I recently unboxed the Galaxy S21 FE, Samsung’s first phone for this year. The idea was to understand what the FE series had to offer this time. Samsung had already checked all the boxes on the desirable specs list. So the unknowns were its real-life performance and the price that Samsung sets for it.
Samsung soon announced a Rs 49,999 price for the base variant of the Galaxy S21 FE. An instant comparison with its inspiration – the Galaxy S21 – tells you that it’s a good Rs 15,000 saving. So what does it lose on? Or maybe, just maybe, it manages to negate this price gap between the two phones?
That is a mystery you can solve only once you experience the Galaxy S21 FE. Having done that for the past week, here are my thoughts on it.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE: Out of the box
Galaxy S21 FE is a slim phone packed in a compact box. The entire box measures as high as a gaming phone (ROG Phone 5 Ultimate). One look at it and you know that you are about to unbox a very slim and compact phone.
Out comes the Galaxy S21 FE, with its absolutely flat front and back. Just the kind of phone that you can keep on any surface, knowing it won’t slip off or wobble. Though when held in hand, it makes sure that a flat edge doesn’t bother you. For this, Samsung has slightly rounded all the edges of the S21 FE.
So the phone is quite comfortable to hold. The flat back panel rests easily on your palm, there is easy grip on all edges, and the weight is negligible at 177 grams. It is a phone you would like to carry and use every day.
The design is reminiscent of the Galaxy S21 right away. It is the same set of camera lenses at the back in a ditto module design. What’s different is the finish, this time more subtle and even, unlike the bold highlights on the S21. The S21 FE is also bigger than the S21 and you can feel the difference when in use.
At the front, there is a 6.4-inch AMOLED display, housing a punch-hole selfie camera at the centre. This display is bordered all over by a very slim bezel. Volume rockers and power buttons are on the right edge and a USB Type-C port, a SIM tray and a speaker grille don the chin.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE: Initial performance
The phone fires up to run Android 12 backed One UI 4.0. I find the OS to be neat and precise. It has everything in the right place, is easy to find your way around, and has a ton of features. But like always, it is full of pre-loaded Samsung apps.
In use, the Galaxy S21 FE is super quick. It breaks the flow of a transition from one screen to another, as we see with many phones. Opening the app menu, for instance, feels like you have simply flipped it open, instead of it rising all the way from the bottom.
Another reason it feels fast is the ergonomic design. You can easily shuffle the phone in your hand to reach the far corners if you don’t wish to use the one-handed window. The touch response is also fantastic on the S21 FE.
In my limited use to date, I have found the Galaxy S21 FE to be capable of a variety of tasks. It is great for social media, everyday messaging and calling, and it helps keep all such tasks and apps distinct with big bold elements. You are sure to have a great time doing your everyday tasks on it with ease.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE: Gaming and media
Gaming is also smooth, with its Exynos 2100 processor and a 120hz refresh rate display. I could run multiple games and apps in the background and expect them to play smoothly as soon as I reopen them.
The display is crisp, bright and vibrant with colours, and makes media consumption on the phone an absolute treat. An even better feature for this task, though, is the stereo speakers on the phone which are loud, clear and utterly delightful.
With all this, I have seen the S21 FE last through a day’s use, thanks to its 4500mAh battery. However, I have not yet experienced the phone’s camera for all its features. I will be sharing my thoughts in the same in my review for the Galaxy S21 FE soon. So make sure you stay tuned to India Today Tech for more.