Everything you need to know about Samsung’s latest affordable flagship | #android | #security | #cybersecurity | #infosecurity | #hacker


After what seems like an eternity, Samsung has finally lifted the covers off the highly-anticipated Galaxy S21 FE. As we saw in numerous leaks over the last few months, Samsung’s latest Fan Edition device is a trimmed-down version of its flagship Galaxy S21. It offers quite a few of the same features as the flagship model, including a flagship SoC, a respectable camera setup, a high refresh rate display, and a big battery, at a slightly more affordable price. But is it worth getting over a deeply discounted Galaxy S21? Let’s quickly take a look at what Samsung’s new affordable flagship has to offer.

Since the Galaxy S21 FE is essentially a more affordable Galaxy S21, we’ll start with taking a look at their hardware. Check out the table below for a quick comparison of the new Galaxy S21 FE and the flagship Galaxy S21.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE vs. Galaxy S21

Specification Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Samsung Galaxy S21
Build
  • Plastic back
  • Aluminum mid-frame
Dimensions & Weight
  • 155.7 x 74.5 x x 7.9mm
  • 177g
Display
  • 6.4-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X flat display
  • 2340 x 1080p
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 240Hz touch sampling rate in Gaming Mode
  • 6.2-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • 2400 x 1080p
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 240Hz touch sampling rate
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
  • International: Exynos 2100
  • USA: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
RAM & Storage
  • 8GB LPDDR 5 + 128GB
  • 8GB + 256GB
Battery & Charging
  • 4,500mAh
  • 25W wired fast charging support
  • 15W wireless charging support
  • Reverse wireless charging support
  • 4,000mAh
  • 25W fast charging support
  • 15W wireless charging support
  • Reverse wireless charging support
Security Optical in-display fingerprint sensor Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner
Rear Camera(s)
  • Primary: 12MP f/1.8, Dual Pixel AF, OIS
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP f/2.2, 123° FoV
  • Telephoto: 8MP f/2.4, 3x optical zoom, 30x space zoom, OIS
  • Primary: 12MP f/1.8, Dual Pixel AF, OIS
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP f/2.2, 120° FoV
  • Telephoto: 64MP f/2.0, PDAF, OIS
Front Camera(s) 32MP f/2.2 10MP f/2.2, Dual Pixel AF
Port(s) USB Type-C USB 3.2 Type-C
Audio
  • Stereo speakers
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Stereo speakers tuned by AKG
  • Dolby Atmos
Connectivity
  • Sub6/mmWave 5G
  • 4G LTE
  • Dual-band (2.4GHz + 5GHz) Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  • Bluetooth
  • Sub6 5G
  • 4G LTE
  • Dual-band (2.4GHz + 5GHz) Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  • Bluetooth 5.1
Software One UI 4 based on Android 12 One UI 4 based on Android 12
Other Features Samsung Pay with NFC Samsung Pay with NFC

As you can probably tell from looking at the spec table above, the Galaxy S21 FE isn’t all that different when compared to the flagship Galaxy S21. It offers pretty much all the features found on the flagship device, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip, up to 8GB RAM, up to 256GB onboard storage, and the same connectivity features. However, the two phones aren’t exactly the same. In fact, the Galaxy S21 FE does a few things better.

For instance, the device has a larger 6.4-inch FHD+ 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, which some people might prefer over the vanilla Galaxy S21’s 6.2-inch FHD+ 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. It even has a larger 4,500mAh battery that offers the same fast charging capabilities as the flagship model. On top of that, the new phone has an arguably better 32MP selfie shooter. But while the Galaxy S21 FE looks to be better than the regular Galaxy S21 in these three areas, Samsung has cut some corners to keep its price low.

Galaxy S21 FE camera module close up on white background

Speaking of cutting corners, the new Galaxy S21 FE doesn’t get the same telephoto camera as the flagship model. While you do get a 12MP primary camera and a 12MP ultra-wide camera on the device, you don’t get a 64MP telephoto camera. Instead, the device features a more modest 8MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and 30x space zoom.

The Galaxy S21 FE also doesn’t get the same ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner as the flagship model, and it opts for a more mainstream optical in-display fingerprint scanner. But that might actually be a good thing because my experience with the ultrasonic fingerprint sensors on other Samsung devices hasn’t been all that great. They’re a bit too sluggish compared to the optical fingerprint scanners that the company offers on cheaper devices.

Since Samsung hasn’t shared the complete RAM, storage, and USB specifications for the Galaxy S21 FE yet, we’re not sure if it offers the same hardware as the flagship model. It is possible for Samsung to have opted for slower components on the Fan Edition model to keep its price low, but you’ll have to wait for our full review to know if that’s the case or not.

All color variants of the Galaxy S21 FE on white background

All in all, the Galaxy S21 FE packs some impressive hardware at its price point and it has the potential to replicate the Galaxy S20 FE’s success. However, since it’s hitting the market after a long delay, Samsung might not get the same results as last year.

One good thing about the delay, though, is that the Galaxy S21 FE ships with One UI 4 based on Android 12 out of the box. This means that it will get an additional Android OS upgrade and an extra year of security updates, which slightly increases its chances of attracting buyers. Another thing that we’re sure will pique your interest in the Galaxy S21 FE is its price. Check out the section below for more details.

Pricing & Availability

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will be available in four colorways — Black, White, Olive Green, and Lavender — and it will go on sale starting January 11. Although it offers pretty much all the features that you get with the $800 Galaxy S21, it starts at $699 for the base 6GB + 128GB model. If you’re wondering if the Galaxy S21 FE is worth the given price or not, make sure you stay tuned for our full review.

What do you think of the new Galaxy S21 FE? Would you get it over other similarly priced phones? Let us know in the comments section below.



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