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

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The ‘Fan Edition’ or FE collection 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 quite a lot of room for enchancment. This 12 months, now we have a follow-up FE smartphone referred to as the Galaxy S21 FE 5G, which Samsung hopes can 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 however can be an essential cellphone in Samsung’s portfolio as soon as the Galaxy S20 FE 5G is phased out.

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 at present has a cashback provide which knocks a cool Rs. 5,000 off the official value, in addition to different trade-in affords.

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 seems like an extension of the Galaxy S21 collection due to the ‘contour-cut’ form of the rear digital camera module. However, not like the S21 collection, the cladding across the cameras is plastic and never steel, and it does not prolong from the steel body. The matte end of the Graphite color unit that I’ve seems a bit boring, however I’m positive the Olive, Lavender and White trims will liven issues up. This cellphone seems good total, and though the again panel remains to be plastic, it ought to provide 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 lots 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 really snug cellphone to hold and use one-handed. The physique is aluminium and the buttons alongside the fitting have a great 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.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is constructed nicely however this Graphite color choice seems a bit boring
Photo Credit: Roydon Cerejo

 

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 provide a 256GB variant for many who want extra storage. However, there are going to be some customers that can be disillusioned.

The 6.4-inch AMOLED show is vibrant and has satisfying ranges of brightness. It has a 120Hz peak refresh charge and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus for defense. The glass is flat, which makes utilization lots simpler, however the edges of the entrance panel are very barely curved to fulfill 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 method to unlock this cellphone. Face recognition is a bit gradual and does not work too nicely at the hours of darkness, until you could have the cellphone actually near your face.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G’s packaging has additionally shed some weight as Samsung does not bundle a charger within the field anymore. In true flagship style, you solely get a SIM eject software and a USB Type-C to Type-C cable. If you employ a high-wattage USB PD energy adapter, you’ll quick cost the Galaxy S21 FE 5G at as much as 25W. It’s not tremendous fast in comparison with what’s doable right this moment, but it surely’s respectable.

samsung galaxy s21 fe 5G review waterproof gadgets360 www

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

 

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 collection. It’s a strong SoC that has carried out nicely in previous Samsung fashions, and does a great 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 have been hoping to see within the Indian fashions. Once once more, there are going to be some disillusioned followers on the market due to this determination. The Exynos 2100 helps a great variety of 5G bands, for every time that turns into related right here in India, and in addition widespread wi-fi requirements equivalent 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 screen 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.zero which relies on Android 12. HDR10 video playback is supported. Traces of Google’s Material You design language may be seen within the menus and widgets but it surely’s nonetheless very a lot OneUI and nothing just like the Android 12 experience 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.zero primarily based on Android 12
Photo Credit: Roydon Cerejo

 

The software program ran nicely 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 some time. I observed it a number of occasions after I started reviewing the cellphone and even after making use of the first OTA update. It could possibly be a difficulty with simply my unit, so we’ll have to attend and see if extra 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 bit greater than per week and it is precisely what I anticipated — a no-nonsense worth flagship that does every thing you ask of it, and does it nicely. What I favored most about it was the low weight, which made it very snug to hold in my pocket or hand. Folks who usually carry two telephones will certainly recognize this much more. The matte end of the again and the shiny show did appeal to some fingerprints, however not lots. Even and not using a case, the physique did not decide up any scuff marks, which is an efficient signal. The show could be very legible outside and the contact response of the cellphone is superb. I discovered the auto-brightness to be a bit gradual at adapting to ambient gentle at occasions, however this wasn’t a daily 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 equivalent to Netflix recognise this skill too. Games ran very nicely with clean framerates and pleasing visuals. Call of Duty: Mobile was enjoyable to play and framerates have been secure even on the highest graphics setting that the sport would permit. The similar went for Asphalt 9: Legends. After 15-20 minutes of steady gaming, the again of the cellphone did get a bit heat. The stereo audio system sounded superb, each for gaming and for watching movies. Benchmark numbers have 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 checks 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 nicely 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 beneath 13 hours in our loop check. The cellphone fared nicely in blended utilization although, and on most days I used to be in a position to comfortably get by 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 an identical 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, but it surely’s respectable. 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 % 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.Eight 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 is no macro mode, since there is no devoted macro digital camera and the ultra-wide digital camera lacks autofocus, so it might’t shoot excessive close-ups both.

Daytime images appeared wealthy and vibrant on the cellphone’s show. There’s a great stage of element, colors have been properly saturated, and Samsung’s submit processing labored nicely at cleansing up noise. The most important digital camera additionally did an outstanding job with close-ups, producing a really pleasing background blur. Autofocus was fast and adaptive. The shutter button permits you to take a single picture with a fast press, file a video with a protracted press, and take a burst with a right-swipe gesture (when holding the cellphone in panorama).

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G most important 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 but it surely’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 shortly past this magnification stage. The most hybrid zoom stage with this digital camera is 30X.

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

The selfie digital camera produced superb outcomes throughout the day and in low gentle. Details have been superb and colors have been precisely represented.

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

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

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is a implausible worth flagship from Samsung, in its personal proper. It checks all of the packing containers when it comes to 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 equivalent to wi-fi charging and IP68 waterproofing. The Galaxy S21 FE just about kills off the Galaxy S21, which does not provide any important worth anymore at its present value.

There have been a few areas through which I felt Samsung may have carried out higher with the Galaxy S21 FE 5G. It would have been good to have the choice to broaden storage, a bundled charger is all the time welcome, and battery life may 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 greater 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 provide and acquired the Galaxy S21 FE 5G, I’d say the Galaxy S20 FE 5G affords much better worth proper now. It’s virtually the identical as the brand new mannequin, so you actually aren’t dropping out on something. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G will make extra sense as soon as its value drops and the Galaxy S20 FE 5G is phased out of the market, however until then, I’d advocate getting the older mannequin as an alternative.


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