Samsung is not by chance the largest mobile manufacturer in the world. The strategy for creating and selling their mobiles is highly calculated, although there are times, as is the case, that we do not quite understand what the company is looking for. FE models have been with us for a couple of years, being terminals designed for those who want a high-end range but cannot pay what is asked for them. In 2020 the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was a very round proposition, considering what it offered and what it cost. Plus, it came out in the middle of the year or so, which makes sense given that the S20s came out in early 2020.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE that we analyze today should have come out at the end of summer of last year, to accompany the folding Samsung Galaxy that give such good results in sales. However, it has ended up being delayed so much that it almost sneaks into the presentation of the Samsung Galaxy S22.
Thus, we cannot talk about the S21 FE without talking about the S22 and the S21. And that is where the only important problem with this model is, as we will see in the conclusion.
Features Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
- Snapdragon 888.
- Memoria RAM: 6 / 8 GB.
- Internal storage: 128/256 GB.
- Size: 6.4 inches.
- Resolution: FHD + (2340 x 1080 pixels).
- Technology: AMOLED.
- Refresh rate: 120 Hz.
- Principal: 12 Mpx f/1.8.
- Wide Angle: 12 Mpx.
- Sensor teleobjetivo: 8 Mpx.
- Others: LED Flash.
- Bluetooth 5.0.
- WiFi 6.
- Battery: 4,500 mAh.
- Fast charge: 25 W.
- Wireless charging: 15 W.
- USB-C port.
- On-screen fingerprint sensor.
- IP 68.
- Dimensiones: 74.5 x 155.7 x 7.9 mm.
- Weight: 177 g.
- Android version: 12.
- Manufacturer interface: One UI 4.
Lowering the bar in design
If we quickly compare an S21 and an S21 FE we can think that they are the same on the outside. If we look better we will see that the 2022 model opts for a rear with a much less premium finish, which also leaves the camera module without integration with the perimeter metal frame.
In the hand the quality of the terminal is not poor, it feels good and its weight is controlled, despite not having a small battery. It is in the comparison with other models where we can see some seams.
Of course, since the vast majority of people will use it with a cover, this is not a reason to discard it, although we will begin to ask Samsung to improve the finishes of its terminals, at least in those that cost more than 500 euros.
There are no Exynos here, just Snapdragon
Samsung is one of the few brands that has the capacity to manufacture its own processors. It is speculated that the S22 will have the Exynos 2200, although at the time of publishing this analysis there is still no official confirmation.
This S21 FE does not use a Samsung processor in any market, opting for the Snapdragon 888, which until recently was the best chipset of the American company.
The performance of this phone is more than good, being able to carry out any operation, although it is true that there is a certain difference with respect to the S21 Ultra and other mobiles with a much higher price.
It may be because the RAM is 8 GB, there are no options with more. The same does not happen with the internal memory since we can choose 128 or 256 GB.
Of course, as in any recent high-end, we do not have FM radio, headphone jack or micro SD slot. Yes we have a dual speaker that falls slightly short and NFC, in addition to Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5 …
A screen that falls in love
One of the sections that we liked the most about this Galaxy S21 FE is its screen. It is a 6.4-inch panel with FHD resolution and OLED technology, which houses the fingerprint sensor under it.
Screen quality is superb and HDR10 + lets you watch videos with first-rate colors and dynamic range.
In this price range there are also no models with higher resolution, which makes the S21 FE one of the best in this section.
How could it be otherwise, Samsung has implemented a modifiable refresh rate system, which allows us to leave the 60 Hz one that saves some battery or use the 120 Hz, which in this chaos do not make use of an LTPO panel.
Good cameras, with a slight complaint on the zoom
Cameras are one of the main reasons why mobile buyers opt for high-end models. They are the best optics and sensors use and it shows.
Samsung has not fallen short in this Galaxy S21 FE, and gives us the three rear cameras we all want, in addition to a more than decent resolution lead.
The front has 32 Mpx and a quality, as you can see in the gallery, is correct. Of course, when recording video it falls behind what the cameras of the other S21s did.
Behind we have a 12 Mpx angular sensor with a very decent quality. The colors are successful and the detail is very correct.
We also have a 12 Mpx wide angle that works very well in terms of distortion, although it falls a little short in resolution when compared to the 50 Mpx sensors of other models.
Finally, we have a 3x 8 Mpx optical zoom. In this case the quality is good (during the day, because at night it uses the clipping of the main sensor and the quality drops a lot). The problem we have encountered here is that zoom is very high for portraits. The ideal is to have a 2x and then a 5x or a 10x, as it happens in the S21 Ultra, but for now that is something limited to the high-end, and not even to all models in this category.
Great autonomy, with a normal fast charge
Samsung has never been known for offering top-notch fast charging. The problems with the Note 7 may have made it very careful about taking risks, but it also means that its rivals can get ahead of it.
This model in particular allows you to charge by cable at 25 W and wirelessly at 15 W. The one that has wireless charging already seems like a success, although it is not one of the fastest on the market.
We have done several tests with similar uses, having used the mobile as GPS, some calls, several photos and videos and game time in HearthStone or Honkai Impact Third. With the refresh rate at 120 Hz we have achieved these figures:
- 24 hours of autonomy with 5 hours of screen on.
- 21 hours of autonomy with 5 hours of screen on.
With the rate in 60 Hz these others:
- 34 hours of autonomy with 5 hours of screen on.
- 33 hours of autonomy with 6 hours of screen on.
Finally, highlight that no charger in the box, something that is already common in Samsung mobiles but that further penalizes the price chosen for the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE.
Android 12 comes standard
When we started the S21 FE and saw that it had Android 12 as standard, we were surprised. Yes, it was logical and Samsung has seen fit to use this version, but it would not be the first time that a terminal launched months after the presentation of an Android version uses an old one.
In this case it is not like that and we have all the advantages that One UI 4 offers us, and that you can see in detail in this video:
There are no important changes with respect to what we have seen in other models and that a mobile like this already comes with the most current version of the system is a good reason to buy it.
Conclusion: the only failure is solvable
Samsung is not a company that stands out for the low price of its mobiles, but its competition does. Xiaomi is hurting him in countries like Spain or India, where the price of mobile phones is very important.
In those markets where the S21 FE should be an alternative to the more expensive Galaxy S21. However, the reality is not that.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE can be purchased from 759 euros in its 128 GB mode, costing 829 euros the one with double the storage. However, the normal Samsung Galaxy S21, the one announced a year ago almost went on sale for 859 euros can now be purchased for 635 euros. They are 100 euros less for a terminal that is better designed and that has, in essence, the same features as this S21 FE.
The only real advantage of the S21 FE is that it has a little more autonomy, but that does not justify paying 100 euros more.
Samsung has an easy solution for this: put the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE at 599 euros. In this way, it not only moves away from the S21, but also comes close to fighting with models from other manufacturers that are having a great reception, such as the realme GT.
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