Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Review | Best Flagship Bargain

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Review | Best Flagship Bargain

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  • Post last modified:April 30, 2023
  • Post category:Tech
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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has been around for quite sometime and still stands strong amidst most flagship phones. The FE stands for fan edition, and it was first introduced in the Samsung Galaxy S20 series. The main purpose of producing a “Fan Edition” is to provide most flagship level specs for a lower price tag. But has the S21 FE achieved that?

Probably not. This is because you can get its bigger brother, the S21 and S21 plus at a similar price range. (Refurbished ones) Furthermore, since the S22 lineup is on its way, the price tag of the S21 series is likely to go even lower. In this article, we are going to review the Galaxy S21 FE, from the build quality to the cameras, battery life and more.


  • Build Materials – Glass Front (Gorilla Glass Victus), Plastic back, Aluminum Frame
  • Display – Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with HDR10+
  • Refresh Rate – 120Hz
  • OS – Android 12
  • Skin – One UI 4
  • Chipset – Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100
  • Memory – 128GB/6GB RAM, 128GB/8GB RAM, 256GB/8GB RAM
  • Main camera – 12MP (Wide), 8MP (telephoto), 12MP 123˚ (ultrawide)
  • Selfie Camera – 32MP (Wide)
  • Main Camera Video – 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+,
  • Selfie Video – 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps
  • 3.5mm jack – No
  • Security – Under display Optical Fingerprint sensor.
  • Battery Size – 4500mAh, non-removable.
  • Charging – 25W fast charging, 15W fast wireless charging, supports Reverse wireless charging
  • Water Resistant rating – IP68
  • Colors – White, Graphite, Lavender, Olive
  • Price – Starts at $699

Design Language.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE camera layout

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is a well-designed phone matching up to the latest trends in the industry. But there is one area Samsung keeps on missing every time; the plastic back. The plastic back feels like a draw back to most people. For a phone costing $699 we expect to see some premium materials. Although there are some advantages to this choice such as an overall lighter device, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. One annoying drawback to this plastic choice is the fact that it is a fingerprint magnet, which tends to be annoying after some time. Luckily you can fix this with a case.

The display is covered in the “toughest” glass yet from Corning; Gorilla Glass Victus. One area that Samsung never disappoints is in the display area. Just like most Samsung flagship devices, the Galaxy S21 FE comes with top-of-the-line AMOLED 2X display with HDR10+. In addition to this, 120Hz refresh rate is available in this phone. You should expect smoother transitions and coupled with a Design Language.240Hz touch sampling rate, this is one of the best displays in the market today.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE screen

Despite the plastic back, the frame is covered in Aluminum which gives it a more premium feel. Unlike the Galaxy S21 series whose camera bump is coated seamlessly with aluminum, this fan edition’s camera bump is covered in plastic.

At the bottom, we have a Sim card tray, a USB type C port and the speaker system. If you were expecting a headphone jack, I’m terribly sorry since it is not available in this device. I think its time people accept that this port is never going to come back. At the front of the device, we have a hole punch layout which is the best option in my opinion until under display cameras become a “thing”

The color options are not as exciting as you may think but they are okay. This device comes in either white, graphite, olive or lavender. Personally, I prefer the lavender one. (You can never go wrong with lavender)

Cameras and battery life.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE come with a triple camera layout. A 12MP wide camera lens, 8MP telephoto lens and a 12MP 123˚ ultrawide lens. All three cameras produce Flagship level image quality, no complains here. The selfie camera comes with a 32MP wide lens which is decent enough. The video quality is also great, nothing too fancy or gimmicky. The main camera is able to shoot at 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+. The front facing camera is able to shoot at 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps.

The battery capacity of this phone is a decent 4500mAh which is standard nowadays. You should expect a full day of battery life on normal usage and up to two days if you are a light user. Luckily this phone comes with a 25W wired charging and a 15W wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE on a yellow background

We’ve obviously seen crazier numbers like 120W on the One Plus 11T Pro. To put this into perspective, the One Plus 11T Pro is able to charge from 0 to 100% in about 25 minutes which is absolutely crazy while the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE takes the same amount of time to reach 50%. Battery life and charging speeds are both balanced which is a good thing. But Samsung should try and bump up their Flagship lineup charging speed to maybe 48W.

Storage and RAM

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

The Storage in this device varies according to the amount of RAM. Basically, there are two storage options, either 128GB or 256GB. The 128GB is paired to either 6GB or 8GB RAM while the 256GB storage is only available with 8GB RAM.

The storage option is somewhat low for some users. I feel like they should have offered a 512GB option. But come to think of it, this phone is not meant for enthusiasts. It’s meant for the people looking for flag ship level specs on a relatively lower budget. I guess if you want the bigger numbers, you just have to go with the bigger phones

Final thoughts.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE on a patterned background

The Samsung Galaxy FE is generally a good phone. I would probably give it a 4.5-star rating. I like how Samsung has balanced the features in this phone. Despite the annoying plastic back, I literally cannot name any other shabby feature. The cameras are perfect, it comes with one of the best chips from Qualcomm; the Snapdragon 888 and the display is just superb. Although you can get a refurbished Galaxy S21 for less, I still think this phone provides the perfect balance between high end flagships and high-end mid-range phones. What are your thoughts on this?

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