The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE takes the mantle from the Galaxy S20 FE, the first Fan Edition phone released by Samsung in 2020. The Galaxy S21 FE has several additional features over the original.
But if you’ve been using the Galaxy S20 FE for a while now, you might be wondering whether it’s time for an upgrade. If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we cover the key similarities and differences between the two to help you make an informed choice.
The Galaxy S21 FE’s design is largely identical to what you get on its predecessor. The major difference in the design is on the rear. The latest Galaxy S21 FE has a camera module that curves to the side of the phone. On the Galaxy S20 FE, the same module is a standalone protrusion.
Also, the Galaxy S20 FE places the LED light inside the camera module, unlike on the S21 FE, where it stands alone on the side. Both have an in-display optical fingerprint sensor.
Aside from that, the two have identical camera cutouts on the front, housing the selfie camera, a plastic back, a glass front, and an aluminum frame. The Galaxy S21 FE ships in olive, graphite, lavender, and white, while the Galaxy S20 FE is available in navy, lavender, mint, cloud white, and orange.
The Galaxy S21 FE features a 6.4-inch FHD+ (1080 x 2400 pixels) AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ support, and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus for protection.
You get a relatively larger 6.5-inch panel on the Galaxy S20 FE with similar specs except for the lack of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.
Due to its relatively smaller display, you get a few more pixels per inch on the Galaxy S21 FE, although not enough to make a noticeable difference.
In the camera department, there’s no difference between the two devices. Both pack a triple camera setup, including a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, an 8MP f/1.8 telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom and 30x space zoom, and another 12MP f/1.8 wide-angle lens with autofocus and optical image stabilization (OIS).
You also get the same 32MP f/2.2 wide lens for taking selfies on both.
A 4500mAh lithium-ion battery powers both devices. However, expect a slight difference in screen time considering the two use different processors. However, you get up to 25W fast charging support on both via a USB Type C cable. Wireless charging (up to 15W) and reverse wireless charging are also available on both.
With the 25W Super Fast Charger (sold separately), you can charge either device from 0 to 50% in just half an hour.
If 5G is the most important factor to you as you buy a phone in 2022 and beyond, you’ll be happy to know that you get it no matter what you pick.
While 5G is still not yet widely available, support is a must for future-proofing, especially with US carriers preparing to rollout 5G widely in 2022.
Processor and Performance
Qualcomm’s 2021 flagship-grade Snapdragon 888 processor powers the Galaxy S21 FE. It’s a 5nm chip which translates to higher performance and power efficiency.
On the other hand, Qualcomm’s 7nm Snapdragon 865 runs the Galaxy S20 FE. For the uninitiated, the Snapdragon 888 has better performance than the Snapdragon 865.
And as always, outside of the US, the devices are powered by Samsung’s in-house Exynos chips. They have similar performance improvements across the generations.
Despite the difference in processors, both phones ship in similar memory and storage configurations; 6/128GB, 8/128GB, and 8/256GB. What makes the Galaxy S20 FE stand out is its support for storage expansion (it uses a shared SIM slot), while the S21 FE doesn’t support microSD cards.
Is It Worth Upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE?
Being a generation apart, the Galaxy S21 FE and S20 FE have a lot in common. But is it a compelling upgrade? No. The Galaxy S21 FE is a minor upgrade to the Galaxy S20 FE. The only major difference is the processor. Nearly everything else has stayed the same.
Besides, with the arrival of the Galaxy S21 FE a few days before the official Galaxy S22 series launch, you should hold your guns. With the Galaxy S22 series launch, Samsung might drop prices on the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra. You can also grab refurbished and used Galaxy S21 series devices with better value for money.
Should you consider getting a second-hand smartphone? Learn the pros and cons of doing so first.
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