Samsung Galaxy S21 FE First Impressions

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is a budget-friendly smartphone that offers an impressive feature set for the price. It has a 6.3-inch curved display, an octa-core processor, and a single rear camera. The phone also has a large battery and fast charging capabilities. We were impressed with the Galaxy S21 FE’s performance and design, and think it’s a great option for people on a budget even if you can afford the higher-end model.

Build Quality and Design:

It seems to me that it resembles the Galaxy S21 Base design. I didn’t get a chance to use that phone myself, unfortunately. I can tell that the camera bump is different compared to the Galaxy S21 base model. Like an entire plastic cover. With the Galaxy S21 and S21, the camera bump is a made-up of separate plastic material that goes across the whole mechanism.

Samsung's new S21 FE is good, but comes at a weird time
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE First Impressions 2

This isn’t to say I don’t like the design. I do. It feels really good on the hand. The metallic frame all around the phone is so nicely done. The buttons have good feedback. I like it.

For a relatively small phone – 6.4 inches – it fits really nicely on my hand. I guess this is the right size for a phone. I mean, I’ve come to realise most phones this size always end up being really nice to carry around and use.

The phone is weirdly light though. Like you pick it up expecting more weight. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been using the Xiaomi 11T Pro (I love it) and it’s a little bit heavier than the S21 FE.

There’s a single speaker grill at the bottom next to the Type-C charging port. If you’re wondering if audio will be easy to block, worry not, the top earpiece also acts as a secondary loud speaker.

There’s no headphone jack. And I learnt that when I wanted to connect my lapel mic to shoot a video. I don’t get why a phone called Fan Edition (FE) wouldn’t have a headphone jack.


As usual, Samsung kills it with the display. I don’t even have much to write home here. It is a great panel. I like the 20:9 ratio as the phone feels a little wider.

The Gorilla Glass Victus addition is great. And I guess it’s things like these that have made the phone expensive. We’ll talk about price at the bottom.


Like I’d said, I used the phone to shoot a short video. I like the cameras. I’ve not gone out to take photos with it yet. But I like that I’ve been able to shoot videos and use them without having any extra light, using an external microphone, or correcting the colours.

I will share more on the cameras on social media and in the review later on.

Android 12:

This is the second phone I am using with Android 12. The first one was the Galaxy Z Flip3 which received Android 12 just yesterday.

There’s not a lot to say about One UI 4. If there were bad elements, I’d share them here. But everything is smooth, easy, ad-free, and nice.

When your camera is accessed by an app , there’s now a green notification on the panel to tell you. The problem is the same green notification appears when the microphone is accessed, so you can’t tell them apart. Apple implemented this with an orange dot for the microphone and a green one for the camera.

The Material You Android 12 feature has been implemented under Colour Palette in Settings > Wallpaper and Style. It gives you an array of palettes to choose from and apply across your UI based on the colours on your wallpaper.


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