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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Review: The Next Fan Edition

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Review: The Next Fan Edition

 

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is the new and improved smartphone made to best its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5GIt comes with a better display, better performance, and a better camera package.

 

With all the new features, can it compete with the current smartphone greats? Is it really that good of a smartphone? Let’s find out more from this review of the Samsung S21 FE 5G smartphone. 

    

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
Main and rear view of the Graphite Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G.

 

Specifics

Display 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1080 x 2400p
CPU 8-core, Qualcom SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5G) – Version 1 | 8-core, Exynos 2100 (5nm) – Version 2
GPU Adreno 660 – Version 1 | Mali-G78 MP14 – Version 2
OS/Software Android 12, One UI 4
Storage/RAM 128GB 6GB RAM | 128GB 8GB |  256GB 8GB
Camera Rear: 12 MP (wide) f/1.8, 26mm, 1/1.76″, 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS | 12 MP (ultrawide), f/2.2, 13mm, 123˚, 1/3.0″, 1.12µm | 8 MP (telephoto), f/2.4, 76mm, 1/4.5″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom | VIDEO: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+, gyro-EIS

Selfie: 32 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.74″, 0.8µm | VIDEO: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps, gyro-EIS

Battery 4500mAh; Fast charging 25W, 50% in 30 min (advertised), Fast wireless charging 15W, Reverse wireless charging, USB Power Delivery 3.0.
Misc Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); NFC; Bixby natural language commands and dictation, Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified).

 

Reason to Buy

  • Excellent screen quality & color accuracy
  • Superb performance
  • Great design
  • Water resistance
  • Great battery life
  • Good quality speakers 
  • Excellent camera
  • OS with great features

Reason to Avoid

  • Expensive smartphone
  • No phone charger
  • No dynamic refresh rate
  • No headphone jack
  • No microSD slot
  • Shorter battery life than predecessor

 

 

Overview

 

 

Samsung has released another great galaxy smartphone called the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G. Compared to the S20 FE 5G, it comes with a 6.4-inch display, a Snapdragon 5G or Exynos 5G processor (depending on which region), and an option to get one of three models that range from 128GB to 256GB internal storage, or the 6GB to 8GB of RAM.

 

The design matches the current Samsung Galaxy S21/S21 Plus models with a triple camera lens at the rear, and a selfie camera in front. It comes with a 4500 mAh battery that supports fast, wireless, and reverse wireless charging. Next are the colors. There are four colors to choose from White, Graphite, Lavender, and Olive.

 

Overall, this is the new S21 FE smartphone. It has great new features for us to see and explore below. To see my review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G smartphone, click here. For those who don’t know, the FE means the ‘Fan Edition’.  

 

 

What’s to Like

 

Excellent screen quality & color accuracy

The Samsung S21 FE comes with a smaller 6.4-inch dynamic AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 1080p screen resolution. The screen looks great. With sharp, clear, and accurate colors, it’s able to show 1080p pictures and videos very well.

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
Main and rear view of the White Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G

 

Scrolling between apps, the OS interface, and webpages feels smooth with no signs of slowing down or lag. Overall, the S21 FE comes with an excellent-looking display.

 

Superb performance

The performance is one of the best features of the S21 FE. The international version comes with a Snapdragon SD888 5G chip, which is one of the best in performance. It’s an 8-core chip and includes an Adreno 660 graphics GPU. 

 

You get to choose between three versions: 6GB of RAM with 128GB storage; 8GB of RAM with 128GB storage, and 8GB of RAM with 256GB storage. Sadly, there’s no microSD to expand storage. Overall, if you get the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G, you will have no issues with performance. 

 

Great design

If you look at the overall design of the S21 FE, it looks very similar to the Samsung S21 and S21 Plus models. So don’t too get excited.

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
Graphite, White, Lavender and Olive colors of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G

 

The design colors look awesome. The colors available are White, Graphite, Lavender, and Olive. Overall, Great design.

 

Great battery life

The S21 FE includes a 4500mAh battery that supports fast charge, reverse charge, and wireless charge.  Upon testing with a 25W charger, I managed to get a 50% full charge in 30 minutes. That’s fast charging. Note that it’s not included upon purchase.

 

With the battery life, if you’re using the S21 FE moderately, i.e. for making and receiving calls, you’re looking at up to four days of battery life. With that said, the S21 FE has got good battery power, comes with numerous charging capabilities, and is capable of lasting you a lot of days.     

 

Excellent camera

The S21 FE comes with a triple camera sensor at the rear of the phone, which consists of 12MP (wide), 12MP (ultrawide), and 8MP (telephoto) camera sensors. With videos, you can record up to 4K videos at 60 frames per second.

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
Rearview of the Lavender Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G

 

With the front camera, it comes with a single 32MP (wide) sensor, and also takes up to 4K videos at 60 frames per second. The main camera takes excellent quality pictures, even on ultrawide mode, zoomed up to 3x optical, and night mode.

 

The detail is excellent, with great contrasts, taking all the detail, and a fair degree of sharpness. Taking selfies with the S21 FE comes out great with good colors and sharpness. 

 

Other features

Great sound output, thanks to the two speakers on the top behind the screen and at the bottom with a bit of a kick in the bass. The loudspeaker comes out clear but lacks in loudness. Overall, it’s not that loud, nor is it powerful, but the S21 delivers good sound.  

 

 

What’s not to Like

 

Expensive smartphone

Expect to pay close to US$700 for the S21 FE smartphone. That really is a high price. 

 

No phone charger

Nowadays if you buy a smartphone, especially a top range, expect not to find a phone charger in the box. You going to have to purchase one separately. 

 

No dynamic refresh rate

It’s great that the S21 FE comes with a 120Hz refresh rate, as it improves the overall phone experience, but with every app, you use it sticks to the same refresh rate. Not that it’s a bad thing, but it ends up shortening the phone’s battery life. 

 

No headphone jack, no microSD slot

Wireless accessories are the way to go nowadays. If you want to listen to music or connect hands-free, then you will have to get a Bluetooth headset or earbuds. If you want more storage space, rather get a better phone than the S21 FE like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. It was more expensive though. 

 

Shorter battery life

Other reviews say the S21 FE will last close to four days of battery life, whereas the S20 FE will last over four and a half days of battery life. Note that they both have a 4500mAh battery, under moderate usage, and with both displays set at 120Hz refresh rate. 

 

Overall, the battery life is not bad for the S21 FE, it’s just that for a newer model you’d expect a better phone with longer battery life. Unless you switch the refresh rate to 60Hz. That will prolong the battery life of the phone.    

 

Verdict 

 

I recommend the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G smartphone for the following reasons. Firstly, the smooth-scrolling and fast performance is excellent. Next, the camera package delivers awesome pictures and video. Thirdly, the good long battery life. And lastly, screen quality and design. 

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
Front and side view of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G

 

Yes, it may be expensive, but it’s a powerful smartphone capable, reliable, durable with water resistance and protective glass, and fun to have. If price is a factor, rather wait until it comes down, or you can check out the Galaxy S20 FE  or other Samsung Galaxy smartphones.   

 

If you have any questions, comments, or personal opinions about the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G or any Samsung Galaxy smartphone in general, you can add them here below, and I will respond to them as soon as possible. So if you like the S21 FE, why not click here to find out more and see what’s more in store for you. 

 

 

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G

US$624.99
4.25

Design

3.8/5

Display

4.5/5

Performance

4.8/5

Camera

4.5/5

Battery life

4.0/5

Other Features

4.0/5

LGMadyibi

Working in construction projects full time, and promoting mobile computing devices part-time, I'm an ICT and project management graduate using this platform to help fellow web surfers find tech solutions to solve daily problems.

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