It's felt dicey at times whether the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE was coming this year. But a new leak seems to put any fears about this mid-range phone's demise to rest.
A few specs for this phone have been found in the Google Play developer console (spotted by MyFixGuide). Aside from the details within the listing itself, the fact it's appeared in the back-end of Google's app store seems to be a surefire sign that it's close to ready.
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The follow-up to the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE will, according to this leak, contain a Snapdragon 888 chip and 6GB of RAM. That's the same top-tier chipset found in the Galaxy S21 series, but with less RAM. The standard Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus use 8GB RAM, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra offers 12GB or 16GB.
As for the Galaxy S21 FE's display, the leak points to a 2,009 x 1,080, FHD+ resolution. However, there's no mention of the actual size of the panel, which we're expecting to be 6.4 inches. For comparison, the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus both have 2,400 x 1,080, FHD+ displays, but measure 6.2 and 6.8 inches, respectively.
The finding of this phone in the Google Play console seems to guarantee that it's real and possibly close to launch. However, there was concern that the Galaxy S21 FE wouldn't be coming at all, based on previous rumors. This latest news, combined with a very recent sighting on Samsung's own website, seems to indicate the S21 FE is on the way and could be appearing very soon.
That said, the S21 FE has a higher mountain to climb than its predecessor. The price of the Galaxy S21 series dropped significantly compared to the S20 series ($799, down from $999). At $699, the S20 FE offered a considerable discount from the rest of the S20 range while offering many of the same features, making for a fantastic bargain. To achieve the same effect with the S21 FE, Samsung will likely have to drop the price even lower again.
Doing so is possible, but given that many of the components of the S21 FE seem to be the same as the S2, that could end up reducing Samsung's profit margins. Besides, reducing the price too much would then conflict with Samsung's Galaxy A52 and other mid-range phones.
The Galaxy S20 FE launched at the start of October in 2020, so it would make sense that Samsung would bring out the S21 FE in October this year, too. It would likely be Samsung's last major phone of 2021 and launch around the same time as the iPhone 13 and Google Pixel 6. So it will should be a very interesting fall for new phones.
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.