Samsung S21 FE Review. The Flagship Under Cut ( Not Flagship Killer).
Samsung S21 FE
The specs of the Samsung S21FE
6.4″ FHD+ AMOLED Centre-hole Display
Snapdragon 888/Exynos 2100 market depends LIke India
8GB RAM / 128/256 GB ROM
4,370mAh Battery+25W Fast Charging
7.9mm Thick, 176grms
Colors: White, Gray & Black
The build and the design
So since the phone has a plastic back it is very light and it feels really good in the hands. At about 177 grams and lighter than most mid-range smartphones. I love how the side is an aluminum finish and also in matte which is nice to know when it. Comes to the overall grip of the phone. Speaking of a matte finish, the back is also in a matte-colored finish and the one in White also comes in Graphite, Lavender, and Olive as well.
Now, when it comes to the overall design, it is very identical to the S21 series of smartphones but people love the one-tone color finish as opposed to the two-tone that you would find in the flagship S21
Some may argue about the whole plastic back but the fact that plastic is way better when it comes to durability compared to phones like the Pixel 6.
What’s also interesting is the fact that the front is a Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection. This is the toughest glass protection until today and that is great to know since that is not a compromise that Samsung has done on the FE.
The fact that the phone also had an official IP68 Dust and Water resistance. This would be something that Samsung would not even bother to have in a smartphone but it is nice that it is there.
The ports and buttons
looking down below other than the USB-C port just next to it. There is the SIM card slot that supports up to a dual SIM and then there’s one of the two stereo speakers over there. Where the other speaker is at the earpiece area. Then on the right, there is the volume rocker and the power button.
As for the phone’s screen, it comes with a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. It has HDR10+ and a high refresh rate of 120 hertz.
Then when it comes to the resolution, it hasFHD+ resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels. As usual, the screen was very nice and bright, just like how Samsung phones have usually always been known for. As for playback on Netflix, it has Widevine L1 support with Full HD and HDR 10 playback as well that’s very nice. And when it comes to playing videos on YouTube, it was also really nice, bright, and vibrant.
The screen is flat and not as curved as how the flagships are and then there is also the in-display fingerprint a sensor that uses an optical sensor instead of the ultrasonic ones that you’d find in the flagship once again but it does unlock very quickly.
Since it has a high refresh rate of 120 Hertz the overall refresh rate and the usability when it comes to daily felt like I was using a flagship
As for camera specs, the main lens is a 12-megapixel f 1.8 main lenses. A 12-megapixel f 2.2 ultrawide lenses and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom or Samsung call it the Space Zoom.
Then when it comes to the front camera, it has a 32-megapixel f 2.2 aperture lens. In terms of the picture quality, it is flagship level
It is been saying that a lot for the ultrawide lens the main lens and even the telephoto lens during the day.
and the front camera shots had a really good dynamic range and edge detection was also flawless, whether or not it’s during the regular selfie and the portrait mode, and of course, the pictures on the rear portrait mode were good as well
While I am not a huge fan of using digital zoom shots. But if you are wan it is nice that the 30x Space Zoom looked very decent, as you can see during these shots. Then when it comes to the night mode shots, it looked great for all of the lenses including the telephoto lenses as well.
The rear can record up to 4k 60 frames per second. Where the image stabilization for the 30 fps recording was good for the ultrawide and the main lenses of course. You can toggle the Super Steady mode where it will record up to 1080p instead but still, very good quality.
Then when it comes to the front camera, although you can record up to UHD up to 60 fps I did find that the image stabilization was better on FHD+ up to 30 fps.
Then, there are also other additional software features. Out of all, I love the dual video that features recording for the front and also the rear camera at the same time And also another cool feature which I’ve always been using on the phone is of course the front portrait video as well.
So the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE ships with Android 12 with One UI version 4.0 and yes. I can officially say that the One UI version 4 is my favorite Android Skin because in my personal and humble opinion. I feel that it is even better than the OxygenOS which has become buggy as of late
The One UI version 4 here is a quick look at what I love about it First, there is the color palette. Where you can easily change the color according to your choice of colors available on your wallpaper and yes this is nice compared to typically needing to download a whole icon pack or theme to just do some simple color-changing palettes
Now, I also really appreciated the newly refreshed widgets lists where if you click on them, you will also be able to see a preview of how the widgets will look like and also the number of the widgets available for it
Then there is also a brand-new Device Care Menu where not only you will see the battery performance and a nice indicator to show if your battery is running well but also there’s other useful information like storage and memory at a glance
Then there is also a nice protection feature for the battery that limits maximum charging up to 85%
There are some privacy updates like showing you a green indicator when the app you are using has the camera or the microphone turned on
Then if you haven’t tried Bixby routines, you are in for a treat, or you are missing out because there are features like IF this and THEN features which you can do which will come in handy for many situations
Yes, there are even more features on the One UI version 4 but these are my favorites.
So the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has 4500 milliamps of battery. When I was using the phone, I did notice that the overall battery drain was really good. Because when I was at 100%, I still could get up to 2 hours and 6 minutes of screen-on time and it only went down to 69% battery.
With gaming about one and a half hours of gaming on Genshin Impact and about 45 minutes of PUBG Mobile, which was impressive indeed And all in all, after using the phone for a very long time,
After watching about 120 minutes of YouTube and just browsing I got close to a massive 7 hours and 2 minutes of screen-on time
when I was at 20% battery and yes, this is with dark mode turned on and motion smoothness at high.
The battery life on the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is really good indeed. It also supports up to 25 watts of wired fast charging, with the 25 watts charger of course. Where it got 0 to about 55% in about 45 minutes or so.
But of course, keep in mind that the charger does not come inside the box.
However, what’s more, interesting is that although the phone has a plastic back. It still does support wireless charging up to 15 watts and there is also reverse wireless charging as well.
Gaming and core performance
So as usual, I started gaming testing on Genshin Impact wherewith Medium Settings, 60 fps, and Motion Blur turned off
The game ran smoothly without any micro lag or stutter. There was also no huge battery drain or any overheating issues with about 20 minutes of gameplay.
I still did not feel that it was warm during very long gameplay beyond 20 minutes. It was also very comfortable in the hands when it comes to gaming for a long time
Then as for PUBG Mobile, the graphics were at HDR. Also, the Frame Rate was set to Ultra, and here is where I found it weird that the graphics on PUBG Mobile does not go up to UHD. So hopefully there is a software update that will fix that soon.
Like Genshin Impact, the gameplay was also really smooth. There were no overheating issues when playing games for up to half an hour.
Playing PUBG Mobile for a long time with the phone also felt good and comfortable in the hands.
Samsung S21 FE vs Samsung S20 FE
I will give this S21 FE my biggest recommendation simply because of what exactly the phone offers as of now.
where it checks all the right boxes to make this smartphone is a very compelling option.
The battery life is amazing, screen and the cameras are very close to a flagship level. I did not have any issues at all when I was using the phone daily