Best answer: The Galaxy S10 is a fine smartphone in 2021, especially now that its price has come down considerably. However, with the launch of the Galaxy S20 FE and S21, the S10 no longer feels like a smart purchase.
How much does the Galaxy S10 cost these days?
It's been about two years since the Galaxy S10 series first came to market. Samsung was still actively selling the S10 following the release of the S20, but now that the Galaxy S21 is out, the S10 is all but discontinued.
You can find the baseline S10 being sold on Amazon, often for a little over $700. That's a decent price considering that the S10 is still a very capable Android phone, but thanks to Samsung's more recent releases, it doesn't make the most sense.
Is the Galaxy S10 still powerful enough in 2021?
The Galaxy S10 has since been updated to the most recent One UI 3 software, so you aren't being left behind in terms of the latest software features. Thanks to Samsung's commitment to three years of updates for many of its phones, you can also expect software updates to keep rolling in until 2022. The Snapdragon 855 processor and 8GB of RAM are more than capable for anything you'll need to do, and the battery life should hold up to everyone but the most hardcore users.
Other areas of the experience, like the display and hardware design, feel modern on the S10 even though they aren't the absolute latest and greatest Samsung has to offer. You're also getting features like water resistance, wireless charging, fast charging, and a microSD card slot. The S10 even has something the S20FE and S21 don't: a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
One of the biggest areas the Galaxy S10 shows its age is in the cameras, and Samsung has taken big steps forward in this category in recent years. The Galaxy S10 just isn't very capable in low-light scenes, and its telephoto camera is nowhere near as capable as the S21's. The ultra-wide and front-facing cameras are more comparable, but still off the pace of the latest devices. Altogether you're still going to get good camera performance, but it just isn't going to feel like a bleeding-edge device in that respect.
Should I get the Galaxy S20 FE instead of the Galaxy S10?
When talking about buying the Galaxy S10 in 2021, we have to consider the Galaxy S20 FE. It has everything you'd expect to see in a modern flagship at a very reasonable price, making it one of the best Android phones you can currently buy.
The Galaxy S20 FE retails for $700, and at that price, you're getting a lot. Some of the key features include a 6.5-inch 120Hz AMOLED display, Snapdragon 865 processor, three rear cameras, and a huge 4,500 mAh battery. Compared side-by-side with the Galaxy S10, it's undeniably the better phone.
Is there an argument to be made for still considering the Galaxy S10 over the S20 FE? Not really. Given that the S10 regularly sells for the same price (or more) than the S20 FE, it just makes sense to get the Galaxy S20 FE instead. It costs less, has better specs across the board, and is backed by an extra year of software updates.
What about the Galaxy S21?
In addition to the Galaxy S20 FE, we should also mention the more recent Galaxy S21. It's one of the big flagships Samsung has available for 2021, and while there are a couple of compromises compared to the FE, it also brings some notable upgrades for a slightly higher price.
The biggest perk of the S21 is its Snapdragon 888 processor. It's the latest and greatest chipset Qualcomm has to offer, allowing for even faster performance, better battery efficiency, and new camera capabilities. Speaking of cameras, the 12MP telephoto camera from the S20 FE is upgraded to a 64MP sensor on the S21. We also greatly prefer the design of the Galaxy S21 compared to the S20 FE, and for fans of smaller phones, you'll be more comfortable with the 6.2-inch display.
You're getting an excellent package with the S21, and with an MSRP of just $800, it's also a great value. You are missing expandable storage and MST from the S20 FE, though, so you'll want to evaluate what features are most important to you before pulling the trigger on either one.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
Modern Samsung for less
The Galaxy S20 FE is one of the most compelling phones Samsung's launched in a long time. It offers about 90% of the regular S20 experience for hundreds of dollars less, making it one of the best values of the entire year. If you haven't checked it out yet, you really should.
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