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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE just leaked in hands-on video — here’s your first look

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE light green
(Image credit: Future)

It’s been a rocky road for the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, a handset that was rumored dead in both June and September, but it looks like the Fan Edition of one of 2021’s best phones will be on shelves within weeks. 

That’s what established leakers have been saying for some time, and while you can take grapevine release date whisperings with a grain of salt, it’s harder to fake unboxing videos, the first of which has now popped up on YouTube via the Italian channel HDblog

While non-Italian speakers likely won’t get too much from the first impressions, a few things are immediately obvious just from watching. 

For one, the phone closely mimics the design of the original Samsung Galaxy S21 as you would expect. It’s larger at 6.4-inches (the original was 6.2-inches) and the camera bump is molded from the same plastic as the shell, rather than being a distinct metal detail, but otherwise there’s very little to split the two at a quick glance. At the very least, these leaked Galaxy S21 FE cases by Samsung Hungary look cool. 

On the inside, the specs are exactly what we were expecting too, with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC powering things, backed by 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Like the S21, it packs a 120Hz panel, though it is lower resolution, outputting at Full HD+ rather than 1440p.

One other thing to take from the unboxing part is that, in Italy at least, it seems Samsung is continuing its efforts to reduce accessories in the box. There are no earbuds or wall charger, with just the USB-C cable and paper documentation accompanying the phone itself. Sensible from a green perspective, but inconvenient if your charger has packed in.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE could be officially unveiled as early as January 4, while CES 2022 is in full swing. 

That will give it only a brief bit of breathing space before the Samsung Galaxy S22 follows, supposedly in February. Given last year’s Galaxy S20 FE arrived in September, a full 128 days before the S21, the repeated delays of the latest FE could come to haunt Samsung. If the dates prove to be accurate, then we’ll soon find out if late really is better late than never and if this handset can crack our best Android phones list. 

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.