Why now is the worst time to buy the Samsung Galaxy S20


Find out if you should go ahead and buy last year’s Samsung Galaxy S20, or wait for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S21 to arrive.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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 Samsung Galaxy line. But with the Galaxy S21 likely to be revealed at the Samsung Unpacked event on Jan. 14 (here’s how to watch the event live), you may be wondering: What are the differences between the two Galaxy phones? Should I buy a Galaxy S20 now, or is it worth it to wait for the S21? 

We’ve broken down all of the different rumored Galaxy S21 specs here, and compared them to the Galaxy S20 here. The base Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S21 are apparently pretty similar on the surface: Both have 6.2-inch screens with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 4,000-mAh battery, 5G connectivity and similar camera features (including a 12 megapixel ultrawide lens). 

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 is rumored to include a higher resolution WQHD Plus display, and, notably, a stylus. 

Here are the major differences between the two Galaxy models, based on rumors and leaks, none of which Samsung has confirmed or commented on.


The Galaxy S20 started at $999, though its price has since dropped to $800 at Amazon and Best Buy at the time of publication. The Galaxy S20 Plus started at $1,199 and the Galaxy S20 Ultra started at $1,399. 

It’s rumored that the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra will start at $850, $1,050 and $1,250, respectively. The price decrease is likely due to a drop in mobile phone sales during the pandemic. Read more about the Galaxy S21 price rumors.


The Galaxy S21 is rumored to have 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 reportedly includes an FHD Plus LTPS screen, which should have higher resolution and better picture quality. 


The Galaxy S21 is rumored to come in a few new colors.



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 will reportedly come 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 if you need one right now — especially since it likely includes many of the same features as the new Galaxy S21. We don’t yet know, however, if the price will drop further once the S21 is released. If it doesn’t, and if you’re planning to spend around $800 anyway, you might as well upgrade to the Galaxy S21 for the rumored start price of $850, since that will get you a better processor and a different display. 

For more, check out every rumor we’ve heard about the Galaxy S21 phones so far.

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