Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Release Date, Price & Specs Rumours



Samsung surprised many in 2020 by releasing a cheaper version of its flagship Galaxy S20 called the Galaxy S20 FE (or Fan Edition). This featured a great combination of specs and price, making it an instant hit and garnering a 4.5 star review from our own Lewis Painter.

Now, with 2020 finally behind us, we look towards what the new year may bring, in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE.

When will the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE be released?

Samsung has not said anything about the Galaxy S21 FE, so there is no official release date at the time of writing. That said, we can at least look at the previous pattern to see if we can make an accurate prediction.

On its own, this is a bit of a stab in the dark, as there has only been one FE device so far, and that arrived in the middle of the pandemic. But, if we use that as our template, then here’s how the range lined up over the past few years:

  • Samsung Galaxy S9 released on 16 March 2018
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 released on 4 March 2019
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 released on 6 March 2020
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE released on 2 October 2020
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 released on 29 January 2021

The typical release schedule shows the main phones being released in March, and then the FE coming around seven months after that – which would have placed the S21 FE for an October release. 

The first three members of the S21 series may have bucked the March trend but October – or thereabouts – looks like it might still hold water, with SamMobile claiming that sources have cited a Q4 release for the S21 FE, this year, while Evleaks claims to have an even more detailed roadmap that places the S21 FE’s launch where Samsung’s Galaxy Note Unpacked event usually lands, citing a date of 19 August.

Established industry veteran Ross Young has also stated that S21 FE mass production kicks off in July, with the phone destined to hit the market in August, just as Evleaks claims.

Once we know more, we’ll update this article. 

How much will the Galaxy S21 FE cost?

As there is no clear guidance from Samsung, we’ll again consult the tea leaves and look at devices past to gain some idea of how much the new model will cost.

Last year the two models were priced as such:

  • Samsung Galaxy S20 – £799
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 5G – £899/$899
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE – £599
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G – £699/$699

As you can see, there are two variants of the S20 FE in the UK (both 4G and 5G) but in the US it arrived exclusively with 5G, with the same holding true for the Galaxy S20. Fast-forward and in something of a shift in strategy – in the UK at least – the newly-launched Galaxy A52, only arrived in Blighty in its 5G form, while other European markets still got their hands on a 4G version as well, which could imply that the same will be true of the S21 FE.

One other aspect that will help this particular possibility actually manifest is the falling cost of 5G, which is creeping closer to the pricing of 4G alternatives, based on the price reduction seen between last year’s 5G-capable S20 and A51 and this year’s Galaxy S21 5G and A52 5G.

What features will be included in the Samsung S21 FE?

With a potential release date still a while off, news around what the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will be bringing to the table is still only trickling in, but that hasn’t stopped a few rumours from beginning to turn the mill.

WCCFTech reported that the new model will be something of a downgrade in quality from the initial Galaxy S20 FE. The main area of compromise, it says, will be with the display, which could be a 60Hz AMOLED panel rather than the 120Hz one that featured on its predecessor.

This will be countered by moving up to the Exynos 2100 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipsets (varying by market) with small bumps to both the camera sensors and battery size.

Specifications Pro has other ideas, with the site suggesting that the new Galaxy S21 FE will feature a 6.7in AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, Exynos 990 processor and four rear cameras, comprised of 64MP f/1.8 wide, 12Mp f/2.2 ultra-wide, 5Mp f/2.4 macro and 5Mp f/2.2 depth (not unlike the A52 5G).

While the 990 isn’t out of the question, subsequent Geekbench 5 benchmarking leaks suggest that the Snapdragon 888 will feature in at least one variant, with model number ‘SM-G990B’ scoring 381 in single-core testing 1917 in multi-core testing. The listing also makes mention of Android 11 (which would likely be Android 12 come the device’s launch) and 6GB of RAM.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE leak benchmark scores Source: 91mobiles

Geekbench 5 details for SM-G990B, as spotted by
91Mobiles

Battery-wise, Galaxy Club claims that it’s received word regarding the battery capacity inside the S21 FE and that it will match that of its predecessor; positing itself between the base Galaxy S21 (4000mAh) and the S21+ (4800mAh) in terms of capacity, at 4500mAh (technically 4370mAh).

The report makes mention of a battery bearing model number ‘EB-BG990ABY’ which aligns with the S21 FE’s expected model number mentioned above, so there’s a promising amount of legitimacy to this leak, even if we were hoping for a more capacious cell in this year’s model.

The only thing that looks reasonably certain is that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will actually appear in 2021, as noted tech leaker Max Weinbach posted a tweet in November 2020, where he stated that the S21 FE, along with several other models, where part of Samsung’s plans for the new year.

As for what this year’s FE might look like, we start with a trip to famed tipster OnLeaks’ semi-regular column on Voice, where he shared some apparent renders of the device in question.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE flat leaked render source OnLeaks

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE flat leaked render source OnLeaks

With Hemmerstoffer (OnLeaks) never revealing his sources, it’s uncertain whether the images shared are based on official imagery from a source within Samsung or simply fan-made based on current rumours, but taking them at face value, they reveal some of the subtle differences that this year’s FE will sport compared to its predecessor and the current Galaxy S21 range.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE angled leaked render source OnLeaks

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE angled leaked render source OnLeaks

Dimensions of 155.7mm x 74.5mm x 7.9mm (or 9.3mm thick with the rear camera bump included) render the S21 FE marginally taller and wider than the standard Galaxy S21, which OnLeaks states would suggest (contrary to Specifications Pro’s leak) a slightly larger 6.4in display.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE L leaked render source OnLeaks

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE L leaked render source OnLeaks

The design, meanwhile, clearly follows in the footsteps of the existing S21 line but sees the contour cut camera bump rise out of the ‘glasstic’ back, rather than the metal frame – as on the other entries in the S21 series.

If you want to see what the S21 FE might look like in different colours, the Concept Creator (Jermain Smit) teamed up with LetsGoDigital to produce some fresh renders of the forthcoming FE, based on the latest rumours (as of April 2021) and they also appear to marry up nicely with OnLeaks’ previous tidbits.

Smit’s design shows, in greater detail, some of the curves and contours around the phone’s camera arrangement, as well as what a black, blue, green, pink and red finish on the phone might look like.

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