Galaxy S21 FE is Samsung’s versatile phone, with a powerful Snapdragon processor, the new Android 12 operating system, and a beautiful screen.
At the beginning of this month, Samsung released the long-awaited phone Galaxy S21 Fan Edition (FE) announced. It is the cheapest model in the high-end class Galaxy S21 The series and its successor to critical acclaim Galaxy S20 FE. Samsung fans have been looking forward to the new model for a long time, perhaps for a very long time, because the device was presented six months later than initially planned. In our article about Buy the Galaxy S21 FE We have already discussed extensively the consequences of this late introduction on the price/quality ratio.
But how does this phone work in practice, is the new Fan Edition in focus again or is this smartphone a little less compelling than its predecessor? Claudia Rahnmeitan created and published it Android World A comprehensive review of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE that explains the advantages and disadvantages of this mobile phone.
Samsung S21 FE offers a great viewing experience
The Galaxy S21 FE is smaller, thinner and lighter than its predecessor. The device has an improved chipset, the latest software and updated camera features. Claudia was allowed to test the colored graphite model. Additionally, you can buy this phone in green, white, and lavender colors.
The Fan Edition features a slim 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, and HDR10+ support. The screen is slightly larger than the base model (6.2 inches) and smaller than the S21 Plus (6.7 inches). Many consider the 6.4-inch screen size to be ideal. This monitor is also very suitable for gamers.
About the quality of the display, Claudia says in her review: “The screen is of very good quality, it is bright enough in different lighting conditions and it is also very consistent. By that I mean that it does not show strange shadows at night, the colors remain as shimmering as in the day. A lower 1080p resolution does not affect the quality of this screen.”
The screen is optimally protected thanks to the use of Corning Gorilla Victus Glass. As with other S21 models, the fingerprint sensor is placed under the display, and it works quickly and reliably. The Fan version is an optical sensor, rather than the ultrasonic sensor that Samsung uses on its other top models. The optical sensor reacts faster, but reacts less quickly if your fingers are dirty or wet.
At the top, in the middle, a hole was made for the selfie camera. A 32MP image sensor is used for this. This is a much higher resolution than the 10MP front camera on the S21 (Plus). With this Galaxy phone, Samsung mainly wants to attract young people who use the selfie camera relatively more than for example business users.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Galaxy S series smartphones in Europe usually come with an Exynos chipset made by them. In other parts of the world, such as America, the analog of Snapdragon is used. Samsung does it differently with the Fan version, because both the S20 FE and S21 FE are equipped with a Snapdragon chipset in Europe.
The Samsung S21 FE was selected to work with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. This is a very powerful chipset – surprisingly better performance than the Exynos 2100 found in the S21/S21+ and S21 Ultra. If you are looking for real power, the S21 FE is definitely a suitable candidate.
The Fan Edition comes standard with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Additionally, an additional advanced option is available with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The difference between the two variants is 70 euros. Unlike last year, Samsung only released a 5G model this time around.
Claudia reported the following about performance in her Galaxy S21 FE review: “I noticed some hiccups every now and then when starting an app. This probably has something to do with the 6GB of RAM, but Samsung is also good at Force close apps running in the background. As with other S21 phones, storage cannot be expanded. This was possible with the Galaxy S20 FE. So keep that in mind.”
Water Resistant Phone With Glasstic Back
Like the base model, the phone features a plastic back panel. Samsung also calls this material “glasstic” – a plastic that looks like glass. It’s lighter and sturdier than glass and feels less expensive than you might think.
The matte finish was chosen – which has the added advantage that fingerprints are barely visible. Moreover, it keeps enough grip on the phone, which differs with its glossy glass back panel.
The phone is also IP68 certified, which means that heavy rain can’t hurt. The phone has been tested to be able to stay underwater for half an hour, up to a depth of 1.5 metres.
Another great additional benefit can be found in the program. The Galaxy S20 FE runs Android 10 out of the box, and the S21 FE usually runs Android 11 — just like the other S21 models. However, due to the release of the phone at a later time, Samsung decided to install Android 12 immediately.
With Samsung’s reasonable update policy, this means that the Fan Edition can count on Android 13, Android 14 and finally up to Android 15 update – by then it will be the beginning of 2025. The device will also be provided with security updates for four years.
Samsung has put its One UI 4 interface on the Android 12 operating system. This software shell provides a good user experience. Claudia says about this in her review on Samsung: “The program has a new design in which the colors of the interface, such as icons and notifications, are adapted to the background you set. Samsung has also redesigned the widgets and added the privacy dashboard from Android 12.”
Galaxy S21 FE Equipped with Triple Camera
Samsung has equipped the S21 FE with a triple camera. It comes with a 12MP wide-angle camera (f/1.8), a 12MP wide-angle camera (f/2.2) and an 8MP telephoto camera (f/2.4).
Only the zoom camera has been updated. The phone supports 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom. The other two cameras are software-enhanced, but have the same sensor and lens as its predecessor.
As for the image quality, the Galaxy S21 FE offers a good overall package. There is a lens for every occasion. However, for years Samsung has tended to give photos so many colors that they look a bit unnatural. The advantage of this is that the camera can still capture a lot of colors even on dark winter days.
Although the image quality is adequate, the Fan Edition should lose out in terms of camera compared to other S21 models. However, it is understandable that Samsung has had to compromise somewhere, and in return you will get a good-performing selfie camera.
A battery with a capacity of 4500 mAh was chosen like its predecessor. Since the new model is slightly smaller (6.4 inches instead of 6.5 inches), this should have a positive effect on battery life. Especially with the new and additional energy-efficient chipset. However, Claudia is somewhat satisfied with the battery life. She reported this in her Samsung S21 FE review: “I usually finish it barely until the end of the day, with about 15% around 8pm..”
The mobile supports 25W wired charging, in addition to supporting wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. As with other S21 models, a charger is not included in the sales package.
You can decide to use your old charger, in which case it is wise to check the maximum charging power – because with a 15W charger you can simply spend more time charging the phone. You can buy a 25W charger on the Samsung website for 25 euros.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE review conclusion
Just like its predecessor, the Galaxy S21 FE has a lot to offer. A powerful processor, the latest Android software, a large screen and a versatile camera.
If Samsung released this phone in August 2021, as initially planned, it would undoubtedly have been a top seller again. However, due to the lack of chips, Samsung had to prioritize Galaxy Z Fold 3 in a Galaxy Z Flip 3.
Understandable, but now that the phone has launched six months later, the suggested retail price of €750 (128GB) is simply too high. There is also a good chance that the price will drop soon. So if you want to buy this smartphone, we advise you to be patient. Finally, next month will be Galaxy S22 expected series. There is a good chance that by then the first online renderings of the S21 FE will already be available.
A big plus is that Samsung has decided to stock the device with Android 12. This way you can use this 5G phone for years to come – and that’s also a significant added value compared to its predecessor, which comes with Android 10.
You can choose from four colors: green, lavender, white, and graphite. Two types of memory options are available, at the following suggested retail price:
• 6GB / 128GB – Price: 750 €
• 8GB / 256GB – Price: 820 €
You can also consider buying a subscription phone rather than a separate device. By getting a phone subscription right away, you can get a discount on the price of the device. All Dutch telecom providers offer the new Galaxy, including KPN, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Tele2 and Telfort. Providers use the same call and data bundle rates as for a SIM-only subscription, so you’ll often find it cheaper at the bottom by buying the phone with a subscription.
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