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The Galaxy S20 FE has already stolen the Galaxy S21's thunder

Galaxy S20 FE in Cloud Red
Galaxy S20 FE in Cloud Red (Image credit: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

The rumor mill says that the Samsung Galaxy S21 will be unveiled this coming January or February, just months after the already popular Galaxy S20 FE came to market. It's smart to do the first "big" phone release of the year and get ahead of the competition with the latest chip and the newest Samsung display. But it's also a little weird when there are so many great phones released so close together by the same company. While it's great for the consumer, it's also tough to hit those huge sales numbers phone makers are used to seeing.

Only Samsung can make a phone as good as Samsung.

I'm talking about Samsung, of course. Samsung just released two of its best phones ever with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in August 2020 and the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition in October. These phones cover both ends of the buying spectrum when it comes to price and value. The Note 20 Ultra is the best phone for people who want the greatest of everything no matter the cost, and the S20 FE gives you more bang for the buck than any other phone in the past few years. Both are easy to recommend to anyone because Samsung did things right.

Both the Note 20 Ultra and the S20 FE will be just as good in January 2021 as they are today. There's only one thing that will change: the price. That's what all consumer electronics makers do; set an MSRP at launch to grab the people who have been waiting for a particular product and some early-adopter money, then drop the price a few months later to keep the interest level in the product high. Every Android phone maker that actually makes money does this, and it's a smart way to sell a lot of phones.

This means the eyes that would normally be laser-focused on a new Galaxy S model have two other options (three, if the Galaxy S20 Ultra gets a deep price cut) to look at. That means Samsung has to do something with the Galaxy S21 to make it stand out.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra camera module

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

That's going to be tough. Samsung stands out from its competition by using the best components and parts in its flagship phones. There are other reasons to buy a Samsung S series or Note series phone like 3 years of updates or access to Samsung's features and services like tight Windows 10 integration. But most people buy a high-end Galaxy device because of the heap of specs and hardware it is made from.

This coming January, there will be at least three great Samsung phones to buy.

Samsung has offered the Note later in the year and the Galaxy S early the next year for a while now. It knows there are fans of both models, and it's figured out where the crossover is to best time the release date. The price has a lot to do with it, and a "regular" Galaxy S phone is going to be a lot less than the Note "plus" version with every bell and every whistle. But the S20 FE has an even better price, and it offers 90% of the rest of Samsung's lineup.

Galaxy S30 Cad Leak

Source: OnLeaks (Image credit: Source: OnLeaks)

The Galaxy S21 will be yet another amazing phone from Samsung, of that I am sure. Its "Ultra" version will be bigger and better than any other phone you can buy that's not made by Samsung. But something special will have to be there to make it stand out from the Note 20 and S20 FE.

Something has to make the S21 stand out from the pack of great Samsung phones to get consumer dollars.

Maybe that's the plan all along. Samsung certainly can think up some crazy feature we didn't know we needed until we saw it in action. It's certainly possible that the S21 will have something of this sort; maybe that wrap around camera bump we've seen in the renders does something special. Maybe it's going to rely on the fact that the S21 has the latest Snapdragon chip to garner interest. I don't know what Samsung has planned.

But I do know that the Note 20 Ultra and S20 FE will both still be there and have a reduced price and even better financing options through Samsung and carriers. That really puts the Galaxy S21 in a new — and tough — spot. Nobody beats Samsung when it comes to making the best phones, but Samsung is now fighting itself with three great phones released in the span of five months.

The best part? We get to benefit. This could mean lower prices, better tech, or amazing features. Those are things we all love to see.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • Releasing too many good phones too close together may not be great for individual sales numbers, but it's good for Samsung's bottom line because it gives more options to more people, thereby enlarging the pool of potential customers and stealing sales from the competition.
  • Chinese mobile phone companies do this all the time to stay ahead of competition. Only in the US we have to suffer with lack of competition and phone variety that is controlled very heavily. Samsung is just milking it every way they can...and their phones are still too expensive regardless as compared to other markets.
  • I think somebody needs to do a little investigating before writing these articles. This phone is a ****! Many people are sending theirs am I...because it is a quality control debacle! The screen SUCKS for very many people, and the proximity sensor basically does NOT work. Pull it out of your pocket and the screen is on...every time...registering multiple taps causing all kinds of crap to happen. Others mention that the screen doesn't turn off when on a phone call and their ears tapping stuff and causing all sorts of problems. And the biggie...ghost touches, swiping being registered as taps and vice-versa. This phone may go down in history as the phone that was DOA out of the box! Sure, it isn't blowing up and causing fires...but it's still junk! Why not write an article highlighting these facts??? I guess you won't get paid for that will you?
  • I've had my S20FE for 3 weeks now. I don't have any of those problems. Sounds like you, and some others, have bad hardware. So get it replaced and move on. The rest of us are very much enjoying our devices.
  • Why did you completely ignore the also excellent S20 and S20 Plus? I wouldn't get an S20 FE or Note 20 Ultra. I want premium but Notes are just impractical.
  • Nah this a S year. The S20 is a minor revision over the S10. Samsung will release an even bigger phone next year.