Samsung Galaxy S21 FE in multiple color options

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (Fan Editon) 5G is one of the worst-kept secrets in the smartphone world. At last, Samsung has put the rumors to bed by revealing a reasonably-priced smartphone with just the right amount of features at CES 2022.

🎉 The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is a How-To Geek Best of CES 2022 award winner! Make sure to check out our full list of winners to learn more about exciting products coming in 2022.

RELATED: How-To Geek's Best of CES 2022 Award Winners: What We're Excited About

The first thing you’ll notice about the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is the price. The 128GB model starts at $699.99, which is quite solid for what the phone brings to the table. The base Galaxy S21 currently sells for $100 more at $799, and the S21+ retails for $999.99. If you want more RAM and 256GB of storage, the price jumps to $769.99.

Obviously, to make the phone so much cheaper than the original Galaxy S21 Samsung needed to make some cuts. This is the path the company has followed with previous Fan Edition phones, and the company has consistently made some smart decisions with where to cut and where to keep (similar to Google with “a” versions of its Pixel phones).

In a press release Samsung’s TM Roh, President and Head of Samsung Electronics’ MX (Mobile eXperience) Business, said, “We saw an incredible response to Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S21 lineup. So we applied the same approach with S21 FE 5G, equipping it with the premium features that matter most to our loyal Galaxy fans — because we’re focused on delivering a smartphone that meets their most important needs.”

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE front and back

In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, you’ll find a 6.4″ AMOLED display with a 2340×1080 resolution. That’s actually a bit larger than the base Galaxy S21, which features a 6.2″ screen. The S21 features a slightly higher resolution, though, as it comes with a 2400×1080 display. Both feature 120Hz refresh rates, which is critical for modern phones.

As the phone is a touch larger than the Galaxy S21, it also features a slightly bigger battery. The FE comes with a 4,500mAh powerhouse, compared to the original S21’s 4000mAh battery.

One noticeable performance drop comes to the RAM of the base model S21 FE 5G. If you go with the $699 model, you’ll only get 6GB of RAM (the more expensive models comes with 8GB). All variants of the original S21 have 8GB of RAM.

Thankfully, Samsung didn’t cut any corners with the processor, as you’ll get the same Snapdragon 888 with the FE as you do with the other Samsung Galaxy S21 devices.

The camera system is similar, so it doesn’t look like Samsung had to cut any corners. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G has a 32MP selfie camera and a triple camera system on the rear. It features a 12MP ultra-wide camera, a 12MP main lens, and an 8MP telephoto shooter. The original Galaxy S21 has a much higher 64MP telephoto lens, but the other two are the same.

Outside of the changes to the camera, slightly lower resolution screen, and drop in RAM, Samsung appears to have done a great job of keeping what people loved about the Galaxy S21 phone while getting the price down to a more affordable level. A flagship with a large screen for under $700 isn’t easy to come by, but Samsung made it happen.

If you’re looking to buy one, both Verizon and AT&T are offering specials. Starting with AT&T, for a limited time only, new and existing AT&T customers can get the Galaxy S21 FE 5G for as low as $15/month on a qualifying installment plan, no trade-in required.

On Verizon, the 128 GB model will be available for $23.33 a month for 30 months on Verizon Device Payment.

Profile Photo for Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair was the News Editor for How-To Geek. He is now a Mobile Analyst for PCMag. Dave started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
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