Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G review -Techweu


The Galaxy S21 series won’t be gentle late into the night. Instead, it’ll make a final bang before the Galaxy S22 steals the show. The last of the S21 series caters to true fans of the brand and packs all of the Galaxy S21 essentials into one powerful, serious smartphone. Yes, this is the Galaxy S21 FE 5G.

Samsung focused on three fan-favorite features of this fan edition – display, performance, and cameras. It’s also trying to provide more work for less, which is best for flagship killers. We certainly wouldn’t call it that, but the S21 FE does sound promising as an almost flagship.

The Galaxy S21 FE uses the S21’s screen panel to update the display. It offers a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X that supports native HDR10+ and a 120Hz refresh rate. The Galaxy S20 FE’s Super AMOLED lacks HDR, which was disappointing at the time.

Then there’s performance – unsurprisingly, the Galaxy S21 FE offers the same hardware as the rest of the S21 series – a Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 chipset. But the chipset breakdown here is reversed – the international models are those with Snapdragon, while Samsung’s chips are limited to Australia (so far).

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5g review

Finally, let’s talk about the camera department. It looks like a copy-paste from the Galaxy S20 FE – a 12MP main camera, another 12MP camera for ultra-wide photos, and an 8MP telephoto for 3x optical zoom. The selfie imager is also likely to be the same, a 32MP one. Samsung isn’t touting the more powerful hardware, but it has better processing power and cool features like an object eraser — all thanks to the new chipset.

Stereo speakers and a UD fingerprint scanner are also here to stay, but the microSD slot didn’t make the cut. It’s one of the fan-favorite features that won’t be well received in the community, that’s for sure. But on the positive side – the S21 FE now comes with a proper proximity sensor instead of a virtual sensor, which should resolve numerous complaints.

Water resistance is an important part of the Galaxy S series, and the S21 FE is rated IP68 for dust and water resistance. Its design is similar to the rest of the Galaxy S21 phone, and its build matches the vanilla Galaxy S21 flagship – Gorilla Glass Victus front, aluminum frame, and matte plastic back.

Here’s a rundown of the spec sheet.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G specs at a glance:

  • Body: 155.7×74.5×7.9mm, 177g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), plastic back, aluminum frame; IP68 dust/waterproof (up to 1.5m for 30 minutes).
  • exhibit: 6.40″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1080×2400 pixel resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 411ppi; always on display.
  • chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm) – Version 1, Exynos 2100 (5 nm) – Version 2: Octa Core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 and 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 and 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680) – Version 1 , Octa-Core (1×2.9 GHz Cortex-X1 and 3×2.80 GHz Cortex-A78 and 4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A55) – Version 2; Adreno 660 – Version 1, Mali-G78 MP14 – Version 2.
  • memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM.
  • OS/Software: Android 12, One UI 4.
  • rear camera: wide (main): 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/1.76″, 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 123˚, 1/3.0″, 1.12µm; telephoto: 8 MP, f/2.4, 76mm, 1/4.5″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom.
  • Front camera: 32 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.74″, 0.8µm.
  • Video clip: rear camera: 4K @ 30 / 60fps, 1080p @ 30/60 / 240fps, 720p @ 960fps, HDR10+, gyro-EIS; Front camera: 4K @ 30/60fps, 1080p @ 30/60fps, Gyro-EIS.
  • Battery: 4500mAh; fast charging 25W, 50% charge in 30 minutes (advertised), fast wireless charging 15W, reverse wireless charging, USB Power Delivery 3.0.
  • Miscellaneous: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); near field communication; Bixby natural language command and dictation, Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified).

The most notable omissions from this new Fan Edition are the 3.5mm jack (not available on the S20 FE) and the microSD slot (available on the S20 FE). We’d also like one of the 10MP AF selfies instead of the 32MP Quad-Bayer snapper, but we’d guess that’s on the S22 FE’s wishlist.

The Galaxy S21 FE doesn’t have a cheaper 4G version, just like the S20 FE, which might be another pity for some users. We’re guessing 5G has become the new normal and a cheaper 4G version in the future is extremely unlikely.

Unboxing the Galaxy S21 FE

Apple has started something that Samsung has adopted quickly, even though consumers don’t like it. Yes, we’re talking about the “green”, cost-saving retail box that only contains a cable and some paperwork.

That’s exactly what you get with every Galaxy S21, and that’s what the Galaxy S21 FE 5G retail box includes. The phone supports 25W fast charging, but if you want to enjoy it and haven’t bought such an adapter yet, now is a good time to do so.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5g review

The good news is that once you buy a charger like this, you can use it for your next phone in a year or two. Plus, it can charge a ton of electronic devices thanks to its USB-C port and USB-PD support.

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