Samsung announces new, lower-priced Galaxy S phone, the S21 FE

If you’re looking for a feature-packed premium phone with a cheaper price tag, Samsung has this week unveiled its latest Galaxy S flagship device: the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G. Following on from 2020’s Galaxy S20 FE smartphone, the S21 FE incorporates ‘fan favourite’ aspects of the high-end S21 series in an more affordable package, including pro-grade cameras, 5G connectivity and all-day battery life.

The ‘fan edition’ S21 FE will go on sale in Australia from January 11, and offers a lower-priced alternative to last year’s Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra devices. Here’s what Samsung fans can expect from the newest Galaxy smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G: camera, features, battery and more

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G features a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display — slightly larger than the Galaxy S21’s 6.2 inches, and with slim bezels and a Contour Cut frame to ensure users can enjoy viewing uninterrupted by camera cut-outs. The screen itself includes a 120Hz refresh rate, making scrolling and gaming fast and responsive, plus a 240Hz Touch Sampling Rate in Game Mode, meaning your screen becomes aware of your touch faster and can execute a response in milliseconds with minimal lag.

The S21 FE also features tough Gorilla Glass Victus in front, includes IP68 water resistance, and apes the design of the S21 series in general by offering a top-left rear camera set-up, and four colour options in Graphite, White, Lavender, and the all-new Olive.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G range

Samsung tends to market its FE phones towards a younger audience, meaning cameras continue to be a key feature. The S21 FE includes a three-camera line-up in back, consisting of a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, 12-megapixel wide camera, and 8-megapixel telephoto camera with up to 30x space zoom. This is similar to the set-up found in the S20 FE, but with improvements: Samsung says its S21 FE comes with an upgraded Night Mode and AI processing for enhanced low-light and after dark shots.

For vloggers and content creators, the S21 FE features dual recording, so you can film through both front and back cameras or once, or switch between angles as needed. Samsung has also included a 32-megapixel ‘selfie’ camera in front, designed for high-quality self-portraits and with features such as AI Face Restoration for studio-style, Instagram-ready pics.

A serious camera set-up requires some major processing power, and the S21 FE sports some strong specs under the hood. As with other phones in the S21 range, the FE includes a 64-bit Octa-Core processor, although most likely with a slightly-slower CPU speed that the standard S21, S21+ or S21 Ultra. However, Samsung is a pro at making multi-tasking smooth, particularly on its gaming-and-streaming focused Galaxy S devices, so you can expect a great performance that pairs perfectly with the S21 FE’s 5G capabilities.

The S21 FE also features a big 4,500mAh battery, along with 25W superfast charging compatibility for quick, easy top-ups. Running Android 12 out of the box, the newest FE is available with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, or 8GB of RAM with 256GB storage, and features strong built-in privacy controls and customisation options thanks to Samsung’s One UI 4 interface.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE: quick specs

  • 6.4-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen
  • 32MP front ‘selfie’ camera
  • Triple camera setup in rear (12MP, 12MP, 8MP)
  • Fingerprint sensor and facial recognition
  • Android 12 operating system
  • 4,500mAh battery, Wireless Power Share, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
  • IP68 water and dust resistance
  • 64-bit Octa-Core processor
  • 5G connectivity

Related: Samsung Galaxy S21 review: a fast new flagship smartphone


Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G: prices and plans

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G will be available to buy outright or on a plan from major telcos, including Optus, Telstra, Vodafone, and most likely Woolworths Mobile and Southern Phone. You’ll also be able to to buy the device from a range of retailers, with outright Australian pricing below.

  • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G 128GB: $999
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G 256GB: $1,099

With the standard Samsung Galaxy S21 5G priced from $1,249 for the 128GB model, and $1,349 for the 256GB size, the S21 FE comes in at $250 cheaper for both storage options. This pricing is also equal to the recently-released Google Pixel 6, which offers similar features from $999 upfront; if you’d like to compare devices, you can read our Google Pixel 6 review for more details.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G goes on sale in Australia from January 11, 2022. All customers ordering from participating retailers before January 30 will also receive a free pair of Galaxy Buds 2, valued at $219.

If you’re instead considering the 2021 Samsung Galaxy S21 range, below is a selection of plans from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Woolworths Mobile on 24-month device terms.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plans

The following table shows selected published 24-month plans for the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for mobile phone plan comparison to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ Plans

The following table shows selected published 24-month plans for the Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for mobile phone plan comparison to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Plans

The following table shows selected published 24-month plans for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for mobile phone plan comparison to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Images: Samsung

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