After a yr of will-they-or-won’t-they hypothesis, Samsung has, eventually, introduced the Galaxy S21 FE. Like the 2020 Galaxy S20 FE (the FE stands for Fan Edition), this system options a lot of the flagship-level specs of the Galaxy S21, together with a Snapdragon 888 chipset and 120Hz show, at a lower cost: $699 for the 128GB base mannequin. With the S21’s practically midrange price ticket and a compelling upper-midrange possibility within the Galaxy A52 5G, it’s yet one more addition to an already crowded spot in Samsung’s lineup.
The Galaxy S21 FE affords a 6.4-inch show, barely bigger than the S21’s 6.2-inch panel. Outside of that measurement distinction, the S21 FE has an entire lot in frequent with the S21. Its display is a 1080p OLED panel with 120Hz just like the S21’s. Even the design language is constant, with the digital camera bump mixing into the telephone’s aspect rails.
The FE features a flagship-worthy 5nm chipset (Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 within the US, Samsung’s personal Exynos elsewhere) and a 12-megapixel f/1.8 predominant digital camera with optical stabilization, similar because the S21. It even does one higher on battery capability, with a 4,500mAh cell in comparison with the S21’s 4,000mAh (although its barely greater display probably evens out battery efficiency). Fast 25W wired charging, 15W wi-fi charging, an IP68 weather-resistance ranking, and each flavors of 5G (sub6-GHz and speedy mmWave) are all carried over from the S21.
So what does paying extra for the S21 get you? More RAM — 8GB within the base configuration versus the S21 FE’s 6GB — and a higher-res telephoto digital camera. Aside from the beforehand famous display and battery measurement variations, that’s about it. The Galaxy S21 FE will promote for $699 with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage or $769 for 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It ships with Samsung’s Android 12-based One UI 4.0 put in.
I’ve had the S21 FE in my arms for a couple of days, and it feels to me like a tool that rides the ever-muddled line between a flagship and a midrange telephone. The again is composite plastic with a matte end, which feels midrangey to me, however the display is large and vibrant with all of the buttery smoothness of its 120Hz refresh fee — flagship territory for certain. Overall efficiency feels flagship-worthy, too, excluding slightly lag within the digital camera’s portrait mode stay preview. Oh, and there’s no charger within the field, which is a flagship factor now, too.
Samsung launched the S20 FE final yr as a lower-cost, full-featured different to the S20. Also priced at $699, there was a much bigger hole between it and the $999 base mannequin S20, which made it a heck of a deal. Things are slightly completely different this time round, with the S21 coming down in worth to $799. There’s additionally the Galaxy A52 5G, one among Samsung’s higher-end finances telephones for $499. And don’t overlook that Samsung lowered the worth of admission for its foldables — with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 priced at $999, it’s a part of the dialog, too.
It’s greater than slightly complicated, but it surely’s not a brand new technique for Samsung. As Dieter famous in his overview of the S20 lineup, Samsung takes this “a phone at every price point” strategy as a result of it could actually. It additionally occurs to be actually good at mixing and matching options for various worth factors, and a strong assist coverage backing most units makes its finances and midrange telephones powerful to beat. With the S21 FE, Samsung is taking yet one more lower right into a market that it’s fortunately slicing thinner and thinner.