For the fans, with flagship features we liked
The Samsung Galaxy FE line up is known to be a follow up towards their mainstream flagship series, by retaining all of the flagship quality features, specifications, and most of the esthetics into a single device that is loved, crafted for the audience that needed such performance, without spending too much on the wallet.
This time we will look at the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, a phone that is still loved by the target audiences that really has fans and lets dive into the review.
Do take note that there are 2 versions, one which is powered by the Snapdragon 888 5G, while the one that we are reviewing is powered by the Exynos 2100 SOC, which is meant for most of the markets.
The Galaxy S21 FE design is built on a candybar style profile with a weight of 177 Grams, which is heavier compared to the original Galaxy S21 5G, however being said, it is still easy to carry and put it in your pocket.
Over to the back/rear of the phone, it is made of smooth plastic which is still carrying the same 2021 S series iconic design language which is great, as you are paying lesser but still enjoy its flagship class design. I would not be worried about fingerprint marks or smudges as the smooth groove on the overall material can be easily clean and maintained.
Towards the camera portion is an island of contour cut design with a slight bump consisting of three camera sensors and a flash. Bump wise, buying a case will definitely solved your problem, which you can simply purchase any brand online or you can buy from any Samsung Authorized Outlet.
Over to the sides of the Galaxy S21 FE, on the right hand side, there is a volume up and down button and a power button, while the top houses one microphone. Over to the bottom of the phone there is one dual NanoSIM slot, one microphone, one USB C port and a bottom firing speaker. All of the phone sides are made of aluminum with the same color tone finish to it.
The absence of the 3.5mm headphone jack does not bother me as most of the phone today does not include one, and with the increasing adoption of Bluetooth earbuds today, it should be easy to purchase one as majority earbuds today are relatively affordable, and if you are still interested with the Galaxy Buds 2, it is a perfect companion as well.
Besides that the phone is also IP68 dust &water resistant up to 1.5m for 30 minutes and when comes to color choices, there is Olive, Graphite, Lavender and White to choose from.
Display wise, the Galaxy S21 FE 5G is powered by a 6.4 Inch FHD+120Hz screen with Gorilla Glass Victus that supports HDR10+. Display is spot on with great accuracy on color display, a dynamic adaptive refresh rate that goes up to 120Hz vibrant which is clearly meant for today’s standard balancing between display vibrance while also adjusted according to usage to preserve its battery use. Experiencing the Galaxy S21 FE 5G with browsing, streaming and replying e-mails is good with expected framerates when I am gaming as well.
The Galaxy S21 FE 5G has sets of camera setup that is slightly different from the original S21 5G. Starting from the rear camera setup you will have one main 12MP wide lens, one 8MP telephoto lens and another 12MP ultra wide lens accompanied with a flash. Experience with the rear camera capture is similar of the S21 5G with very good color reproduction and contrast level on most environment with certain exception of colors may be soft if the area captured is too bright outdoor. Zooming above 10x may produce some noises and blur. However when it comes to video recording, the only thing missing is the support of 8K 24FPS recording, but to my usage thus far, having 4K recording up to 60FPS fits myself and perhaps everyone too.
Selfie camera wise, it came equipped with a 32MP sensor with HDR and of course, dual video recording is also supported with the same treatment it gets from the S series lineup with capture satisfied picture quality that makes it a good candidate as a vlog phone for all your social media feeds and posting.
All the sample shots above are taken with the Galaxy S21 FE 5G in various mode and environments with a mixed of 10x zoom, normal, 64MP and automatic shots.
Hardware wise, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is powered by Exynos 2100 Octa Core SOC, up to 256GB of internal storage and 8GB RAM. All of these is running on Android 12 over Samsung’s OneUI 4 that brings in a fresh and improvement from RAM Plus extension to enhancements over camera features and Priority mode on your daily device usage needs. Call quality is good whether its over VOLTE, while WoWIFI option is available as well when enabled, delivering constant HD voice quality.
5G connectivity readiness is there equipped with WiFi 6 support, Bluetooth 5, NFC with payment capability were all present with all the stability there while streaming, gaming, browsing, downloading over my home internet connection has no issues at all. With WiFi 6 band you will also gain much speed over 2000mbps transfer rates with ease with my local NAS.
Gaming wise, this phone is a solid performer with some games such as Mobile Legends can reach over 90FPS with very drop on frame rate and smoothness is felt on all times. Surely games like Genshin Impact may need to be set between High and Medium graphic settings to ensure the best experience you can get over domain and party hunting on large maps.
Benchmark performance is expected to the on par as a flagship device, delivering great results as shown above. Such score is very comparable with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. While it is just a synthetic score, if you are currently using an older Snapdragon powered phone or coming from a Samsung Galaxy S9 or 10 series, this is a worthy upgrade to be considered as a choice.
Battery performance wise, you will get around 10 hours of it, a mix of calls, surfing, email, streaming, and a few Mobile Legends matches. Turn on the battery saving mode under 20% will get you around extra 2 hours of conservative usage. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G does not come with a charger, you can always get any third party compatible PD charger. An 18w charger will charge up the phone in slightly less than 3 hours from empty to 100%.
|Display||6.4-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display Super Smooth 120Hz refresh rate 240Hz Touch Sampling Rate in Game Mode Eye Comfort Shield with AI based blue light control|
|Dimensions & Weight||74.5 x 155.7 x 7.9mm, 177g|
12MP Ultra-Wide Camera F2.2, FOV 123˚
12MP Wide Camera Dual Pixel AF, OIS, F1.8
8MP Telephoto Camera 30x Space Zoom, F2.4
32MP Selfie Camera F2.2, FOV 81˚
|Processor||Exynos 2100 SOC, 5nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor|
|Memory||8GB RAM with 256GB internal storage OR 8GB RAM with 128GB internal storage|
|Charging||25W Wired 15W Wireless Wireless PowerShare|
|OS||Android 12 with OneUI 4.0|
|Network||2G GSM,3G WCDMA,4G LTE FDD,4G LTE TDD,4G 4×4 MIMO band,5G Sub6 FDD,5G Sub6 TDD, 5G 4×4 MIMO band|
|Payment||Samsung Pay with NFC|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor|
Conclusion and Verdict
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is definitely a great device that is meant to look for a fresh upgrade, needing for a flagship hardware while at a reasonable affordable price which marks a great start in 2022. Additionally you get to enjoy what S series users enjoy as well, such as 5G, WiFi 6, Samsung DeX which is a desktop environment that further enhances the usage together with your laptop of your choice. With the price starting from RM2,899 for the 128GB model and RM3,099 for the 256GB model, we can say this may be the right choice with a flagship SOC from 2021, but it is still plenty powerful and with Samsung’s long support on software updates, this may be a worthy choice for towards most users alike.
- 120Hz Refresh Rate Display
- Has reverse charging
- Great Android software and security update support
- No MicroSD Card Slot
- Plastic back/rear