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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Dual SIM

Belated joy

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
Time to meet Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G - the longest-awaited smartphone in recent months. We have been waiting for it almost since last summer, and we saw it only now - in January 2022. Has this waiting paid off?
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G - video review
video: via YouTube

In terms of style, we are clearly inspired by Samsung's previous flagships, the Galaxy S21 series. Once again we will see the matte back and the distinctive camera frame. In the graphite-colored model I tested, it is admittedly not very noticeable, but fortunately the smartphone is also available in three other, definitely more interesting color variants.

Good plastic is not bad

The smartphone is based on a metal frame, but it has already been finished with plastic. That's very good for my taste. I am an old gentleman and I am not a dexterous person, so my phones often fall out of my hand. Say what you want, I don't mind that the plastic is not "premium" - I prefer it to the glass casing which increases the risk of breaking.

Having plastic instead of glass on the back, Galaxy S21 FE reduces the risk by half - because we can only break the screen. And this is not certain, because the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus. It is true that glass is still glass, so you won't be able to break it with full resistance, but at least the screen won't scratch easily.

It will also not drown easily - with IP68 water resistance, the smartphone will survive not only rain, but even temporary immersion, so you will be able to rinse it without fear, there will also be no tragedy if you accidentally fall into the water.

In terms of ergonomics, there is nothing to complain about, the buttons fit well under the finger, the fingerprint reader as well. The reader, as befits a modern smartphone, is hidden under the display and works like a typical sub-screen reader - not bad, but it does not beat the records in terms of speed and reliability. Personally, I still prefer the convenience of classic side readers. For the sake of order, I will add that there is also face recognition based on the front camera, also working quite quickly and efficiently.

Coming back to the screen, resistance to scratches is just the beginning of the good news - we have a 6.4-inch diagonal, Full HD + resolution, and best of all, it is a Dynamic AMOLED 2 Mix display. So we have great color reproduction, very deep blacks, high brightness (up to 1200 nits) and 120 Hz refresh rate.

As you can guess, there are also none of the common options - there is eye protection, the ability to adjust the color balance and the dark interface mode. Here, Samsung did not miss anything, and as a result, the screen is one of the strongest points of this smartphone.

It will be easy to settle down

The interface looks no worse, One UI 4. I do not hide - I use Samsung phones privately, so I feel at home here. If you haven't even dealt with this interface, I highly recommend it because it is really well polished - very friendly and easy to understand.

The changeover will be facilitated by the Smart Switch tool - the application is compatible with many models, and will help you transfer a lot of data (such as previously downloaded applications) even if your previous equipment was an iPhone. Smart Switch, however, is most effective when switching from another Samsung model - you will clone everything, including settings.

Samsung spares no additional applications, but you can easily uninstall them all - if you want, because there is no garbage in the pre-installed kit - it is possible that most of them will be useful to you. In addition to apps, Samsung adds a wide range of personalization to Android - there is a typical set of gestures, there is also a side panel where you can throw shortcuts.

The last noteworthy element of the software is the ecosystem solution that allows you to easily connect accessories to operate them from the phone. In this way, even the Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Buds headphones, or even a washing machine or oven will be compatible, as long as they are equipped with smart technology.

Snapdragon breathes no fire

How does the performance of this phone look like? First of all, we have the Snapdragon 888 in the role of the processor, known for the fact that it can turn the phone into an oven. I expected Galaxy S21 FE to share this drawback, and here's a surprise - this model will not work as a hand warmer. Yes, it can warm, but within common sense. Throttling is as well, but it doesn't scare you. Overall performance is very good.

Memory and RAM come in two variants, and I strongly suggest you buy the latter - instead of 128 and 6 GB of memory and RAM, you will be equipped with 256 GB of memory and 8 GB of RAM. This is important as this smartphone unfortunately no longer has a microSD card slot. A sign of the times? The same applies to the minijack by the way. Until recently, it was the hallmark of the Galaxy FE series, now apparently it's a thing of the past.

Apart from this one deficiency, the sound is not that bad. The headphone speaker provides great call quality, and the multimedia speakers can handle it too. We have stereo sound here, but it is not equal to each other - the headphone plays the role of one of the speakers, so there is no impression of a perfectly balanced stereo. Despite this, it performs well, sounds clean, although it could be louder. There were also any of the most necessary communication systems - NFC, WiFi, Bluetooth, everything works without any problems.

Where's my charger?

So far, I praised the phone mainly, finding only minor shortcomings here and there, but when it comes to the battery, it is worse - 4500 mAh at a time when even the average medium has 5000 mAh, it is on average satisfied. In practice, this is enough for one day, and if you use the 120 Hz refresh, like I have Always on Display, and generally use the phone a lot, it is possible that the battery will not last until the evening. Speaking of refreshing - it can be reduced to a less smooth, more energy-saving pace in the options, but unfortunately we only have these two options. The frequency is not adaptive, and we have to choose between smoothness and battery saving ourselves.

Charging with a power of 25 W takes just over an hour and a half. Of course, it depends on the initial charge level and the charger we use ... which you will have to take care of yourself, because it just so happens that in the box with this phone the charger is neither widu nor heard. Of all the battery-related shortcomings, this irritated me the most.

Three useful cameras

Perhaps the quality of the photos will improve our mood ... Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G has quite a nice photo set. On the front there is a selfie camera with a resolution of 32 Mpx, two 12 Mpx and one 8 Mpx. Neither of them is superfluous, because in addition to the main camera, we have a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens that allows for a lossless triple magnification.

In terms of quality, it is very good. Simply put, this is the level of last year's flagships - if you haven't had time to buy Galaxy S21 or S21 +, then Galaxy S21 FE will provide you with photos at a comparable level. So you can say that this is a truly flagship camera. There is really nothing to complain about, even at night, but in this case it is better to rely on the night mode of the main camera - these two additional lenses will also do well, but they will be worse than the main one in terms of aperture or brightness.

During the day, the photos are simply great, with great contrast, exemplary reproduction of details, quite well-functioning autofocus... I can only attach to portrait effects - here, unfortunately, the software sometimes gets lost, especially when the model has a lush, bushy hairstyle, and the background behind him is a little more complicated. Selfies are similar - during a great day, after dark also quite good, with portraits - well, it depends on the beauty and complexity of the model's face. Generally, there is not much to criticize here.

The movies also do not leave much to be desired - the image is great, the sound is fine, and the fluidity is also. Only a few strange bugs with the software caused me problems... such as dropping frames when recording in the dark in Full HD.

After switching to 4K quality, the problem disappeared, so it does not look like a hardware limitation . Another disturbing symptom was the loss of focus when we switch from a wide-angle or main lens to a telephoto lens during recording. After two or three seconds of filming, the focus slips and you have to set it again with your finger on the screen.

To make it more fun, it only happened to me in beautiful, sunny weather, and literally just one day. When I tried to duplicate these conditions the next day, there was no problem anymore. You can probably expect these glitches to disappear after a few updates... as long as they are actually software bugs, and not just the effect of very specific conditions that I gave this smartphone. So I wouldn't worry too much - in general, you'll be satisfied with the movies.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G - sample movies recorded with a smartphone
video: via YouTube

It's a pity it's only now

However, I am not sure if you will be completely satisfied when you decide to buy this smartphone and go to the checkout. For this phone, they will charge you 639 or 739 euro, and it is this more expensive version that is more worth attention. Taking this into account, compare the price with, for example, the flagship models from last year - perhaps another phone from the Galaxy S21 series will convince you more, even with the size.

The choice of Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is mainly supported by a great display, very decent cameras and good performance. The advantage is also a waterproof housing and a pretty good design, especially in lighter color variants. The downside is the lack of a charger, microSD and minijack slots, a battery and a fingerprint reader could also be better, but overall it's quite OK... only this price.

I definitely recommend the Samsung S21 FE, but it cannot be denied that it is a bit too expensive and also late. If it had landed on store shelves in the fall, then it might have been a hit. Even in December, it would have a chance to be a hit with Christmas presents. However, it landed in stores in January, and I'm not sure if it's too late. It's a pity, because the phone is quite successful.

Source; viewed: 979 times.

Monika Krasicka-Kulińska

Maciej Gorczycki

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