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Samsung Galaxy S21 series has a serious price problem in India, S21 and S21+ and S21 Ultra are too expensive

The Galaxy S21 series price starts at Rs 69,999 while Samsung launched the Galaxy S20 series last year at a starting price of Rs 66,999. This despite the fact that globally S21 has a seen a price reduction compared to the S20.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | January 16, 2021 | Updated 12:30 IST
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 were unveiled globally on Thursday.

Highlights

  • The Galaxy S21 series price starts at Rs 69,999.
  • The Galaxy S21 Ultra that is top-of-the-line model will be sold at Rs 116,999.
  • Globally, S21 police has been reduced compared to S20 series but not in India.

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S21 series globally on Thursday and the company right away opened pre-booking for the smartphone range in India. As expected, the new Samsung Galaxy S21 series includes three devices Galaxy S21+, Galaxy S21, and the most-premium Galaxy S21 Ultra. With the launch, it is clear that the host of leaks in recent few days were spot on. But there are was still a surprise left: The India prices of the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. When these were revealed, they did surprise many in India.

First about the phones. Some of the highlight features include 5G compatibility in India, something on which the S20 with its Exynos missed out last year, new Exynos 2100 SoC chipset, new colour options, new S Pen support, which is only available for the S21 Ultra, and more.

While the Galaxy S21 and S21+ get the similar triple camera arrangement that includes two 12-megapixel ultra-wide and wide-angle lenses, and a 64-megapixel telephoto lens at the back. The Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, packs a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, 108-megapixel wide-angle lens, and two telephoto 10-megapixel sensors. The Ultra variant also supports Samsung's 100x Space Zoom feature which includes 10x optical zoom and goes up to 100x super-resolution hybrid zoom.

In terms of pricing, we now see the Galaxy S21 series starting at Rs 69,999 and going upwards till Rs 116,999.

And that is just ridiculous. It is as if Samsung has gone wrong with the pricing in India and it needs to learn from OnePlus and Apple

There's no doubt that the new Galaxy S21 series packs a punch (at least on paper), but it indeed comes at a cost. After trolling Apple last year, Samsung funnily has followed suit and removed the chargers as well as USB-C earphones from the retail box of the S21 series. This means that if Galaxy S21 series buyers need to buy it separately, they have to shell additional money.

For consumers in India, the Galaxy S21 and S21+ will be retailing at a starting price of Rs 69,999 (8GB+128GB) and Rs 81,999 (8GB+128GB) respectively. Of these, the S21 comes with polycarbonate rear panel. It may feel sturdy but not premium.

Despite upping the price relative to the S20 phones, the new S21 also come with cutdown displays. Both these phones pack Full-HD+ (1080x2400 pixels) resolutions with Samsung's Adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. Last year the whole S20 series got QHD displays.

Even competitors offer better displays. For comparison, the OnePlus 8 Pro ships with a QHD+ resolution display also offer a 120Hz refresh rate. It is currently retailing at Rs 54,999. The OnePlus 8 Pro also comes with 5G support and the design feels premium for the price.

The iPhone 12 mini is another decent example, and it starts at Rs 69,900 and ships with a Super Retina XDR display, the same display we see on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12. It is also 5G capable and sports a body with aerospace-grade aluminium with top-notch finishing.

Samsung has been a prime brand in the smartphone space, and India has been a crucial market. The South Korean giant could have taken its learning from OnePlus.

Last year, the OnePlus 8 series was priced in India significantly cheaper than the US, which was appreciated by consumers in the market. The OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro were launched in India at a starting price of Rs 41,999 and Rs 54,999 respectively. To compare, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro were retailing at $699 and $899 in the US at the launch.

Apple has been smartly pricing its iPhones in India for some years now. In 2019, the iPhone 11 was launched at a starting price of Rs 64,900 whereas the iPhone 11 Pro started at Rs 99,900 and the 11 Pro Max at Rs 1,09,900. Last year, Apple added another model to its iPhone 12 range covering a wide price band but making sure that the older iPhone models are still available in India. The company currently only sells the iPhone 12 series (iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max), iPhone SE 2020, iPhone 11 and iPhone XR.

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