Samsung has also coveted the affordable smartphone market with its Galaxy A and M series but the company also releases affordable variants of its high-end premium-tier smartphones.
The recently announced Galaxy S21 FE (Fan Edition) is a follow-up to the previous Galaxy S20 FE released a year earlier.
The device has some of the high-end specification of the flagship-tier Galaxy S21 released early 2021 such as Snapdragon 888 chipset, a 120Hz refresh rate and a base 128GB of storage.
As for the asking price of US$699, some think the device might be overpriced especially when compared with the much cheaper Google Pixel 6 released later last year.
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Apart from the high-price, the new Galaxy S21 FE sports a 6.4-inch AMOLED panel and it offers a 1080P resolution with 120Hz refresh rate similar to the device it’s being mocked after – the Galaxy S21.
Another flagship-level feature it has is the 5nm chipset for both the Snapdragon 888 and Exynos chipsets.
In the camera department, it sports a 12MP primary sensor with f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization – again, just like the Galaxy S21.
As for the battery capacity, it offers a 4,500mAh battery compared to the 4,000mAh battery on the Galaxy S21. It also supports a fast 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging.
There is in fact an IP68 water resistance rating and it sports 5G network with support for both sub6-GHz and the faster mmWave.
The pricier Galaxy S21 has a base 8GB of RAM configuration versus the Galaxy S21 FE with just 6GB of RAM. The high-end S21 also has a high-res telephoto camera.
In terms of its storage capacity, the Galaxy S21FE sports a 128GB of internal storage but there is also a higher variant with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage – for US$769.
It ships with Samsung’s Android 12-based One UI 4.0 installed.
When compared with other successful mid-range devices from Samsung such as the Galaxy A52 or A72, the Galaxy S21 FE looks and feels like a perfect balance between these devices and the high-end Galaxy S21 base model.
Although the smartphone market is now very much competitive, the fact that a device has a fast 120Hz refresh rate or 25W fast charging doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the perfect mid-range premium device.
I also think the fact that other competitors are able to outright create a separate brand for their more affordable devices such as Realme, Redmi, or Poco, Samsung can sometimes be confusing about the point they’re trying to make.
Although the base price of the Galaxy S21 FE seem closer to that of the previously announced Galaxy S20 FE which was also priced at US$699 but when compared to the base model of the Galaxy S20 series which started at US$999, the difference is quite obvious.
However, it’s 2022 and things are very much different now. The Galaxy S21’s base price is about US$799, however, one might be forced to make the US$100 commitment in order to get the better S21 instead of the so-called “Fan Edition” – unless that’s Samsung’s creepy intention.
When the South Korean tech giant reduced the price of its recently-announced Galaxy Z Flip 3 down to US$999, everyone thought Samsung was about to compete with other brands such as Xiaomi – notorious for having affordable price tag on their ridiculously great devices.
But Samsung’s marketing team certainly know the target audience for this product – just in case you’re wondering why they made it in the first place.
There are even speculations that the forthcoming Galaxy S22 base model could be cheaper as well – and I won’t be surprised because Google did it with the Pixel 6’s base model.