Samsung Galaxy S21 FE release date, price, news, specs and leaks

While the Samsung Galaxy S21 range was unveiled in early 2021, it might not be the full series, as it's likely that Samsung will follow the initial trio up with a Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (or Galaxy S21 Fan Edition as it might be called) many months later.

This would be a cheaper, lower end alternative to the S21, much as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is to the Samsung Galaxy S20.

However, the reduction in cost and specs are both likely to be minimal, with the S21 Fan Edition still likely to be fairly high-end – and priced accordingly.

It could also be a major launch for Samsung, potentially landing in what would normally be the Galaxy Note's slot, as the company suggests the Samsung Galaxy Note 21 is canceled - though we might still see a new model in that range next year.

The news and rumors around this phone are just starting to drip in – we've covered all the best ones below, and come up with a list of things we want from the Samsung Galaxy S21 Fan Edition, along with our best educated guesses at the release date and price.

Latest News

We've heard the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE might come out in October, and only be released in the US and Europe.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A cheaper take on the Samsung Galaxy S21
  • When is it out? Possibly October
  • How much will it cost? A lot - but less than most flagships

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE release date and price

The first thing to note is that even though there has only been one Fan Edition model so far, we can be fairly confident that Samsung is planning a Galaxy S21 FE, as SamMobile reports that the company said it would launch a new one every year.

Beyond which, Max Weinbach (a leaker with a good track record) has tweeted that the phone is in the works, saying that it will launch sometime in 2021.

That said, one report suggests that the phone may have been canceled due to the global chipset shortage, and another suggests it's been pushed back until October, and will only launch in the US and Europe.

As for exactly when the Samsung Galaxy S21 Fan Edition will land, assuming it does, that’s slightly harder to predict, since we don’t have much history to work with. But the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition was announced on September 23 and hit stores on October 2, so given that there’s typically around a year’s gap between phone models, similar dates in 2021 are likely.

However, leaker Evan Blass released a mini-roadmap alleging the Samsung S21 FE will launch on August 19, a much earlier date than expected. That's when the year's Samsung Note is typically unveiled, but given we've heard the Samsung Galaxy Note 21 won't be coming out in 2021, the S21 FE could take its place.

August could make sense too, since the main Galaxy S21 range landed in mid-January, which was around a month earlier than new models in the range usually land. That could have a knock-on effect and mean that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Fan Edition launches in August rather than September, as the leaked roadmap suggests.

One recent rumor backs up the theory that the phone is launching in August, and it could well appear alongside the Z Flip 3 and the Z Fold 3.

The price is something that we don’t have much idea of yet, but it may have a launch price in line with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition, which cost $699 / £699 / AU$1,149 for a 5G model, or £599 / AU$999 for a 4G one (with this version not being available in the US).

If anything though the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE might be cheaper than its predecessor, as the Samsung Galaxy S21 has a lower launch price than the Galaxy S20 did.

Design and display

It's been fairly quiet so far in terms of Samsung Galaxy S21 FE news and rumors, but momentum is starting to pick up now. Via reputable tipster @OnLeaks we've got what could turn out to be our first look at the Galaxy S21 FE, and we've embedded one of the tweets below.

See more

The upcoming phone will apparently be slightly taller and slightly wider than the main Galaxy S21, with a 6.4-inch display rather than a 6.2-inch one. The rear camera bump, meanwhile, will supposedly be connected to the rear casing rather than the metal frame.

Since this leak, LetsGoDigital has shared unofficial renders based on leaked information, and they look very similar to those above, as you can see in the images below.

Note however that the colors chosen here aren't all rumored for the phone (more on which further down), they were simply chosen because they're "high-profile."

Image 1 of 2

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE unofficial render

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital / Concept Creator)
Image 2 of 2

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE unofficial render

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital / Concept Creator)

There have been further leaks too: check out these renders (one of which we've embedded below) from seasoned tipster Evan Blass, which are based on details of the supposed dimensions and design of the Galaxy S21 FE.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE leak

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

Since then, Blass has returned with updated renders, showing the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE in green, white, blue, violet and grey, which you can see below.

The shades are slightly different to in his previous leak, and probably more accurate, but the design is much the same.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE leak

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

While we can't guarantee that the final phone will look exactly like this, these pictures seem likely to be close to the mark – and it seems as though we're going to get a lot of colors to pick from as well.

Speaking of which, we've elsewhere heard that it could come in light green, white, grey, purple, and pink shades. A subsequent leak has provided some of those same colors, listing gray, white, violet and green - that's a similar, though not identical, list.

Camera and battery

We haven't heard much about the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE's camera yet, except that it will reportedly have a 32MP front-facing camera.

From the unofficial renders above it looks likely to have a triple-lens rear camera, and while we don't know what those lenses will be, based on its predecessor it's likely to have the same main camera as the Samsung Galaxy S21, meaning a 12MP f/1.8 one. We'd guess the other two would be a telephoto and an ultra-wide, but not necessarily with the same specs as the standard S21's.

When it comes to battery capacity, one tipster says there'll be a 4,500mAh battery installed in the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, beating the 4,000mAh capacity battery in the regular Galaxy S21.

Specs and features

Some sources claim that a phone with the model number SM-G990B is in development, and it's believed that might be the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. At the very least the model number would seem to place it in the Galaxy S21 range.

On its own that doesn't tell us much, but that model number has also now been spotted in a benchmark, where a Snapdragon 888 chipset, 6GB of RAM and Android 11 are also mentioned.

Note however that in the case of the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition, the 4G version got the Exynos 990 while the 5G one got the Snapdragon 865, so perhaps we'll see a similar split again - but with the next generation of these chipsets, namely the Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100.

Both of those chipsets are very powerful, and are currently among the best you can get in a smartphone.

What we want to see

We were moderately impressed by the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition, but there are a few key improvements we’d like to see from the S21 FE.

1. A glass back

Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition

The S20 Fan Edition has a plastic back (Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition has a fairly premium price but its ‘Glasstic’ back (plastic that’s designed to feel like glass) is anything but.

This was one of our biggest disappointments with the phone, and we really want to see Samsung up the quality of materials for the Galaxy S21 Fan Edition. Either that or lower the price, or better yet both.

However, since we made this wish Samsung launched the Galaxy S21 with a Glasstic back, and it seems unlikely that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will get a more premium rear than that phone.

2. A lower price

As noted above, the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is quite an expensive phone, and that’s despite being the baby of the Galaxy S20 range.

While the specs and features go some way towards justifying the price (plastic back notwithstanding), the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE could certainly stand out more if it were a bit more affordable.

This may way well come to pass, given that the rest of the Galaxy S21 range is cheaper than the Galaxy S20 range.

3. A brighter screen

Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition

(Image credit: Future)

We were generally quite impressed by the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition’s screen, but one aspect that could use some improvement is its brightness.

In our review we noted that it struggled in direct sunlight, and that the automatic brightness sometimes felt dimmer than it should. So for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Fan Edition we want both a higher maximum brightness and improvements to the auto brightness mode.

4. Better battery life

While the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition has a 4,500mAh battery, we found that it didn’t actually last very long, and often struggling to even reach a full day before it needed charging again.

That’s just not good enough, especially when you consider that over time the battery will begin to wear out and become even more problematic, so we want big improvements here for the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE.

4,500mAh isn’t actually a bad size, so it’s likely poor optimization that’s at fault, but whether through a bigger battery or improvements elsewhere, we want to be able to comfortably get a day of life from the Samsung Galaxy S21 Fan Edition at an absolute minimum.

5. Faster charging

Another issue we have with the battery in the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is its charging speed.

At 25W (or 15W for wireless charging) it’s not terrible, but when even the substantially cheaper OnePlus Nord can manage 30W charging, and some phones are up to 65W or higher, we really want increased charging power from the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE.

Post a Comment