If the idea of spending $1,000 or more for a new, top-of-the-line Samsung phone rubs you the wrong way, may we interest you in a model from the same company for $109.99?
Samsung announced Wednesday a new line of low-priced entry-level phones with specs that rival the best phones from two or three years ago, with a range that begins at just over $100 and go up to $500.
What’s the catch? Lower-resolution screens, less power and no access to modern features, such as wireless charging.
For many consumers looking for a low-cost phone to make calls, send texts, have access to email and the internet, this may be all they need.
The entry-level phone Galaxy A01 has a 5.7-inch screen, comes with a very small storage of 16 GB and has the same camera as older phones: one on the front for selfies and another on the back.
The A01 is the successor to last year’s A10E, which sold for $159.99, had a 5.8-inch screen and more storage with 32 GB. The phone was sold in the U.S. but not marketed with the same verve as the top-of-the-line Galaxy S phones. The bulk of the A line sales were in other regions, such as Europe, Asia and Africa.
By comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S 2020 lineup, introduced in February, starts at $999 for the S20 5G, $1,199 for the S20+5G and $1,400 for the S20 Ultra.
Beyond Samsung, Apple is expected to unveil a new, low-priced alternative to top-of-the-line iPhones, an updated iPhone SE, with a 4.7-inch screen by April 15. The earlier version, which Apple killed off in 2018, sold for $349.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s A01 will go on sale exclusively in the U.S. via Verizon on April 9, followed by Sprint on April 10. The A line will come to T-Mobile and AT&T later in the year, Samsung says.
The other new phones in the lineup include the A11, which at $179.99 has a 6.4 inch display and 32 GB of storage. The A21 ($249.99) has a 6.5 inch screen, 32 GB of storage and a “quad” lens camera, with macro, ultra-wide, wide and portrait.
At the top of the line are the two lowest-priced phones Samsung has sold that can access the new, faster 5G wireless networks that are rolling out. The $399 A51 has a 6.5 inch display, the quad cam and 128 GB of memory, while the $599 A715G goes to 6.7 inches.
There are just a handful of phones that can connect to the limited 5G networks in place today, and all sell for $1,000 or up. These budget phones from Samsung would mark the first time consumers could get 5G at a lower price. However, the carriers charge a premium for their 5G services, so they’ll have to pay extra for wireless that way.
Apple doesn’t have an iPhone that works with 5G, but had been expected to add the service in the fall to the new lineup of premium iPhones.