Galaxy S21 FE – Everything we know

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Samsung’s next iteration of the affordable flagship smartphone is one of the most-awaited devices. Through ups and downs in the rumor mill, there has not been a certainty on whether the anticipated Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (Fan Edition) will actually launch. This is primarily because Samsung has not formally confirmed anything about the device. But through multiple sets of information – including the biggest that piques interest – the Galaxy S21 could launch at CES 2022.

Samsung introduced an affordable flagship called the Galaxy S20 FE last year. This device was an instant hit for combining features of vanilla Galaxy S20 at a slightly lower price. In expectation, enhanced by Samsung’s promise of introducing a follow-up of the Fan Edition every year, the Galaxy S21 FE was seen as the device that would bring premium features of the Galaxy S21 series to more buyers.

Since the hype around the smartphone was overpowering, the leaks and rumors about the Galaxy S21 FE started floating right after the Galaxy S21 lineup was announced earlier this year. By regular schedule, the affordable flagship should have been released either at the Galaxy Unpacked in August or the Unpacked 2, but that did not happen.

Then, rumors that the Galaxy S21 FE may never release also started doing rounds. The biggest reason cited was the shortage of chipsets globally, which may have foiled Samsung’s possibility of releasing the phone. Over the last few months, several such leaks have surfaced, but for the fans, the most heartening lately are claims that the Galaxy S21 FE may launch at the CES event in Las Vegas slated from January 5 to January 8, 2022.

Samsung usually unveiled smartphones at the CES but has for some time now shifted the launch of its year’s flagship series to February, which is when the Galaxy S22 series comprising the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra is expected. But as we know, the Galaxy S21 FE has missed out on all probable release dates this year so we are hopeful that the early January release is a possibility. This is backed by the surfacing of new renders of the device suggesting the handset may just have gone into mass production, well in time for the expected release date.

The likeliness

Samsung has committed to releasing reasonably priced Fan Edition models for all the major flagships, a trend starting with the Galaxy S20 FE and to follow every year on. This means that Galaxy S21 FE has to release – not that Samsung cannot turn back on the binder – but that’s not likely to happen at the moment, and the smartphone should see the light of day even if the production constraints push it further back.

In that notion, there is a big question. Would a release of the Galaxy S21 FE even make sense if it did not show up at the CES? With the new flagship series lined up for the next month – February – there will be no purpose of the Fan Edition device after/around the launch of the Galaxy S22 series, which will feature the Galaxy S22 with a better camera, refined design and compelling upgrade in hardware.

Samsung would thus be looking keenly at the idea of launching the Galaxy S21 FE as early as possible. This will give the takers a reason to commit to a more affordable device with features and specs from the 2021 flagship as opposed to a higher-end Galaxy S22, which will be a superior device on all accounts but arrive at a higher price point. A delay would leave Samsung with a model that’s a generation older striving to make a market. It may then not strike a chord with consumers for its outdated specs going into the second quarter of 2022.

The look and feel

Clouds of uncertainty loom over the future of the Galaxy S21 FE until we hear something official from Samsung. However, being a fan favorite, it already has almost everything about it in the open by way of leaks. For instance, we already have a half-baked idea of how the Galaxy S21 FE could look.

Unsurprisingly, through the renders by leakster Roland Quandt, it appears similar to the Galaxy S21 in more ways than one. For the difference, the phone may feel slightly larger in the hand -specifically have a size somewhere in between the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+ – and it may arrive in vivid colors. Per Evan Blass, the Galaxy S21 FE should come in six different hues. The eminent leaker also shared a 3D render showing the 360-degree view of the likely handset, leaving little for the imagination.

The Galaxy S21 FE will supposedly feature a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen at 2340×1080 resolution with 120Hz refresh rate and will drive power from Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 888. The phone will start with 6GB memory and go up 8 gigs of RAM and 256GB of onboard memory. From how we see it, the fan edition model will have a 4,500mAh battery, which would support (as noted by an FCC listing) 45W wired fast charging.

For the optics, the Galaxy S21 FE is likely to compromise with the resolution of the telephoto lens, which is likely to be trimmed down from 64MP on the Galaxy S21 to 8MP with 3x optical zoom. Other than this, the other two cameras in the triple camera setup would feature a 12MP main shooter and another 12MP ultra-wide lens. The phone will be capable of recording 4K videos at up to 60fps. On the front, however, the Galaxy S21 FE will have, in center-aligned hole-punch setting, a 32MP selfie camera. The phone will still miss out on the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The pricing

In comparison to the Galaxy S21, the Galaxy S21 FE is speculated to arrive at $699. This is the primary feature of the upcoming phone, which is built, ground up, to be cheaper than the current Galaxy S series smartphones.

This assumed price tag is the same as what the Galaxy S20 FE was released for last year. Even if Samsung wants to announce the new phone for a slight premium from its predecessor, the Koreans have very little room to experiment with. The Galaxy S21 starts at $799 and owing to company claims, the fan edition has to be more affordable.

Wrap up

In spite of all leaks and speculation to wrap your brain around, be reminded; all of this is only a bubble of hope for now, and the rumored information is likely to change as we near the supposed launch of the Galaxy S21 FE. The possibility of the phone, to reiterate, is subject to change owing to the global chipset shortage, which has already delayed the phone to our liking. Until we hear further, the possibility of a CES release is almost confirmed, so hold on!

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