Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Review | Not the perfect reboot
So it certainly aint cheap, but it does actually try to upgrade a couple of key areas of the original s21, including boosting the battery life and actually adding an optical zoom. To that telephoto lens, so maybe its not so much the fan edition as it is the fixed edition, but has it actually sorted the issues with the s21? Well, ive been rocking the galaxy s21 fe in my pants for the last week, using it as my full time, smartphone and spoiler alert its pretty good, but definitely not the perfect reboot. I was hoping for so heres my full final galaxy s21 fe review and for more on the latest and greatest tech. Please do poke subscribe and ding that notifications bell cheers now im still not entirely sold on samsungs choice of colors for this fun edition model, especially compared with the gorgeous bold offerings of the older s20fe. I mean white and black are just a bit basic and frankly boring and the olive green, and this here lavender model are really rather niche, im still getting some serious nun vibes from this thing, to the point where i could basically taste the fishermans friends. In fact, this model is almost a match: color wise for the beats fit pro, which i only just reviewed, so maybe its just me being weird and those pensioner vibes are really really hot right now, as far as the size goes well, thank the bb jesus that Samsungs usual one handed mod is built in here, because the galaxy s21 fe has bulked up a little from the original, although at 6.
4 inches it is still actually one of the most compact phones you can buy in 2022 and at least its pretty comfortable to clutch. Even for long periods as well, thanks to the rounded corners and edges, i like the s21 before the fan edition – has a gorilla, glass victus display with no screen protector to speak of so i was expecting it to be coated in nicks and scuffs by now. Thankfully, its not too bad at all, although there are a couple of light scratches on there after just a week, so i would highly recommend installing your own screen protector before you actually use this thing and that glastic r sand is as rugged as you would like. Its still pristine, even though ive not exactly been gentle with this thing all week, long and youve got a full ip68 water and dust resistance as well. So, basically, once you slap that screen protector on the s21 fe should be nice and hardy now so far. Android 12 and the one ui4 launcher have been behaving themselves, and it is quite the potent combination here on the s21 fe. Most of the great android features from those pixel 6 smartphones have made it across onto this sami blower, with the exception of a couple of pixel exclusives, like the call screening feature, so youve got the same great privacy setup as well as samsungs excellent security measures. The in display fingerprint sensor works perfectly even when your hands are a bit moist.
Definitely one of the best out there that ive tested and as usual youve got face recognition as a backup and you can make that facial recognition as secure as you like so youre gon na. Have the s21 fe really take its time to identify you to make sure fraudsters are less likely to trick it? Otherwise you can have it speeded right up if you prefer, but even if you do opt for the time saver option, the fan edition still wont recognize. You, if youre wearing even quite a skimpy, face mask the galaxy s21 fe also allows you to customize almost every bit of it from the always on display to the side key which can sum it up: samsung pay or great mate, bixby or even the camera. If you prefer, and speaking of bixby and samsung pay, those are just two of many samsung apps slapped onto the s21 fe that basically do the same exact job as many of googles. Own efforts, weve also got smart things, which is basically just another google home plus a health tracker, a web browser all that bollocks and personally, yes, i do still find it quite annoying that youve got two web browsers. Two photo galleries, two of absolutely everything its like noahs southern arc up in here. But of course, if you do happen to prefer samsung services to google services, because youve used lots of galaxy smartphones in the past and thats. What youve stuck with then great youll be a happy camper, but thankfully you can uninstall most of samis apps, if you like, which is just as well, because when i first got the s21 fe around 30 gigs of the 128 gigs of internal storage.
Space was used up with system maps and files and all that kind of shenanigans and theres no micro sd support to expand that storage. But anyway, if you want to know more about the launcher, ive done a full on video on the biggest features and improvements of one ui 4.0, so check that out onwards. We stroll, through this lovely little review and oh look its the same dynamic amoled display as the original galaxy s21. Only a might bigger this time. This 6.4 inch beauty pumps out bright, crisp, bold visuals at full, hd plus resolution, with only a tiny weed chunk missing courtesy of that selfie pinhole jobby up at the top end. There i kept the display settings on the default vivid mode because i really like the punchy poppy output and also i rarely have to manually fiddle about with the screen brightness as well on that order board. It keeps things comfortably soft at night times when youre, tucked up with teddy tweaking about on twitter, and if you stroll outside its super sunny well that screen brightness we boosted up the maximum, so you can clearly see everything youre up to and yeah those stereo speakers May not have quite the same kick as the original s21s built in blasters, despite the size growth of this phone, but they are better quality, offering a greater depth of sound and no complaints when it comes to the bluetooth smarts here either. Absolutely no issues at all.
With the connectivity or the range of the entire week of testing – and there was lots of testing of the bluetooth connection, because theres bugger all headphone jack action here now running, the show is samsungs own exynos 2100, at least here in my uk review sample, and despite A decidedly judging first few hours, the samsung s21 fe, soon sorted itself out kind of almost everything from that point onwards has been quite responsive, although the s21 fe can be surprisingly a little bit juddery at times. So, for instance, the camera app is particularly unresponsive, especially when youre skipping between different mods, its probably not helped by the fact that my review model sports, just six gigs of ram and certainly seems to be one of the main reasons why the fun edition struggles to Maintain a smooth frame rate with gentian impact when its boosted to higher detail settings even with the priority mode and other gaming mode bits active. Eventually, i just dropped it down to the medium settings which worked a charm while less demanding titles like call of duty mobile play absolutely perfectly, even when you do boost those graphics, all the way up to proper lush levels and one of the advantages of having the Exodus model of the samsung galaxy s21 fe is the fact that it stays reassuringly cool, even if youre gaming for a good hour or two like even with plenty of gange and impact action. Id rarely say it rolls above the level of tepid, although, while youre gaming that battery life drops pretty ruddy rapidly, so i certainly wouldnt stray too far from the nearest available plug socket.
Ah, yes, battery life, the achilles heels slash dung heap of the original s21 handset. I do like samsungs original s21 flagship phone, but it really struggles to last a full day usually fallen in its ass sometime around the early evening. So i got ta say i was somewhat relieved when i heard that samsung had boosted the battery size for the fun edition from 4 000 milliamps to 4500. But unfortunately, as far as solutions go, this has turned out to be about as effective as fixing a leaky tap by screaming obscenities at it. If what you want to do is just message, mates and thoroughly depress yourself by glancing at social media. Occasionally then, yes, the s21 fun edition will last you the full day. But if you want to push it just that little bit further by, for instance, using the camera, a fair bit, skyping your family for an hour or so in a day doing a bit of gaming streaming a fair bit of netflix! Well, good luck! Getting this thing to last until you are all tucked up with teddy most of the days ive been testing it out. It has needed a bit of an extra charge before i finally stumbled into beds, and even on the days where i did survive, i still ended up with around five to ten percent battery life maximum. As for the charging, well, youve still got support for 15 watt. Wireless charging or 25 watt wired charger, not exactly super nippy and of course you will have to provide your own plug, because samsung does not bung an adapter in the box and last up the optics, which have been partly spruced up for this fan edition, although once Again, youve got a 12 megapixel primary sensor.
This low megapixel count versus many rivals means theres no pixel bin, but i still got good returns in most conditions when snapping on full, auto color accuracy and skin tones arent, quite as authentic as those captured by the pixel 6. But if youre not too bothered about realism, then chances are, you will enjoy the rich tones of the more vivid subjects pumped out here. Kids and pets occasionally come out as a blurry cluster more ambient light a situation, definitely not helped by the occasionally lethargic focus, while samsungs usual night mode is on hand to brighten up low light photos of static subjects. Providing youve got a steady hand as well as that primary shooter, the galaxy s21 fe also packs in a 12 megapixel ultra wide angle lens, and this again struggles to capture accurate colors. But it is immensely helpful when you want to shoot something: absolutely freaking massive. Unlike a cathedral, for instance, however, the big change for the fan edition is the 8 megapixel telephoto shooter, which packs a proper three times. Optical zoom. You can actually pinch in all the way up to 30 times zoom, but i wouldnt recommend boosting it past the 10 times level, as your photo will start to look proper grainy. It is definitely good enough for getting a close up without intruding on a scene, though, im going to say, though i havent noticed a huge improvement in the quality of my zoomed, in picks here on the fan edition compared with the s21, the s31 didnt have an Optical zoom, but it did have a much higher megapixel console, basically just cropped into an image instead, its just a very different way of doing things, and i didnt really notice that one way was particularly much better than the other, but as usual, samsung galaxy s21.
Fun edition does serve up an absolute bugger. Lord of bonus, camera features, some of which are proper gun, including good old single, take. Of course, this is a good one if youve got kids or pets, because you can basically capture up to 20 seconds of footage of them and then it will not only save a video but also do lots of little stylish photos and stuff as well. So lots of different ways of preserving the moment and speaking of video, while you no longer have the option to shoot ak footage here on the fun edition. Frankly, its no big loss, the galaxy s21 fe does a sterling job with 4k action. Every frame is packed with detail unless the lighting conditions are particularly ropey and even if youre moving and shooting samsungs image stabilization keeps the results. Pleasantly, smooth sound is picked up cleanly from all directions, with only a little bit of interference from the wind when youre shooting outdoors and if you like, to share photos of your facial region on the internet. Well, a good way of taking said photos is with the galaxy s21 fes, 32 megapixel selfie camera. This can switch to a pulled out view if you want to fit in a couple of heads or some background action and even in low light it aint too bad. So right, then a nutshell is samsungs galaxy s. 21. F e 5g. If you want to add the little 5g bit at the end, which frankly, is just superfluous these days.
So why bother – and i got ta say i quite enjoyed using it as my full time. Smartphone, but at this sort of price point id say: go for the pixel six instead, because the battery life is the main issue with this thing, once again, unfortunately, you know you get to the early evening and youll be constantly glancing at that battery percentage, wondering if Youre gon na make it through the full day, especially not good. If you have to be heading out in the evening or anything you know, the camera is solid, but not quite as good for stills as the pixel 6, though, admittedly i think the the video captured chops and certainly the selfie camera are better here. On the galaxy s, 21 fe – and you know the android 12 one ui4 experience is very good indeed as well, but if you find a good deal on the fan, edition id say: yeah maybe go for it. Otherwise you know, especially if youre a power user. You know youre really demanding you want to be doing gaming, lots of camera player. All of that stuff, then id say probably look elsewhere, but anyway, im just waffling on now. What do you guys recommend the galaxy s21 fe uh definitely be great if you down below, especially if youve actually been using it as your full time phone as well and for more on the latest and greatest tech.