Just like last year, Samsung is making an FE (Fan Edition) version of its flagship smartphone. They just announced the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G during CES 2022, and it’s much the same as the S20 FE 5G we saw last year — most of the flagship features with a more mid-range price tag.
But before we get into all the little differences, let’s talk about those new colors! The powers that decide these things have decreed that neutrals are in for 2022, and Samsung is sitting in the room for sure — the S21 FE 5G comes in muted tones, including olive, lavender, white, and graphite. They’re soft and easy on the eyes — relaxed tones are probably what’s needed now, so we appreciate it!
The Samsung S21 FE 5G still has impressive flagship specs, powered by the same Snapdragon 888 5G processor matched with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB internal storage. 6 GB of RAM on the base model is less than with the S21, which looks to be one of the small ways Samsung was able to cut the cost on the S21 FE 5G.
The materials on the case are less premium than the flagship, too, but the phone still managed to get an IP68 rating, making it waterproof and dustproof.
The display is similar to that of the S21, with a 6.4″ FHD+ OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and a 240Hz touch sampling rate in Game Mode. It also offers Eye Comfort Shield with AI-based blue light control for protection.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G adopts a similar camera system to the S21, with a 12-megapixel main camera and Dual Pixel PDAF and OIS onboard. That main sensor is complemented by an 8-megapixel sensor with a 30x Space Zoom telephoto lens and a 12-megapixel sensor with an ultrawide angle lens.
Unlike the S21 and S21+, however, the S21 FE 5G is equipped with an upgraded 32-megapixel front camera. The selfie camera does have AI Face Restoration post-processing capabilities, which help to cover up blemishes for the ‘gram. Dual recording is also supported, which allows for simultaneous recording by both front and rear cameras.
Battery capacity sits at 4500mAh with support for 25W wired charging and 15W wired charging. Wireless PowerShare is also supported, if you need to give folks around you a quick jump of battery power.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G will be available starting January 11 through Samsung’s website, carriers, and online retailers. The base model, with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, will sell for $700, which isn’t too far off what the S21 is going for now. But, if the upgraded selfie camera is what you’re really after, sounds like it might be a good deal!
UPDATE 1/5/22: AT&T has confirmed their pricing plan for the Samsung Galaxy FE 5G. You will be able to get it for $15 per month on a qualifying installment plan with no trade-in. Altogether that will be $540, which is quite a bit lower than retail.