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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE in review

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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE in review

By TECHBOOK | Jan 14, 2022 at 5:05 p.m
Take your own top smartphone from 2021, delete something, add something: The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is done. Is the revised 2021 flagship still worthwhile in 2022?

Samsung friends are waiting for the Galaxy S22. But Samsung sent another little horse into the race for the CES technology fair. A version of the Samsung Galaxy S21 with the addition Fan Edition (FE) in the name, full name: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G. As with the previous model, the S20 FE, it is a slightly modified version of last year’s flagship.

Not everything is better than in the Galaxy S21

Slightly changed? That means: In some places there is a little more, elsewhere less. For example, a slightly larger display (6.4 instead of 6.2 inches) and more battery (4500 instead of 4000 milliamp hours.) The selfie cam now has 32 instead of 10 megapixels (MP). There is less elsewhere. Take the camera, for example: at first glance, it is identical to that of the original S21. The wide-angle camera and ultra-wide-angle camera are still 12 MP. However, only the wide-angle sensor is the same. In the newer S21 FE, the sensor and the image pixels for the ultra wide-angle camera are smaller. This has a negative effect on the quality, especially in poor light. The telephoto camera now uses a sensor with 8 MP resolution, in the S21 it still has 64 MP. In addition, the sensor in the S21 FE is significantly smaller. If you go beyond the triple zoom or take photos in the dark, the poorer image quality becomes noticeable.

Design compromises on the Galaxy S21 FE

Visually there is also a little less splendor. With the Galaxy S21, the aluminum frame flows around the edge of the housing directly into the camera module. The S21 FE looks similar at first glance. However, the metal housing around the camera lenses no longer merges into the housing frame. This loses a good deal of the elegance that characterized the Galaxy S21. Like the standard S21, the S21 FE has a plastic back. Glass is only available on the larger S21+ and S21 Ultra. Slightly reduced: plastic instead of metal and fewer megapixels: the camera trio of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G. Photo: dpa picture alliance Since hardly anyone uses an expensive smartphone without a case anyway, one wonders why the manufacturers also include the backs provided with expensive glass. Plastic is a bit more prone to scratches, but it doesn’t shatter like a glass back. In any case, the plastic back of the FE is not a barrier to purchase. As far as the most obvious differences. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 system chip is installed inside. In the meantime, the first smartphones with the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 are already coming out, but the smartphone still delivers excellent performance. With the Snapdragon 888, the S21 FE also offers an advantage over the original S21. Because this is only offered in Europe with Samsung’s own Exynos 2100 chip. The version with the more powerful Snapdragon 888 is only available in the USA and China. So if you would rather have Snapdragon than Exynos, you can now reach for the Galaxy S21 FE. The bright display with either an energy-saving 60 or super-smooth 120 Hertz refresh rate looks good and the fingerprint sensor under the display feels better than previous Samsungs. However, its low placement is still an ergonomic challenge when operating with one hand. The fingerprint reader of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is reliable and fast. Unfortunately, it is somewhat difficult to reach due to its low placement. Photo: dpa picture alliance The camera does not show any weaknesses either. The individual modes via night portrait or single take (a mixture of different recording modes and videos) are fun and usually deliver pretty good results. The storage versions are just under 128 gigabytes (GB) with 6 GB of RAM for 749 euros and a better sized 256 GB with 8 GB of RAM for 819 euros. If you want to make use of the numerous photo and video options of the FE, it is better to choose the larger storage option – there is no memory card slot. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is available in stores from just under 750 euros RRP with 128 gigabytes of memory. 256 GB cost around 820 euros. Photo: dpa picture alliance

Conclusion: The purchase is currently not worthwhile

Great display, fast chip, good camera, good battery, up-to-date software. That’s all you need to say about the S21 FE. You really can’t go wrong with this if you like Samsung’s smartphones. Even after a year, the device actually meets all the requirements that are placed on a smartphone. Therefore, the question arises: Who needs this special edition a year later? Because: The original 21 from 2021 with a better camera and slightly more valuable optics costs almost 100 euros less than the new FE a year after publication. And the competitors don’t sleep. Comparable smartphones are now available for significantly less money. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G (2nd from left) has a lot of competition: Google’s Pixel 6 (left), the Honor 50 (2nd from right) and the Motorola G200 5G have similar performance data. Photo: dpa picture alliance For example, Google’s Pixel 6 with a very slim Android , fast updates and a pretty good camera (from just under 640 euros). Motorola’s Moto G200 5G from December also offers similar performance data – but has a worse camera – for 450 euros. The Honor brand, which has risen from the Huawei shadow, is also competing with the S21 FE. The Honor 50 has a slightly weaker chip, but it has an interesting camera solution and lots of glitter on the back for just under 480 euros. Last but not least, Samsung’s own Galaxy A52 5G, for example, is not far behind in terms of performance, but is cheaper at just under 450 euros. The Galaxy S21 FE simply comes at an unfavorable time. Because the introduction of the new Galaxy S22 series is imminent. The new smartphones should get better cameras and performance. The price of the S21 FE will probably fall again. Our recommendation is therefore to wait for the Galaxy S22. Either you invest your money directly in the newer smartphone or take the S21 FE at a lower price.

With material from dpa



#Samsung #Galaxy #S21 #review

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