Update: Is there any point to the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE?
We fully expected the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE to be in active use around the world by now. Not only was it first leaked all the way back in April, but last year’s S20 FE came out in September. Given the phone has been rumored to be cancelled not once, but twice, its prospects weren’t looking great.
However, rumors now strongly point to a phone that is merely delayed, rather than kaput. And that theory has been strengthened further thanks to two recent leaks.
First of all, Samsung now has an official support page live for the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE in its UAE region. It's here (opens in new tab), but just in case it's taken down by the time you read it, here's a snapshot:
On top of that, British retailer Box.co.uk (opens in new tab) has listed a bunch of what it says are official cases for the phone on its website. At the time of writing, these are still live, though it wouldn’t be surprising if they were pulled at some point.
There’s nothing especially noteworthy about the cases, pictured at the top of the page, with Samsung’s usual choices of Clear View Cover, Silicone Cover and Clear Standing Cover cases all present and correct.
Nor are there any big surprises about the design, which — if the images are genuine — looks the same as previous rumors suggested it would. A central pinhole camera on the front and triple camera array in a traffic light formation on the back are both clearly on display, just as with the original Galaxy S21. One thing that isn't visible in these shots, due to the cases, is that we’re expecting the camera array to be made from the same material as the phone’s back, in a mild deviation from the S21’s look.
There have been false dawns for the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE before, of course. Back in August, Samsung appeared to be gearing up for the phone’s launch with an appearance on the company’s French website and even in store branding, but nothing came of it.
This feels different, however, with both OnLeaks (opens in new tab) and Jon Prosser coalescing around a January release date. Plus, this week we also saw a whole host of official-looking renders leak, with the phone apparently set to arrive in white, black, lavender and green shades.
As for internals, we’re expecting the phone to use the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip that powered the regular S21 family, albeit with slightly less RAM and a lower resolution screen to save on cost. It’ll apparently be 6.4 inches, meaning it will fit somewhere between the S21 and S21 Plus in terms of size, and will feature a 32MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide sensor and a 8MP telephoto lens.
These specs — almost as good as the S21’s, but not quite — are fine, but make it a tougher sell given the delays, and the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S22 is expected a month or two later and will probably run on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip.
Given Samsung’s typical flagship price depreciation, buyers may be better off purchasing a cut-price Galaxy S21 instead, but we’ll know for sure when we have the handset in for testing. And all the signs suggest that we’ll get our hands on it soon enough. It also doesn't help that the latest price leak shows off a very expensive handset.