Samsung Galaxy S21 FE release date, price, features, and news

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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE release date, price, features, and news
Samsung is, thankfully, not giving up on one of its brightest ideas in recent memory - the Fan Edition version of its respective flagship for the year that has all the right corners cut to arrive at one unbelievable price for the package.

Yes, we are talking about the Galaxy S21 FE, a prospective heir of the successful S20 FE, which already popped up in benchmarks in its base 6GB RAM version, while leaked image renders from Evan Blass warrant further hope that it will materialize later this year.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Price
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Specs
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Design
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Camera
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Battery

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE release date

  • October 2021 quarter

While according to previous rumors the global chip shortage may have postponed the launch of the Galaxy S21 Fan Edition, a new tip for an October quarter S21 FE release actually makes much more sense, as Samsung unveiled its predecessor in October of last year, so the August event speculation may have always been wishful thinking.

Samsung even commented for Bloomberg that it is not postponing anything on account of chip shortages - "While we cannot discuss details of the unreleased product, nothing has been determined regarding the alleged production suspension" - though it might mean the fall, rather than the summer launch schedule.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE price and storage options

  • $649-$749 (128GB/256GB)

As for the S21 FE price, it already leaked to cost between 700,000 won and 800,000 won (~$630 and $720) in Korea, and considering that Samsung's Galaxy phones cost a bit less on their home turf than in the US, a $649-$749 range in the US sounds entirely plausible.

Still, despite its potential higher price compared to the S20 FE on America carriers, the top-shelf model with 8GB RAM is expected to be available to the US public as well, unlike last year when the S20 FE with the top memory and storage options was only accessible to folks in Europe and Asia. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE specs

  • 6.5" 120Hz AMOLED display
  • Snapdragon 888 processor
  • Qualcomm 5G modem
  • 6GB/8GB RAM
  • 128GB/256GB storage versions

Now, however, we get to learn about the existence of a top-shelf Galaxy S21 FE model with 8GB RAM, thanks to a new listing in the same Geekbench database under the same 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 there 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, is Samsung wants to bring its model number ducks in a row.

The new 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 - slightly higher than the S20 FE, and in the multi-core benchmark section 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 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. Unfortunately, only the US version with 6GB RAM has leaked so far, as you can see from the Geekbench listing below.

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, 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/45W charger

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 will arrive in the box.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE design and colors

  • Black, white, green, violet

As for the exterior, there will be a few design changes, as you can see from the leaked Evan Blass renders here - a matching camera island on the back which will hopefully see some upgrades when it comes to the sensors and lenses, and a Samsung Infinity-O design at the front with a centered punch hole for the front shooter.

The picture reveals that the S21 FE will stick closely to its siblings from the S21 series in terms of design, which is not surprising. The most noticeable change is found in the camera module design, which on the S21 FE is fully integrated in the back of the phone, and uses the same material.

This isn’t the case in other Galaxy S21 phones, as their camera modules use different materials, finishes and colors from the rest of the body. This choice of design is similar to what Samsung introduced with its Galaxy A52 and A72 mid-range phones a couple of months ago.

The great news, however, is that the 8GB RAM model of the S21 FE will now come paired with the Snapdragon processor model, which increases its chances for a US release, and if the 256GB storage option joins it, that would be the cherry on the value flagship's top.

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