater flexibility than the single-camera on the Galaxy S9 and dual setup on the S9 Plus. That’s without mentioning newer sensors and lenses that improve the look of low light photography, and enhanced software features like Director’s Mode to view three cameras at once.

In many regards, the Galaxy S9 still holds its own. However, there are definitely compelling reasons to upgrade to the Galaxy S21 series. Especially for power users and mobile photographers, who will still benefit from even the $799 standard Galaxy S21.


Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S10

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 1

Credit: Adam Molina / Android Authority

We’re getting into trickier territory with the Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10 Plus. Being just two years old, these phones are running Samsung’s One UI 3.0 interface and Android 11. They also provide performance that’s still snappy enough for most users, and all but the S10e have pretty competitive triple-camera setups too.

So in what circumstances is an upgrade to the Galaxy S21 series worthwhile?

Related: The best Samsung phones you can buy

Galaxy S10e customers will benefit from the newer camera features tucked into the Galaxy S21 series. The added telephoto lens will help out at longer ranges. In fact, Galaxy S10 owners eager to get their hands on cutting edge camera technology will want to look at the Galaxy S21 Ultra specifically. The Ultra variant features an improved 108MP main sensor and two telephoto zoom sensors at 3x and 10x, for improved quality and mid and longer ranges. That’s all technology you won’t find in the S10 series.

High-end gamers will also benefit from the faster graphics performance in the newer S21 models, and the move to a 120Hz will make everything feel that bit more responsive. The newer phones also charge a little faster, thanks to 25W USB PD 3.0 support, up from 15W USD PD 2.0. Again, 5G is another reason to contemplate the newer models, although this probably isn’t a high priority for most.

This collection of small improvements do add up, not forgetting the all-new design looks pretty swanky too. However, the Galaxy S21 doesn’t completely revamp Samsung’s flagship formula. We therefore can’t fault happy customers who want to keep their Galaxy S10s for another generation. That’s especially true if you’re a fan of expandable storage. Every single one of the new phones from Samsung ditches the microSD card slot for the first time since the Galaxy S6 series. Ouch.


Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S20

samsung galaxy s20 plus review samsung daily 1

There’s seldom a good reason to upgrade your smartphone every year unless you’re compelled to have the very best tech in your pocket at all times. That’s still true this year. From our time spent with the Samsung Galaxy S21 series so far, the formula really hasn’t changed much from the previous generation. Except for the faster processors, both ranges offer a 120Hz display, 5G support, and a host of virtually identical extras.

Those unhappy with their Exynos Galaxy S20 may see a much-improved performance and battery life moving to the Galaxy S21. However, we’re waiting on more in-depth research before recommending a move based solely on the chipset.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S21 vs S20 series — is it worth an upgrade?

Furthermore, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra owners will incur some downgrades moving to a Galaxy S21 or S21 Plus. These phones don’t share the same quad-camera features, can’t match the S20 Ultra’s 45W fast charging, and don’t come in a 512GB storage option. You’ll also have to decide if you prefer the return to flat glass over Samsung’s previous curved panels.

The exception to the above is the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is definitely the newest feeling phone in the S21 range. The phone boasts an improved five-camera setup, a large 6.8-inch curved WQHD+ display, and the introduction of S Pen support for the first time in the Galaxy S series. However, you have to buy the S Pen separately.

Power users have a fun new toy in the Galaxy S21 Ultra that may just temp an upgrade. But otherwise, there’s too much overlap between the Galaxy S20 and S21 portfolios to recommend an upgrade quite so soon.


Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S20 FE

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE back 3

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Unless you have exceedingly deep pockets, upgrading from the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE to a new Galaxy S21 would be unwise in all but a few instances. The phone only came out in September 2020, after all.

You can essentially copy and paste the previous section here, with a few small addendums. The Galaxy S20 FE keeps its price down with a glasstic black which is the same chassis used for the regular Galaxy S21. For a full glass back you’ll need either the Galaxy S21 Plus or S21 Ultra. Additionally, the FE model has Gorilla Glass 3 protection rather than Gorilla Glass Victus. Nevertheless, these are all worthwhile trade-offs for the lower price tag and not worth another purchase to get hold of.

Take a closer look: Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S20 FE: Which one should you buy?

There’s also a 4G-only version of the FE, but we’d hardly recommend selling the device so soon just to move to 5G either. Likewise, the 8MP rather than 64MP 3x telephoto lens only makes a small difference to zoom quality. It definitely isn’t worth buying a whole new handset for.

While the low $799 price tag of the Galaxy S21 has already eaten into the Galaxy S20 FE’s $699 value proposition, the Fan Edition is still a very good handset that owners shouldn’t be in a hurry to replace. It was our 2020 Editor’s Choice award winner for a reason.


Should you upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S21?

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs S21 Plus vs S21 Ultra in hand

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

It’s not been this affordable to pick up the latest Samsung Galaxy S range for a long time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should jump in right away. While upgrading is a no-brainer if you’re coming from a 2017 flagship model, the picture isn’t so clear for some of Samsung’s not-so-old flagships.

Even 2018’s Samsung Galaxy S9 remains a functional handset, as long as you can overlook the slightly older software. The Galaxy S21 indeed offers faster performance, faster charging, and a swanky new design, but even that might not be enough to tempt content Galaxy S10 customers quite yet. However, for power users, the introduction of S Pen support and the revamped camera capabilities of the Galaxy S21 Ultra are perhaps much more compelling.


Will you be upgrading from an older Samsung Galaxy smartphone to an entry in the new Galaxy S21 range? Let us know in the comments!

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra works with S Pen, Pro stylus: Price, features and limitations – CNET

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The Galaxy S21 Ultra works with the S Pen. 


James Martin/CNET

This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

Samsung finally did it. The smartphone-maker just announced the Galaxy S21 lineup, and with it, the fact that the Galaxy S21 Ultra supports a feature that was once exclusive to the Galaxy Note ($780 at Amazon) family of phones: S Pen stylus support. 

That means S21 Ultra owners will soon be able to use the small digital pen to jot notes, take better screenshots, sign documents or draw in their favorite apps. There will be a number of things that the S Pen can do on the Note, however, that it won’t be able to do on the Galaxy S21, and the stylus won’t come with the S21 Ultra — you’ll have to buy it separately.

We’ll walk you through the basics of the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s stylus support, including S Pen compatibility, features and where you can store the stylus when not in use. (And here’s how to use the new Samsung Galaxy SmartTag.)


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Does the S21 Ultra come with an S Pen stylus?

It does not. You can buy one directly from Samsung for $40 that was designed specifically for the S21 Ultra. There are also two different styles of Samsung cases you can buy, both of which include an S Pen. They cost $70 each. 

Alternatively, you can buy and use any S Pen stylus from Samsung, with prices ranging from $25 to $40. 

Can I use the S Pen from a Galaxy Note or Galaxy Tab?

Yes. Samsung has said that the Galaxy S21 Ultra will work with an existing S Pen from a Galaxy Note phone or Galaxy Tab tablet. It won’t be able to use every function, however (more below). 

Does the S21 Ultra have a place to store the S Pen like the Galaxy Note?

No. Instead, you’ll either have to buy an S21 Ultra case that’s designed to hold the S Pen for you, or get really good at keeping track of the small stylus. 

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The S Pen works to write or draw in your favorite apps. 


James Martin/CNET

What can I do with the S Pen on the S21 Ultra?

You can use it to tap and navigate through various menus, write down your thoughts or take notes in the Samsung Notes app, or sketch out a new idea in your favorite drawing app. 

What can’t the S Pen do on the S21 Ultra that it can on Note phones? 

The S Pen integration with the Galaxy S21 Ultra lacks Bluetooth support, which means you won’t get the same gesture feature that allows you to do things like control slideshows or skip songs by flicking the stylus like a magic wand — see below for the S Pen Pro. 

Another downside to the lack of Bluetooth support is that you won’t receive any alerts if you leave the S Pen behind. So if you walk away from the stylus, your phone won’t buzz and notify you that the two are parted. 

screen-shot-2021-01-14-at-11-22-40-am.pngscreen-shot-2021-01-14-at-11-22-40-am.png

The S21 Ultra will eventually gain more S Pen features, but you’ll have to wait for the S Pen Pro. 


Screenshot by CNET

Want more functionality? Wait for the S Pen Pro

Samsung briefly talked about the S Pen Pro, a new stylus the company plans to release later this year that will include Bluetooth features similar to what the Galaxy Note line has. During its Unpacked presentation, Samsung specifically called out the ability to use gestures with the S Pen Pro on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. We don’t currently have a price or an exact release date, however. But if you want more than a basic stylus with your S21 Ultra, you might want to wait until the S Pen Pro is available.

We fully expect there will be more to the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s new S Pen capabilities besides, but we’ll have to wait until we get the S21 Ultra in our hands and start digging around before we can uncover more features. In the meantime, make sure to check out our initial impressions, and if you’re looking to order a Galaxy S21 of your own, we cover everything you need to know to get one on launch day.


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