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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung announced the 'Fan Edition' - also known as FE - of its Galaxy S21 in early 2022, succeeding the Galaxy S20 FE.

The Galaxy S20 FE is a fantastic device, offering many of the great features of the Galaxy S20 but for a lower price thanks to a couple of compromises, and the S21 FE follows in those footsteps.

How does the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE compare to the Galaxy S20 FE though? We've put the specifications for the S21 FE up against the S20 FE so you can see. You can read our separate feature to find out how it compares to the Galaxy S21.

Design

  • S21 FE: 155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9mm, 177g
  • S20 FE:  159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4mm, 190g

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE looks similar to the Galaxy S21, with a centralised punch hole camera at the top of its flat display, a plastic back and an IP65/68 water and dust resistance

There's a triple rear camera with the housing positioned in the top left corner, and flowing into the frame of the device and the device measures 155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9mm. 

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE meanwhile, takes its design cues from the Galaxy S20. It too offers a centralised punch hole camera at the top of the flat display though, as well as a plastic back and waterproofing.

There's a triple rear camera on the back, within a housing in the top left corner, but the housing is more of an island, differentiating it from what the Galaxy S21 FE offers. It measures 159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4mm and weighs 190g, which means the S21 FE is shorter and slimmer, as well as lighter.

The S21 FE comes in olive, lavendar, graphite and white colours. The Galaxy S20 FE comes in blue, red, lavender, mint, white and orange.

Display

  • Galaxy S21 FE: 6.4-inch, Full HD+, 120Hz, HDR
  • Galaxy S20 FE: 6.5-inch, Full HD+, 120Hz, HDR

The Samsung Galayxy S21 FE has a 6.4-inch display with a Full HD+ resolution. It's also has a variable 120Hz refresh rate like the Galaxy S21 range, though it doesn't drop as low as the flagship range.

As mentioned, the display is flat and it's a Super AMOLED panel with support for HDR, like the S20 FE offers. The S21 FE also offers a 240Hz Touch Sampling Rate in Game Mode.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has a slightly larger 6.5-inch display than what is offered on the S21 FE, though it has the same Full HD+ resolution and it also has a 120Hz refresh rate. The refresh rate is not variable on the S20 FE and the older model doesn't offer the faster Touch Sampling Rate when in Game Mode either.

Hardware and specs

  • Galaxy S21 FE: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888/Exynos 2100, 5G, 6/8GB RAM, 128/256GB, 4370mAh
  • Galaxy S20 FE: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865/Exynos 990, 4G/5G, 6/8GB RAM, 128GB storage, microSD, 4500mAh

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, or the Exynos 2100, depending on region and it is supported by 6 or 8GB of RAM. The S21 FE is a 5G device, runs on Android 11 and comes in 128GB and 256GB storage options. There's no microSD support.

In terms of battery capacity, the S21 FE offers a 4500mAh cell under its hood, along with support for wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. 

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G handset runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, while the 4G model runs on Exynos 990. There is a choice of 6GB or 8GB of RAM on board, both of which have 128GB of storage, as well as support for microSD. 

The Galaxy S20 FE has a 4500mAh capacity and it too offers support for wireless charging and reverse wireless charging.

Camera

  • Galaxy S21 FE: Triple rear
    • Main: 12MP, f/1.8, OIS
    • Ultra-wide: 12MP, f/2.2
    • Tele: 8MP, f/2.4, 30x Space Zoom
    • Front: 32MP, f/2.2
  • Galaxy S20 FE: Triple rear
    • Main: 12MP, f/1.8, 1.8µm, OIS
    • Tele: 8MP, f/2.4, 1.0µm, OIS, 3x optical
    • Ultra-wide: 12MP, f/2.2, 1.12µm
    • Front: 32MP, f/2.2, 0.8µm, FF

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE comes with a triple rear camera, made up of a 12-megapixel main sensor with f/1.8 aperture with optical image stabilisation (OIS), a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with f/2.2 aperture and an 8-megapixel telephoto sensor with f/2.4 aperture. There's 30X Space Zoom on board and features like Zoom Lock, Dual Recording and the more standard options like Night Mode and Portrait Mode.

The Galaxy S20 FE has a triple rear camera, made up of a 12-megapixel main sensor with an f/1.8 aperture, 1.8µm pixels and optical image stabilisation, which is the same as the S20+ offers. It also has an 8-megapixel telephoto lens that has an f/2.4 aperture, 1.0µm pixels, OIS and 3x optical and there is a 12-megapixel ultra wide sensor with f/2.2 aperture and 1.12µm pixels.

The front camera on the Galaxy S20 FE is a 32-megapixel, f/2.2 aperture, sensor. The S21 FE also has a 32-megapixel, f/2.2 front camera.

Price

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The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE starts at £699 in the UK and $699.99 in the US, which is for the 5G model. There is no 4G only model of the S21 FE.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE starts at £599 in the UK for the 4G model when it first arrived and £699 for the 5G model. The 4G model isn't available in the US, but the 5G model starts at $699.99 in the US, with the 8GB of RAM model costing $769.99.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE features a slightly different design to the S20 FE from the rear, keeping in tune with the lastest Galaxy S21 series, though it looks similar from the front. 

The S21 FE is shorter, slimmer and lighter than the S20 FE, packs a slightly smaller display and comes with an upgraded processor and soem extra camera features too, like the 30X Space Zoom.

On paper, if you're choosing between the Galaxy S21 FE and the Galaxy S20 FE, the S21 FE makes more sense, though you might find the S20 FE at a great price now, and it's also worth remembering the Galaxy S22 range is also expected soon.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.