The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is a smartphone with near-flagship specs and a $699 starting price, which makes it… about $100 cheaper than a phone with nearly identical specs that launched a year ago.

In a nutshell, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is a slightly cheaper Galaxy S21… which would have made a lot more sense if it had launched months ago, as expected. But instead it’s launching at a time when you can often find the Samsung Galaxy S21 on sale for below its list price… and at a time when the phone’s Snapdragon 888 processor is no longer the hot new thing (perhaps literally).

Anyway, the phone has a slightly larger, slighter lower-resolution display than the original Galaxy S21, has an entry-level configuration with just 6GB of RAM instead of 8GB, and features a similar camera system except that the telephoto camera has a lower resolution on the S21 FE, while the selfie camera captures four times as many pixels.

The Galaxy S21 FE keeps a lot of key features including a 120 Hz AMOLED display, IP68 water resistance, support for 25W fast charging and 15W fast wireless charging, and picks up a slightly larger battery which could lead to longer run time.

Possibly the best thing about the phone though, is that it’s a year newer than other members of the Galaxy S21 family. Since the new model ships with Android 12 and should receive major Android updates for at least three years, that means that it should be supported at least until Android 15 is available, while the other phones in this series could end their lives running Android 14.

Here’s how the new Galaxy S21 FE stacks up against other members of the Galaxy S21 family:

Samsung Galaxy S21 FESamsung Galaxy S21 5GSamsung Galaxy S21 5GSamsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Display6.4 inch
2340 x 1080 pixel
412 ppi
AMOLED
120 Hz
6.2 inch
2400 x 1080 pixel
421 ppi
AMOLED
120 Hz
6.7 inch
2400 x 1080 pixel
394 ppi
AMOLED
120 Hz
6.8 inch
3200 x 1400 pixel
515 ppi
120 Hz
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 888Qualcomm Snapdragon 888  (US)
Samsung Exynos 2100 (global)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888  (US)
Samsung Exynos 2100 (global)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888  (US)
Samsung Exynos 2100 (global)
RAM6GB
8GB
8GB8GB12GB
16GB
Storage128GB
256GB
128GB
256GB
128GB
256GB
128GB
256GB
512GB
Rear cameras12MP primary (f/1.8)
12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2)
8MP 3X telephoto (f/2.4)
12MP wide-angle (f/1.8)
12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2)
64MP telephoto (f/2.0)
12MP wide-angle (f/1.8)
12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2)
64MP telephoto (f/2.0)
108MP wide angle (f/1.8)
12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2)
10MP 3X telephoto (f/2.4)
10MP 10X telephoto (f/4.9)
Front camera32MP (f/2.2)10MP wide-angle (f/2.2)10MP wide-angle (f/2.2)40MP wide-angle (f/2.2)
Battery4,500 mAh4,000 mAh4,800 mAh5,000 mAh
Charging25W fast (wired)
15W fast (wireless)
Wireless PowerShare
25W fast (wired)
15W fast (wireless)
Wireless PowerShare
25W fast (wired)
15W fast (wireless)
Wireless PowerShare
25W fast (wired)
15W fast (wireless)
Wireless PowerShare
Connectivity5G
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC
5G
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC
5G
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC
5G
WiFi 6E
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC
S-Pen support?NoNoNoYes
ColorsOlive
Lavendar
White
Graphite
Grey
White
Pink
Violet
Silver
Black
Violet
Silver
Black
Dimensions155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9mm151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8 mm165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm
Weight177 grams171 grams202 grams228 grams
List Price (at launch)$699 and up$799 and up$999 and up$1199 and up

press release

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