Samsung surprised many in 2020 by releasing a cheaper version of its flagship Galaxy S20, called the Galaxy S20 FE (or Fan Edition). This featured a great combination of specs and price, making it an instant hit and garnering a 4.5 star review from our own Lewis Painter.
Now, there’s increasing evidence that the release of a successor, in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, is edging ever closer. Here’s all we know about this next Fan Edition.
When will the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE be released?
Samsung has not said anything about the Galaxy S21 FE, so there is no official release date at the time of writing. That said, we can at least look at the previous pattern to see if we can make an accurate prediction.
On its own, this is a bit of a stab in the dark, as there has only been one FE device so far, and that arrived in the middle of the pandemic. But, if we use that as our template, then here’s how the range lined up over the past few years:
Samsung Galaxy S9 released on 16 March 2018
Samsung Galaxy S10 released on 4 March 2019
Samsung Galaxy S20 released on 6 March 2020
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE released on 2 October 2020
Samsung Galaxy S21 released on 29 January 2021
The typical release schedule shows the main phones being released in March, and then the FE coming around seven months after that – which would have placed the S21 FE for an October release.
The first three members of the S21 series may have bucked the March trend but October – or thereabouts – looks like it might still hold water, with SamMobile claiming that sources have cited a Q4 release for the S21 FE, this year, while Evleaks claims to have an even more detailed roadmap that places the S21 FE’s launch where Samsung’s Galaxy Note Unpacked event usually lands, citing a date of 19 August.
Colors are:- Gray- Light Green- Light Violet- White
— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss)
May 3, 2021
Established industry veteran Ross Young has also stated that S21 FE mass production kicks off in July, with the phone destined to hit the market in August, just as Evleaks claims.
How much will the Galaxy S21 FE cost?
In early June, Korean publication Herald Corp referenced potential pricing for the next entry in the Galaxy S21 line, citing a local price of between KRW₩700,000 and ₩800,000 (which directly converts to between £445 – £510/€520 – €590/US$630 – $720), a notable price reduction compared to its predecessor – the S20 FE – which in South Korea launched at ₩899,990 (roughly £570/€665/$810) locally.
Regional pricing for the Galaxy S20 FE actually worked out to be higher than that of direct conversion from the Korean pricing; with the 4G variant starting at £599/€659, while the 5G model started at £/€100 more, from £699/€759/$699.
In the US, the S20 FE arrived exclusively with 5G, with the same holding true for the Galaxy S20. Fast-forward and in something of a shift in strategy – in the UK at least – the newly-launched Galaxy A52, only arrived in Blighty in its 5G form, while other European markets still got their hands on a 4G version as well, which could imply that the same will be true of the S21 FE.
One other aspect that will help this particular possibility actually manifest is the falling cost of 5G, which is creeping closer to the pricing of 4G alternatives, based on the price reduction seen between last year’s 5G-capable S20 and A51 and this year’s Galaxy S21 5G and A52 5G.
What features will be included in the Samsung S21 FE?
WCCFTech first reported that the new model will be something of a downgrade in quality from the initial Galaxy S20 FE. The main area of compromise will apparently be with the display, which could be a 60Hz AMOLED panel, rather than the 120Hz one that featured on its predecessor.
This will be countered by moving up to the Exynos 2100 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipsets (varying by market) with small bumps to both the camera sensors and battery size.
Specifications Pro has other ideas, with the site suggesting that the new Galaxy S21 FE will feature a 6.7in AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, Exynos 990 processor and four rear cameras, comprised of 64MP f/1.8 wide, 12Mp f/2.2 ultra-wide, 5Mp f/2.4 macro and 5Mp f/2.2 depth (not unlike the A52 5G).
While the 990 isn’t out of the question, subsequent Geekbench 5 benchmarking leaks suggest that the Snapdragon 888 will feature in at least one variant, with model number ‘SM-G990B’ scoring 381 in single-core testing 1917 in multi-core testing. The listing also makes mention of Android 11 (which would likely be Android 12 come the device’s launch) and 6GB of RAM.
Geekbench 5 details for SM-G990B, as spotted by
Battery-wise, Galaxy Club claims that it’s received word regarding the battery capacity inside the S21 FE and that it will match that of its predecessor; positing itself between the base Galaxy S21 (4000mAh) and the S21+ (4800mAh) in terms of capacity, at 4500mAh (technically 4370mAh).
The report makes mention of a battery bearing model number ‘EB-BG990ABY’ which aligns with the S21 FE’s expected model number mentioned above, so there’s a promising amount of legitimacy to this leak, even if we were hoping for a more capacious cell in this year’s model.
The only thing that looks reasonably certain is that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will actually appear in 2021, as noted tech leaker Max Weinbach posted a tweet in November 2020, where he stated that the S21 FE, along with several other models, where part of Samsung’s plans for the new year.
Samsung flagships to expect this year:
S21 FES21S21+S21 UltraZ Fold 3Z Flip 3Z Fold FE
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach)
November 15, 2020
As for what this year’s FE might look like, we start with a trip to famed tipster OnLeaks’ semi-regular column on Voice, where he shared some apparent renders of the device in question.
With Hemmerstoffer (OnLeaks) never revealing his sources, it’s uncertain whether the images shared are based on official imagery from a source within Samsung or simply fan-made based on current rumours, but taking them at face value, they reveal some of the subtle differences that this year’s FE will sport, compared to its predecessor and the current Galaxy S21 range.
Dimensions of 155.7mm x 74.5mm x 7.9mm (or 9.3mm thick with the rear camera bump included) render the S21 FE marginally taller and wider than the standard Galaxy S21, which OnLeaks states would suggest (contrary to Specifications Pro’s leak) a slightly larger 6.4in display.
The design, meanwhile, clearly follows in the footsteps of the existing S21 line but sees the contour cut camera bump rise out of the ‘glasstic’ back, rather than the metal frame – as on the other entries in the S21 series.
If you want to see what the S21 FE might look like in different colours, the Concept Creator (Jermain Smit) teamed up with LetsGoDigital to produce some fresh renders of the forthcoming FE, based on the latest rumours (as of April 2021) and they also appear to marry up nicely with OnLeaks’ previous tidbits.
Smit’s design shows, in greater detail, some of the curves and contours around the phone’s camera arrangement, as well as what a black, blue, green, pink and red finish on the phone might look like.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (from 3D objects)- https://t.co/tVsDOWebXE- $evleaks- Thanks! pic.twitter.com/VQmPpCp0UC
— Evan Blass (@evleaks)
June 4, 2021
Evan Blass (aka Evleaks) has also supplied his own set of renders, shown in four different colours – including an unusual olive green; all of which are apparently based on a CAD model he’s also uploaded to Sketchfab for fans’ perusal.