Samsung Galaxy S20 - buy one now or wait?

I would really like to replace my current Samsung Galaxy S7 with a Samsung Galaxy S20 (or S20 Plus/Ultra). Since I'm not someone who buys every single new version every year (S7, S8, S9 etc.), I am definitely going for the 5G-version, because 5G will most likely be widespread in a couple of years time.

At the moment the cost of a new/open-box S20 5G is at least €650 (or €600 + mobile plan) which is a price that I definitely wouldn't pay for a phone. Meanwhile it doesn't look impossible getting a 2nd-hand phone from private buyers, a phone which is only a few months old, for around €470 (with original purchase documents of course).

I don't see any reason for buying an S20 right at this moment - I would prefer buying one at Black Friday, January Sales or maybe even Spring 2021. On the other hand though, would an S20 5G be less expensive by then, and might I even get a Plus or Ultra? I won't buy a used one at that time, because it will have been used for almost a whole year which is not the same as 2-3 months.

Can anyone predict?
- What will an S20 5G cost in 3 or 6 months time? Less than €500?
- What will an S20 Plus cost in 3 or 6 months time?
- What will an S20 Ultra cost in 3 or 6 months time?

Should I just buy a 2-3 months old S20 5G now for €470, and get more money for my current S7 now, or should I wait and buy a brand new S20 (Plus/Ultra) 5G after some months? I wouldn't even mind selling my S7 now and buy a €10 Alcatel/Nokia etc. I can use for even half a year, and then buy a new S20-series phone.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
I suggest you look at the selling prices for the S10 range today and extrapolate to the S20. It's not exact, but a useful guide

The S10 range is the previous galaxy flagship replaced by the S20 range

If you wait until 2021 the S20 range becomes the previous flagship
 
I suggest you look at the selling prices for the S10 range today and extrapolate to the S20. It's not exact, but a useful guide

The S10 range is the previous galaxy flagship replaced by the S20 range

If you wait until 2021 the S20 range becomes the previous flagship

I know, I have already looked at what an S10 cost at Black Friday last year, at the January Sales etc. There are just a few differences:

- S10 didn't have a 5G version (There is one now, but I doubt that its price is representative). 5G might keep the S20's price up, because I plan to get the 5G version.
- There is no S10 Ultra - I might buy the S20 Ultra though, if the price gets low enough

I have no problems with S20 becoming the previous flagship. When I bought my S4, the S5 had already been out, and when I replaced the S4 with my current S7, the S8 had already been out.
 

E60530i

Active Member
I don’t think 5g will keep the s20 price up as it’s pretty much non existent (at least in the uk). Same with the note 10+ 5g from last year imo
 

lex1970

Active Member
Having come from a Samsung S8 plus to a s20 plus. I don't think it's a huge upgrade, yes the camera is better but other than that, I've had more problems with the S20 plus than I ever had with my S8 plus and the fact that my S8 plus had screen burn which I never even noticed does put me off spending a lot of money on phones with AMELOD screens
 
Having come from a Samsung S8 plus to a s20 plus. I don't think it's a huge upgrade, yes the camera is better but other than that, I've had more problems with the S20 plus than I ever had with my S8 plus and the fact that my S8 plus had screen burn which I never even noticed does put me off spending a lot of money on phones with AMELOD screens

Expiriences like yours are exactly why I would never buy every single new version every year (S7, S8, S9 etc.). I'm primarily looking to buy one of the S20s because of its camera and because of 5G. In terms of those things, the S20 is a major upgrade, even compared to the S10. On the other hand, I never even considered replacing my S7 with an S10 - there's roughly no major upgrade there. I can't imagine the 2021-version being a major upgrade compared to S20, so that's why I think that the S20 would be the right call.
 

tickedon

Well-known Member
Expiriences like yours are exactly why I would never buy every single new version every year (S7, S8, S9 etc.). I'm primarily looking to buy one of the S20s because of its camera and because of 5G. In terms of those things, the S20 is a major upgrade, even compared to the S10. On the other hand, I never even considered replacing my S7 with an S10 - there's roughly no major upgrade there. I can't imagine the 2021-version being a major upgrade compared to S20, so that's why I think that the S20 would be the right call.
The next new models of phones might be a meaningful upgrade. For the last few years the 'System on a chip' used in mobiles has provided the CPU, GPU and modem functionality (plus lots more) all integrated into a single power efficient chip.

To provide 5G connectivity, the Snapdragon 865 processor (used in most, but not all, high-end phones this year) stopped including an integrated modem and now uses a separate modem chip for 4G and 5G connectivity. Samsung did the same with their Exynos models - a processor + separate modem combo. It is generally considered that this is less power efficient than having everything integrated on one chip, and also at the moment 5G modems use more power than 4G LTE and future versions will reduce their power usage and thus extend battery life (much as we saw with the first 4G phones and power usage).

While there are now some mid-high range phones with a return to an integrated 5G modem in the processor (e.g. the Snapdragon 765G, used in phones like the OnePlus Nord), it's going to be 2021 before we get an equivalent 8-series snapdragon high-end processor with integrated 5G modem for the top of the range flagship phones.

If you're looking at a new phone for 5G, then I do think you might be better off skipping what is essentially a first-gen 5G model and waiting a bit longer - you'll probably get faster speeds and longer battery life. At least that's the conclusion I've drawn and decision I've made!
 
The next new models of phones might be a meaningful upgrade. For the last few years the 'System on a chip' used in mobiles has provided the CPU, GPU and modem functionality (plus lots more) all integrated into a single power efficient chip.

To provide 5G connectivity, the Snapdragon 865 processor (used in most, but not all, high-end phones this year) stopped including an integrated modem and now uses a separate modem chip for 4G and 5G connectivity. Samsung did the same with their Exynos models - a processor + separate modem combo. It is generally considered that this is less power efficient than having everything integrated on one chip, and also at the moment 5G modems use more power than 4G LTE and future versions will reduce their power usage and thus extend battery life (much as we saw with the first 4G phones and power usage).

While there are now some mid-high range phones with a return to an integrated 5G modem in the processor (e.g. the Snapdragon 765G, used in phones like the OnePlus Nord), it's going to be 2021 before we get an equivalent 8-series snapdragon high-end processor with integrated 5G modem for the top of the range flagship phones.

If you're looking at a new phone for 5G, then I do think you might be better off skipping what is essentially a first-gen 5G model and waiting a bit longer - you'll probably get faster speeds and longer battery life. At least that's the conclusion I've drawn and decision I've made!

Thanks for your suggestions. I've never really had any problems with battery life on any of my previous phones. There are more reasons for why I'm planning to upgrade now.

1. I'm upgrading from an S7. I need to sell that now in order to buy a new phone. An S7 probably won't be worth anything, if I wait for the next range to be released plus wait for that to go down in price. Waiting 15-18 months until Black Friday 2021 or 2022 January Sales isn't an option for me.

2. I've actually never had problems with battery life with any phone. If the new phone can provide me with the same battery life as my S7, that's well enough for me. I'm pretty sure that any of the 5G S20s can ensure that for me, even with 5G use. I guess the battery would even last longer than the S7 battery.

3. Higher 5G speeds? Yeah, but I'm not really thinking that there's much difference between 300Mbps and 1Gbps in everyday use. I'm not downloading huge files on my phone, and even if I did, I don't really care whether it takes 1 second or three seconds.

I'm primarily buying a 5G phone because of the increased speed compared to 4G and to avoid capital loss, if I choose to sell it in the future, when 5G will be a must for all buyers. When it comes to using the 4G/5G in my phone, I actually use my phone's mobile data connection very rarely.
 

tickedon

Well-known Member
Thanks for your suggestions. I've never really had any problems with battery life on any of my previous phones. There are more reasons for why I'm planning to upgrade now.

1. I'm upgrading from an S7. I need to sell that now in order to buy a new phone. An S7 probably won't be worth anything, if I wait for the next range to be released plus wait for that to go down in price. Waiting 15-18 months until Black Friday 2021 or 2022 January Sales isn't an option for me.

2. I've actually never had problems with battery life with any phone. If the new phone can provide me with the same battery life as my S7, that's well enough for me. I'm pretty sure that any of the 5G S20s can ensure that for me, even with 5G use. I guess the battery would even last longer than the S7 battery.

I'm not sure what country you are in, but, in the UK an S7 is maybe worth £100 while an S6 is £80 (approx). There isn't a huge difference.

In terms of battery life, GSM Arena rates the S7 at an endurance rating of 80h (with a 3000mAh battery); an S20 Ultra 5G (with 5000mAh battery) is rated at 87h (the other models weren't rated). The battery in your S7 will inevitably have aged and lost capacity, but at the same time batteries have gotten bigger phones have also become more power hungry (faster processors, modems, larger + better screens etc.) so I wouldn't expect a revolution in battery life in normal usage (unless your S7 battery is holding much less than it used to).

Good luck with whatever you decide!
 
I've just read about differences between the US Versions and the EU versions. I don't think that I would be able to spot those "advantages" of having an US version, but I just want to know, how I could buy one in Europe? A SIM Unlocked one of course.

Are there any problems of using an US S20 5G in Europe?
 
You'd be better off buying a Chinese model than a US one.

A Chinese version has the same specs like an EU version. In that case I'd just buy an EU version. There are some differences between EU and US though.
 

dts197

Distinguished Member
A Chinese version has the same specs like an EU version. In that case I'd just buy an EU version. There are some differences between EU and US though.
No, it has different specs. Different cpu which would be the reason people buy one.
 
No, it has different specs. Different cpu which would be the reason people buy one.

Any suggestions about buying a Korean version? I know that you recommended me to buy a Chinese version, but a Korean version looks easier to import, and it's cheaper. It can get on the N78 (3500 MHz) 5G network in Europe - is that enough? Isn't 3500 MHz the main 5G network in Europe? I would really like a Snapdragon version.
 

dts197

Distinguished Member
Any suggestions about buying a Korean version? I know that you recommended me to buy a Chinese version, but a Korean version looks easier to import, and it's cheaper. It can get on the N78 (3500 MHz) 5G network in Europe - is that enough? Isn't 3500 MHz the main 5G network in Europe? I would really like a Snapdragon version.
As long as the phone you buy has at least one of the bands you intend to use it with (which I'd be amazed if it didn't), you'll be fine. I'd have to double check Note 10 but it might actually be Korean & not Chinese.

GSM arena is good for checking specs.
 
I've now found a list of model numbers.


This is about the Ultra version, but there's one for the other two versions as well on the same website. Just google "S20 (Plus) model number differences" and chose TechWalls.

Is it really true that SM-G988B/DS (S20 Ultra Dual Sim), SM-G986B/DS (S20 Plus Dual Sim) and SM-G981B/DS (S20 Dual Sim) can only use the N78 (3500 MHz) 5G frequencies. I know that these are Exynos versions, and that I would prefer a Snapdragon, but is this really true? Can anyone who has a phone with any of these model numbers confirm anything about this? There are lot of such phones for sale from shops in the UK, Germany and other European countries.
 

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