Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Cons

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE; Pros

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is not a bad smartphone. Some people may agree with that, but with the smaller Google Pixel 6 offering a better camera for $100 less, you really have to want a Samsung phone to pick up this “fan edition. With Samsung’s Galaxy S22 lineup just days away, I’m sitting here wondering: what exactly is the point of the company’s new Galaxy S21 Fan Edition? There doesn’t seem to be any element of fan service, and I can’t imagine any dedicated Samsung users pulling the trigger on this phone today just for a slightly lower price.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Fan Edition is Samsung’s entry-level mid-range device. Samsung said it considered the S21 FE to be part of the Galaxy family of flagship devices, but by sacrificing a few features, it turned what is easily a premium device into a cheaper device that still seems worth a couple of hundred dollars extra. . If you’ve never owned a device with a 120Hz screen, you probably never realized that doubling the refresh rate would mark a big difference, but it’s noticeable how much smoother and clearer the FE is than my iPhone 13 Mini (yes, I know the iPhone 13 Pro series has a 120Hz screen; that’s an extra $300.

While I don’t normally use my devices to the point of draining the battery, I was always impressed with how it handled multiple downloads, video streams, and calls without seriously draining battery percentage.

Another feature included in the S21 FE is Android’s standard security feature that allows device owners to mark certain spaces as safe enough to keep their phones unlocked in that location. As an added security feature, the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has a fingerprint reader (hidden under the screen) and face unlock means that when one doesn’t work, the other is available as a backup.

I’m sure Android users and Samsung owners will be quick to point out that these are not special features and/or are typical of a good Android device. I anticipate a lot of comments telling me I was late to the party, or that my iPhone has blinded me to innovation happening elsewhere.

  • I will not argue this point. Either way, I think little features like these are important considerations both for those coming from another ecosystem, like Apple’s, and for those wondering if a low-priced Samsung Galaxy device aimed at young people is always useful for young people. professionals. Short answer: Yes.

For its price, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE carries the flag of what could be the cheapest smartphones. That said, it doesn’t do everything perfectly. One of the great Galaxy features of the S21 FE is its AI photo adjustment and remastering. Despite taking several photos with different light settings, I was unable to enhance one image in a way that really improved it.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Small Changes

There’s not much new with the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (you can read our review of the Galaxy S21 here). That said, it will eventually replace the entire S21 range as stock of these older models dwindles, and it does, so it’s worth talking about.

I’ve been using FE for almost four weeks now and was able to run all my regular apps and games with barely a sizzle, thanks to the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip inside. I did notice the phone getting quite hot and saw some stutter when my gaming sessions lasted over an hour in Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier, but that was to be expected.

It’s not a radically different experience than the Galaxy S21. One factor that might have affected this is the fact that the base model comes with 6GB of RAM instead of 8. You can pay $770 to upgrade to 8GB, which also increases storage from 128 to 256GB, but that doesn’t matter. is necessary for most people.

It’s a slightly larger phone with a 6.4-inch display (versus 6.2-inches on the S21), but I never felt like it was too big. It helps that it’s lightweight and slim, and you won’t have to worry about your back breaking after an accidental drop since it’s made from composite plastic.

That matte back can look dirty at times (it attracts a lot of fingerprints), but I’m more upset that Samsung decided to forgo the accent color design on the camera module. For me, this gave the S21 a fun, playful look that helped it stand out from the crowd. The all-black Samsung Galaxy S21 FE tested is dull and boring. Good thing you can hang it in olive green, lavender or white.

The screen itself is almost identical. It’s an AMOLED so colors are punchy, blacks are like ink, and it gets too bright to view outdoors. It supports 120Hz screen refresh rate, which means it will be smoother when scrolling through Instagram. But unlike the S21 FE, which can adjust the refresh rate depending on what you’re doing, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE can be set to 60 or 120Hz and that’s about it. Having a variable rate generally results in better battery life because the screen won’t need to refresh as many times if it’s just static on the home page.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Perfectly slim design

If I can appreciate one thing about Samsung devices, the hardware always feels top of the line, even when it definitely isn’t. Samsung’s designs stand out in the sea of Android, and the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE continues in that vein with a stacked triple rear camera array, which rumors say will lose with the next generation of Galaxy phones. At the very least, it’s matte, so the phone doesn’t slide around like the OnePlus 9 and Pixel 6 smartphones when it’s on a table.

It doesn’t really matter here, as Samsung has included a slightly larger 4,500 mAh battery (compared to the S21’s 4,000 mAh) and it comfortably lasts an entire day, sometimes enough to last until the next morning, according to the report. use. Arguably this is the area where the S21 FE clearly excels over its predecessor. The S21 lasted me a day, but just barely.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Sacrifices Add Up

Both Apple and Samsung make some of the highest quality and most advanced devices on the market, with only a few historical flaws. Other than those cases, you’d be hard-pressed to find a device that beats any of the manufacturers. After testing the latest youthful and budget devices from Samsung,

These days, you can generally measure the quality of an Android smartphone by its specifications. The Galaxy 21 FE 5G features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor, the chip that powered most of 2021’s Android flagships. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. If you’re buying this phone now, ask yourself if you’re okay with living with it. last year’s hardware.

The other thing to consider is that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE only comes with 6GB of RAM. That’s mid-range life if you’re an Android user, and there’s a slightly noticeable daily performance difference between this device and the OnePlus 9 I use on a daily basis, which has the same processor paired with 8GB of RAM. It’s minimal, but the difference seems minimal, as if an animation would stutter or be smooth in intensive applications like Pokémon Go.

In synthetic benchmarks, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE numbers were on par with Samsung’s foldable phones, which have the same processor. So as long as you’re capable, there will be times when you won’t feel as snappy as if you had more memory. As for battery performance, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE lasted 13 hours and 29 minutes in our summary test. The 4,500 mAh battery offers great autonomy.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE only comes with 6GB of RAM. That’s mid-range life if you’re an Android user, and there’s a slightly noticeable daily performance difference between this device and the OnePlus 9 I use on a daily basis, which has the same processor paired with 8GB of RAM. It’s minimal, but the difference seems minimal, as if an animation would stutter or be smooth in intensive applications like Pokémon Go.

Don’t Zoom In Too Much

Samsung replaced the Samsung Galaxy S21’s 64MP macro sensor with an 8MP one, so photos taken with its 3x optical zoom aren’t very sharp, and that was using a tripod. Any zoom beyond optical length seemed too grainy to share publicly. I ‘ve always been a bit annoyed with Samsung cameras, usually due to the over-processing of the final product.

The Fan Edition is no different. Photos taken in daylight were sharp and clear, but took on a blue tint on extremely sunny days. This is particularly apparent with the same photo taken by the Pixel 6 Pro, which tends to downplay color in favor of detail. In some cases, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE photo of a scene would have more blown elements than the one taken with the Pixel 6 Pro.

It’s not exactly made for fans.

One bonus is that Samsung offers the latest version of Android out of the box, with Samsung’s One UI 4 layered on top of Android 12. Samsung has promised up to four years of security updates on its smartphones, so if you can live with the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE’s camera for so long, has it all.

A user interface has its own quirks. You won’t have access to the features of the Material You theme that Google released in Android 12, for example. There are other little features you might love (or hate) though, including the sliding dock that hides in the corner of the screen where you can pin apps and stuff. There is also a feature that allows you to link your Windows PC to your Samsung device.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G may be for Samsung superfans, but it’s too late and too feature-poor to be worth it. With the Samsung Galaxy S22 launching soon with a host of new features, including what will likely be better night-time shooting capabilities, you’re better off waiting a little longer than spending $700 on this revamped but ultimately underwhelming flagship.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Camera Talk

The triple-camera system retains a similar, if not exact, 12MP main sensor and 12MP ultra-wide as the original Samsung Galaxy S21. The results are sharp, colorful, and often well exposed, but not as contrasty as I’d like. Even at night with Samsung’s dedicated night mode, you can generally expect a reasonably well-detailed, blur-free image.

You still get 3x optical zoom, but the sensor drops from 64-megapixels to 8. It can take very good photos during the day, but at night I almost always preferred the S21’s 64-megapixel zoom camera. It produced more detailed photos with more pleasing colors. It’s the reverse story with the selfie camera: the S21 FE has a 32-megapixel sensor, an increase from the 10-megapixel selfie shooter on the S21. My FE selfies had more contrast, better skin tones, and finer details.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Uncomfortable moment

Honestly, there isn’t much to dislike here. About the only bug I’ve come across is with Samsung’s Gallery app, which activates the blue light filter and causes the screen to turn yellow, even when the filter is off. Otherwise, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE performs well, has a good screen, versatile cameras, and a reliable battery. Oh, and Samsung guarantees three Android OS updates and four years of security updates, which are among the best in the industry for Android phones.

But is it worth $700? I’d say the $599 Google Pixel 6 offers better value for money with its more useful software features and more powerful camera system. Sure, it lacks a 3x optical zoom camera, but Google’s image processing is so good that it delivered a better digital zoom photo (especially at night) than the S21 FE. If the upcoming S22 costs $800 like its predecessor, you’re probably missing out on some worthwhile upgrades for about the same price. Fan or not, you should expect a sale.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Leave a Reply