Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (Fan Edition) Review

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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is finally here, a few months later than expected – better late than never, right? This is allegedly the most affordable Galaxy S21 model with similar features to members of the Samsung Galaxy S21 range but of course with a few downgrades that are easily unnoticeable to the average smartphone user. The phone’s predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was quite popular and Galaxy S21 FE is expected to be more popular (after all it’s for the fans).

AS ironic as it may sound, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has a price problem. Having arrived later than all other Galaxy S21 models, the phone is available at full price while older models in the same range have been discounted. This means one may get Galaxy S21, mark you, a phone with better specs at a relatively lower price.

Note that price is not the only phone problem. Charging the phone is a bit slow considering it uses wireless charging technology and the charge does not last long enough.

Moreover, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE’s software is a bit slow as compared to smartphones with similar specs and features. Simple processes like swiping between menus, closing and booting up apps, and simply unlocking the phone takes longer than its counterparts. While it may come as a surprise given the phone’s processor speed, RAM size, and refresh rate, Samsung’s One’s UI has had this issue before.

Don’t let these drawbacks make you rush to negative conclusions about the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. It is not a bad phone per se. The phone has a great screen which is good for watching content and a powerful processor for tasks like online gaming and streaming. Furthermore, the Samsung Galaxy 21 FE has quality cameras to give you a good photography experience. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Price and Availability

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is available in two storage sizes, that is, a 128GB 6GB RAM model that’s going for $699 / £699 / KES79199 and a 256GB 8GB RAM model going for $799 / £769 / KES90500. 


The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is a lookalike for Galaxy S21 siblings except for the size aspect. Just like other S21 siblings, the Galaxy S21 FE has the same rear camera with a Contour Cut pump to hold the three lenses. There is a tiny difference though, the FE has a plastic component around the rear cameras while other S21 phones use a metallic material around these cameras.

The FE’S use of plastic has earned it the term Glasstic, a term used by the company to market the phone. Plastic’s key pro on phones is that it increases their durability and also offers a better grip. The power button and the volume rocker are conveniently located on the right edge of the phone.

The phone has a slim design making it comfortable to hold in the hand. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE comes in four colors, that is, black, white, pink, and green. 


With a 6.4inch screen, the smartphone’s phone lies between 6-1 inches and 6.7 inches in the S21 series, and just like its counterparts Galaxy S21 FE has a 1080 x 2400 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate.

The phone uses the Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen technology, a screen tech that has been in use by Samsung since the Galaxy S20. The AMOLED panel makes the screen vibrant and bright for quality display. Notably, the screen is the phone’s strong quality. Aspects like colors, contrast, and brightness are great making the FE a good device for streaming and playing video games. 


The FE’S camera features are similar to that of the S21 and S21 Plus. The camera’s main snapper has a 12MP lens and a 12MP ultra-wide – both are inherited from the S21. Notwithstanding, the Galaxy S21 FE has an 8MP telephoto camera while the S21 has a 64MP one. The telephoto snapper has the same lens as the S21 which provides for 1.1x optical or 3x hybrid zoom.

The front camera has a 32MP snapper, a significant shift from 10MP in other S21 phones. Photos taken with the FE are quite colorful, a common standard among pictures taken on Samsung phones.

Photography and videography from other Samsung models are included in the FE. For instance, the Single Take, a mode that allows you to take shots on multiple lenses at once so you can pick the best or Dual Recording for simultaneously recording videos with both the rear and the front camera. 

Performance and Specs

With a Snapdragon 888 chipset, this may be the last Samsung phone using this chipset as Snapdragon D Gen 1 has already been rolled out. The chipset has 5G capabilities and 6GB or 8GB RAM.

There is a small difference between this chipset and those used in its predecessors. We tested the phone with video games, loading top graphical options and it performed pretty well. It is also awesome for mobile gaming and streaming videos. 


The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE runs Android 12, with Samsung’s One’s UI 4 over the top. Android 12 improves on the existing Android version by providing better customization for features like color schemes.

It may come as a surprise that the phone is a bit sluggish when swiping between homepages, launching apps, and unlocking the device considering the RAM size, processor speed and refresh rate. This issue may not be notable to every user, but as a tech, the reviewer failing to mention will be a miss. 


The phone runs on a 4500mAh battery, a common battery capacity for most phones. However, the battery drains fast, especially tasks that require the screen to stay on like gaming, photo capture, and social media browsing. The battery is perfectly fine if you only perform light tasks with your phone. 

Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE?

You should get one if you need a good-looking medium-sized phone, high-quality cameras, and a sleek design. Don’t buy it if you are looking for a fast charging phone.

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