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.
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 the potential release date so far off at the moment, there is next to no solid news on what the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will bring to the table, but that hasn’t stopped a few rumours 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).
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.
Samsung flagships to expect this year:— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) November 15, 2020
Z Fold 3
Z Flip 3
Z Fold FE
As for what this year's FE might look like, we need to take a trip to famed tipster OnLeaks' semi-regular column on Voice, where he has shared some apparent renders of the device in question.
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.
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.
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.