Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G first impressions – old wine in a new bottle

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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G first impressions – old wine in a new bottle
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5GRounak Jain
  • Samsung has today launched the Galaxy S21 FE 5G in India at ₹49,999.
  • It promises to offer some of the best features of the flagship Galaxy S21 series at a relatively affordable price point.
  • Samsung has drawn inspiration from several of its devices of 2020 and 2021 to make a 2022 version of its ‘Fan Edition’ smartphone.
  • Read on for our first impressions of the Galaxy S21 FE 5G.
The Galaxy S21 FE 5G is Samsung’s latest smartphone in the upper mid-range segment, promising to continue the trend that began with the S20 FE last year, of a premium device with flagship features at a relatively affordable price.

Samsung’s formula with the ‘Fan Edition’ devices is simple – bring most of the flagship-grade features and specifications at a slightly lower price point, albeit with a few minor cutbacks here and there in terms of the hardware. This way, Samsung gets to introduce more people to its flagship offerings while still catering to a crowd that seeks value for money, or doesn’t want to pay the top dollar for the latest flagship.

They say love at first sight is real, and we put that theory to test with Samsung’s latest smartphone. Read on for our first impressions of the Galaxy S21 FE 5G.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G – price and availability



The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is available at an introductory price of ₹49,999 in India, and comes in four colours – white, lavender, graphite and olive. It is available for pre-booking in two variants – 128GB and 256GB storage, with 8GB RAM.

The smartphone can be purchased on Amazon.in, Samsung India online store and other retail stores across the country from tomorrow, January 11.

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Old wine in a new bottle



In many ways, the Galaxy S21 FE 5G is a mashup of multiple devices.

It has the heart of the Galaxy S21 series, thanks to the flagship Exynos 2100 chipset. Its eyes are the same as last year’s Galaxy S20 FE. Its body reminds us of the Galaxy A52 and Galaxy A72, which also featured a similar design and colour philosophy.

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You might be wondering if it’s actually worth the price tag since it has a plastic body – after all, the look and feel of a smartphone that costs ₹50,000 should be premium.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G first impressions – old wine in a new bottle
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G features a compact design.Rounak Jain

While opinions about design may be subjective, we found the Galaxy A52 and A72 from last year to be really well done. Despite the plastic bodies, Samsung did a good job of retaining a premium feel. The devices felt good to hold, were not slippery and relatively lighter when compared to similar-sized metal phones.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G first impressions – old wine in a new bottle
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G side.Rounak Jain

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The same is the case with the Galaxy S21 FE 5G as well. Design-wise, it feels a little boring, but the overall feel in the hand is very good. What makes it even better is the weight – at 177 grams, it comes across as a breath of fresh air after using hefty metal and glass phones.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G first impressions – old wine in a new bottle
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G display.Rounak Jain

The front of the phone is taken up by the 6.4-inch 120Hz AMOLED display, which gets bright enough to read even under direct sunlight. There’s a punch-hole notch at the top which houses the 32MP selfie camera.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G first impressions – old wine in a new bottle
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G plastic body.Rounak Jain

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On the back, there’s now a plastic cover that is bare for the most part, except for the Samsung logo towards the bottom and the camera module on the top left. The module now transitions more smoothly with the rest of the back, which is a noticeable and a positive improvement from the rest of its Galaxy S21 siblings.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G first impressions – old wine in a new bottle
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G camera.Rounak Jain

The camera setup consists of two 12MP snappers – the primary one with optical image stabilisation and the other with ultra-wide angle optics. The third is an 8MP telephoto camera with optical image stabilisation and 3x optical zoom. This setup is the same as last year’s Galaxy S20 FE, but Samsung is promising improved processing this time.

First impressions


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The Galaxy S21 FE 5G looks to be a fairly well-rounded offering in its price segment – Samsung has ticked most of the boxes, and don’t let the 12MP camera numbers suggest that the cameras are not up to the market compared to the 48MP, 50MP, 64MP or even 108MP snappers that you find on many other smartphones these days. Higher megapixel numbers don’t always make for better cameras.

But apart from the optics, the Galaxy S21 FE 5G will have to slug it out with smartphones like the OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9R, and the now-old iPhone 11. Will it win the battle? You will have to wait for our detailed review to find that out.
SEE ALSO:

Samsung launches Galaxy S21 FE 5G in India featuring a triple camera setup, starting at ₹49,999

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