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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Smartphone Review

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is the smaller, quieter sibling of the powerful Galaxy S21 Pro and S21 camera phones but can it hold its own in what is a very busy mid-range smartphone market?

| Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G in Camera Phones

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Smartphone Review: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G

Quick Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G (256GB) has great specs on paper and can capture decent photos but its price lets it down as for £20 more (at the time of writing) you can purchase the 128GB version of the Galaxy S22 which has only just been recently launched. The 'FE' is meant to be a smartphone that's more accessible but with a price point that still rivals some flagship smartphones, as well as some really good mid-range alternatives, it's just not a smartphone that stands out from the crowd. That's not to say it's not a good smartphone, as it is, but there's just a bit too much competition for it to be the best. 

+ Pros

  • Good camera
  • Lovely design
  • Great screen 

- Cons

  • Price
  • Battery life
  • Doesn't stand out from the competition


Samsung might have just updated its flagship range with the introduction of the Galaxy S22 smartphones but completing the previously announced Galaxy S21 range is the Samsung Galaxy 21 FE 5G. The 'FE' offerings from Samsung are designed to be less expensive while still offering the quality specs we've come to expect from Samsung smartphones so let's find out how the latest offering fairs. 


Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Features

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Smartphone Review: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G


The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is practically the same smartphone as the Samsung Galaxy S21 (minus a few minor differences) which includes an 8MP telephoto camera rather than 64MP and the camera phone back is constructed from plastic with an aluminium frame. There's also a 32MP selfie camera which is 22MP more than the Galaxy S21 and the screen measures 6.4" compared with the 6.2" Galaxy S21 display. You don't get 8K video recording but for most, 4K will be plenty anyway and a 4500mAh battery powers the device. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Key Features:

  • Rear Camera: 12MP Ultra-Wide, 12Mp Wide & 8MP Telephoto
  • Front Camera: 32MP f/2.2
  • Display: 6.4" Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • Battery: 4500mAh 
  • RAM/ROM: 8GB + 128/256GB 6GB + 128GB (no expandable memory)
  • Dimensions: 74.5x155.7x7.9mm
  • Weight: 177g
  • 4K Video
  • Camera Modes: Single Take 2.0, Portrait Mode, Space Zoom
  • Headphone Jack: No
  • IP68 dust/water resistant


Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Handling

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Smartphone Review: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G

When you first pick up the Galaxy S21 FE 5G, you'll notice how slim it feels which makes it comfortable to hold and you can just about navigate it with just your thumb on the hand that's holding the smartphone. It's actually the same thickness as the Galaxy S21 even though its dimensions make it a little bit larger, sitting it in between the S21 and S21 Ultra in size. The bezels are also incredibly thin on the Galaxy S2 FE 5G giving it a premium feel even though it's mainly constructed from plastic with an aluminium frame and glass front where the selfie camera is cut out centre-top. Corners and edges are rounded which adds to the comfort level and buttons fall intuitively under fingers just in the right place. 

On the back, you don't get the contrasting camera unit as you do on the other Galaxy 21 smartphones and it's constructed from plastic making it appear a little less expensive but it does make it more resistant to fingerprints. Unlike some camera phones, the rear camera unit doesn't protrude too far which stops the device from rocking when on a flat surface it doesn't randomly slide off things either which some glass back smartphones have a tendency to do. 

There's no headphone jack so you'll have to use a converter for the USB-C port if you like to use wired headphones.


Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Smartphone Review: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G

The display measures 6.4-inch with a 1080x2400 resolution (as do the other smartphones in this range) and it's vibrant, colours are accurate and brightness levels are good. One slight problem we did find, though, was that switching between apps etc. did seem a little laggy in comparison to other smartphones. 

The selfie camera has been improved to capture 4K video and it now has 32MP built-in instead of 10MP but the rear cameras are quite similar to those found on the Galaxy S21 with a 12MP Ultra-Wide, 12Mp Wide & 8MP Telephoto, the former being the only difference as the telephoto lens is a 64MP one on the Galaxy S21. This won't change much, however, as the zoom on offer is the same with 3x optical zoom available. 

Various camera modes are built-in including some fun effects, night mode, portrait mode, single take and a food mood for those who can't resist snapping their plates in restaurants. A Pro mode is available should you want more control and this goes for video, too, which can be captured in HD or Ultra HD. 

Camera Specs:

  • 12MP 13mm Ultra-Wide f/2.2
  • 12MP, 26mm Wide f/1.8 with PDAF as well as OIS
  • 8MP 76mm Telephoto f/2.4 with PDAF, OIS and 3x optical zoom 
  • Front Camera: 32MP 26mm Wide f/2.2


Battery life - There's a 4500mAh battery built-in but unlike the Galaxy 21, which actually has a slightly smaller battery, power seemed to drain much more quickly. 


Buy Now

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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G SEARCH

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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G SEARCH

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