The first smartphone of the 2022 vintage is advanced! This is the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. FE, for “Fan Edition”. This watered-down version of the Galaxy S21 launched almost a year ago, is it a good vintage? 20 minutes was able to test the terminal for a week, savor its strengths, and detect (rare) weaknesses.
What’s more …
The S21 FE’s Amoled screen remains Full HD + (1080 x 2400 pixels), but widens slightly compared to that of the S21. Measuring 6.4 ” against 6.2 ” for its elder, it gains the equivalent of 5 mm. Not much, of course, but a little more visual comfort, all the same. 120Hz remains, but is not adaptive, unlike the S21’s display. You must therefore choose in the settings whether you want to favor a display at 60 images per second or 120 images, the second being more fluid, but much more energy intensive.
Under the screen, the S21 FE retains its good stereo speakers, with a good reserve of power. Power is also in question with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor which powers the smartphone. Strangely, it replaces the sometimes criticized “house” processor from Samsung (Exynos 2100) which equips the S21. With the S1 FE, we are therefore dealing with a racehorse, equipped with one of the star processors of the year 2021.
On the photo side, the new smartphone has chosen to pamper selfies : the front sensor goes from 10 megapixels for the S21 to 32 megapixels for the S21 FE. A big leap in quality, especially for photos with more natural colors.
For its part, the battery of S21 FE evolves to 4500 mAh, against 4000 mAh for the S21. The course of the day of use is therefore perfectly held. However, we regret that for both smartphones, the 25W charging unit is not provided in the box.
Finally, the Galaxy S21 FE is the first Samsung smartphone to be equipped with the OneUI 4 interface, an overlay to Android 12, very easy and pleasant to use.
What he has less …
Physically, the S21 FE is a cripple. Samsung removed the microSD port from it (it was present on the S20 FE). There is also no 3.5 mini-jack. For the first, the 128 GB or 256 GB memory of the S21 FE still allows you to see it coming. For the second, audiophile users, or simply those who do not have headphones or Bluetooth headphones will be indexed.
The smartphone shell adopts plastic where its predecessor favored aluminum. Rest assured: the quality is still there and the S21 FE does not do ” cheap ”However.
It is in the photo that Samsung is crunching a bit. The triple rear module of the S21 FE * swaps the 64 megapixel sensor that equips the telephoto lens of the S21 for an 8 megapixel sensor. On trial, it is difficult to cry “wolf”, except for the photos in low light where it is clearly visible that they lose quality of detail.
Finally, if the new terminal offers equivalent Internet storage (128 GB or 256 GB), it loses however in RAM memory compared to its big brother: 6 GB, against 8 GB. Few users are likely to feel impacted by this. small drop in speed.
Choose everything …
Sold for 759 euros in 128 GB and 828 euros in 256, the Galaxy S21 SE is an excellent smartphone, but a smartphone that remains expensive despite everything. In its time, the S20 FE (certainly 4G and not 5G) had been launched at 659 euros. The good quality of its descendant should not make us lose sight of the fact that the offspring arrives very late on the market (undoubtedly the current shortage of components is there for something). We expected it instead in September 2021… Suddenly, two questions: should we not favor the classic Galaxy S21, now sold for less than 650 euros? Or wait to compare that Samsung is advancing, probably very soon, its Galaxy S22?
* 12-megapixel main sensor (f / 1.8) + 8-megapixel telephoto (f / 2.4) + 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle (f / 2.2).