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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE release date now tipped for October — what to expect

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE renders
(Image credit: OnLeaks)

The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is making pre-release waves again, with a prominent leaker claiming the phone will launch much later than expected. Previous Galaxy S21 FE tips had the phone launching in August and then September, but now late October is looking more like the date, according to Jon Prosser.

Writing for Front Page Tech, Prosser says his sources claim that Samsung will launch the phone on October 29, nearly two months from now. This effectively lines up with what we heard earlier this week from The Elec, which alleged that production for the Galaxy S21 FE wouldn't even start until this month.

Prosser says that the Galaxy S21 FE will go up for pre-order on October 20 with the phone launching almost a week and a half later. That gives Samsung's lower-cost Galaxy S21 model about two months in the spotlight before we expect the Galaxy S22 to launch.

Of course, we should always take leaks like this with a grain of salt, but Prosser has a pretty good track record. The S21 FE has been in the works for quite a while, with some claiming it had been outright canceled at one point. Many blame the ongoing chip shortage for Samsung delaying the phone, which was supposedly set to launch alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 in August.

SamMobile just recently got its hands on what appears to the official manual for the Galaxy S21 FE, which showed off key features for the rumored phone. While the manual didn't detail specs, we anticipate the phone to be effectively a Galaxy S21, but cheaper. 

Still, you might continue to wonder about the point of the Galaxy S21 FE, when Samsung already cut the price of the Galaxy S21 by $200 when that flagship phone launched earlier this year. The Galaxy S20 FE was a response to the over-priced Galaxy S20 in 2020, after all.

We think the Galaxy S21 FE will have a Snapdragon 888 processor, 6GB of RAM (versus the Galaxy S21's 8GB), a 4,317 mAh battery, a full-HD display, and three rear cameras: 32MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 8MP telephoto. Regulatory filings for what we believe is the S21 FE indicate 25W fast charging onboard, too.

in addition, according to the manual 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. 

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.

At this point, I think the Galaxy S21 FE is too little too late, especially if it launches in the final quarter of 2021, with the Galaxy S22 is practically around the corner. The chip shortage has thrown a wrench into a lot of industries' plans, but I'm of the opinion that Samsung should have just let it lie and put the S21 FE to rest. It seems, though, that the Korean tech giant has other plans, at least if this Oct. 29 ship date report pans out.

Jordan Palmer

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over five years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Jordan tends to lurk on social media, but you can best reach him on Twitter.