(Pocket-lint) – Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series hit shelves at the beginning of 2021 but despite nearly a year having passed, there are still plenty of rumours circulating about the Galaxy S21 Fan Edition, or Galaxy S21 FE.
The Galaxy S21 FE would succeed the excellent Galaxy S20 FE, likely hitting the sweet spot between price and features once again. Here is everything we have heard so far.
Release date and price
- January 2022?
- Cheaper than Galaxy S21
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition model was revealed in September 2020 and made available in October 2020. It’s been claimed there is a Samsung device with a model number SM-G990B in the works that is likely to be the Galaxy S21 FE, and that it would launch in the second half of 2021.
It was initially claimed the device could be available to pre-order from 20 October and available from 29 October, which would have tied into the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Part 2 event that took place on 20 October, but no S21 FE was announced at the event.
More recent reports claim it will arrive at CES 2022, which takes place in January. There have been multiple rumours suggesting this, meaning this timeframe is looking the most likely, especially as the end of 2021 is fast approaching. There were also reports the device was being cancelled due to the chip shortage, though there is more evidence to suggest it is coming than not now, especially after the user manual appeared on Samsung’s own website.
In terms of price, we’d expect the Galaxy S21 FE to sit below the Galaxy S21 if it appears. The Galaxy S20 FE starts at £599 in the UK for the 4G model – it isn’t available in the US – with the 5G model costing £599 in the UK and $599 in the US, so we would expect a similar ballpark for the Galaxy S21 FE.
- Similar to Galaxy S21 series
- IP68 rating likely
- 155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9mm
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE featured a design similar to the Galaxy S20 series, but made a couple of changes in order to reduce the price, like a plastic rear instead of glass.
The Galaxy S21 FE is expected to do the same but with a design similar to the Galaxy S21 and S21+. Rumours claim it will come in grey, pink, violet, green, blue and white colours, with the violet having leaked by Samsung itself. It’s likely to be water resistant, as the Galaxy S20 FE was and as a leaked user manual suggests, and we’d expect a flat display.
Based on multiple leaked renders, the camera housing on the rear of the S21 FE will fall into the frame, as it does on the Galaxy S21, but it will be an overall more traditional and simpler design. The housing also appears to be the same colour as the rest of the rear rather than a different colour like the Galaxy S21.
It’s also been claimed there is no microSD card slot and no 3.5mm headphone jack.
- Full HD+
- 120Hz refresh rate likely
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has a 6.5-inch display with a Full HD+ resolution, though rumours claim the Galaxy S21 FE will have a 6.4-inch screen with a Full HD+ resolution. That still puts it in between the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ in terms of size though.
Both the S21 and S21+ have a Full HD+ display too and both come with a variable 120Hz refresh rate. As the Galaxy S20 FE retained the 120Hz refresh rate of the Galaxy S20 series, it is likely the S21 FE will also offer the faster refresh rate, though it’s unclear if it will offer variable refresh rate.
A flat display is also likely for the Galaxy S21 FE, along with a centralised punch hole front camera. It’s also likely to be a Super AMOLED panel.
Hardware and specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, 8GB RAM
- 128GB/256GB storage options
Rumours suggest the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will come in 128GB and 256GB storage options, like its predecessor. As mentioned, it’s been suggested the S21 FE won’t offer microSD support for storage expansion, which the Galaxy S21 and S21+ don’t either.
Reports claim it will be a 5G device, which we’d expect, though it isn’t clear if there will be a 4G LTE model too as there is with the Galaxy S20 FE. It is also said to run on Android 11.
Rumours suggest the Galaxy S21 FE will run on the Qualcomm Snapdrgon 888 or the Eyxnos 2100, depending on the region, like the Galaxy S21 series. There have been reports 6GB of RAM – a little less than the Galaxy S21 – 8GB RAM, and there’s been mention of 12GB RAM too.
Battery capacity is claimed to be 4370mAh – although there’s also been a report of 4500mAh – and it’s said the S21 FE will offer support for 25W fast charging, though it’s not yet clear whether the charger itself will be included in the box.
- Triple rear camera (32MP or 64MP + 12MP + 8MP)
- 12MP or 32MP front
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE featured a triple rear camera with the same main camera as the Galaxy S21+. It dropped the resolution of the telephoto camera and upped the resolution of the front camera. It also has the same resolution ultra wide camera as the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ but with smaller pixels.
Rumours regarding the Galaxy S21 FE camera specs, suggest a triple camera comprised of a 12-megapixel, 32-megapixel or 64-megapixel sensor, 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel sensors. It’s expected the make up will be main, ultra-wide and telephoto.
Reports say a 12-megapixel front camera will also be on board the S21 FE, though there have also been claims this will be a 32-megapixel selfie snapper.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE rumours: What’s happened so far?
Here is everything we have heard about the Galaxy S21 FE so far.
6 December 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE user manual confirms device is coming
Serial leaker Evan Blass – also known as @Evleaks – tweeted a link to the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE support user manual on the company’s website.
18 November 2021: Real hands on pictures of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE leaked
Hands-on pictures of a real Galaxy S21 FE from Samsung, reveal many previously leaked features to be accurate.
15 November 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE specs and design leak in full
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE marketing materials leaked, offering a full view of the design and specifications.
11 November 2021: Galaxy S21 FE lands on the Google Play Console in Snapdragon and Exynos variants
Samsung’s Galaxy S21 FE made a pit stop at the Google Play Console ahead of launch, all but confirming its existence. The phone appeared in two variants: one with the Snapdragon 888 processor, and another with the Exynos 2100.
8 November 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE to debut 4 January during CES 2022 Unpacked event
A second report corroborates speculation that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will be announced during CES 2022 in Las Vegas.
2 November 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE could finally debut at CES 2022
SamMobile reported the Galaxy S21 FE will launch at CES 2022. The site is reasonably sure its sources are correct: “As of right now, the Galaxy S21 FE launch at CES 2022 is virtually confirmed,” it wrote.
26 Ocotber 2021: Is Samsung Galaxy S21 FE back on the cards?
A leaked image of what is claimed to be a “screen protector placement” device labelled “S21 FE”, alongside the reemergence of a support page for its model designation suggest the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is still in the works.
20 October 2021: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Part 2 didn’t reveal Galaxy S21 FE
The Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Part 2 event took place on 20 Ocotber, but no Galaxy S21 FE was revealed.
13 October 2021: Samsung to hold Galaxy Unpacked Part 2 event soon, maybe new phones on their way?
Samsung sent out invites for its Galaxy Unpacked Part 2 event, though little was given away in terms of what would be revealed.
28 September 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE scrapped? Chip shortage may take its toll
Korean site Digital Daily, in an exclusive, cited a Samsung Electronics representative confirming the cancellation of the October S21 FE Unpacked event – who then goes on to say “We are [Samsung is] reviewing the smartphone launch itself”.
1 September 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE expected to arrive October
Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech has claimed the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will be available to pre-order from 20 October and available to buy from 29 October.
31 August 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE user manual suggests no microSD
Sammobile reported that it obtained the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE user manual and there is no mention of microSD. There is also said to be no 3.5mm headphone jack.
13 August 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE gets certified by Bluetooth SIG
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has been certified by the Bluetooth SIG suggesting its launch is getting closer.
10 August 2021: Samsung accidentally reveals Galaxy S21 FE in Instagram post
9to5Google spotted a post from Samsung’s official Instagram account that appears to show the unannounced Galaxy S21 FE in a Back to School advert.
23 July 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE won’t be announced at Unpacked
LetsGoDigital reported that it has seen official documentation from Samsung that says the Galaxy S21 FE won’t be introduced at Galaxy Unpacked.
21 July 2021: Samsung confirms Galaxy Unpacked for 11 August
Samsung has sent out official invites for its next Galaxy Unpacked event that will take place on 11 August.
12 July 2021: 11 August Samsung Galaxy Unpacked to be packed with launches, see them here
Evan Blass posted a number of short videos to his Twitter account, indicating what Samsung is expected to announce at Unpacked on 11 August, with the Galaxy S21 FE one of the devices.
8 July 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE pics and specs shown in TENAA listing
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE appeared on TENAA, China’s Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center, with device pictures and a number of specs.
7 July 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE shown from every angle thanks to leaked gifs
Leaker Evan Blass posted a number of short videos to his Twitter page, revealing the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE from every angle. Unfortuantely, the tweet has since been removed.
2 July 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE colours revealed in picture leak, but there might be some bad news
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE appeared in another leak, showing off the colours expected. The leak also mentioned Exynos as the processor though.
30 June 2021: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2021 could take place on 11 August
A leaked render of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 suggests Unpacked event could take place on 11 August. It’s not clear if the S21 FE will arrive alongside the Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3 or at a separate event later on.
23 June 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE to be delayed? End of 2021 now rumoured
A report claimed the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE might be delayed until the last quarter of 2021. It was originally rumoured to be coming in August 2021.
17 June 2021: 3C document reveals Samsung Galaxy S21 FE passes through certification
A leaked 3C document, first uncovered by MyFixGuide, reveals that the Galaxy S21 FE will feature support for 25W fast charging.
11 June 2021: More Samsung Galaxy S21 FE specs revealed by benchmark test
Geekbench reported the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE on a benchmark with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset and 8GB of RAM.
9 June 2021: Here’s what the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will look like in every colour
Evan Blass tweeted an image of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE in every colour with green, white, blue, grey and violet shown. The image also showed the device off from every angle.
21 May 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will have Snapdragon 888 and 6GB RAM, according to benchmark test
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE appeared on a benchmark test running the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 and 6GB of RAM. It also is listed as running Android 11.
11 May 2021: Samsung eyeing an August Unpacked event to launch Fold 3, Flip 3 and Galaxy S21 FE
Industry sources claim Samsung is planning an event for August, where it is expected to reveal the the Z Fold 3, Z Flip 3 and the Galaxy S21 FE.
6 May 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE on track for August reveal, in four colours
Ross Young tweeted claiming the Galaxy S21 FE is starting production in July and set to come in Gray, Light Green, Light Violet and White colour options.
12 April 2021: Here’s what the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will look like
Steve Hemmerstoffer (OnLeaks) posted a number of high resolution renders of the Galaxy S21 FE to The Voice plaform, along with a few details.
18 March 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE could launch on 19 August, S7 Lite tablet in June
Evan Blass revealed a leaked Samsung mini roadmap that suggests the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE could launch on 19 August 2021.
13 February 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE mid-ranger might arrive later this year
Sammobile claimed the Galaxy S21 FE could already be in development with a model number SM-G990B. The site said it will have 5G, come in 128GB and 256GB storage options, and have Android 11. It is also said to be coming in gray/silver, pink, violet, and white colours when it launches in the second half of this year.
15 November 2020: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE expected in 2021
Leaker Max Weinbach tweeted that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE was one of the flagships to expect from Samsung in 2021.
Samsung flagships to expect this year:
Z Fold 3
Z Flip 3
Z Fold FE
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) November 15, 2020
Writing by Britta O’Boyle. Originally published on .