Yes, we are in the middle of CES 2021, but we are also on the eve of the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S21. And let’s be honest, yet another post in the mood of a journalist frustrated at not being able to physically attend a big tech show is of little interest to you readers.
And the idea of writing yet another article on the response of the tech giants exhibiting at CES 2021 in the face of the post-Covid “new normal” bristles me as I feel like I have been rehashing this theme for many years. month. No, this week, no introspective, no diary extract, I’ll come back to what interests me: tech and its products.
On Thursday January 14, Samsung will unveil its new high-end Galaxy S21 smartphones. Whatever one says from one end of the fanboy chessboard to the other, the Samsung Galaxy S21 is the first flagship of the year 2021 in Europe.
And it’s arguably the most anticipated Android smartphone in the technosphere right now. By being the first manufacturer to launch the high-end release calendar, Samsung has a real opportunity to set the pace and, who knows, reverse the trend of a flagship market that I’m less passionate about.
I don’t want a boring generic Samsung flagship anymore
If I’m beating around the bush so much, it’s to illustrate how the market for high-end smartphones has been … boring in my eyes. I have no other word. And the smartphone that most crystallized this annoyance, not fatal but grueling, is the Samsung Galaxy Note 20.
You already know the song, you have undoubtedly been able to read through many of my articles what I think of this device. “Lack of ambition / 20” or “Galaxy Nothankyou 20”, that’s how I titled my test when I released the smartphone whose name should not be pronounced.
For the Samsung Galaxy S21, I don’t want the base model to dare the affront of sporting an ugly plastic back. It doesn’t matter how sophisticated the plastic or polymer alloy is and whether the coating is wonderfully matte and understated. I want glass, I want an original and daring design, I want curves and not a flat screen, I want risk-taking, period! And the design teased by the speakers and Samsung itself so far make me optimistic.
For the Samsung Galaxy S21, I want the S-Pen to be offered by default on all variants, not just any Plus, Ultra, or GigaProMax versions. Please don’t blackmail me into the price list forcing me to go for the more expensive models if I want to take advantage of a key feature. If the Galaxy S lineup is intended to absorb the Note lineup in the future, I want the Galaxy S21 to mark a clean break, not a sluggish transition. Samsung can’t do things by halves, not this year.
Speaking of kit smartphones. For the Samsung Galaxy S21, I don’t want the most innovative manufacturer on the market for years to bow to the naive and unbearably self-righteous fad launched by Apple to sell its charger separately. It is not an ethical choice nor a sincere effort to save the planet. It is an insidious and dishonest marketing technique to increase your margins by laundering your carbon footprint at the expense of the consumer!
Finally, for the Samsung Galaxy S21, I no longer want to have the impression of being fooled with my European version under Exynos compared to the Americans and their Snapdragon version. I understand Samsung’s relentlessness around its proprietary chip and I respect it. The manufacturer has also listened (in pain) to the complaints of testers and users.
Samsung knows that it cannot continue to market two different versions with different performance but at the same price. The Samsung Galaxy S21 must once again mark a frank and indisputable break. The Exynos vs Snapdragon debate must no longer exist and Samsung has no choice but to turn the tide and create a surprise.
– Samsung Exynos (@SamsungExynos)
January 12, 2021
But even if all these demands, which I formulate like a spoiled child, come true by a miracle, they will be in vain if the Samsung Galaxy S21 remains overpriced.
I want a Samsung Galaxy S21 that makes me dream while being accessible
I bitched a lot in this article, as always. But I also want to remember that the smartphone that made me dream the most this year and even rekindled a hint of hope in my dark heart, is also a Samsung model: the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
But as beautiful as the few weeks that I was able to spend with this jewel in my hands were, I always knew very well that this was an above-ground product, which was not made for me. , which was even designed so that I couldn’t own it.
With the Samsung Galaxy S21 I want a TRUE flagship. What I mean by that is that I don’t want an inaccessible technological showcase that makes me dangle a trickle down from an innovation that will take 5 years to democratize.
I also don’t want a flagship that slams a 2000 euro price tag right in my face so that I can hope to feel even just an emotion, a bit of excitement and wonder at the regard of a product. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hoping for an affordable flagship, the containment hasn’t made me lose my mind yet. But I want a flagship that makes me dream while being realistically accessible.
Ok for the payment in 4 installments. Ok to resell my old phone and my iPad 2019. But I’m not going to spend the equivalent of two months minimum wage to buy a high-end smartphone. On the other hand, I also don’t want to lose sight of this segment of the market entirely. I do not feel any “ideological” rejection of flagships. I am not opposed in principle to the idea of a smartphone more expensive than the others.
Seriously, I can’t see myself staying sane if the only smartphones accessible to ordinary people are the 25 mid-range versions of Realme and other rebranded Redmi. No, I still want to be interested in flagships, but as long as they are, interesting. Why bet everything on a product, make it the cornerstone of its annual report, the flagship of its know-how if it is reserved for only 1% of consumers?
A smartphone is not a luxury item. It is a capital good. I tolerate the traditional versions in gold plated or encrusted with diamonds at 10,000 euros since they do not claim to be more than what they are: bling-bling toys for fried customers.
But a flagship should have the philosophy of being for everyone. Not populist, but popular and by no means elitist. And, despite the reputation of anti-Samsung that I have been able to reap since joining NextPit, I remain optimistic and believe in Samsung to break the routine of the high-end market.
The Galaxy S21 could not only mark a revival at Samsung, but it could also resurrect the very concept of a flagship smartphone. I hope so anyways.
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