“Better late than never” or “too little, too late”? That’s the inevitable question that surrounds the delayed launch of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. Its predecessor sold 10 million units (4G and 5G versions combined), making it one of the best-selling Galaxy phones last year, so this newcomer has big shoes to fill.
We’ve been hearing about the S21 FE for about half a year now, but between the pandemic and the global chip shortage, rumors of delays and cancellations quickly started circulating. Well, the phone is very much real, in fact, it’s already on sale in some regions and will launch on January 11 in even more markets.
The base 5G model (6/128 GB) comes with a €750/£700 price tag, which is about as much as the S20 FE 5G cost last year. However, there was also the more affordable 4G version back then. No such luck this year, all models have 5G – but not all have a Snapdragon 888, some will get the Exynos 2100 instead (Australia seems to be one such region).
But the price of the regular Galaxy S21 is still fresh in our minds from the recent Black Friday promos – it was down to £620 at one point. Is the new FE really worth the extra 80 quid? A quick comparison highlights the differences.
The Galaxy S21 FE has a 6.4” 1080p+ display, a Dynamic AMOLED display meaning that it has a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz. The S21 does too, but this is one of the upgrades over the S20 FE. Also, the new model upgrades to Gorilla Glass Victus, but again this only brings it to parity with the S21.
The camera setup is different, but since it is the same as on the S20 FE, we’re not expecting miracles – it’s good, but so is the S21 camera. That only leaves a slightly larger display (6.4” vs. 6.2”) and larger battery (4,500 mAh vs. 4,000 mAh). Samsung even cut the microSD card slot from this one, even though it’s a feature popular with fans.
There’s no shortage of Snapdragon 888 powered phones around. Some, like the Motorola G200 5G cost €450, well below the S21 FE price tag. There are also recent launches like the Realme GT2, along with stalwarts like the original GT (€500), the OnePlus 9 (€700), Xiaomi 11T Pro (€580) and more.
Motorola Moto G200 5G • Realme GT2 • OnePlus 9 • Xiaomi 11T Pro
Of course, the biggest competition to the S21 FE will come from Samsung’s own camp – the Galaxy S21 had already fallen to lower prices, the S21+ wasn’t far off. And they will only get cheaper once the S22 series arrives next month.
Speaking of, rumor has it that the Galaxy S22 will cost the same as the S21, meaning €850 in Europe. That’s just €100 more than the Fan Edition and launch promos for the new series will probably offer more salient deals than a free pair of Galaxy Buds2, which is the S21 FE pre-order bonus.
What do you think of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE? By the way, if you’re having trouble voting using the poll embedded below, try casting your vote here.
Check out the infographic below for a quick overview of the Galaxy S21 FE: