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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung announced the Galaxy S21 FE, in early 2022 during CES. The device succeeds the Galaxy S20 FE and sits below the Galaxy S21 in terms of price, whilst offering many of the same features. 

We've compared how the Galaxy S21 FE and the Galaxy S20 FE differ in a separate feature, but here we are focusing on how the Galaxy S21 FE stacks up against the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+.

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Design

  • S21 FE: 155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9mm, 177g
  • S21: 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm, 172g
  • S21+: 161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8mm, 202g

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE features a similar design to the Galaxy S21 and S21+. It sits in between the Galaxy S21 and S21+ in terms of size, and it features a plastic back, like the S21 and S21+.

The Galaxy S21 FE's camera housing on the rear is the same colour as the chassis, while the Galaxy S21 and S21+ both have different colour camera housings - apart from in the black models. 

The S21 FE has a flat display and a centralised punch hole camera like the S21 and S21+ and it is also offers an IP68 water and dust resistance

Display

  • S21 FE: 6.4-inch, Full HD+, 120Hz
  • S21: 6.2-inch, Full HD+, 48-120Hz
  • S21+: 6.7-inch, Full HD+, 48-120Hz

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has a 6.4-inch display with a Full HD+ resolution and Super AMOLED panel.

The Galaxy S21 has a 6.2-inch display, while the Galaxy S21+ has a 6.7-inch display, which means the S21 FE sits in the middle of the two devices. 

Both the S21 and S21+ have a Full HD+ resolution at 2400 x 1080 pixels, and they both have Super AMOLED panels. The two devices also have a variable refresh rate between 48-120Hz. The S21 FE offers a 120Hz refresh rate, which will drop to 60Hz depending on what you are doing. There's also a 240Hz Touch Sampling Rate when in Gaming Mode.

Hardware and specs

  • S21 FE: Qualcomm SD888/Exynos 2100, 6GB/8GB RAM, 128/256GB, 4370mAh
  • S21: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100, 8GB, 128/256GB, 4000mAh
  • S21+: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100, 8GB, 128/256GB, 4800mAh

It is presumed the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor or Exynos 2100 run the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, depending on the region. This is the same as the Galaxy S21 and S21+.

The S21 FE comes in 128GB and 256GB storage options, with 6GB or 8GB of RAM respectively, and it looks like there is no microSD support. The Galaxy S21 and S21+ both come in the same storage options as the S21 FE, though they have 8GB of RAM with no 6GB option. Neither have microSD support.

Battery capacity for the S21 FE is 4500mAh. The Galaxy S21 has a 4000mAh battery, while the S21+ has a 4800mAh battery. All models offer wireless charging, reverse wireless charging and fast charging support.

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Cameras

  • S21 FE: Triple rear (12MP + 12MP + 8MP), 32MP front camera
  • S21: Triple rear (12MP + 12MP + 64MP), 10MP front camera
  • S21+: Triple rear (12MP + 12MP + 64MP), 10MP front camera

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has a triple rear camera, with a 12-megapixel main camera with f/1.8 aperture and OIS, 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 and an 8-megapixel telephoto sensor with f/2.4 on board. 

The Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21+ both come with a triple rear camera made up of a 12-megapixel main sensor with 1.8µm pixel size, f/1.8 aperture and optical stabilisation (OIS), a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with 1.4µm and f/2.2, and a 64-megapixel telephoto sensor with 0.8µm, f/2.0 and OIS. 

There's a 10-megapixel, 1.22µm, f/2.2 front camera on both the S21 and S21+. The S21 FE has a 32-megapixel front camera.

Price

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is cheaper than the Galaxy S21 and therefore the S21+. The Galaxy S21 FE starts at £699 in the UK for the 5G model and $799 in the US.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 starts at £769 in the UK and $799 in the US, while the S21+ starts at £949 in the UK and $999 in the US.

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Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has all the potential to be another great device like the S20 FE, hitting the sweet spot between price and features. 

It offers a slightly downgraded camera system compared to the S21 and S21+, and it doesn't have quite the same capabilities in terms of variable refresh rate.

It is cheaper than the Galaxy S21 though, and with many of the same features, so it's certainly worth considering. One thing to keep in mind though, is the Galaxy S22 range is expected to launch soon so it might be worth holding fire for a little longer just to see what those devices bring.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.