Samsung's Galaxy S21 smartphone is already being touted as one of next year's biggest phone releases, which is why a new report that pours cold water on the hype fire is so surprising.
The report, which comes from out of China (opens in new tab), states that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S21 smartphone might not be the big upgrade we’re hoping for.
The piece states that, owing to the spiralling cost and reported meagre performance gains of Qualcomm’s next Snapdragon chip (the 875), Samsung will stick it out with the same Snapdragon 865 processor that powers the existing S20 range.
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There are a number of reasons to take this report with a pinch of salt. Firstly, just because the Snapdragon 875 is prohibitively expensive, doesn’t mean that Samsung can’t use its own Exynos chips as it does in Europe and other territories.
Secondly: bluntly, since when has Samsung ever cared about making flagship products that don’t break the bank? Lest we forget, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra launched at $1,399 and the Galaxy Fold for $1,980.
Finally, even if we take the explanation at face value, why on Earth would the company be using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, when the Snapdragon 865 Plus is not only just around the corner, but reportedly powering Samsung’s own Galaxy Tab S7, Fold 2 and Note 20? It just doesn’t make sense.
What seems more likely to us is that the Chinese report has gotten its wires crossed, and its sources are actually referring to an S21 Lite. That would follow what Samsung recently did with the Lite versions of the S10 and Note 10.
But even if this report is entirely accurate, don’t despair: a smartphone is a lot more than the CPU powering things. The Snapdragon 865 is still a mighty powerful chip, and with the right upgrades to the cameras, screen and software, it’s just possible that the jump from S20 to S21 would still be worth making. We’ll just have to wait until 2021 to find out.