The best Android phone for you isn't always necessarily the newest or most expensive one. While I'm quick to recommend some of the more affordable new options like the Pixel 4a, there's also a strong argument for buying last year's flagship at a significantly reduced price.
The Galaxy S20+ is a perfect example. Though Samsung discontinued it just after launching the new Galaxy S21 series, the S20+ is still a terrific buy in early 2020, thanks in large part to Samsung's newly expanded commitment to providing four years of software updates to its phones. Of course, you'll have a hard time finding a discontinued phone in stores, but if you're okay with getting a renewed or refurbished device, you can pick up an S20+ for nearly half its launch price at Amazon.
Still worth every penny
One of last year's best phones, made even better thanks to huge discounts.
The Galaxy S20+ was our favorite of Samsung's three top-end offerings from last year, offering a huge screen in a relatively small body with great cameras and smooth performance. The experience has gotten even better in the last year, thanks to constant software updates, and the S20+ is easy to find at great prices either refurbished or used.
The Galaxy S20+ was my top recommendation of the S20 trio, offering a larger screen and an additional camera over the baseline S20 model, while avoiding the S20 Ultra's auto-focusing problems on its 108MP primary sensor. It felt like the perfect middle ground, and to this day, it's one of my favorite phones of 2020.
Fast-forward to 2021, and it's still a terrific phone, made even better with recent updates bringing it up to Android 11, with Samsung's One UI 3.1 software overlay. The S20+ feels just as smooth and responsive as it did before, powered by the Snapdragon 865 chipset and 8GB of RAM, and unlike even the newer S21+, you can expand the 128GB of internal storage on the S20+ with a microSD card.
In fact, there's not much to feel left out about when comparing the S20+ and S21+. Both phones have similar 120Hz displays, the same 8GB of RAM, and even the same cameras, both front and back. The software is nearly identical as well, thanks to the recent update to One UI 3.1 on the S20+, though the S20+ also benefits from MST support, now removed in the S21 series, allowing you to use Samsung Pay with older terminals that don't support NFC-based mobile payments.
In other words, even if you've been eyeing the newer Galaxy S21+, grabbing a renewed S20+ could save you hundreds while resulting in roughly the same overall experience. The S20+ is still a terrific phone that holds up extremely well to both its successor and the competing market, and if you buy one from Amazon's Renewed Store program, currently priced at $665, it'll be backed by a 90-day warantee that entitles you to a replacement or refund if you change your mind down the road.
I could still happily use the S20+ in 2021, and I think anyone doing so with a renewed model will have little to complain about. Of course, if you want to save even more money, you could try your luck finding a used model for even cheaper, though you likely won't benefit from the same extended warranty policies.
Hayato was a product reviewer and video editor for Android Central.
I would buy the S20 line over the 'dumbed down' mid-ranger in sheep's clothing: the S21.
The S21 series being "dumbed down" is subjective I'm usually not bothered about memory cards even though my S20 FE supports expandable storage but I'm willing to give memory cards a chance as I want to make full use of my S20 FE.
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