Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Review: Wait for a Price Drop

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The ‘Fan Edition’ or FE series from Samsung was designed to supply fanatic customers flagship-grade smartphone options at mid-range costs. Samsung nailed it with the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, leaving not a lot of room for enchancment. This yr, we have now a follow-up FE smartphone known as the Galaxy S21 FE 5G, which Samsung hopes shall be one other runaway success. As I’ve already identified in my first impressions of the cellphone, the Galaxy S21 FE 5G is an incremental replace that does not actually elevate the FE expertise by a lot, however nonetheless shall be an necessary cellphone in Samsung’s portfolio as soon as the Galaxy S20 FE 5G is phased out.
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The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G has all of the makings of a stable worth flagship, however is that this the fitting time to purchase it? 

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G value in India

Samsung has launched the Galaxy S21 FE 5G in two variants, with 128GB of storage for Rs. 54,999 and 256GB of storage for Rs. 58,999. Both variants have 8GB of RAM. Samsung presently has a cashback supply which knocks a cool Rs. 5,000 off the official value, in addition to different trade-in presents.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G design

The most noticeable change within the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G in comparison with its predecessor is its design. This cellphone appears like an extension of the Galaxy S21 series due to the ‘contour-cut’ {shape} of the rear digital camera module. However, not like the S21 series, the cladding across the cameras is plastic and never metallic, and it would not prolong from the metallic body. The matte end of the Graphite color unit that I’ve appears a bit boring, however I’m positive the Olive, Lavender and White trims will liven issues up. This cellphone appears good general, and though the again panel remains to be plastic, it ought to supply higher resilience to cracks if dropped, in comparison with glass.

Another change that is not very obvious is weight. The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G weighed 190g however the Galaxy S21 FE 5G is a lot lighter at 177g, which many customers will recognize. Coupled with a thickness of simply 7.9mm and rounded edges in every single place, the Galaxy S21 FE 5G is a very comfy cellphone to hold and use one-handed. The physique is aluminium and the buttons alongside the fitting have a good tactile really feel. There’s no headphone jack or microSD card slot, however you get a twin Nano-SIM tray and a USB Type-C port on the underside.

samsung galaxy s21 fe 5G review back gadgets360 ww

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The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is constructed properly however this Graphite color possibility appears a bit boring
Photo Credit: Roydon Cerejo


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The Galaxy S20 FE 5G did help storage growth utilizing a microSD card, however sadly that is not the case with this mannequin. We’ve seen many mid-range telephones of late ditch help for expandable storage, so I’m not utterly shocked, and Samsung does supply a 256GB variant for those that want more storage. However, there are going to be some customers that shall be dissatisfied.

The 6.4-inch AMOLED show is vibrant and has satisfying ranges of brightness. It has a 120Hz peak refresh fee and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus for safety. The glass is flat, which makes utilization a lot simpler, however the edges of the entrance panel are very barely curved to satisfy the sides and again, which provides to the in-hand consolation. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G has an in-display fingerprint sensor and face recognition for biometric authentication. A fingerprint is the quickest solution to unlock this cellphone. Face recognition is a bit sluggish and would not work too properly at the hours of darkness, until you have got the cellphone actually near your face.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G’s packaging has additionally shed some weight as Samsung would not bundle a charger within the field anymore. In true flagship trend, you solely get a SIM eject instrument and a USB Type-C to Type-C cable. If you utilize a high-wattage USB PD energy adapter, you can quick cost the Galaxy S21 FE 5G at as much as 25W. It’s not tremendous fast in comparison with what’s doable as we speak, however it’s first rate.

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The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is IP68 rated for mud and water resistance
Photo Credit: Roydon Cerejo

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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G specs and software program

A brand new smartphone mannequin often means there’s been an improve to the SoC and the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G will get the identical Exynos 2100 SoC as seen within the flagship S21 series. It’s a highly effective SoC that has carried out properly in previous Samsung fashions, and does a good job operating Android 12 on the Galaxy S21 FE 5G too. Some world variants of this cellphone sport the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 as an alternative, which is what we had been hoping to see within the Indian fashions. Once once more, there are going to be some dissatisfied followers on the market due to this determination. The Exynos 2100 helps a good variety of 5G bands, for each time that turns into related right here in India, and likewise fashionable wi-fi requirements comparable to Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, and NFC for Samsung Pay. This cellphone additionally options wi-fi Dex mode for sharing content material to a bigger display and utilizing it like a PC.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G has stereo audio system with Dolby Atmos, an IP68 certification for mud and water resistance, and wi-fi charging. The cellphone runs OneUI 4.0 which is predicated on Android 12. HDR10 video playback is supported. Traces of Google’s Material You design language could be seen within the menus and widgets however it’s nonetheless very a lot OneUI and nothing just like the Android 12 expertise you’d see on a Pixel system.

samsung galaxy s21 fe 5G review android 12 gadgets360 ww

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G ships with OneUI 4.0 primarily based on Android 12
Photo Credit: Roydon Cerejo


The software program ran properly and it is the everyday Samsung expertise, with loads of shortcuts and customisations to play with. I did discover one bug –  the framerate of the interface would randomly dip, making gestures and animations really feel very jerky. This would appropriate itself after a whereas. I observed it a few instances after I started reviewing the cellphone and even after making use of the primary OTA replace. It could possibly be a difficulty with simply my unit, so we’ll have to attend and see if more folks report this bug.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G efficiency and battery life

I’ve had the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G with me for a little greater than a week and it is precisely what I anticipated — a no-nonsense worth flagship that does every thing you ask of it, and does it properly. What I preferred most about it was the low weight, which made it very comfy to hold in my pocket or hand. Folks who typically carry two telephones will certainly recognize this much more. The matte end of the again and the shiny show did entice some fingerprints, however not a lot. Even with out a case, the physique did not choose up any scuff marks, which is a good signal. The show may be very legible outside and the contact response of the cellphone is superb. I discovered the auto-brightness to be a little sluggish at adapting to ambient mild at instances, however this wasn’t a common incidence.

samsung galaxy s21 fe 5G review wireless charging gadgets360 ww

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G helps as much as 15W quick wi-fi charging
Photo Credit: Roydon Cerejo


Multimedia efficiency was nice too. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G helps HDR10 playback and apps comparable to Netflix recognise this means too. Games ran very properly with easy framerates and pleasing visuals. Call of Duty: Mobile was enjoyable to play and framerates had been secure even on the highest graphics setting that the sport would enable. The similar went for Asphalt 9: Legends. After 15-20 minutes of steady gaming, the again of the cellphone did get a little heat. The stereo audio system sounded superb, each for gaming and for watching movies. Benchmark numbers had been additionally top-notch. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G scored 7,28,951 factors in AnTuTu and a stable 1,087 and three,245 factors in Geekbench 5’s single and multi-core assessments respectively.

This brings us to battery life. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G has the identical 4,500mAh battery capability because the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, however sadly, did not fare as properly in our HD video battery loop check. The cellphone ran for simply 11 hours and 44 minutes, in comparison with the 18+ hours accomplished by the Galaxy S20 FE 5G with the Snapdragon 865 SoC. Coincidently, the 4G model of the Galaxy S20 FE, which used the Exynos 990 SoC (the flagship of the S20 era) additionally posted a a lot decrease runtime of underneath 13 hours in our loop check. The cellphone fared properly in combined utilization although, and on most days I used to be in a position to comfortably get via one full day on a single cost. This included a little bit of gaming, use of social apps, and taking images.

samsung galaxy s21 fe 5G review cameras gadgets360 ww

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G has a related set of cameras because the Galaxy S20 FE 5G
Photo Credit: Roydon Cerejo


As I discussed earlier than, charging the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is not the quickest we have seen, however it’s first rate. I used a OnePlus WarpCharge 65T energy brick, which is able to 45W USB PD charging. It was in a position to cost this cellphone to 83 p.c in an hour.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G cameras

The digital camera specs of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G are much like these of its predecessor. There’s a 12-megapixel major digital camera with optical stabilisation and an f/1.8 aperture; together with an 8-megapixel telephoto digital camera with 3X optical zoom, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide digital camera, and a 32-megapixel selfie digital camera on the entrance. The digital camera interface and taking pictures modes are much like what we have seen on current Samsung flagships. One factor value noting is that there isn’t any macro mode, since there isn’t any devoted macro digital camera and the ultra-wide digital camera lacks autofocus, so it may’t shoot excessive close-ups both.

Daytime images seemed wealthy and vibrant on the cellphone’s show. There’s a good stage of element, colors had been properly saturated, and Samsung’s publish processing labored properly at cleansing up noise. The foremost digital camera additionally did a excellent job with close-ups, producing a very pleasing background blur. Autofocus was fast and adaptive. The shutter button allows you to take a single photograph with a fast press, document a video with a lengthy press, and take a burst with a right-swipe gesture (when holding the cellphone in panorama).

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G foremost digital camera pattern (faucet to see full dimension)

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G ultra-wide digital camera pattern (faucet to see full dimension)

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G telephoto (3X) digital camera pattern (faucet to see full dimension)


The ultra-wide digital camera captured comparatively weaker particulars however it’s helpful as you will get some attention-grabbing views of your topic. The telephoto digital camera was serviceable at as much as 10X digital zoom, however the high quality degraded rapidly past this magnification stage. The most hybrid zoom stage with this digital camera is 30X.

In low mild, the digital camera app’s scene optimiser mechanically engaged Night mode for a brighter picture. Objects within the viewfinder appeared very grainy in low mild, however the ultimate processed picture was a lot higher. I even managed to get usable photographs from the ultra-wide digital camera with Night mode.

The selfie digital camera produced superb outcomes in the course of the day and in low mild. Details had been superb and colors had been precisely represented.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G close-up digital camera pattern (faucet to see full dimension)

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G foremost digital camera pattern with Night mode (faucet to see full dimension)

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G selfie digital camera pattern with Night mode (faucet to see full dimension)


The Galaxy S21 FE 5G does a good job with video recording too. Stabilisation was good in the course of the day and at night time, with solely minor jitter within the video. Audio in recordings additionally got here out properly. This cellphone can shoot movies at as much as 4K 60fps with the entrance and rear cameras, which is spectacular. The general digital camera expertise is much like that of the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, which is to say, they’re very reliable.


The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is a unbelievable worth flagship from Samsung, in its personal proper. It checks all of the containers by way of efficiency and options, and regardless of the bump in value, remains to be one of many solely telephones on this vary to supply premium options comparable to wi-fi charging and IP68 waterproofing. The Galaxy S21 FE just about kills off the Galaxy S21, which does not supply any vital worth anymore at its present value.

There had been a couple of areas during which I felt Samsung might have performed higher with the Galaxy S21 FE 5G. It would have been good to have the choice to develop storage, a bundled charger is at all times welcome, and battery life might have been higher with regard to video playback. If any of those little misses is perhaps a ache level for you, then look no additional than Galaxy S20 FE 5G. There’s by no means been a higher time to purchase this cellphone, as its value is at an all-time low of simply Rs. 36,999.

If you have not already snagged the launch supply and purchased the Galaxy S21 FE 5G, I’d say the Galaxy S20 FE 5G presents much better worth proper now. It’s virtually the identical as the brand new mannequin, so you actually aren’t shedding out on something. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G will make more sense as soon as its value drops and the Galaxy S20 FE 5G is phased out of the market, however until then, I’d suggest getting the older mannequin as an alternative.

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