The full Samsung Galaxy S21 FE specs and price list has leaked, and it's inspiring

The full Samsung Galaxy S21 FE specs list has leaked, and it's inspiring
Samsung may be announcing the long-awaited Galaxy S21 FE as soon as the CES expo rolls after the holidays, according to some rumors which peg January 5 for its unveiling and immediate release date. 

The phone was supposed to appear in the fall and was reportedly delayed on chip scarcity grounds, but is now in Samsung's 2022 agenda, allegedly even pushing the S22 series release further down the line. 

It all may have been for the better, since we will have a real affordable midranger with Android 12 on board to complement the new processor and cameras that will land with the S22 in the winter. The whole of the S21 FE specs sheet has now leaked out, courtesy of Roland Quandt from WinFuture, right after the official S21 FE color press renders appeared, and it's as good as it gets at the alleged sub-$800 price.

Samsung S21 FE price

  • 749 USD/EUR for the base 6/128GB version
  • 819 USD/EUR for the 8GB/256GB version

Mr. Quandt lists in the latest leak the European prices which are higher than we previously hoped for, but with the warning that nothing is yet set in stone. Samsung is known to change prices at the last minute, usually way to the downside in the visible American market, so we keep our hopes high for a $699 base S21 FE price on U.S. carriers.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE display size and specs

Previously, we heard that the display of the S21 FE won't differ much from what's on the S20 FE, namely a 6.5" panel, but the latest leak pegs it at a shorter, 6.4" diagonal. While that may be the result of an up-down rounding of the exact number, it is also said to arrive with a 2340x1080 pixels resolution, rather than the 2400x1080 pixels of the S20 FE, indicating a shorter, more compact handset. 

Indeed, the 6.29 x 2.93 x 0.33 inches (159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4 mm) dimensions of the S20 FE sit tall against the more elegant 6.13 x 2.93 x 0.31 inches (155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9 mm) size of the S21 FE. The leak mentions that Samsung has narrowed the bezels in comparison, and that explains why such a negligible difference in display diagonals may have produced a more compact S21 FE. It also jibes with the rumors about the changes in the S22 series design, namely a thinner uniform bezel all around a stubbier body. 

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Speaking of the S21 FE body design, it will be available in four colors at launch - black, white, green, and violet - so there will be something for everyone to pick from. The sloping corner sides of the camera design that fuse with the frame may have not been borrowed directly from the S21 series, where that fusion is much more pronounced, but we can say that they look much better this way compared to the S20 FE. 

On top of that, the 6.4" display of the S21 FE is said to be completely flat which many users already prefer, and Samsung has reportedly placed a fingerprint scanner beneath the screen panel that is now protected with the latest Gorilla Glass Victus cover. The screen is rumored to be capable of higher, 1000+ nits of peak brightness, too, indicating that it may be a newer LTPO panel of Samsung's 6th-gen OLED lines. That bodes well for its adaptive refresh rate abilities and battery life, as the S20 FE would have a narrower dynamic refresh range when the "Motion Smoothness" option is turned on in the display settings.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE storage options, processor and memory

There would be a top-shelf Galaxy S21 FE model with 8GB RAM, which we learned thanks to a listing in the Geekbench database under the Samsung SM-G990B model number that's rumored to be of the S21 FE. There is some logic in that speculation, as the S20 FE appears in Geekbench as the SM-G780, and the Galaxy S20 is SM-G980, while the S21 is denoted as SM-G991, for instance, so the SM-G990 should be one to sit above the S20 but below the S21 in the totem pole, if Samsung wants to bring its model number ducks in a row. The Geekbench listing for the alleged Galaxy S21 FE reiterates the specs from the previous SM-G990 model number appearance, namely the "lahaina" processor, which is none other than the current top Qualcomm flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 888.

While nothing impressive in terms of scores for this early S21 FE testing - certainly higher than the S20 FE, though, and in the 6GB RAM version at that - the comforting thought is that there will be a top version with 8GB RAM, just as there was an 8GB RAM model of the S20 FE.  The latest Roland Quandt leak confirms this, and claims there will be 6GB/128GB as well as 8GB/256GB memory and storage models to choose from, just like before. The kicker here is that it will evidently be paired with the Snapdragon 888, rather than only with the Exynos models, so, unlike the S20 FE, the top-shelf S21 FE version is likely to see a release on US carriers. In fact, Mr. Quandt confirms that the European version of the S21 FE comes with Snapdragon 888, too, so Samsung may be limiting the Exynos 2100 models to even fewer locations, if there will be such at all.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE camera

Except for the matching camera island color in the leaked renders, Galaxy S21 FE isn't rumored to feature any upgrades in the camera department just yet, except on the software algorithm level due to the new image processor in the SD888 chipset, so we can assume with a decent percentage of certainty that the kit will stay largely the same as on the S20 FE.

That's not to say bad, of course, on the contrary, we found the Galaxy S20 FE to produce excellent photos that matched or exceeded those of its more expensive siblings in the series. 

While the big 1.4 micron pixels of the 12MP ultrawide camera on the S20 are larger than the 1.1 micron ones of the Galaxy S20 FE ultrawide camera sensor, the main 12MP camera shared between the editions carries the same excellent specs - wide F1.8 aperture, and huge 1.8 micron pixels. 

Thus, despite the big price difference, there is a negligible one in camera performance between the S20 and the S20 FE, and we expect nothing less for the S21 FE vs S21 camera rivalry.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE battery and charging speeds

  • 4500mAh battery
  • 25W standard, or up to 45W charging speeds

A recent 3C certification filing unearthed by MysmartPrice proves that there will be another upgrade in the S21 FE vs S20 FE specs fight besides the processing power, and that is the charging speed. Dubbed SM-G990B, the model number tips a Galaxy S21 FE as this internal coding also leaked in benchmarks, purportedly from the S21 FE's Snapdragon 888 processor. The 3C database filing is actually for the eventual S21 FE box charger - EP-TA800 - which is none other than the tried and true 25W brick that a lot of Samsung high-end handsets ship with.

Not the Galaxy S20 FE, though, one of whose few drawbacks was that it came with a 15W charger in the box, so in that regard the S21 FE will also see an upgrade. Not that the S20 FE is a slouch in terms of charging speeds, especially compared to the iPhone crowd, yet it charges much slower than other top-shelf Galaxy models.

Samsung is apparently determined to remedy that by also including support for its top 45W EP-TA845 charger, judging from the FCC listing, though you'd probably have to buy that one separately, while the EP-TA800 one could arrive in the box. Not in Germany, though, as Mr. Quandt advises there will be no charger there, 25W or else.

This news may tie up with the rumor that the Galaxy S22 series will also include up to 45W charging support, so Samsung could very well be preparing for the faster charging of the S22 models with the S21 FE support, after all.

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