Even as the excitement for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 continues to burn, Samsung's not done yet. For months now, we've heard rumors of the Galaxy S21 FE, a cheaper Galaxy S21 and follow-up to last year's Galaxy S20 FE. Just in the last day or two, we've heard two separate rumblings about the upcoming phone (which has leaked quite extensively at this point).
The last thing we heard about the Galaxy S21 FE was that it might release on September 8. A new rumor blows that out of the water, claiming that the phone won't even enter production until September. In conflicting cases like this one, it's hard to gauge which one is closer to the truth.
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South Korean publication The Elec (opens in new tab) claims that Samsung has delayed Galaxy S21 FE production due to the chip shortage. Samsung has also supposedly lowered its expected sales targets to "the low ten million" units. The report also says that Samsung had aimed for a Q3 release, possibly in line with the new foldables. That obviously didn't happen.
Samsung Galaxy S21 features
Another leak features an alleged Galaxy S21 FE user manual, courtesy of the folks over at SamMobile (opens in new tab). While it doesn't divulge the exact specs, it does talk about some of the phone's features. For example, it confirms the design we've seen in previous leaks, a triple camera array, a high refresh rate display and reverse wireless charging.
One feature notably missing is the micro SD card slot, which the manual fails to mention when it notes the single nano-SIM slot. The Galaxy S20 FE had a micro SD slot, so it will probably disappoint some Samsung fans who were hoping to see the Galaxy S21 FE have it (especially since the Galaxy S21 series didn't have one, either). But the manual shows an in-display fingerprint sensor, a hole-punch front camera cutout with face unlock and a customizable Bixby button.
Furthermore, according to this leak, the Galaxy S21 FE will sport IP68 water and dust resistance. That means the phone can survive underwater up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. There will also be several pre-installed apps, including 23 Samsung ones and 12 Google apps — this seems excessive.
The manual also talks about some of the camera features, many of the same ones found on the Galaxy S21. These include the popular Single Take mode, Scene Optimizer, AR Doodle, Pro mode, portrait video, slo-mo, hyperlapse, and others.
Too little, too late?
At this point in time, the Galaxy S21 FE seems like it'll be too little too late. The Elec report also mentioned that the Galaxy S22 will enter production in November, leaving the S21 FE just a few months in the limelight before the next big thing appears. And if Samsung keeps the same pricing structure that it used for the Galaxy S21 series, the S21 FE could look even more like the red-headed step-child.