Full Review of Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G – Better Processor

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To satisfy its fans, Samsung will launch the FE (Fans Edition) edition to all of its flagship phones. There was no exception for this year too. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G is Samsung’s latest smartphone in the upper mid-range segment, promising to continue the trend that began with the S20 FE last year, of a premium device with flagship features at a relatively affordable price.

Samsung’s formula with the ‘Fan Edition’ devices is simple – bring most of the flagship-grade features and specifications at a slightly lower price point, but with a few minor cutbacks here and there in terms of the hardware. This way, Samsung gets to introduce more people to its flagship offerings while still catering to a crowd that seeks value for money, or doesn’t want to pay the top dollar for the latest flagship.

With the launch of its new S21 series early last year, last week Samsung had launched its Galaxy S21 FE series to the market for its fans! Let’s take a look at our first impression of its Galaxy S21 FE here.

The Design & Screen

There is no second thought that the new Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G handset feels premium. The 6.4-inch display has a glossy finish and on the rear end, the new Galaxy handset has a matte black panel- indeed looks classy and stylish at the same time. The smartphone has the power button and volume rockers on the right panel, whereas, on the bottom, the handset has a C-Type charging slot along with the speaker vent and a sim port, keeping the top and left rim free. Users can easily operate the phone with one hand as it is easy to operate the volume rocker and power button with a thumb or index finger, easily.

Most Value For Money Smartphone

The FE edition had always been one of the most value-for-money smartphones in the market as it has all the premium features that its predecessor; the Galaxy S21 has with just slightly some changes of the phone exterior quality.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G has a contour-cut design for the camera module, just like the Galaxy S21 series, but this portion is built from plastic instead of metal and isn’t an extension of the frame. The back panel is also plastic but the display gets Gorilla Glass Victus for better scratch protection. The metal frame feels sturdy, and you’ll find the power and volume buttons on the right, and the USB port and dual-SIM tray on the bottom. There’s no headphone jack.

The Back of Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Screen

The S21 FE 5G is fairly slim at 7.9mm and is definitely lighter at 177g than the 190g of the Galaxy S20 FE 5G. The Graphite color unit that I have does make the design feel a little boring, but thankfully there are also brighter shades such as Olive, Lavender, and White. The phone is available in two storage variants, 128GB and 256GB, with the same 8GB of RAM in both. However, the SIM tray is not the hybrid type that we saw in the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, which means you can’t expand the internal storage.

On the front, we have a large and bright 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The display is flat on all sides and has relatively slim bezels too. There’s a 32-megapixel selfie camera in the cutout and an in-display optical fingerprint sensor. The display looks great, in the short time I’ve been using it, with good colors and sharpness. The fingerprint sensor works well too and the high refresh rate makes usage feel snappy.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Graphite model looks good in the sunlight. The back has a matte finish that does a fine job in repelling fingerprint smudges. On the front, the flat display panel is really bright and the browsing experience has been excellent so far. It flaunts a 6.4-inch full HD+ (2340 x 1080p) dynamic AMOLED Display. It supports a 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz Touch Sampling Rate in Game Mode.

On the top, it is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus shield on top and also comes with an IP68 rating, meaning the device can survive underwater up to the depth of 1.5meter (around five feet). It also features an in-display optical fingerprint sensor and so far, it has worked fine with no false rejection as yet.

The Camera

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE features a triple-camera module– the main 12MP f1.8 camera, 12MP f2.2 Ultra-Wide camera, and 8MP f2.4 telephoto camera. On the front, it features only a 32MP f2.2 camera.

The S21 FE 5G belongs to the same family as Samsung Galaxy’s flagship smartphone; the S21 Ultra, but the camera setup isn’t as outrageous, for obvious reasons. It still has a triple camera stack, but instead of 108MP and 64MP sensors, it sticks to the tried and tested 12MP sensors, stabilized with OIS, for the primary and ultrawide cameras and an 8MP sensor for the telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and 80x digital zoom. The zoom lens also features OIS. On the front is another 12MP camera for selfies.

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Selfie Camera Wide
Selfie Camera Wide
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Selfie Camera Normal

The camera is capable of shooting at 4K 60fps, and has a stabilization mode and portrait video mode. There’s even a Pro Video mode that lets you tweak the shutter speed, ISO, and focus manually while shooting.

The Performance

The next big change is the SoC. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G features an Exynos 2100, which is the same chip found in Samsung’s flagship S21 series. On the software side, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G ships with OneUI 4, based on Android 12.

The new version has small tweaks throughout the interface and menus, but overall, it looks and feels familiar.

Gaming is also smooth, with its Exynos 2100 processor and a 120hz refresh rate display. I could run multiple games and apps in the background and expect them to play smoothly as soon as I reopen them. The display is crisp, bright, and vibrant with colors, and makes media consumption on the phone an absolute treat. An even better feature for this task, though, is the stereo speakers on the phone which are loud, clear, and utterly delightful.

Gaming with Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
Watching Youttube with Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

The Battery

Samsung’s new phone comes with a 4,500mAh battery with a 25W fast charger, and also supports 15W wireless charging and reverse power share feature. With all this, we have seen our S21 FE last through a day’s use, thanks to its 4500mAh battery.

Overall

A lot of the features from the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G are carried over to the Galaxy S21 FE 5G. There’s an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, stereo speakers, Samsung Pay with NFC, and Wireless Dex mode. It even has the same battery capacity of 4,500mAh, with 25W fast wired charging, 15W wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging.

It’s a similar story with the cameras. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G has three rear cameras with the same resolutions as those on the Galaxy S20 FE 5G. These are a 12-megapixel primary, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide, and an 8-megapixel telephoto with 3X optical zoom (even though we wish for a high megapixel camera this time). There’s still a lot of testing to be done, but so far the cameras seem pretty competent.

The Galaxy S21 FE 5G feels like a wholesome offering that while not focusing on any one particular aspect, offers refinement all-round. Samsung has picked and chosen features that are hardly available in this price range; features like IP68 rating, smudge-free back, that would go on to maintain the durability of the device, along with quality-of-life improvements like thin bezels, compact and lightweight body and that awesome display. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is a phone with a lot of potential to be explored.

For more information on Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, check out Samsung Official website at https://www.samsung.com/my/smartphones/galaxy-s21-5g/galaxy-s21-fe-5g/

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