Samsung did tease the Galaxy S21 FE (Fan Edition) for the better part of the last half of 2021. All that was necessary because we all knew the phone was in the works, and following the success of the S20 FE from what it brought to the table in terms of features and price, it was obvious that Samsung would continue with the experiment for customers who want a slightly toned-down phone from its S series lineup.
The S21 FE has already been released, effectively making it the first phone to make an appearance in 2022 from the South Korean tech company.
It is a 6.4-incher with a resolution of 2340 by 1080 running at 120 Hz. It is obviously a Samsung panel, so you can rest assured that the screen is one of the best in the world.
The Snapdragon 888 runs the show here, and following our past experience with the chip on other Samsung phones, including our beloved Z Flip3, the S888 is a very quick processor, but it has to because it is basically Qualcomm’s high-end silicon for 2021, although it has a knack for overheating.
That aside, the S21 FE looks mostly like the ordinary S21. Camera placement is nearly identical, with three snappers at the rear and a punched-in selfie cam on the front (32 MP).
The rear cameras are a 12 MP ultrawide, 12 MP main sensor with OIS, and an 8 MP telephoto with 3X optical zoom and 30X digital zoom.
Samsung has also managed to make the S21 FE lighter and slimmer than the S20 FE.
Juicing the package is a 4500 mAh cell, with 25W fast and 15W wireless charging in tow.
It ships with Android 12 and One UI 4.0 out of the box and is upgradable to Android 15. The S21 series is only upgradable to Android 14.
The phone should hit Western stores next week, so we might actually see it in Kenya before the month ends.
A few things should be noted, however. There seems to be no Exynos version of the phone this time around like the S20 FE, so going by what Samsung did during the August Unpacked event that saw the announcement of its folding phones, it is possible that Samsung is settling for Qualcomm chips this time around. It is a win for users in the EMEA region who have been served with Exynos equivalents for decade plus, and those devices were, in most cases, inferior to what other customers received in the West.
Lastly, the pricing of the device is a little high at USD 699 for the base model – 8/128GB and $769 for the 8/256 GB variant. That amount can easily get you the ordinary S21, so we do not understand Samsung’s angle here. Besides, the S22 launch is around the corner, so what are we looking at here?
Nevertheless, the device is excellent for what it packs, and we hope it will be as successful as its predecessor.
“We saw an incredible response to the Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S21 lineup, So we applied the same approach with S21 FE 5G, equipping it with the premium features that matter most to our loyal Galaxy fans — because we’re focused on delivering a smartphone that meets their most important needs,” said Roh Tae-moon, Samsung’s mobile chief.
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