The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has had a difficult path to market. First leaked back in April, the phone has since been Schrödinger's handset: at different points right around the corner, delayed and dead.
In its current state, the Galaxy S21 FE appears to be due in January 2022, but only in select markets. And now we’ve seen more evidence that this is indeed the case, as CoinBRS has published what it claims to be marketing material for the Fan Edition of the Samsung Galaxy S21.
Could the Galaxy S21 FE finally become real and make it to our list of best Android phones? It’s important to take all leaks with a pinch of salt, and especially so in this case where some of the marketing copy feels a touch janky and un-Samsung like. Would Samsung’s skilled marketing department really turn in copy reading “An immersive screen so unreal you’ll forget what’s real” or “Makes you look good, studio quality good”?
Perhaps it’s holding text. After all, we’re still months away from launch.
Taking the images at face value, we’re promised “a processor that works hard, so you can play hard” — most likely the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 seen on the regular Galaxy S21 — and a “long-lasting battery”, which is rumored to be 4,500mAh — up from the 4,000mAh cell found on the original handset. That move is made possible by the slightly larger screen — 6.4-inches, up from the S21’s 6.2-inch panel.
The rear camera array will apparently feature a main 64MP lens along with sensors for depth and ultra-wide shots. A hole punch notch on the front will reportedly house a 32MP selfie camera.
Galaxy S21 FE: Too late to make a splash?
There’s nothing at all wrong with these reported specifications. Or rather, there wouldn’t be if the phone had launched in September, as the excellent Samsung Galaxy S20 FE did.
A January release date, however, feels too late to have any significant impact. By that point, not only will the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 likely have been superseded by the Snapdragon 898, but said chip will be winging its way to Samsung’s own manufacturing plants for use in the Galaxy S22 series, which is reportedly due in February.
Thankfully, there are plenty of S21 FE alternatives you can buy right now, all of which offer a great balance between price and performance.
But if I were in a management position in Samsung, I would be strongly advocating giving the S21 FE one final delay… all the way back to August 2022, where I’d also suggest renaming it the S22 FE. For me, it’s just too late for the S21 FE to make a splash in its current form, and I suspect that, deep down, Samsung knows it too.