Before Samsung unveils their latest flagship smartphone to the market, the Galaxy S22 series, the company first released the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. It’s the more affordable variant but it still features some of the things that we love including the flagship display, camera, and the Exynos 2100, the processor used by the Galaxy S21 series and today, we’re gonna review the smartphone.
Design and hardware
The smartphone does have a lot of similarities from the older and more premium Galaxy S21 series but this time, they’re using a colorful plastic back, just like the Galaxy A series. It has a single matte plastic back cover instead of having a camera module cover that is connected to the frame of the smartphone.
It doesn’t have the same premium feel and materials for the back of the smartphone, I still appreciate the availability of colors for the smartphone that can pair well with the colors of the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 and Galaxy Watch4 series. The smartphone also comes with a metal frame so despite having a plastic build, it still feels solid to hold and pretty ergonomic as well.
Plastic does have an advantage despite the less premium feel of the smartphone. First, it’s not prone to breakage unlike glass backs on the smartphone and second, they are lighter which makes the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE light to hold and it’s great for people with smaller hands or people who always have fatigue from holding their smartphones.
Other aspects of the smartphone that are similar to the Samsung Galaxy S21. The smartphone still features the power button and the volume rocker on the side and of course, there’s the in-display fingerprint scanner as well and below, we can find the USB-C port along with the speaker grill of the smartphone. And unfortunately, we are still using 25W fast charging on the smartphone.
Inside the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is a 4500mAh battery and so far, it’s the same from what we’re getting with the Exynos-powered smartphones. In our PC Mark Work 2.0 Battery Test, we got a score of 8 hours and 43 minutes but weirdly, we can get longer usage in real life usage of the smartphone.
Without a doubt, the display of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is something that you would really appreciate. There’s the 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz refresh rate and Full HD+ resolution. The smartphone features very decent colors on the display and so far, I’m loving every bit of colors that we have on the smartphone as it was vivid, bright, and it’s on par with the Samsung Galaxy S21.
This may not be the sharpest display in town but it’s great already even for a flagship smartphone. Using the display outside won’t be a problem because it’s bright and vivid even at under direct sunlight. As for the refresh rate, you can really reach more than 60fps but that will be limited by the performance of the Exynos 2100 processor inside the smartphone.
Software and performance
There’s the One UI 3.1 based on Android 11 for the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G inside and yes, it does offer the features and apps that we can expect on the smartphone. We got here most Samsung apps and of course, there’s the Galaxy Apps and Galaxy Members applications. It’s smooth and the UI is still user-friendly so switching to Android from iOS will be pretty easy.
As for the performance, the smartphone features an Exynos 2100 processor inside. It might not be 2021’s most ideal processor inside but it can definitely perform anything that you need on the smartphone. For most applications, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE can handle that just fine and, in our benchmarks, the smartphone proved that it can be powerful enough.
When it comes to gaming, games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang won’t be a problem and also the likes of Call of Duty. When it comes to Genshin Impact, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE was able to run at high settings and at up to 60 fps but of course, the FPS wasn’t consistent but so I highly suggest that you use medium settings for this one or even at low to make it more enjoyable and to have better thermals. When it comes to Wild Rift, we were able to play the game at super high settings and up to 60 fps and so far, we’re happy with the performance.
It’s not on the level of the Snapdragon 888 and I’ve noticed the throttling performance but it’s still a decent chipset compared to the previous generation
For the camera, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G comes with a triple camera setup and a design of a camera module that is similar to the Galaxy S21 and S21+ but the cameras we got in here are different as we got here a 12MP main camera + 8MP telephoto lens and a 12MP ultra wide-angle.
Basically, the shots that we’re getting from the smartphone are different from the Galaxy S21 flagship smartphones that we’ve reviewed before. It’s not bad but they’re on a flagship level so I have no problems about it. Check out the shots that I took using the smartphone:
Despite having a downgraded camera, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G’s camera is still good and we still got here some cool features including 30x space zoom, single take, and more.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G might not have all the features that we love on the Samsung Galaxy S21 series but it’s a flagship one and it belongs in the popular Galaxy S21 series. It isn’t as premium as its brothers and it might not have the same powerful camera, but it still got some nice features including a powerful hardware, a great display, and still a good camera.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is now available in the Philippines and it starts at Php38,90