Review: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G

Reviews Smartphone
9.4

Amazing

While the Galaxy S21 series of smartphones were released over a year ago, the company had recently launched the new Fan Edition, simply known as the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G. Here are our thoughts about the new smartphone.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G shares similar design aesthetics from the original Galaxy S21, featuring a borderless display with rounded corners. When it comes to dimensions, the device is only 7.9mm thick. And despite having a large 6.4-inch display, the weight of the smartphone is only 177g. The display features the Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with a screen resolution of 1080 x 2400 and 120Hz of blazing-fast refresh rate.

The 120Hz refresh rate ensures that the visuals are super smooth while scrolling through the menu, browsing the web, or while gaming. The aspect ratio of the display is 20:9 for better readability of text and the screen has a pixel density of 401ppi. The display also brings support for HDR10+ content, if you plan to watch your favorite movies.

The seamless curved edges and the metal frame adds up to the design and the rear camera island slightly protrudes outwards. The rear backside is made of plastic but it feels premium with a matte effect, so you don’t need to worry much about smudges or dirt. We love the design of the smartphone and almost every angle connects seamlessly with no sharp cuts.  The USB-C port and the speaker grill and the SIM slot are locked underneath, and the power button/ Bixby button is located on the right side. Oh, and if you’re wondering, the device does not have a 3.5mm audio jack or expansion for MicroSD cards.

We had received the Olive color version of the Galaxy S21 FE 5G for review from Samsung Gulf. The device also features the IP68 certification for dust and water resistance and the display is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. We should also point out the fact that the device comes with an under-display optical fingerprint scanner.

Specifications

While the design of the Galaxy S21 FE 5G is impressive, the device also packs the Exynos 2100 octa-core SoC with Mali-G78 MP14 as its integrated GPU. The review unit that we got features 128GB of internal memory and 8GB of RAM. There is an additional 4GB of virtual RAM that is set to improve the performance of the device. The smartphone runs on Android 12 OS with a mix of the One UI 4 user interface. The smartphone performed fast most in most situations when using multiple applications and the gaming performance was blazing fast, thanks to the fast GPU and the 120Hz refresh rate of the display. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G, as the name suggests, is also capable of high-speed 5G connectivity. Using the Speedtest application, we were able to get speeds up to 1265 Mbps download and 113 Mbps upload via the SIM 1 slot. However, the SIM 2 slot gave us a slightly slower speed.

Nevertheless, both SIM slots are able to support high-speed downloads and video streaming. We also ran some benchmarks from PC Mark, 3D Mark, and Geekbench 5 applications. Check out the scores below.

Benchmarks

Camera

Even though it’s a Fan Edition, the Galaxy S21 FE 5G features three impressive cameras on its rear side, with the main camera shooter sporting a 12MP sensor with  f/1.8 as its aperture. The main camera has support for optical image stabilization and Dual Pixel phase detection autofocus performance. The image sensor features a size of 1/1.76″, so more light and details can be captured. The second camera packs an 8MP shooter for telephoto shots with 3X optical zoom and the third sensor holds another 12MP sensor but for ultrawide photography.

The main camera is capable of recording 4K videos at 30fps/ 60fps modes, while the 1080p video recording can go up to 240fps. The front-facing camera packs a sensor with 32 megapixels of goodness and with f/2.2 as its aperture. The front camera also gets the same 4K video capture capability for 30fps and 60fps.

We took some sample shots of the main camera with a flower as the subject of focus. The macro capability and the colors of the camera are fantastic with good sharpness. The camera is also capable of taking good images during the night for low light photography,

Battery

As for battery life, the Galaxy S21 FE 5G houses a large 4500 Li-Ion battery with support for 25W fast charging capability. Samsung mentions that upon charging for just 30 minutes, the battery can reach a 50 percent charge. The device also has support for 15W wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. We conducted a battery test using the PC Mark Work 3.0 battery program and the smartphone was able to last for 10 hours and 13 minutes. The program included several simulations of real-time applications such as web browsing, excel sheets, image editing, video calls, and more. For the daily use-case scenario, we were able to get almost a day of use while making several calls, watching online videos, some video calls, some photography, and more.

Verdict

If you’re on the lookout for a fast and stylish Android smartphone with 5G capabilities from Samsung, then the Galaxy S21 FE 5G is a good choice to consider. The design aesthetics of the smartphone are quite similar to the original Galaxy S21, featuring rounded corners, a seamless metal frame, and more. While the rear is made of plastic, the device feels premium and is also dust and waterproof. The smartphone also packs the Exynos 2100 chipset with Android 12 and One UI 4  as its operating system

The 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with its under-display fingerprint scanner and a 32MP punch-hole camera is able to showcase vivid colors, along with its 120Hz refresh rate for smooth visuals. The triple camera combo on the rear side is able to capture images and videos with great detail and has support for 4K 60fps video capture. And the battery life can last for almost a day of use with support for 25W fast charge, wireless fast charging, and reverse charging capabilities.

9.4

Amazing