We got our hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G – Flagship tech, subtler design, and a much lesser price tag. Here’s what we think.
Well, in case you’re wondering, FE stands for ‘Fan Edition’, and as the name suggests, it’s to simply give the Galaxy fans the smartphone (and specs) they’ve been looking for. Also, just to point out, it’s an S21 that launched in 2022 even though the new flagship S22 is also right around the corner – Something you should stay tuned to, as well. Back to the FE now, so I’ve been using the S21 FE for the past two weeks, and to give you a long-story-short of my review – It’s simply a well-rounded smartphone. It’s a safe bet, and it almost seems like Samsung has figured out this winning formula of what makes a great smartphone today and they’re sticking to that, no funny business.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G review
While the original price of Rs 74,999, it currently discounts at Rs 54,999 on their website. But in comparison to the current flagship S21, it’s still slightly lower, so the big question is – How do the specs hold up against the lower price?
First things first, the box is slightly smaller than usual, and you’ll only get the device and the cable – New world rules, what can we say. From the rear, the phone’s design is reminiscent of the S21 but there are plenty of noticeable differences otherwise. To begin with, the camera dock kind of melts into the rear panel, instead of looking like a separate overlay like the S21 Ultra. Also, the sides panels are now metal, and they go all around the device. The only spaces we see are for the antenna bars. The screen’s edges are now flattened out and no longer spill over, I low-key miss that, it gave the device a slightly futuristic look. The overall build quality is brilliant though, the back, which has an almost matte-ish finish certainly feels good however it isn’t perfectly free from fingerprints, but you’ll only see them upon close inspection.
What I also quite like about the device is how light it is. It weighs just 177 grams, which is incredible for all the specs under the hood. Also, with this new lightweight form, you can type with one hand quite comfortably. Finally, let’s talk about the spec sheet. I think when it comes to specs, they don’t really make any mistakes. It’s what you’d expect in a flagship today but they don’t go overboard with anything flashy, it’s very tame.
The 6.4” AMOLED screen is as elegant as it is quick. With a 120-Hz refresh rate, it’s buttery smooth. I mean, we all know that Samsung has mastered the art of designing and building displays, and they’ve simply done it again. Also, yes, the screen is made out of Gorilla Glass just like the rest of the S21s and it is highly scratch resistant. Even though it weighs just 177 grams, it packs a 4500-mAh battery, which again I have no complaints about. It definitely provides a battery life that runs all day and you don’t have to worry about it.
When it comes to the cameras, you get a 12-MP Ultra Wide, 12-MP Wide, and an 8-MP Telephoto camera which could be not up to the mark for some, but to be honest, it’s something that can be overlooked. However, to compensate for that, Samsung did throw in a 32-MP selfie camera, quite kind of them. The cameras are just like any Samsung camera – Clear, vibrant and even though it isn’t as spectacular as their current flagship, it’s still highly dependable and is a quality smartphone camera.
What’s interesting about the Samsung S21 FE and its price, is that it sits in this medium-flagship range. And it’s sort of positioned there to deliver that same Samsung flagship experience but at a lower price point. However, This also means the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G goes up against many other flagship smartphones that price between Rs 55,000 and Rs 70,000. It’s a tough league but I must say, Samsung has designed a serious contender here.
If I had to point out, there are a few places of improvement I still see with the S21 FE – The speaker sound quality, for starters. Final review? I think the S21 FE is well, a ‘Fan Edition’, to essentially give the fans what they want. But I also feel like it’s a great choice for those who want a premium Samsung experience yet not the over-the-top, fancy specs, but subtler, reliable, and at a much more comfortable price. And the S21 FE perfectly does that. I hardly have any complaints about the device, if it wasn’t for the 8-MP swap from the 64-MP camera, there isn’t a lot that separates this from the elder S21 variants on paper as well as in terms of experience.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G currently slates in at a discounted price of Rs 54,999 (originally Rs 74,000) and is available in 128-GB and 256-GB variants. Choose between colour options of Olive, Graphite, Lavender, and White.